Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Nagin Nixes Project
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has suspended a Federal Emergency Management Agency construction project to provide housing for 34 single mothers and their children who were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina — after neighborhood residents complained the mobile homes were too close to their houses.
The New York Times reports that homeowners in the gated community protested the site last weekend, carrying signs accusing FEMA of "raping" the neighborhood. Nagin responded by calling the construction "unacceptable" and disrespectful and blaming FEMA for bullying city workers. But a FEMA spokesman says they're puzzled by the mayor's outrage since Nagin personally approved the site just a few months ago.
The European Union, which recently agreed to cut back perks for its members, continues to hand out generous benefits to journalists covering its meetings when it's away from its Brussels headquarters.
The International Herald Tribune reports the EU provides a first class round-trip train ticket, free TV studios and camera equipment and a stipend of $122 a day to journalists covering its monthly parliamentary sessions in Strasbourg, France.
One journalist says his reports would never make air if Parliament wasn't paying for them calling the sessions "stultifyingly dull." But another reporter says the arrangement creates a conflict of interest for journalists covering parliamentary perks saying, "How can I expose such perks when I myself am benefiting from them?"
A San Diego school district has outlawed Mexican and American flags and even red, white and blue clothing on school grounds over concerns that the symbols will inflame students caught up in the immigration debate. Officials at Oceanside Unified School District say students were using the flags to taunt those of other ethnicities and beliefs and creating a hostile learning environment.
But an ACLU spokesman says the move violates the students' right to free speech, adding that the school must show that the flags are likely to cause a substantial disruption. School officials say they'll remove the ban when the threat of violence subsides.
And in Albany, New York, a teacher has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after police say he gave a 10-year-old a wedgie. Mark Holley allegedly performed the act last August during a swimming program at the New Covenant Charter elementary school, but the child’s parents filed no formal complaint until January.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term wedgie, Webster's dictionary defines it as "the condition of having one's clothing wedged between the buttocks especially from having one's pants or underpants yanked up from behind as a prank."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.