Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Working Hard or Hardly Working?
The House of Representatives has taken heat lately for its three-day workweeks. But now some are questioning just how much important work is getting done when lawmakers do show up.
On Tuesday, the House took up a resolution sponsored by Texas Democrat Al Green honoring the birthday of Confucius. It was eventually postponed. Tuesday's floor schedule also included a non-binding procedural vote along with various resolutions including one to welcome the archbishop of Constantinople on his visit to the U.S.
The Washington Times reports that House Minority Leader John Boehner complained that Democrats would rather "celebrate the birth of an ancient Chinese philosopher" than debate plans for jobs and health care with Republicans.
Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted, "We're doing a lot of work. It just happens it's not on the floor."
European Union taxpayers are footing the bill for almost $260 million French President Nicolas Sarkozy managed to spend during the six months his country held the E.U. presidency — one of the most expensive presidencies in history.
British media reports the total included a whopping $407,000 for installing a personal presidential shower with massaging jets and a surround-sound radio, that was never actually used by Sarkozy.
Other expenses included $489,000 on a conference podium; $147,000 on a new carpet and a little over $318,000 on sprucing up the gardens.
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Maybe location isn't everything. A vacant lot next to President Obama's home in chicago's posh Hyde Park neighborhood isn't exactly flying off the market.
Bloomberg reports the 50-by-150 foot lot is being offered at $1.3 million — nearly twice what the owners paid for it back in March of last year. Proximity to the president also doesn't appear to be helping sell another neighboring house that is still available for $1.85 million; it's been on the market for seven weeks.
— Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe-Kenworthy contributed to this report.