Grapevine: TSA keeps the change

Finders keepers, losers weepers


Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Lost and Found

The childhood rhyme "Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers" applies to the government too. The Transportation Security Administration found more than a half million dollars in spare change left in checkpoints last year -- up about 45-grand from the year before.

The agency tells NBC it makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at security checkpoints.

As of 2005, the TSA legally keeps the change and uses it on general expenditures. Still, some lawmakers and passengers would prefer it going to the USO or a passengers' rights non-profit.

Problem Solver

Baltimore, facing a grim financial future, spent $585,000 on a consultant -- telling the city how to save money.

The Baltimore Sun reports the city finance department makes three-year projections, but had no way of dealing with the projected $750 million 10-year budget shortfall. Officials say the projections and proposals could not be handled in-house because they lack the staff or expertise.

The city's budget director thinks it was money well spent.

Game Changer

Finally, President Lincoln is known for his pivotal role in eliminating slavery. But now it seems the Oscar-nominated movie about Lincoln has led to the correction of a historic oversight.

A Jackson, Mississippi newspaper reports that after watching the film a U.S. citizen originally from India was curious about what happened when the states voted for ratification.

He learned the 13th Amendment -- abolishing slavery -- was ratified with the required three-fourths' vote. Mississippi was among four states to reject the measure. In the months and years that followed many more states approved the amendment ceremonially -- even those that first rejected it. Except Mississippi, which never officially ratified it.

The state actually did pass a measure to ratify the amendment in 1995, but due to an oversight the paperwork was not sent to the Federal Register.

A century and a half later, it is now official thanks to the professor from India who watched "Lincoln" the movie. Mississippi has officially ratified the 13th Amendment.