Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Salary Cap

If you watch the Super Bowl Sunday, you will get to see $2.5 million of your hard-earned money at work. That's what the government is paying CBS to air a 30-second ad promoting the census questionnaire.

One watchdog group calls it, "a colossal waste of money." Today Arizona Senator John McCain asked: "How many homes could have been prevented from being foreclosed on in Phoenix, Arizona with this $2.5 million?"

The ad is part of the government's $133 million campaign to raise awareness of the 10-question survey.

Judgment Call

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says he does not attend the annual State of the Union address, because he says it is partisan and uncomfortable for a judge to sit through.

The New York Times says Thomas would not specifically comment on the controversy surrounding fellow Justice Samuel Alito's head-shaking rebuke of President Obama during last week's speech after the president had harshly criticized a recent court ruling.

But Thomas did say: "There's a lot that you don't hear on TV — the catcalls — the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments. The court becomes part of the conversation — if you want to call it that — in speeches. It's just an example of why I don't go."

Self Awareness

In an opinion piece in Politico, a long-time president of a liberal justice organization complains that Republicans are stalling President Obama's judicial picks. Nan Aron writes at length about the "conservatives' obstructionism." But, what Aron left out of her piece was her own role in what her group's Web site calls: "Helping to defeat Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 — and organizing the effort that helped support 10 Senate filibusters against George W. Bush's most extreme judicial nominees."

Rewriting History

And the Washington Post ignored a few historical facts when it proclaimed in a front page article Wednesday that President Obama is "a rare president who comes from the middle class."

There have actually been many presidents who hailed from the middle class. Lyndon Johnson was born in a small farmhouse and worked his way through college. Harry Truman worked for the railroad and lived in hobo camps. Richard Nixon's parents ran a grocery store. Ronald Reagan was born in a small apartment above a bank in northern Illinois. His father was a salesman. And Bill Clinton was born to a widow in Hope, Arkansas.

So, maybe not so rare.

Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe Kenworthy contributed to this report.