Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Why let the U.S. Congress monopolize the debate over the port controversy? State politicians weren't satisfied just sitting on the sidelines so the state of New Jersey has filed its own lawsuit to force the federal government to block the deal.
Democratic Governor Jon Corzine argues that he wasn't provided with enough information about the shift in ownership of the port operations to protect New Jersey residents. Not content with pending federal legislation calling for a further investigation into the deal, Corzine's suit demands a new inquiry by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment — the one that has already approved the deal — and asks the committee to give the information to New Jersey's counterterrorism office.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, the state legislature there also got in on the action, voting 38-7 against the port deal. Of course, Oklahoma is landlocked so consider that just an expression of sentiment.
Continuing Cartoon Controversy
The Malaysian government is now objecting not only to images of the Prophet Muhammad, but also to a cartoon simply showing an artist who is offering to draw those images. The American cartoon, from a strip called "Non Sequitur," appeared in Malaysia's New Strait Times and features the caption, "Kevin finally achieves his goal to be the most feared man in the world,” next to a street artist with a large sketch pad offering "caricatures of Muhammad while you wait."
After defending its decision last week, the paper is now apologizing left and right for having run the cartoon and says it will abide by any disciplinary action taken by the government.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone won't be in office next month, although not because he was voted out, or broke the law, but because a disciplinary board found that he'd been "unnecessarily insensitive and offensive" to a reporter.
The three-man panel suspended Livingstone for the month of March for "bringing his office into disrepute,” nearly a year after the mayor compared a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard, and asked if he was a "German war criminal."
Livingstone is deciding whether to appeal a decision that he says, "strikes at the heart of democracy,” saying, "elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters."
Finally, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had no idea what he was in for when he gave an interview on the state's emergency contraception debate earlier this month, but got his first clue when the interviewer, who couldn't pronounce his name, settled on calling him, "Governor Smith." Turns out, the governor was on "The Daily Show," Comedy Central's fake news program, fielding questions such as whether he was "the gay governor."
Blagojevich says he'd never seen the show, but jokingly tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that once the wacky questions started, his main thought was "going after" the staffers who set him up.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report