Grapevine: Storm of criticism for Sen. Reid

Continued backlash over Sandy, Katrina comments


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...


Insurance company AIG is actually considering suing the U.S. government for the bailout that saved it.

The New York Times reports an already-existing lawsuit from shareholders, says the rescue's high interest rates and 92 percent government stake in the company cost them tens of billions of dollars.
AIG is considering joining that lawsuit.

The Atlantic quips -- quote -- "Does that kind of bad attitude count as 'looking the gift horse in the mouth' or 'biting the hand that feeds you?' Or both?"

The company finished paying back the government a month ago, when the Treasury Department sold its last batch of AIG shares at a profit.

At the same time AIG is considering joining the lawsuit, the company is also running "thank you America" commercials.

Storm of Criticism

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is getting more criticism -- for comments we brought you Friday that he made about hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.


SEN. HARRY REID, D – NV, MAJORITY LEADER: The people of New Orleans and that area -- they were hurt, but nothing in comparison to what has happened to the people in New England.


Louisiana Senator David Vitter says -- quote -- "Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents. Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history."

Vitter writes that Katrina caused more than 1,800 deaths and $108 billion in damage, while Sandy caused 131 deaths and $65 billion in damage.

Reid says -- he simply misspoke.

Coin Flip

Here's a stark contrast -- the Pentagon's assessment that planned budget cuts -- part of the "fiscal cliff" deal and the sequester -- would jeopardize national security and a $247,000 float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Washington Guardian reports, last week was the first time the Pentagon sponsored a float in the parade -- in honor of Korean War veterans.

Lawmakers hoping to trim the budget are looking everywhere.

You may remember Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote the impact of the planned cuts would be "devastating" saying -– quote -- "we would have to reduce the size of the military sharply" and "war efforts would be adversely affected."

In a lengthy statement to Fox News, the Pentagon chalked up the expenses to recruiting young people and honoring veterans.