Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Call for Backup
Vice President Joe Biden — nicknamed "The Sheriff" by President Obama — might be off-duty when it comes to oversight of the fiscal stimulus plan. Biden told a business roundtable earlier this week that some waste was all but inevitable: "There are going to be mistakes made. Some people are being scammed already... we know some of this money is going to be wasted."
The White House continues to claim the stimulus has already saved or created 150,000 jobs. Biden's office even issued a report titled "100 days, 100 Projects" that lists programs the administration claims are a result of the stimulus.
But the vice president himself is talking in the future tense in The New York Daily News saying, "You're going to see things start to really change in the second 100 days. You're going to see this thing begin to move."
Some gay groups are growing impatient with President Obama. Politico newspaper reports gay rights campaigners are frustrated with what they see as the president's inaction in repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the military ban on openly gay service members.
Atlantic writer Andrew Sullivan recently referred to Obama's stance on gays as "the fierce urgency of whenever." One openly gay blogger writes: "People are far angrier than they're saying publicly... but everyone is feeling like we've entered a danger zone where the administration is backing away from us fast.... The professional gay crowd in Washington... feels a sense of impending betrayal."
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., an openly gay lawmaker, warns the president, "If his position doesn't evolve, it could turn off some strong supporters."
Harvard University seems to be staying on the gay community's good side. It will establish an endowed chair in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies. It is believed to be the first professorship of its kind in the country.
The university will regularly invite experts in issues related to sexuality or sexual minorities to teach on campus for one semester.
Up in the Air
President Obama's aunt — who is facing deportation from the U.S. — says she might or might not be heading to Kenya before her next immigration hearing.
Zeituni Onyango has been living illegally in the U.S. for years. She told the Boston Globe Wednesday that she would return to Kenya immediately, but then said she wasn't going. She says either way she'll be present in February for her deportation hearing: "I'll be there, God-willing. I don't know, I'm not a soothsayer. I leave everything to God."
If she were to leave the country before her hearing without notifying the federal government, she would effectively give up her appeal for asylum in the U.S.
— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.