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 Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe

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PostSubject: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:29 am

Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe

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*** Man oh man!! This is like the fox watching the henhouse!!! JMHO!! ***

Washington (CNN) -- Senate Democrats take their turn Wednesday on the General Services Administration's $800,000 boondoggle -- a simmering political scandal involving wasteful spending at a Las Vegas conference.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works holds a hearing at 10 a.m. ET.
It's the third consecutive day lawmakers have taken a crack at the agency in the crosshairs of a government investigation. The House Oversight and Transportation committees took their shots on Monday and Tuesday..
Wednesday's session, scheduled before the scandal broke, will be on the GSA''s 2013 budget, but questions about spending abuses are expected to dominate the discussions.
The Senate committee will hear testimony from the GSA's acting administrator Dan Tangherlini and the agency's Inspector General Brian Miller.
Bipartisan outrage over GSA scandal Anger at GSA reaches 'boiling point' GSA hearing chair: People will go to jail GOP lawmaker alleges GSA scandal coverup
On Tuesday, House members questioned why Jeff Neely, the General Services Administration official who organized the 2010 conference that cost $800,000, took more trips on the federal dime after a preliminary report last year showed spending and travel abuses. He was put on administrative leave in March.
Neely declined to show up for Tuesday's session of the House Transportation Committee, claiming his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the investigation.
The controversy, which includes allegations by an inspector general of personal travel under the thin guise of government business and an employee award program that exceeded spending limits, so far has focused on one region of the massive GSA -- an agency with a multibillion-dollar budget and thousands of employees.
Coming in an election year, the scandal has become a political focal point, with Republicans seeking to frame it as a reflection of big government abuse while Democrats say the problem involved a few bad players rather than a rotten system.
Either way, the lasting image from Tuesday's hearing, which lasted more than five hours, was past and present GSA officials trying to explain a complex management structure that proved unable to respond quickly to misconduct cited by the inspector general's report.
The GSA official who first raised questions about overspending at the Las Vegas conference said she supported the findings of the government investigation and the steps taken in response to the controversy.
"I share your anger and disappointment in GSA's conduct," said Susan Brita, its deputy administrator.
The controversy involving a normally obscure federal agency has become politically toxic after reports and video clips of the lavish 2010 conference in Las Vegas were released. The revelation has prompted taxpayer indignation, embarrassed the administration and put a spotlight on wasteful spending by the GSA, which handles government real estate and other nonmilitary procurement.
Much of the committee focus on Tuesday involved the management structure of the GSA, with panel members expressing frustration over a lack of clarity and accountability.
One exchange between Committee Chairman Jeff Denham, a freshman Republican from California, and Miller highlighted the ways that Neely, and presumably others, avoided strictures against supplying food at government work conferences such as the Las Vegas event by creating joke awards in order to hold ceremonies at which food was allowed.
"To get around the administration's rule of not having food, they got around it by having an awards ceremony at every conference or every day of a conference?" Denham asked.
Cummings: New GSA admin. has to clean up 'Who the heck is the watchdog?' Issa: GSA waste shows bureaucratic flaws Lawmakers rip into GSA officials
Miller responded: "According to witnesses that we've interviewed, it was a running joke in Region 9 that in order to get food, you had to give out awards -- and many of these awards were silly awards."
"One of our witnesses characterized them, I guess, as fake awards, jackass awards and things of that nature," Miller said. "Now, getting back to the Western Region's conference -- they gave out awards for theatrical performances. We do not consider that a proper award. The award has to be for contributions to the work of the agency. "
On Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa asked why a former congressional aide to President Barack Obama remained in his top job at the GSA when he probably knew of the wrongdoing -- or should have.
In later tough questioning of that official, GSA Chief of Staff Mike Robertson, Issa determined that a lawyer in the White House counsel's office knew of the ongoing investigation of the GSA in the middle of 2011, nine months before the earliest time acknowledged by the administration.
However, Robertson later issued a statement to clarify his testimony to the committee, saying: "I only mentioned in passing the existence of an (inspector general) investigation as I bumped into a White House staffer that I regularly worked with on GSA issues. This was in late May or June of 2011."
On Tuesday, Martha Johnson, a GSA administrator who resigned due to scandal, said she received no orders from the White House on how to respond to the controversy, and Miller said he had no contact with the White House on the issue.
Johnson also repeated her opening statement from Monday, in which she said she found a badly managed GSA when she took over in 2010 after more than two years of interim leadership.
The Western Region conference at the heart of the problem had become a "raucous, extravagant, arrogant, self-congratulatory event that ultimately belittled federal workers," she added.
Among videos of the conference that have surfaced is one of David Foley, a deputy commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, an arm of the GSA, appearing to mock congressional oversight. In it, he gave a talent show award to an employee whose video featured a rap about spending too much and joking about avoiding investigation.
Additional videos included one that seemed to make fun of President Barack Obama, as well as a fake red carpet ceremony with Neely boasting that his goal was to make the conference "over the top."
Details also emerged of the employee incentive program, which violated limits on awards or gifts.

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:20 pm

It's a good thing that it has come out now. I heard today one of the head demoncraps will be resigning for getting caught up in a sex scandel. I'm loving it.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:34 pm

Don't think this is what you would call "getting your tit hung in the wringer:!!!! Besides that, there are probably few left if any that even knows what that really meant!!!! ROFLMAOCGUPMP!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:16 pm

I'm sure of that. GGG
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:43 am

That used to be my job in the repair department! I wold come in after school and repair/rebuild the wringers on teh old Maytag washers!! This was back when they had a gasoline motor on them because the complete county did not have electricity!! UhOh!!! Showing my age!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:53 pm

I never knew that about gas engines. That must have been around the turn of the 20th century. On Saturdays that was my job, wringing out the clothes from the washer and dip them into water in the double sink next to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:09 am

Electricity did not get into the rural areas of the county until after the war years! Those folks needed to wash clothes without having to do it manually! Hence, Maytag developed a way to run the washing machine off a one cylinder gas engine with a flywheel and ti worked great. The washer was put on the back porch (outside under the roof) and it ran like a gem!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:45 pm

I would like to see one of them up close and personal.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:27 am

I hope I never see another one! Worked on so many of them I can see them in my dreams!!! LMAO!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:38 pm

Gee wize!!! One more for me?!?
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:14 pm

I did so many that I got to where I could tear one down that was broken and rebuild it in less than an hour from start to finish!! Amazing technology for that time period!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:19 pm

I'm going to have to research this. I am always interested in older technoligy from when America was still pure.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:04 pm

Pure or not, look up Maytag wringer washer and it will be there!! More than you ever dreamed of! The wringer and drive assembly was a piece of work!! Some engineer lost several nights sleep dreaming this one up!!! LMAO!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Ok when I get time. When I hit the lottery I will buy you one.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:48 pm

Don't need another one ever again!!! What I would like to have is a front row seat for the hearings that are going to happen on the GSA!!! LAMO!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:32 pm

I can see where you would being the profession you are in. I could care less about the proceedings, just git 'er done.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:38 am

It is time to accomplish the things adn for teh gov to quit talking about what and how they are going to do things!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:54 pm

Git 'er done or get off the pot.
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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:32 pm

Or get out of the way and let someone in there that will get the program fixed or scrapped!!! TWIT!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Senate to hold hearing on GSA probe   Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:43 am

Get on with it.
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