Officials with the federal agency now under congressional investigation over a lavish conference were captured on camera joking about the expense at the summit's "capstone" event in October 2010.
A briefing Thursday by the Office of the Inspector General shows former General Services Administrator Martha Johnson and Steven Leeds, former senior counselor to the administrator, were told in May 2011 about the investigation of the conference.
One official joked about how much was spent at a party hosted by the agency's commissioner. Another employee, in a mock music video, even sang about how he'd "never be under OIG investigation."
OIG stands for Office of Inspector General -- the office that earlier this week released a bombshell report that triggered firings at the agency that held the conference. The report found the Public Buildings Service, part of the General Services Administration, spent more than $820,000 on the meeting near Las Vegas in 2010.
Two House committees now are probing the agency. One of those, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, posted video of the GSA employees online.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said a briefing Thursday by the Office of the Inspector General shows former General Services Administrator Martha Johnson and Steven Leeds, former senior counselor to the administrator, were told in May 2011 about the investigation of the conference.
"This administration knew about the spending scandal 11 months ago and they didn't act until this week," Mr. Issa said.
The tea party movement, now nearly three years old, has fallen out of favor with Americans. So says the preferred narrative...
And Democrats are prepared to use it against Republicans in the 2012 election. Assuming the Dems themselves aren't completely toxic in November...
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll may be more illustrative, though. It showed Americans were more evenly split on the tea party, with 44 percent supporting it and 43 percent opposing it. But just 15 percent of Americans supported the tea party "strongly," while many more -- 26 percent -- were "strongly" opposed to it. And if you can't trust a WaPo/ABC poll, who can you trust?
That suggests opposition to the tea party is more strident than the tea party itself, which means the movement may be doing the GOP more harm than good. The fervor and enthusiasm spurred by the tea party in 2010 appears to have dissipated, According to the Dems. What's really happened is that the tea parties are organizing, not rallying. Tea party folks don't need to rally anymore, because they've found each other and are now working with rolled up sleeves.
with no major tea party rallies taking place this year Because they don't need to rally. The reporter is about two years behind on what's happening. I always thought reporters were supposed to get out in front.
and fewer Republican candidates latching on to the label. On the presidential campaign trail, the tea party is rarely mentioned. If only the Dems were running against the Tea Party. Then this would be significant.
In contrast, Democrats are actually starting to wield the tea party label as a tool in their campaigns.
"I'm Bill Pascrell, and this is why I'm running: To stop the tea party," Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) says in a new ad. That'll get him 30% of the vote, which he was going to get anyway.
"It's no longer viewed as a populist, grassroots organization, but a dangerous group with extremist views that don't reflect the mainstream values of America's middle class," said Democratic media strategist John Lapp. He's a Democratic strategist. What's he going to say? 'Yup, the Tea Party kicked out asses'? Of course he wants to run against the Tea Party. He has to have something to sell his clients.
"The Republican establishment allowed the inmates to run the asylum in 2010. And now they're paying the price electorally." We'll see, John, but not until November. Nobody in the media foresaw the Trunk/Tea Party wave in 2010.
Every time I think I have agrasp on the arrogance and self delusion of the mainstream democrat party, they click their heels together and assert another thing as what it is not. The election is about the disasterous management of our national economy, the smothering regulations, the destructive nature of central control economic philosophy, hyper inflation from the feckless fed, and a Manchurian Candidate in the Oval Office who flicks the race care and outright lies of omission in every public pronouncement. They want to make the election about bogus themes they think they poll well on, abortion, women, mionorities, global warming, diversity....anything but a total case of malfeasance in office. Even the short-sighted, self absorbed, utterly uninformed American electorate will not fall for the hope and change crap this time!
No worries, I'm a cul-de-sac watch warden, I'm armed, and I'm ready! I can't think of a thing I could say about this piece that wouldn't get me sinktrapped if I wasn't a moderator. Then allow me: Careful Champ. Your mangina will let you take only so much of a step, shoogs. And, Champ: hand-to-hand combat means contact with someone other than Shelley