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Special Report

Grapevine: A billion here, a billion there for new bomber

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…

A billion here, A billion there

What is a few billion dollars between friends?

Last year -- the decade-long development of the long-range strike bomber was estimated to cost $33 billion.

The Fiscal Times reports the new number the service projected was $58 billion.

The explanation was quite simple -- for the $25 billion difference.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says--

"It was a mistake. It was a regrettable mistake. It occurred in part because of human error and in part because of process error."

Turns out both numbers were incorrect -- with the actual estimate being $41 billion -- but who's counting?

The Air Force says the numbers have been corrected with Congress -- and those responsible have been counseled.

Anything's Possible

The lottery is supposed to supplement a state's budget -right?

Well, there is a problem in Illinois.

Still no budget two months into the fiscal year.

So folks who win more than $25,000 in the lotto -- are getting IOU's from the state.

One winner told the Chicago Tribune -- patience would not be the government's way -- if the situation were reversed.

The state would  -- quote -- "come take it and they don't care whether we have a roof over our head."

A Lottery spokesman says the agency is obviously affected by the budget situation.

Making Waves

Finally -- a Wyoming farmer is fighting back against the EPA.

Andy Johnson built a stock pond for his horses and cattle in his back yard in 2012.

In January 20-14 -- the EPA ordered him to remove it -- or face a fine of $37,500-dollars – per day -- meaning the current bill is more than $16 million.

Johnson and his lawyers are fighting -- what they call an over-reach.

"The EPA is out to expand its power -- and I'm a test case. We're going to fight them all the way."

The lawsuit also notes -- water coming out of the pond is three times cleaner than when it entered.

An EPA spokeswoman says no final determination regarding penalties has been made.