Omnibus Spending Bill Still Cost You Money

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Money for Nothing?

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill is dead, but it still cost you money.

The Washington Times reports that printing 650 copies o f the 1,926-page bill cost taxpayers $78,000.

The size alone helped Republicans kill the bill so quickly it never came to the floor for action.

Book Shelved

A Koran etched in the blood of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has reportedly been hidden in a Baghdad mosque for the past three years.

The British newspaper The Guardian reports over the course of two years Hussein sat with a nurse and a calligrapher to transcribe the 605-page book with about six gallons of his blood. Muslims consider it sacrilegious to write the Koran in blood.

Iraq's Shia leadership fears Hussein's Koran might inspire remnants of his Ba'athist regime. The head of Iraq's Sunni Endowment Fund says the book is worth millions of dollars.

Good for the Goose?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is complaining that he is the victim of leaks.

Assange told The Times of London that someone leaked a Swedish police report on his rape allegations. He said it was -- quote -- "clearly designed to undermine my bail application. It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning. Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison and shopped the report around to other newspapers as well."

Assange has denied the rape allegations and he has not been charged.


And finally, NPR's Nina Totenberg is getting a bah-humbug from some for something she said on a Washington political program.


NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: These agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at a -- you forgive the expression -- a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people were actually really worried about this.


Newsbusters' Brent Baker wrote Totenberg was -- quote -- "seemingly embarrassed to invoke any religious terminology for Christmas. She didn't say what she'd prefer for parties this time of the year to be named... 'winter solstice party'? Just plain old 'holiday party'? Or a 'seasonal gathering'?"

Mediaite asks if -- quote -- "Maybe in the wake of Juan Williams' firing, NPR employees, just to be safe, apologize for anything in advance?"