Grapevine: Gear to help Yemen fight Al Qaeda sits unshipped

Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Storage Wars

The phrase "money well spent" does not apply to this first story. A new Government Accountability Office report finds that hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on equipment meant to help Yemen fight Al Qaeda. However, eight years later 200 parcels of gear -- like night vision goggles and medical supplies -- remain unshipped in a private warehouse in Virginia. The GAO blames a series of contracting issues and instability within the Yemeni government.

To add insult to injury, some of the items have since expired and will require costly disposal because they are hazardous.

From Bad to Worse

Earlier this year the IRS warned Americans that customer service would be bad. Apparently, that was an understatement. The head of the office created to help taxpayers navigate filings says this past season was -- quote -- "by far the worst in memory."

The IRS switchboard hung up on people nearly nine million times -- up from roughly a half-million last year. Only 37 percent of calls were answered and for those who actually got to talk to someone the hold time averaged 23 minutes.

Lucky Number Seven

For Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz it's better late than never. The Texas senator's book "A Time for Truth" is on the New York Times' bestseller list today at number seven in hard-cover non-fiction.

As we reported, Cruz and others had complained about the earlier omission which The Times chalked up to what it called "strategic bulk purchases."

Flying Colors

Finally, speaking of best-sellers, a new trend is sweeping the nation: Coloring books aren't just for the preschool crowd it seems. Adults are flocking to the old school activity, saying it is cheap, lightweight and relaxing.

If you want to share any recent coloring art with us, drop us a tweet @srgrapevine.