Why Doesn’t This Government Ethics Alarm Go Off…Or Does It Even Exist?

"Let's see...cheese on a Ritz, or Beef Wellington...Hell, let's spring for the Wellington--everyone OK with that?"

I just don’t understand it. I never have.

In a report released today, the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed that U.S. Justice Department agencies spent absurd amounts for lavish food at conferences, in one case serving $16 muffins, in another dishing out beef Wellington appetizers that cost $7.32 per serving, and in yet another, a March 2009 conference of the Office on Violence Against Women, serving Cracker Jacks, popcorn and candy bars at a single break to the tune of $32 per person. Yum!

The abuse isn’t unique to the Obama Administration, but it has gotten worse. The inspector general reviewed a sample of ten Justice Department conferences held between October 2007 and September 2009 at a cost of $4.4 million, a period that included the administrations of Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama. The Justice Department spent $73.3 million on conferences in fiscal 2009, compared with $47.8 million a year earlier, according to the report. Continue reading

Fox News Sunday Ethics Revelations: Wallace and Fiorina

Two things were stunningly in evidence during today’s interview of GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (trying to unseat Barbara Boxer in California) by anchor Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

The first is that Chris Wallace does not conform to the media stereotype of a Fox journalist, a thinly veiled Republican operative committed to pushing a conservative agenda. If only interviewers on CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC were so unwilling to accept evasion, half-truths and nostrums from Democrats. Kudos to Wallace for doing his job, not lobbing softballs, and exemplifying journalistic integrity where most people least expect it.

The second is that candidate Fiorina, yet another Tea Party darling, is a fake. Continue reading