Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hey, Congress, no picnic for you!

The White House cancels the annual congressional picnic. Could this be a sign of sanity in DC?

Hey, Congress, no picnic for you!

President Barack Obama´s motorcade sits outside on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama's motorcade sits outside on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

JB: Yo, boss, didya see the White House just cancelled the annual congressional picnic?

BE: Because DC already has too many hot dogs?

JB: No, it's because, you know, of all that work and attention related to Syria, or as I like to call it, another fine mess our leaders are leading us into.

BE: Well, gosh, I thought the annual picnic brought both sides of the political divide together to promote the common good of all Americans.

JB: Right. And you see how well that's worked out.

BE: Well, maybe now Washington is starting to get the fact that spending on parties for itself doesn't play well with the rest of us.

JB: Or maybe after cancelling White House tours for the public back in March to, er, save money, the White House thought this isn't the best time to spend money on members of Congress -- given the fine job they do on so many things.

BE: That would be refreshing.

JB: Yeah, except the Associated Press reports that as a make-up, the annual Congressional White House holiday ball in December will be expanded to include the families of members of Congress.

BE: Oh, how nice.

JB: I guess that sequestration thing will be over by then, huh?

BE: I feel certain.

JB: And even if it isn't, what's a few furloughed federal employees and cuts to the defense budget compared to the White House celebrating the holidays with several hundred of its closest over-compensated, over-perked, all-paid-by-taxpayers friends?

BE: Joy to the world.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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