And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…
Knowing Is Half the Battle
As the old GI Joe cartoon used to say -- knowing is half the battle.
The Inspector General for the Housing and Urban Development Department is admitting defeat.
The IG cannot audit parts of the department's financial books because of improper budgeting and inaccurate reporting.
The report named - "nine material weaknesses -- eight significant deficiencies in internal controls -- and six instances of noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations."
One example -- the Government National Mortgage Association did not accurately account for some budgetary resources and was simply not auditable.
The amount in question -- almost $20 billion.
The department has promised to work closely with the IG to create a more effective HUD.
Apparently this whole will of the people thing is overrated.
Five illegal immigrants are suing the state of Oregon -- to overturn a ballot initiative that denies them driver's licenses.
Two-thirds of Oregon voters opted to re-instate the ban last year-- despite being outspent 10-to-1.
35 of 36 counties --and Every congressional district -- voted to reject issuing licenses -- even though most are represented by Democrats.
The lawsuit alleges the ban is unconstitutional because it denies illegal immigrants privileges -- based on a membership in a disfavored minority group.
Supporters say it is not the responsibility of the state -- to make illegal immigrants comfortable -- or enable them to drive to jobs -- they are not supposed to have.
Good Enough for Government Work
Finally -- government financial fumbles.
Oklahoma Senator James Lankford has compiled a memorable and miserable new list of government waste nightmares.
Some of the waste stories are not new to the Grapevine - like the $43 million gas station.
Other costly low-lights include --a half-million dollars to the state department for consultants -- on how to tell the truth to Congress.
$65,000 for the National Park Service to demonstrate what happens to bugs when the lights go out.