Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The financial crisis has forced House members to give up their automatic pay raise next year. But The Politico newspaper reports they have not turned down a 7 percent increase in their office budgets. The report says the average office budget in the House is $1.5 million, an increase of almost $100,000 since last year.
Texas Republican Congressman Pete Sessions says the budgets need to be frozen. His spokesperson, Emily Davis, says: "Americans are tightening their fiscal belts. Congress should do the same."
But Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Steve Kagan says the congressional response to the economic crisis is the reason for the increase. His spokesman, Jake Rubin, says: "The bigger pieces of legislation have generated a higher volume of constituent mail."
A number of bailed-out banks have allowed their top executives to keep a coveted perk: The use of company jets for personal use.
A Wall Street Journal review of flight records indicates some banks receiving TARP money flew their planes to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, South Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The report says many of the stops were near executives' vacation homes or resorts.
Some of the offending banks: Citigroup, Regions Financial Corporation, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and PNC Financial Services Group.
Dressed to Impress
The city council of Brooksville, Florida recently approved a revised dress code for its employees. But the mayor says the new regulation goes too far.
The updated rules instruct city employees to use deodorant and wear underwear at all times. The city council approved the new dress code by a vote of 4-to-1.
The lone dissenter was the city's Mayor Joe Bernardini, who says the underwear provision: "takes away freedom of choice."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.