Fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…

1. The United States is no longer a bastion of economic freedom. In fact, it’s not even in the top 10 of the freest economies in the world. The U.S. now ranks 12 and is down for the seventh year in a row, even as the global average is on the rise.

The reason? Growth in government, new burdensome regulations, and a diminished sense of the rule of law.

Get more insight from Fox Business Network experts on today’s Your World.

2. The difference between budget projections and reality is sometimes stark. The latest example is the Department of Homeland Security headquarters, which is currently under construction in Washington, D.C. Its completion was projected for 2015 at a cost of about $3.5 billion dollars.

However, current estimates from DHS say the building will cost an extra $1 billion taxpayer dollars and it won’t be finished until 2026. The department blames low funding due to the recession.

3. There was a shocking welcome committee of one for new Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe the first time he entered the … office bathroom?! It was a giant stuffed bear left as a prank by outgoing Governor Bob McDonnell. Check it out in the clip above!