Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...
The Senate confirmed new ambassadors to Argentina and Hungary today.
As we have reported previously in the Grapevine-- what these two lack in foreign policy chops-- they make up for-- in generosity to the president.
Hungarian Ambassador Colleen Bell used to be a soap opera producer.
She admitted in her hearing-- she could not name the U.S. interests in the region.
That could be problematic-- given the recent unrest there.
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Sen. John McCain: This is a very important country where bad things are going on. Miss Bell's experience has been largely relegated to producing TV soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful.”
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Today White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated-- Bell has the confidence of the president.
Also confirmed today-- Argentinean ambassador Noah Mamet.
He has never been to Argentina -- and does not speak Spanish.
Both have made sizable contributions to President Obama’s campaign and were said to be so-called bundlers for campaign cash.
Money for Nothing
Last month-- we told you -- your tax dollars have paid EPA employees more than a million dollars-- to stay home.
The eight workers have been on paid leave ranging from four months-- to four and a half years.
Now Fox News has obtained a memo that says they were not allowed to work-- because of allegations of quote -- "cases of alleged serious misconduct"-- meaning these people were paid not to work -- sometimes for years at a time-- because of disciplinary action.
Last year-- another EPA official was sentenced to 32 months in prison for pretending to be a CIA agent-- as an excuse for missing work for months at a time.
No one checked his claims for years -- and during that time he collected $800,000 in pay for work he did not do.
Hiding in Plain Sight
And finally-- a good reminder-- to always keep your eyes open.
An eagle-eyed art historian spotted a long-lost painting-- while watching “Stuart Little” with his daughter.
The Robert Bereny avant garde masterpiece disappeared from Hungary in the 1920’s.
Gergely Barki was shocked to see it hanging on a wall behind Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie.
He had only seen a faded black-and-white photo of the missing painting.
A set designer says she got it cheap at an antiques store in California.
It has now been returned to Hungary.