With the sequester in place, Washington Times and Wall Street Journal writers are among those pointing out some ridiculous happenings on where taxpayer money is dumped, notes Grumpy Editor.
On the day sequestration went into effect, the Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan tallies more than 400 jobs posted by federal agencies via ads.
Among them: The U.S. Forest Service seeks a few good men and women to work as recreation aides this summer, the Internal Revenue Service is searching for an office secretary in Maryland, the U.S. Mint wants 24 people to help press coins, and the Agriculture is searching for three insect production workers to help grow bollworms in Phoenix.
Citing waste of taxpayers’ money as the sequester rolls in, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel lists some “absurdities in government spending.”
They include the Environmental Protection Agency giving $141,000 for a Chinese study of swine manure, part of a $325,000 National Science Foundation outlay for building a robotic squirrel, a $27 million project to help fund pottery classes in Morocco, and most noteworthy --- “feds last year held 894 conferences that each cost more than $100,000 --- $340 million altogether.”
Meanwhile, shutting White House tours in the wake of the sequester is kicking up some dust.
ABC News' Jonathan Karl, for one, questions the White House's claim that $84 million in cuts, out of a $1.6 billion budget for the Secret Service, caused the end of the tours. Karl claims, “Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed Secret Service officers at about $30 an hour. Total saved? Approximately $18,000 a week."
‘Snow day’ in D.C. shelves ‘warming’ hearing
Prediction of a major snowstorm smacking Washington, D.C., led to cancellation of a global warming (aka climate change) hearing slated for the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Most of nation’s capital was shut down for a “snow day” in which federal workers stay home with full pay. Although the Wednesday storm did not materialize and snowflakes were scant, there was no indication that workers would make up for the lost time in the now budget-conscious Washington.
The Washington event --- underscoring weather predictions often are fuzzy despite heavy use of large-scale computers and specialized software with input from hundreds of daily observations from land, sea and air --- was followed by a widely covered Friday story emphasizing the planet will be warmer in 2100 than it has been for 11,300 years.
In the study, published in the journal Science, researchers claim that after a cooling trend that lasted about 5,000 years, about two centuries ago temperatures began to rise and that projections indicate a continued uptrend.
The National Weather Service, known as the Weather Bureau when established in 1890 (when Ulysses S. Grant was president), is staying out of the discussion which relies on paleoclimatology that reconstructs climate based on geological evidence that includes glacial deposits, fossils, sediments plus rock and ice cores.
Washington Post boots indie ombudsman
The Washington Post is eliminating its independent (non-staffer) ombudsman who fields readers' complaints, investigates, and then writes about them. The Post created the position in 1970.
Publisher Katharine Weymouth says she and the Post "remain faithful to the mission" of the ombudsman and added the newspaper planned to appoint "a reader representative (a Post employee) shortly to address our readers' concerns and questions."
The staffer will not write a weekly column but will “write online and/or in the newspaper from time to time to address reader concerns, with responses from editors, reporters or business executives as appropriate,” adds Weymouth."
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