Grapevine: Senate year in review

Reportedly low productivity for 2011 session


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

Year in Review

2011 was a bad year for the Democratically controlled Senate.

The Washington Examiner cites a report from the secretary of the Senate that shows last year's session at the bottom in terms of legislative productivity going back 20 years.

2011 was the worst year for confirming judicial and other nominations.

It ranked second lowest in terms of average hours in session and the passage of laws and measures.

Labor Pains

Unions in Michigan say foreign workers are taking jobs at companies that got hundreds of millions of your stimulus tax dollars.

CBS News reports the plants are largely owned by Koreans, use Korean equipment and supplies, and employ Korean workers.

Local unions are upset saying pictures inside show Korean nationals doing hands-on work that should be done by Americans.

Quote -- "There should be American jobs that are created with those American taxpayer dollars."

The companies say the Korean workers are temporary and legal and have specific skill sets.

Think Outside the Box

And finally, talk about a flimsy idea.

Officials in New Zealand want to build a paper replacement for the iconic stone Christchurch Cathedral that was destroyed in last year's earthquake there.

The 82-foot high cathedral would be made from cardboard tubes -- though traditional materials like concrete and steel would be used for the structural support.

It would seat 700 people and could cost up to $4 million dollars.

The building would be used for 10 years while a permanent replacement is designed and built.

City officials must still go through the paperwork though.