Grapevine: Taxpayers footing bill for some IRS employees

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

A Long Way Home

Commuting to D.C. can be costly unless, of course, you're a top IRS official.

We're learning that taxpayers have been footing the bill for some employees to get to work in Washington while living in other parts of the country.

An Inspector General report finds that a dozen IRS executives racked up quote -- "extremely high travel expenses" -- some never bothering to move to Washington for their jobs, commuting on a daily basis.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that four of those officials live in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.

One executive travelled to Washington 282 days last year -- that's an average of more than five days a week -- at a cost of $127,000.

The IRS chief financial officer responded to the report, conceding that something needs to change.

Digital Surveillance Leaders

The National Security Agency is capable of high-tech surveillance of just about anyone, anywhere in the world.

But when it comes to a simple search of its own e-mail servers, well, that's just not possible.

ProPublica reports that one of its reporters filed a Freedom of Information request (FOIA), related to e-mail communications.

NSA officials said that's impossible they have no way of searching employee e-mails, saying the system was quote -- "a little antiquated and archaic."

Mark Caramanica of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press noted the irony.

Quote -- "This is an agency that's charged with monitoring millions of communications globally, they can't even track their own internal communications."

Royal Birth Crasher

The guy who became the face, and the voice, of the royal baby announcement appears to be a fake -- a party crasher.

When the town crier stepped up to announce the birth of the future king, everyone listened, assuming it was part of the pageantry of the birth of the future king.

Turns out he was not invited by the royal family. In fact, he's not even a Londoner -- he's the town crier for Romford a commuter town outside the city.

He tells Yahoo he hopped in a cab when he heard the news and showed up to be a part of the excitement.

The excitement continues today -- the Duke and Duchess announced they named their son George Alexander Louis.

The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.