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April 03, 2012


Though it's not relevant to the thrust of Brendan's post, let me note that Bob Peck, whose agency held the conference at issue and who lost his job as head of the Public Buildings Service yesterday, is as fine a public servant as you could hope to find. I'm proud to say he's been a good friend for more than forty years.

First Scandal? What about the Health Care waivers that come with support for Democratic Politicians? Weren't a huge percentage of them in Peolsi's district?

I agree with Brendan that this scandal* will have little staying power. First of all, there's no controversy. Everyone from the President and GSA Chief on down agree that spending on this conference was excessive. Second, it's incredibly minor to waste a few hundred thou on a conference, as compared with giving $500,000,000 to an Obama supporter to piss away (and Solyndra wasn't the only one) or helping Mexican drug gangs commit dozens of murders.

Why did this tiny event become a scandal*, when the much more significant Solyndra and Fast and Furious didn't? Brendan credits his News Cycle Theory. I'll stick with media bias. The liberal media are willing to call a virtual non-event a "scandal", but IMHO they'll continue to downplay the real scandals.

David in Cal:
Yeah, "liberal media"!! How is the media liberal when it is owned by corporations? Entities that have disliked the Democratic Party since at least the time of FDR? Do you mean Brian Williams, the admitted Dittohead? Diane Sawyer, the flunky for "Tricky" Dick Nixon? Or the "liberal media" that treats Eddie Munster(aka Paul Ryan) as a VSP despite him being a buffoon? Just because you assert the media is liberal doesn't make it so.

Test - ignore

IMHO the media treatment of Mr. Obama's constitutional gaffes demonstrates the media bias I asserted.

Imagine that President George W. Bush had lectured the Supreme Court on their duties, in a dramatic speech in which he misstated most of the key facts about the seminal case, Lochner v. New York. Suppose that Bush had even questioned whether the Supreme Court had the power to review and overturn federal laws they found unconstitutional. If Bush had done that, all the media would have given him a horse laugh. Major newspapers would have run editorials blasting a President as being so ignorant of basic Consitutional Law and blasting him for presuming to tell the SC how to do their job and for blasting him for ignoring the Constitution's balance of power.

When President Obama made these errors, it should have been even more striking and newsworthy, since he has taught Constitutional Law. Yet, I didn't see much coverage of the President's gaffes, except by right wing media.

For those who do not subcribe to the on-line WSJ, a free copy of the Peggy Noonan article that Brendan referred to in the sidebar is available here.

Brendan argues that it would take mind-reading for Peggy Noonan to know that the coming election fully occupies President Obama's mind. However, the column supports this POV by showing (or trying to show) that the President's behavior indicates what is occupying his mind. In other words, although Noonan uses the phrase "Obama's mind", the column is really about what he's doing now and what she expects him to do between now and November.

According to the Obama Administration, this wasn't the first Obama scandal, it was the most recent Bush scandal.

The administration also argued Friday night that the cost of the Western Regional Conference increased sharply under the Bush White House -- from $93,000 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006 to $655,025 in 2008, then $840,616 in 2010, or just 28 percent under Obama.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/07/white-house-pushing-blame-on-bush-white-house-for-gsa-debacle/#ixzz1rOezPdbX

I agree with the post above...GSA Conference spending went from $93K in 2004 to $655K in 2008, so the increase in spending year over year was already in place.

Unlike the partisan headline form Fox about "pushing blame" it's the reality of context. It's kind of like them railing against Obama for taking vacation days in his first 3 years when Reagan and W took two to three times as many days off in the same period...

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