The scandal surrounding the General Services Administration's (GSA) lavish "team-building" trip to Vegas has gotten so much bad press that even Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has weighed in to condemn it as the sort of thing that would inspire even progressives to become Tea Partiers.
They might want to consider investing in tri-corner hats, because the Huffington Post has uncovered videos of the whole lavish affair, and posted them all on their site. And if you thought the story couldn't get worse, brace yourself.
The first video depicts the GSA employees aping a Hollywood-style red carpet interview, complete with bragging about what they're wearing. A massive goblet of margaritas is also involved. Watch it here:
The second video depicts GSA employees destroying arguably the one thing taxpayers ought to pay for - their office supplies - all while the song "Push It To the Limit" blares in the background:
The third video depicts the oft-derided hired clown for the event, and the routine he apparently decided to perform. And it's a routine making fun of - you guessed it - productivity at work. "Meetings are good to have in between breaks," the clown mocks. "Government -- if you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions."
The employees also sing "Luck be a Lady" from "Guys and Dolls" following a performance by the "Green Man Group," a singing group designed to ape the Blue Man Group. How much was spent on the Green Man Group has not been detailed.
But not to worry, the event isn't completely unproductive. Employees also have to demonstrate their skills at blowing bubbles!
Along with these videos, the GSA also hosted a "talent contest" involving taped skits by GSA employees. The winning skit has already been aired all over Fox News and other outlets, and it involves a rap song extolling the glory of spending taxpayer money on lavish perks, since the GSA will never investigate itself:
However, this wasn't the only video submitted. There were others - including a truly bizarre one involving, of all things, the children's claymation character Gumby:
HuffPo sums the whole thing up this way:
The new videos seem likely to further inflame the back-and-forth between the administration and House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) over the GSA's spending. The California Republican has suggested that the White House tried to hide evidence of lavish spending by sitting on the inspector general's report for 11 months.
The GSA inspector general "briefed the Obama administration 11 months ago on its factual findings of waste and wrongdoing at a lavish Las Vegas convention," Issa spokesman Frederick Hill, told POLITICO. "Rather than taking immediate action to suspend or dismiss those identified by the IG at this briefing as responsible, the administration instead let them have bonuses. Despite their efforts to manage the story, the administration only took real personnel actions when there were no more options for delay."
Administration officials have scoffed at Issa's charge, noting that proper protocols were followed to investigate the conference spending and that, once it came to light, officials who were responsible resigned or were fired.
One thing's for sure: The guy who devoted an entire rap song to the glories of his hypothetical reign as commissioner won't get to see that dream realized.