• And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

    Living Large

    A new housing development will soon be available for the formerly homeless in the affluent Maryland city of Bethesda.

    The project in suburban Washington will cost $4.3 million and house at least 12 individuals.

    That's roughly $360 thousand per occupant. A spokeswoman for the Housing Opportunity Commission cited various reasons for the high cost and noted quote -- "Permanent supportive housing, which is what we are providing on Hampden Lane, has proven to be an effective approach to homelessness."

    $1 million in federal stimulus money is allocated for that project. The state government and county housing funds will foot the remainder of the bill.

    #Quitting

    The New York Times lost a subscriber this morning, in a rather public fashion. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tweeted -- quote -- "After reading columnist Paul Krugman's repugnant piece on 9/11, I canceled my subscription to the New York Times this A.M."

    Krugman wrote in a short blog post for the Times Sunday -- quote -- "The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror."

    Smoke Signals

    And finally, Shirley the smoking orangutan will have to kick the habit. Shirley was seized from her state-run zoo in Malaysia last week, by state officials who found that she and other animals were kept in poor conditions.

    She started smoking after visitors to her exhibit would throw lit cigarette butts in her cage.

    Shirley has been transferred to another zoo, where authorities say, she will be forced to quit cold turkey.