And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine
California Democrat Nancy Pelosi -- now House minority leader -- is being accused by a government watchdog group of abusing use of military travel during her tenure as House speaker.
Judicial Watch cites new documents from the Air Force showing Pelosi flew on 43 of its flights from January through October of last year and logged over 90,000 miles. Past documents show her travel cost taxpayers over $2 million for a two-year period with more than $100,000 going toward in-flight expenses, including a special birthday request by her staff for dark chocolate covered strawberries.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said Pelosi used the Air Force as her own personal travel agency and -- quote -- "demonstrated an alarming disregard for the men and women in the U.S. Air Force... we are pleased that Speaker Boehner will not follow Pelosi's 'corrupt' example and will instead fly commercial."
Pelosi's office cited past media reports that she used military travel less than her predecessor Republican Dennis Hastert.
Black and White Issue
Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran told the U.S. taxpayer-funded Arab TV network Al Hurra that Republicans won in the 2010 midterms because many Americans don't want a black president.
Moran said the Democratic losses -- quote -- "happened for the same reason the Civil War happened, because the Southern states -- the slaveholding states -- didn't want to see a president who was opposed to slavery. In this case, I believe a lot of people in the United States don't want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is liberal."
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin called his sentiment obnoxious and questioned -- quote -- "the political wisdom of calling his own state racist."
Moran's office did not respond to our request for comment.
And finally, more potential troubles for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who is battling an investigation into whether he paid for sex with underaged girls.
Prosecutors handed over 200 pages of new documents that reference an underage Brazilian female, who allegedly received jewelry in exchange for her -- quote -- "repeated participation" at parties at Berlusconi's villas. One party-goer insists that the Brazilian girl danced an X-rated samba for the Italian premier.
Berlusconi has called the allegations outrageous.