Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
White House Blasts Pat
Pat Robertson's suggestion that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for conceding land to the Palestinians earned the TV evangelist a sharp rebuke from the White House today. Speaking on his television program, Robertson had said Sharon was "dividing God's land, and I would say, Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course."
White House Spokesman Trent Duffy called those comments "wholly inappropriate and offensive," adding they "really don't have a place in this or any other debate."
No federal judge has ever testified on behalf of a Supreme Court nominee at his or her confirmation hearing, but the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from no fewer than seven when it considers the nomination of Samuel Alito next week. Why the change in precedent?
Turns out, the judges, appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, asked committee chairman Arlen Specter to allow them to testify because, one source says, the judges wanted to respond to what they see as "unfair attacks" on Alito.
Record Sales Bad News?
Retail giant Wal-Mart may have broken sales records this holiday season and strong sales are usually seen as good news. But a group called The Campaign for America's Future took a far different view, saying Wal-Mart, "sucked $20 billion out of local economies this holiday season."
The campaign blames Wal-Mart's record breaking $66 billion holiday sales season for "a loss of billions in wages and benefits paid," along with lost sales for local businesses that don't supply Wal-Mart or can't compete with them. The statement adds, "Wal-Mart's triumph is the defeat of middle-class America." The same people apparently who shop at Wal-Mart.
"Gorgeous George" Goes Hollywood
Until now, anti-war British lawmaker George Galloway's most memorable television appearance was in front of a Senate subcommittee investigating claims he received illegal kickbacks from Saddam Hussein. But now he's extending his 15 minutes of fame on a British reality show. Galloway will live in a house and compete against other minor celebrities as part of a program called "Big Brother."
The London Telegraph reports that when Galloway arrived for his stay, he shouted, "Stop the war” and was greeted with a chorus of boos from onlookers.
A Minor Proposal
A Missouri lawmaker wants to force stores across the state to sell warm beer in an effort to cut down on drunk driving. Republican State Senator Bill Alter, a former police officer, says the only reason for beer to be cold is so it can be consumed immediately and under his proposal, stores selling beer colder than 60 degrees would lose their liquor licenses.
Alter isn't taking credit for the idea, however the bill was suggested by a Missouri fifth-grader, and Alter says he thinks it has a good chance of getting support.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report