By Bret Baier, ,
Published May 16, 2015
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Short on Cash
States hit hardest by the recession have received far less federal funding per person than the national average, even though the stimulus package was intended to help areas where the economic downturn was the most severe.
An analysis by USA Today shows that stimulus contracts have amounted to just $7.42 per person in the eight states where unemployment rates were higher than 10 percent last month.
But the national average is nearly five bucks more at $13 per person.
The report says federal agencies have spent just 21 cents per person in Michigan and $2.12 per person in Oregon — two of the hardest hit states. North Dakota, which has one of the lowest unemployment rates, has been awarded about $26 worth of federal contracts per person.
A San Diego pastor and his wife say their First Amendment right to freely exercise religion is being violated by the government. A local TV station reports the couple says they were subjected to an interrogation and threatened with fines if they continue to hold bible studies in their own home.
Officials told the couple the meetings of about 15 people require a permit. Their lawyer, Dean Broyles of The Western Center for Law & Policy, says: "If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties?"
The lawyer says the couple will consider a federal lawsuit if the county presses forward with its demand.
And British and French officials are pointing fingers at each other after Queen Elizabeth II was left off the invitation list for next week's commemorations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.
British media reports say the snub has left the queen quite angry. A French government spokesman, Luc Chatel, says: "The celebration on June 6 was originally a Franco-American ceremony... It is not up to France to decide who will represent Britain."
A spokesman at the British Embassy in France shot back saying that, "invitations are a matter for the French government."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been invited and will join President Obama and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy.
The queen is the only living head of state to have served in World War II. She trained as a mechanic and drove British military trucks.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.