Grapevine: Holy baller

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Cheaters Do Prosper?

Almost 1,000 IRS employees were willful tax cheats and not only kept their jobs but some got promoted after they were caught.

According to the Inspector General, violations included claiming improper dependents not filing on time and claiming the first-time home-buyers tax credit without ever buying a house.

A 1998 law says the IRS should terminate any employee who commits willful tax violations unless the penalty is waived by the IRS Commissioner.

The IRS now says it plans to review its procedures and will be more transparent about why those employees kept their jobs.

Stalin Out

Sometimes you just have to work the bugs out of a new machine. Just ask Russia about the new T-14 tanks.

During the final rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade one of tanks appeared to break down.

The engine was running but the tank was not able to move.

An attempt to have another machine tow it away -- that even that failed too.

The organizers didn't miss a beat though, saying -- quote -- "We wanted to show how an evacuation of a tank would take place. It was planned that the tank would stop."

About 16,000 troops will take part in the parade on Red Square Saturday for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Holy Baller

Finally, congratulations to Pope Francis for being welcomed into an esteemed club -- the Harlem Globetrotters.

A framed jersey was awarded to the leader of the Catholic Church -- number 90 -- for the globetrotters' 90th anniversary.

The pope was the ninth person to receive the distinction. Others include Bob Hope and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The ballers said the honor was all theirs -- quote -- "We are very humbled by the opportunity to bestow this honor upon Pope Francis...He embodies the Globetrotters' efforts to provide service, smiles and sportsmanship globally."