And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...
Paying for Patriotism?
You know that touching patriotic moment honoring soldiers at NFL games? It turns out you might have been paying for it. As part of a contract with the New Jersey Jets last season the New Jersey National Guard paid the NFL for a 'Salute to Service' which included members of the Guard being honored in pregame activities.
Federal contracts show that the Defense Department from 2011 to 2014 paid nearly $5.5 million for sponsorship deals with 14 NFL teams. A seemingly blurred line between advertising and community outreach, at a time when the defense budget is being stretched
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake says this practice is wasteful -- quote -- "When everybody assumes when you have these feel-good moments, these salutes, that it's because the NFL team just felt good about the military or about service and then to find out, no, it's really the taxpayers paying for that. That just leaves you with an empty feeling."
The Defense Department says it will be reviewing the practice.
Walk This Way
More of your tax dollars hard at work -- as the National Institutes of Health is spending nearly half a million dollars to observe pregnant women walking.
NIH says the goal of the project is to see if a gentle workout regimen of light walking can help pregnant women from being depressed. The grant argues that the project is necessary because "no study to date" has evaluated physical activity as an intervention for depressed pregnant women. The CDC already recommends aerobic activity -- such as walking -- because it is good for the overall health of expectant mothers.
Finally, some good news following the unrest in Baltimore. An outpouring of support-- for a Baltimore business ransacked during protests over the police custody death of Freddie Gray.
A local radio station, WTOP, reports Matthew Chung was heartbroken to learn his parents' wig shop was all but destroyed. A video of his mother after she discovered the damage went viral.
That's when Chung and his friends stepped in. As he helped pick up the pieces, his friends started a fundraising campaign to help them rebuild. That fund has already raised $21,000.