Actually not mine, but I found a couple of news stories that show "right" and wrong ways to excuse your mistakes. First off, Many of you probably already heard about the GSA's big Las Vegas party that's got a lot of no-good "civil servants" in hot water for spending your money on a "conference" that was a lot closer to Animal House than government business. Well, the fallout has reached Capitol Hill:
Top officials from the agency accused of blowing through taxpayer dollars on luxury getaways and other expenses endured a public drubbing on Capitol Hill Monday, as one invoked his right to remain silent and others apologized profusely while lawmakers tore into them for the "gross abuse of taxpayer funds."
Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at times yelled at the representatives from the General Services Administration called to testify Monday, demanding strict punishment. The acting chief of the agency later assured lawmakers that he's ordered a few GSA officials to repay the government for their personal expenses, and will refer any "criminal activity" that is uncovered to law enforcement.
The hearing, the first of several examining a 2010 Las Vegas conference by the GSA, stretched for hours. It focused in large part on Jeffrey Neely -- the western regional commissioner now on leave over his role in organizing that $820,000 conference.
Neely, in an uncomfortable exchange, pleaded the Fifth a half-dozen times when asked basic questions by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the committee. "Mr. Chairman, on the advise of my counsel I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege," he said each time. Neely later left the hearing, refusing to answer questions from Fox News.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on the panel, said the allegations against Neely document an "indefensible and intolerable pattern of misconduct."
Cummings, referring to internal documents allegedly showing Neely gloating about the money he was spending, accused Neely and his wife of blowing through federal dollars, as if they believed they were "some kind of agency royalty who used taxpayer funds to bankroll their lavish lifestyle."
"They violated one of the most basic tenets of government service. It's not your money," Cummings said.
Issa complained earlier Monday that Neely is still being paid -- one official estimated his salary at about $170,000. The congressman noted that Neely is on administrative leave along with four other employees of the General Services Administration.
Issa told Fox News that while the hearing was to be about broader issues of spending and accountability at the agency, he hopes Neely gets booted off the payroll.
See, Neely at least had one shred of brain- when cornered, he took the fifth. On the other hand, here's a well known no-brain-cell type, Bill Maher. Let's take a look at his excuses for jumping on the Ann Romney doesn't work bandwagon:
Bill Maher is facing bipartisan criticism -- most recently from one of President Obama's former top advisers -- for controversial comments he made last week about Mitt Romney's wife.
Maher, while a comedian, has endured a surge of political scrutiny since donating $1 million to the super PAC supporting President Obama.
He got himself into trouble Friday when, on his HBO show "Real Time," he ratcheted up a comment made earlier in the week by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen. Rosen had said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life," and later apologized under pressure from top Democrats.
Maher, though, took Rosen's comments a step further.
"What she meant to say, I think, was that Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house to work," Maher said.
Republicans have used the incident to once again pressure the super PAC Priorities USA to return the Maher donation -- or at least condemn the comments. Supporters of both Obama and the presumptive GOP nominee have worked feverishly over the past several weeks to appeal to women, and portray the other side as inconsiderate toward those voters.
Maher's remarks fed that fire.
Obama's former domestic policy adviser also voiced concerns on Sunday. "You know, the language, the sentiment are problematic," Melody Barnes said on ABC's "This Week" when asked whether the president needs to distance himself from the comments. "And the campaign has -- and the president has said, look, the civility ... it matters. The way we talk to each other matters. And they're going to have to, as you said, make a decision."
Priorities USA co-founder Bill Burton previously has dismissed concerns about Maher's comments -- particularly when his criticism of Sarah Palin came up amid the backlash last month over Rush Limbaugh's degrading comments about a college student who testified on contraception coverage. Maher said in an interview at the time that it's "crazy" to suggest any "equivalence" between comments by a comedian like Maher and comments by Limbaugh.
Maher on Friday elaborated a bit on his Ann Romney remarks.
"No one is denying that being a mother is a tough job; I remember I was a handful," he said. "But you know there is a big difference between being a mother, and that tough job, and getting your ass out the door at 7 a.m. when it's cold, having to deal with the boss, being in a workplace, or even if you're unhappy you can't show it for eight hours."
So Maher can insult anyone he wants, because a) There's a big difference between being a mom and a REAL JOB, and b) he's a "commedian" (debatable at best) and thus he can say anything he wants, be as sincere as he wants, but if he gets in trouble for it, well, he's just a commedian and you shouldn't take him serious. Rush, though, you should take EVERYTHING he says serious, whether you understand sarcasm or not. Pretty convenient, eh, Bill?
And finally, if you haven't read yesterday's post about Congressional "candidate" David Sowards (I particularly urge you to check out the link to his "web page" I provided), go back and do so. I ended up having to invite him to read my response on that site, as comments on his various "blogs" are "restricted to team members" -of which he, apparently, is the only one. Still, my attempt must have been noticed, as he sent a response that fits somewhere in between, to wit:
Statements made on this blog are the opinions of this individual and may not be shared by any affiliated organizations. Paid for by the Committee to Elect David Sowards. Donations and correspondence can be sent to 548 Home Avenue Fort Wayne IN 46807.