And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...
The Odd Couple
Maybe opposites do attract -- at least in TV.
Current TV -- which was founded by former vice president and environmental activist Al Gore -- has been sold to Al Jazeera, a news organization funded by the oil-rich country of Qatar.
The price tag? $500 million and Gore gets $100 million of that.
The oil connection caused one conservative blogger to tweet -- quote -- "Al Gore is trending because he just made 100 million dollars from the oil he's been railing against for the last couple decades."
The New York Times reports that Gore and his partners tried and failed to complete the sale before the new year to dodge the higher tax rates that took effect on January first. The sale went through on the second.
Al Jazeera was not the only suitor.
According to the Wall Street Journal, talk show host Glenn Beck approached Current TV but was rejected because -- according to Current execs quote -- "The legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view,"
The reason why Al Jazeera was chosen? At first the Current statement read -- quote -- "Al Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."
A revision later was released removing the reference to shared goals. Critics have charged that Al Jazeera has a pro-Islamist stance and some have charged the network has continued to work with members of Al Qeada.
Time Warner Cable -- the nation's second largest cable provider -- has announced since the sale, it will not carry the new channel.
The Pakistani government dropped its ban on YouTube for about the length of a commercial break.
According to the New York Times -- the access to YouTube in Pakistan lasted three minutes.
The backtrack was because material deemed offensive to Muslims was still available on YouTube -- including the video blamed with starting the September riots across the Muslim world.
What's in a Name?
What if the government would not let you use your name and instead you were just called "boy" or "girl"?
That is what one Icelandic teenager is going through.
Her name -- which means "light breeze" in Icelandic -- is not on the official government approved list of names -– yes, there is a government approved list of names -- so officially she is referred to as "girl."
The family is suing to have the name approved.