Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Reporting for Duty
Another member of the mainstream media is joining the Obama administration. Jill Zuckman of the Chicago Tribune will serve as Transportation Secretary Ray La-Hood's assistant and director of public affairs. Zuckman is the second Tribune company reporter who has accepted a role in the new administration this month.
Peter Gosselin — who previously reported for the Los Angeles Times — left to become chief speechwriter for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Former Time Magazine Washington bureau chief Jay Carney is now Vice President Biden's communications director.
And CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is said to be among the top candidates to become the next surgeon general.
Even the liberal Washington Post is unimpressed by a new HBO documentary created by the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Alexandra Pelosi's film — "Right America: Feeling Wronged — Some Voices From the Campaign Trail" — is billed as a forum for supporters of John McCain and Sarah plain that tries to explain why die-hard conservatives feel aggrieved. But The Post says, "it's drive-by journalism... a string of stupefyingly brief hit-and-run interviews with a bunch of unidentified people... we know they're going to sound like yahoos, often goaded, always reduced to sound bites and caricatures."
"All the conventions of the smirking, winking, belittling political documentary are abided by in this film... this is less a documentary than a reason for a snarky laugh track."
New York Democratic Governor David Paterson reportedly has secretly given 16 of his top staffers pay raises of up to 46%. The New York Post says the moves came after Paterson asked 130,000 state workers to give up a three percent pay hike because of the state's $15.5 billion budget deficit. His emergency declaration in August required the state to cut spending and impose a hiring freeze.
The single largest raise — almost $40,000 — was given to a confidential assistant. A Paterson spokesman says the raises are new salaries for new positions. The Post reports that is only true in two of the 16 cases.
And finally, former Astronaut Harrison Schmitt says scientists are being intimidated into not speaking out against man-made global warming theories.
"They've seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven't gone along with the so-called political consensus that we're in a human-caused global warming."
Schmitt recently resigned from a non-profit space exploration organization known as the Planetary Society after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter he said the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.