Tooting His Own Horn – Not a Good Idea.

So Dirk is touting his accomplishments while Secretary of the Interior for the past two years, primarily in the area of ethics.  That’s right – you read that correctly – ethics.  And this is how Dirk did it.

To combat transgressions, Kempthorne installed a new ethics officer, recorded ethics-related discussions in a logbook and made an employee ethics DVD.

I’ll just bet that DVD was real helpful.

I wonder if Julie MacDonald got to see it before she was ousted?  She was forced to resign because there were findings

she had tampered with scientific evidence, improperly removed species and habitats from the endangered-species list, and gave internal documents to oil industry lobbyists and property rights groups.

Just the usual shit for Bush appointees.

And how about Dirk?  Do you suppose he reviewed that DVD on ethics prior to putting in for the remodel of his office bathroom at the Dept. of the Interior.  I mean – what? The one Gale Norton used wasn’t good enough?

I guess it’s only fitting to be fiscally conservative when it’s your money, eh – Dirk?  How else would you justify $235,000 on a bathroom remodel.

And I’m not talking about replacing plumbing that needed to be replaced?  I’m talking ‘wainscot wood panels.’ Tongue & groove….


But department officials say much of the money was spent on lavish wood paneling and tile. Among the choice items found in the new bathroom: wainscot wood panels extending from floor to ceiling and cabinet doors revealing a working refrigerator and freezer.

How about paying off those bad checks you kited at the eatery grill on the Greenbelt? That would be more along the line of something really  ethical, Dirk.


An Unfortunate Consequence of the Economy

Reading a story on KTVB about the rise in child abuse being diametric to the decline in the economy, I found this statement by Matt Hyde, the program director for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)  disconcerting:

The program’s director Matt Hyde says as the economy worsens they are already seeing more severe cases of child abuse.

“We have seen some pretty significant physical and sexual abuse cases that have come up in the last several months,” said Hyde.

It’s not just a local or even regional thing, it’s national.  The Washington Post ran an article in which, statistically, there was an increase of 18% in ‘the District’ (D.C.) and in one county in Virginia cases spiked to 152% in a four-month period (July to August).  Fairfax and two surrounding counties had actual increases in caseload of 23% to38%.

Linda Spears, who as VP, heads a coalition of nonprofit groups who provide aid to abused and neglected children (Child Welfare League of America)had this to say:

“There are so many unknowns, but I would venture to guess that we’re about to see one of the larger increases in child abuse cases since the drug epidemic increases in the 1990s.”

That’s genuinely scary. Continue reading