Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Permission slips for the Pledge of Allegiance? It happened at one Boston-area public school.
Edward Devotion School principal Gerardo Martinez sent a letter to parents announcing the school would begin weekly recitals of the Pledge of Allegiance, in accordance with Massachusetts state law.
Martinez told parents -- quote -- "students and teachers may choose to stand and recite the Pledge, but are not legally required to do so." A tear-off sheet asked parents to indicate whether their child would participate.
After complaints, Martinez sent a second note saying he did not intend the letter as a permission slip, but as a way to encourage healthy discussion.
Difficult Cross to Bear
A federal appeals court has denied a request to hear a case involving 14 memorial crosses on Utah highways that were ruled unconstitutional.
The Utah Highway Patrol Association wanted to reverse a 2005 ruling that banned the non-profit organization from putting its logo on crosses to honor troopers killed in the line of duty.
The court said the 12-foot crosses represent an endorsement of Christianity.
Incoming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is reportedly calling in the big guns to help Democrats re-brand themselves.
The Washington Post cites lawmakers who say she is consulting marketing experts about building a stronger brand and is even asking for advice from Steven Spielberg. The director's spokesman told reporters -- quote -- "[Spielberg] has made it his career to direct actors, not political figures."
The Post called that a classic non-denial denial.
And finally, critics are sour on Britain's Royal Mint for releasing a commemorative coin featuring Prince William and bride-to-be Kate Middleton that they say is very unflattering.
The AP writes that Middleton appears plump with bags under her eyes and some have likened William's image to that of Al Gore.