Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...
Back to Work
To paraphrase an old saying, reports on the amount of furlough days necessary to cope with the sequester appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
The Pentagon now confirms to Fox News civilian employees could have as few as six -- not 22 or 11 -- unpaid days off.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the Defense Department is trying to find other places to cut.
The Pentagon is not the only place the dire sequester warnings have not come to fruition.
Last week the IRS canceled one of its five furlough days.
A little budget shifting allowed the FAA to avoid furloughing its air traffic controllers.
And as for all of those threats of exceedingly long lines at TSA checkpoints -- that has not really transpired either.
The Farming Dead
In yet another example of your taxpayer dollars at work, the government has been spending tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to help farmers who have been dead for one year or more.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates the Agriculture Department sent checks totaling upwards of $32 million between 2008 and 2012 because it had no procedures in place to verify when a farmer died.
The report blames the Risk Management Agency for sending $22 million in payments to 3,400 people who had been dead for two years or more.
Summer Reading List
And finally, can you guess what's at the top of the summer reading list for high-value detainees housed at Gitmo?
"50 Shades of Grey."
Congressman Jim Moran -- an advocate for closing Gitmo -- toured "Camp Seven" last week where a dozen or so of the most high-profile inmates are housed.
He says that group is not religious, not fasting for Ramadan, or reading religious texts.
Instead prisoners there are enjoying all three books in the erotic trilogy -- quote -- "Rather than the Quran, the book that is most requested by the [high value detainees] is '50 Shades of Grey'...I guess there's not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell."
As we have previously reported, inmates housed at the camp have thousands of books, magazines, and DVDs to choose from at the Gitmo library, including the Harry Potter series.