Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Charles Grassley has sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius voicing his concern that a portion of her department's Web site could be considered propaganda.
Grassley points to the "state your support for health care reform this year" button featured on the HHS home page. Visitors can send an e-mail to President Obama praising his health care reform plan.
Grassley warns: "Any possible misuses of appropriated funds by the executive branch to engage in publicity or propaganda in support of an administration priority is a matter that must be taken seriously." He references House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's argument in 2005 that the use of official funds for similar activities were "underhanded tactics" that "are not worthy of our great democracy."
An HHS spokesman told Roll Call newspaper that officials look forward to discussing the issue with Senator Grassley.
Oprah's Going Rogue
Buyer beware. If you plan on getting Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," be careful or you might just pick up a book that looks strikingly similar — but is sure to be a much different read.
An independent publisher, OR Books, is printing, "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare." It was compiled by two editors of the left-leaning magazine, The Nation. Publishers describe Palin as: "An American obsession that just won't go away." They say the book examines the "nightmarish prospect of her continuing to dominate the nation's political scene."
Palin will likely be getting even more headlines as she plugs her book November 16 on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Trick or Treat
Immigration rights advocates are spooked by a Halloween costume sold by many prominent stores and their Web sites featuring an orange prison-style jumpsuit with "illegal alien" printed on the front, an alien mask and a Green Card.
The description says: "He didn't just cross a border, he crossed a galaxy! He's got his Green Card, but it's from another planet. Sure to get some laughs."
But not everyone is smiling. Angelica Salas, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, says: "It's distasteful, mean-spirited and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform."
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.