American Elephants

Inflicting Maximum Pain, Continued. by The Elephant's Child

It seems that you cannot believe the rhetoric coming out of the White House. I know, I know, it seem impossible, but there it is. Congress wanted to be sure that the president had flexibility to lessen the sequester’s effects, but he said he’d veto it. He does not intend to lessen the effects. However as I said yesterday, the Navy Times wrote that 15,000 teachers in military schools were being furloughed. Yet I have also read that Obama has specifically exempted from the sequester any effects on military families.

The Washington Times has uncovered an email from the administration, that tells the government people in the field that they are not to contradict what the administration said would be the impact of the sequester.

An email sent by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh NC asking if “there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impact on fish inspections. Officials in Washington replied:

We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be. (emphasis added)

Officials at the national airports cited by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as examples of how the sequester is delaying airline travel — say she’s wrong. They are not delaying flights at all. Ms. Napolitano cited LA International, Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartfield Jackson as suffering from security checkpoint lines that were “150 to 200 percent as long as we would normally expect. We’re already seeing the effects at some of the ports of entry, the big airports, for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend.” Officials at each of the airports denied any longer line or airline delays.

The White House has cancelled tours of the executive mansion until “further notice.”

Republicans have warned government against using furloughs in a political game. They warned they would call Cabinet secretaries and executive agency managers before congressional hearings on how furloughs are applied in the wake of forced spending cuts. They warned President Obama against choosing political gain over public safety. “If they are laying off TSA agents and air-traffic controllers and yet Secretary La Hood’s office is still getting cleaned each night, come on,” said Rep Jim Jordan, chairman of the regulatory committee. “The fundamental mission of the president of the United States is to ensure the security of this nation. That’s got to be his top priority.”


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