Grapevine: Steep price tag to witness history

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Ringside Seats

Front-row seats to Broadway's the Lion King? $400. Face-value for a prime seat at the Super Bowl? $1,200. Watching the Supreme Court take up the issue of same-sex marriage? Up to $6,000.

Supreme Court tickets are supposed to be free, but for those who did not have days to spare camping out in the D.C. snow to secure those tickets there were people willing to do the waiting -- for a hefty fee. Some D.C. companies charging up to $50 dollars per hour to hold a spot in line, which amounts to about $6,000 for five days.

Those who hired line standers told the A.P. you can't put a price on witnessing history.

Tax Dollars at Work

Former presidents are costing taxpayers $3.7 million a year. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service came out with its annual figures, which include pension, salaries for office staff, travel -- even postage.

The costliest former president -- George W. Bush, who cost the government $1.3 million last year. The least costly -- Jimmy Carter, whose expenses came in at about a half million.

What isn't included in that figure -- Secret Service protection for former presidents and their families. Those figures are kept private.

Stable Income

Speaking of retirement, the future looks bright for the current administrator for Alameda County, California. She is guaranteed to make her present salary of $423,000 for the rest of her life. Susan Muranishi makes a $300,000-a-year base salary, along with another $100,000 a year in bonuses, equity and longevity pay, even a car allowance.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that county supervisors have granted her that same income even after she retires.

One supervisor says Muranishi is worth every dime, comparing her job to being CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation with 9,000 employees.

Drink, Drive and Be Merry?

Finally, a town in Ireland has passed a law legalizing drinking and driving -- as long as the driver is heading home -- quote -- "from their nearest pub after having two or three drinks on little-used roads driving at very low speeds."

The bill was proposed by a pub owner.

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