Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
In the wake of the failed Christmas Day airline bombing, Yemen is quickly taking center stage as the next front in the War on Terror. But the State Department has awarded 72 diversity visas to Yemen, allowing Yemeni nationals to immigrate to the U.S. this year; a program that according to the State Department's Web site is still active and has not been altered after the bombing attempt.
Cybercast News reports in the last 10 years, more than 1,000 permanent resident diversity visas have been awarded to Yemeni nationals. The State department's Web site describes the diversity visas as a U.S. government effort to offer visas specifically to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
The four nations listed by the department as "state sponsors of terrorism," are also part of the program: Syria has been allocated 98 diversity visas for 2010; Cuba: 298; Iran: 2,773; and Sudan: 1,084.
Flying with kids is tough enough, but one St. Louis family found their flight home after Christmas to be all work and no Play-Doh.
A TSA screener in New Orleans confiscated three-year-old Josh Pitney's present from his grandma: 20 cans of the colored clay-like substance. His mom was fine with obeying the rules and handing over all of the Play-Doh cans, until she looked the up the rules: "I tried to explain that those were the rules, but it turns out its not prohibited on the TSA's Web site -- so apparently those aren't the rules."
The TSA confirms that Play-Doh is not a prohibited item. But since plastic explosives can be camouflaged to look like the toy, screeners are told to use their own discretion.
The Money Trail
First it was fuzzy math, then it was congressional districts that don't exist, and now one watchdog group says stimulus money credited with saving jobs went to non-existent zip codes.
The group, New Mexico Watchdog, says the latest recovery.gov report shows $374,000 spent in zip code 97052. Thirty-six thousand dollars was credited with creating five jobs in zip code 87258. And $100,000 went to zip code 86705.
But none of those zip codes actually register with the Postal Service. An Albuquerque news station reports the federal explanation blames human error and transposed numbers for the phantom zip codes.
Your Brain on Drugs
New York City taxpayers forked over $32,000 for a guidebook aimed at instructing heroin users how to safely prepare and inject the illegal drug. The 16-page booklet includes cartoon illustrations and features advice like: "Find the vein before you try to inject."
DEA special agent-in-charge John Gilbride called the handout "disturbing." The Health Department says the brochures are helpful and necessary, but a link to the pamphlet that worked Monday afternoon is no longer available on the New York City Web site today.
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.