Thursday, April 26, 2012
We'd Rather Be Like Reno
Are you falling for the recent Republican claims — that all Secret Service scandals, and all federal departmental spending sprees, only happen when Democrats are in power?
Well, don't. Because the very conservative (small "c" as well as capital "C") government of Stephen Harper in Canada is dealing with a very GSA-like scandal of its own.
Bev Oda — Stephen Harper's Minister of International Cooperation (and what the hell is that?) — attended a meeting in London last June. The topic was international immunizations — i.e., how to fight disease in developing countries, right? Well, Ms. Oda, who was supposed to have had the welfare of disadvantaged world populations uppermost in her mind, disliked her luxury hotel, and upgraded herself to the Savoy — all to the tune of thousands of dollars of additional expenses, charged to Canadian taxpayers.
In addition to the charges laid by the Savoy, Oda incurred thousands of dollars in limo fees, which could have been avoided had she just stayed put. But — no.
Ya know, we cats remember when Janet Reno was attorney general of the United States, and refused to do anything extravagant or fiscally irresponsible. We can personally testify that she flew coach, because we were on the same flight she was to Omaha once. Janet Reno was a model of the ideal public servant — but of course, since she was, right-wingers and their sympathizers in the media had to find other reasons to criticize her.
We cats think that the world would be a much better place if public servants were more like Janet Reno, and less like Bev Oda or all those jerks at the GSA. The bottom line is that corruption like this knows no political persuasion — but that if you were seeking avatars like Reno, chances are they'd occur more often in the Democratic Party than in the GOP. Just sayin'.
(IMAGE: Portrait of Attorney General Janet Reno, by Dorothy Swain Lewis)