Tags: white | house | cancels | tours

WSJ: Ag Dept. Parties On as White House Cancels Tours

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 01:37 PM

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The Agriculture Department is wasting money on fancy conferences, even as the White House cancels tours of the presidential residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. during the popular spring season, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

"This fits President Obama's political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping 'exceptional local wines' and sampling 'tasty dishes' prepared by 'special guest chefs,'" the Journal said Wednesday.

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"Yes, even as the White House warns that the modest automatic spending cuts will force the furlough of meat inspectors, two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week."

The Journal noted that the conference advertises speakers from the agriculture department, field trips, a banquet, and a tasting reception. The tasting is billed as a "mouthwatering event" with "fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies."

"How can we sign up?" the Journal quipped.

The editorial also cited another unnecessary gathering sponsored by the department: the Priester National Health Conference.

"The pressing object of this four-day event will be to 'provide resource support to professionals and community leaders working to improve community health,' although attendees will sneak in their own wine tasting."

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