Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman testified before a congressional committee yesterday that the department was "ill-equipped to quickly distribute billions of dollars in economic stimulus funding," reported the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe in the November 3 paper.
"Friedman's testimony was meant to summarize more than 100 investigations conducted by his office into Energy's stimulus spending. The probes have recovered $2.3 million in fraudulently obtained money and sparked five criminal prosecutions," O'Keefe noted in his 12-paragraph story, which was buried on page A19 of the Post with the bland headline "Energy Dept. called ill-suited to loan project."
"Friedman also criticized the administration for touting the existence of 'shovel-ready' projects" that did not exist, noted O'Keefe.
For the second day in a row, the Washington Post celebrated the end of the 18-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, this time with a front-page center-column story that opened with the tale of a soldier who videotaped and posted to YouTube the phone call in which he announced to his father that he was gay:
"Thousands of companies and nonprofits that received funds from the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program owe hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes, according to estimates in a new government report."
That's how Washington Post staffer Ed O'Keefe opened his May 24 story on the matter.
It's just a shame that the article was buried on page A19:
When businesses, families and individuals face tough economic times, they have to tighten the belt. Businesses lay off workers and/or trim pay and benefits while families and individuals prioritize their budgets by foregoing vacation and entertainment spending.
The government sector, not so much, and the electorate are angry about it.
Accordingly, governors and governors-elect throughout the country are talking about trimming back state employee pay and benefits as part of austerity packages to balance state budgets.
But this heightened focus on public employee pay has "Public servants feeling sting of budget rancor," today's Washington Post complained in a page A1 headline.
While media liberals obsess about negative ads funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, federal worker unions are savagely attacking the Tea Party in a forthcoming radio ad campaign. "We would love to be very bipartisan, but it's hard to be bipartisan when one side is just trying to cut your throat," said John Gage of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) in Friday's Washington Post.
Reporter Ed O'Keefe concluded that "the union aired a similar public awareness campaign last summer." But is it "public awareness" to associate ideas in the GOP Pledge to America -- a federal hiring freeze and spending restraint -- with releasing terrorists, ending food inspection, and polluting rivers? O'Keefe relayed the script:
"The Republican tea party Pledge to America says, 'Cut taxes for the rich and cut government,' " AFGE President John Gage says in the ad. "Some have even said, 'Close the government down.' Then what? Food and mine inspection - gone. Forget about border patrol or keeping terrorists locked up. And returning veterans? Give them a cheap voucher instead of a quality VA hospital. Let's dump in the rivers and pollute the air again."
On Saturday, the Obama administration quietly scrapped the "created or saved" rubric for measuring the president's success in job creation.
Covering the story, the Washington Post today also quietly noted the news, placing the story --entitled "Stimulus created 600,000 jobs at the end of 2009, White House says" -- on page A15.
The Post's Ed O'Keefe wrote the 18-paragraph story (emphasis mine):
In what could easily be labeled the understatement of the week and probably of the entire month of November, the Washington Post today headlined a page A22 story today "GAO warns stimulus jobs data could contain inaccuracies."
The print story is accompanied by a screenshot of Recovery.gov, which the caption beneath it notes "is the government's stimulus-tracking Web site."
Of course, the biggest inaccuracies recently observed on Recovery.gov are non-existent congressional districts purported to have been "saved or created" jobs thanks to stimulus pork sent their way. Yet Post staffer Ed O'Keefe was careful to keep that juiciest tidbit out of his entire 10-paragraph November 19 story.
As Michelle Groat of Examiner.com noted Wednesday:
Just six months into his presidency, President Barack Obama's administration is the target of a federal lawsuit, and that by a civil servant who alleges he was dismissed from his post in violation of the requirements of a law that Barack Obama himself once sponsored in the Senate.
Yet despite all this, the July 21 Washington Post print edition failed to carry the story, directing readers with this 39-word teaser atop page A15 (The Fed Page) to a Post blog:
Former Inspector General Files Suit: Gerald Walpin, an inspector general who was fired last month by the Obama administration, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, arguing that his removal was unlawful. Read more at washingtonpost.com/federaleye.
Here's an excerpt from Washington Post staffer Ed O'Keefe's July 20 Federal Eye blog post, "Fired IG Gerald Walpin Files Suit":