Bureaucrat Beat: Elliot Ness, Red FaceBook, and Tequila

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom feel we need a kind of Elliot Ness to take charge as the Corruption Czar, go to Washington, D.C. and clean house. The piece of information that caused our mercury to rise was a committee report which likely will lead to nowhere. Why is it a lot of things in government lead to nowhere?

Anyway, the project On Government Oversight – acronym, POGO – alleged that the Mines and Minerals Service of the Department of Interior suffers from a “systemic revolving door problem with the Department of Interior and the oil and gas industries.” Yikes. It’s bad enough that the MMS employees engaged in sex, drugs and who knows what else with the oil and gas guys, now they’re figuratively sleeping with them as cross-over employees!!! Don’t forget – these are the people who regulate off-shore oil drilling. Need we say more?

According to the internet, lots of people go to work for companies they once regulated as government employees. A few examples – Paul Stang served as Regional Supervisor for MMS and then went to work for Shell Oil Company in 2007. Greg Smith of MMS allegedly received $30,000 from Geomatrix, an oil industry consulting firm. After leaving the government, Smith went to work for Tenaska Marketing Ventures, a leading marketer of natural gas in North America. You get the picture. A walk through the Department of Interior might require a shower immediately thereafter.

Hey, we got a look at front pages of newspapers around California. You can too. Go to www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages. Many ran stories about the oil spill mess. We just won’t go there. It speaks for itself. One story left a lot unspoken. A Bakersfield paper published a story about a ban on a Catholic School’s teachers’ use of Facebook and other social networking websites. The Superintendent declined to describe the offending entry. Lots of fights now over privacy, free speech and proper behavior by those who deal with children. Yikes. Everyone has a right to privacy, but, hey, let’s face it. FaceBook ain’t that private, as they say. Good grief, can’t we just use common sense and say things that children are likely to read in a way that won’t make us ashamed?!?!?

Meanwhile in the nation’s capitol, we still don’t know what President Obama said to Mexican President Calderon about our mutual issues. You know – millions across the border to find lives they can take here in America. Mexico has clearly failed somewhere along the line. So, we searched the internet to find news of a meaningful conversation between the two presidents. Here’s what we found on a report from Reuters news service – “The presidents issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to mutual economic growth, securing the border, protecting the environment, and fighting crime, but offered no major new initiatives.” That’s not enough!!! Okay. The report also said that Obama is “hugely popular in Mexico.” The report also said that Calderon gained support for his fight against the international drug trade. Okay. We like that, but the two men should cut out the political niceness and get down to the real stuff. In fact, we in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom have just decided that diplomacy needs a new name – Truth!!

We have no more time to dance around the real stuff. It’s nice to know that our two countries have joined on the drug terror deal, but the presidents have failed to get down to the real deal. Maybe they need to spend a night trading shots of tequila until all of the phony fronts fall away. Someone, who doesn’t drink tequila, should take notes and help the two form their REAL policies the next day. Hey, Obama resolved that other falderal with beer. Why not tequila?!? Back to the redefinition of diplomacy. The Whitehouse imported Chicago chef Rick Bayless, famous for his Mexican cuisine in his own Chicago restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Hey, that’s swell, but we prefer raw human relations that face ugly reality and deal with it!!!

We will end on a pleasant note. It was great to see Jon and Greta Boyer the other night at the police officers’ candidates forum for Sheriff’s candidates. They are truly Very Pleasant People. VPPs are they! In retirement, they have enjoyed the terrific chance to explore America. They rarely stay at home, busy, are they on the highways and byways of the U.S. It’s great to see a comment or two on our website from the wandering pair. Cheers to the Boyers!

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

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