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Special Report

Government Check's in the Mail

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

Check's in the Mail

Taxpayers were on the hook for more than $4 million during the first half of the year to pay postal workers to do nothing.

A government audit shows standby time, in which union workers are still paid despite not having anything to do, totaled around 170,000 hours.

But that's actually down from 2009, when standby workers cost the government almost $31 million.

The postal service expects to lose at least $7 billion this year.

Name Calling

Al Gore is comparing climate change skeptics to racists during the civil rights movement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, EVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: We still have racism, God knows, but it's so different now, it's so much better, and we have to win the conversation on climate. In some quarters, it has become almost politically incorrect to use the word.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Gore says politicians who deny global warming are part of an organized effort against the entire scientific community.

Publicity Hound

And finally, we already know Vladimir Putin isn't shy when it comes to publicity stunts.

So it should be no surprise that when a doctor asked Russia's prime minister about his health during a tour of a hospital, Putin quickly stripped down to have the doctor check out what he called a nagging shoulder injury.

We've seen Putin take off his shirt for a variety of photo ops in an effort to boost his macho image perhaps ahead of next year's presidential elections.