Grapevine: Chicago mayor's motorcade busted on traffic cams

Rahm Emanuel still defends safety measure


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

Pumping Money

Think filling up your gas tank is painful on your wallet?

Imagine $150 a gallon.

That is how much the U.S. government -- funded by you the taxpayer -- shelled out for jet fuel made from algae.

The going rate for regular jet fuel?

Around $2.85 per gallon.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the biofuel was bought for testing purposes as part of the FAA's goal for the aviation industry to use a billion gallons of alternative jet fuel annually by 2018.

The GAO expects the price would be lower if the fuel were produced and purchased on a larger scale.

But until then, alternative jet fuels remain too expensive to be a viable substitute.

In 2012, the Air Force came under fire for paying $59 a gallon for alcohol-based jet fuel.

Stuck in Neutral

The National Guard has spent almost $100 million since 2011 to be a NASCAR sponsor. Critics say the Guard received almost nothing in return.

USA Today reports, in 2012, nearly 25,000 people cited the NASCAR sponsorship as a reason for seeking information about the service, but not one of them signed up.

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill -- a self-proclaimed NASCAR fan -- calls the sponsorship a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The National Guard defends the move -- quote -- "a strong branding effort is a good value and helps create a fundamental awareness of the National Guard as a career option."

Other military branches have canceled their sponsorships, citing cost and difficulty in measuring results.

Asking for It

Finally, be careful what you wish for. 

Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been a proponent of traffic cameras, but apparently did not warn his motorcade drivers about them.

Local reports say, the mayor's plates have racked up 20 violations since 2012 -- including running 17 red lights.

The mayor still defends the cameras as a safety measure, but has told his drivers to slow down, saying no one is above the law.