Best Year Ever for Oil Spill Company?

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Safety First

The owner of the oil platform that exploded last year triggering the Gulf oil spill is giving itself a pat on the b ack for its safety record.

Transocean paid bonuses to its top executives for what it called the best year in safety performance in company history. It acknowledged the tragic loss of life in the explosion -- 11 men died -- but said it still had an exemplary safety record because it met or exceeded certain internal safety targets. It says most senior managers were given two-thirds of their total possible safety bonus.

The head of a federal commission investigating the spill decried the bonuses, saying the company -- quote -- "just doesn't get it."

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Your tax dollars could be footing the bill for a $600,000 giant toad sculpture outside a new Defense Department building in Alexandria, Virginia.

The artwork is one of four finalists for the placement. It features a 10 foot high fairy riding a toad with sounds of nature emanating from the toad's throat.

Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran says -- quote -- "It would seem that money could be much more appropriately used to improve transportation infrastructure around the site, rather than to depict a children's fairy tale."

Playtime's Over

And finally, a homeowners association in Edgewater, Florida wants to ban children from playing outside.

The proposed new rule states -- quote -- "children will not be permitted to run, play tag or act boisterously on the association property."

Kids would not be allowed to play in common areas such as parking lots, driveways and around homes. Parents of offenders would face fines of $100.

At least 50 percent of homeowners would have to approve the new regulation in a vote later this month.