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Author Topic: Interior Secretary's $222,000 Bathroom Back to Topics
MiddletownMarty

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Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 12:25:56 PM

Interior Secretary's $222,000 Bathroom

Maybe the Pentagon's legendary $600 toilet seat was a bargain.

The personal bathroom used by the secretary of the Interior is so swanky that its renovation cost $222,000. No detail was overlooked: It has a $3,500 sub-zero refrigerator (hey, if you're going to have a fridge in the bathroom, it might as well be a good one) and a $689 faucet. At least the "vintage tissue holder" was cheap: just $65 bucks.
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KatmanDo
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jan 19, 2013 12:52:30 PM

"After eight years I was refused reenlistment because I had not gotten enough rank. The sad part is I loved what I was doing and would have been happy to keep doing it at the same rank and pay."

Sounds like a good reason to cry with disappointment whenever a new young person signs up for a shot at the roulette wheel. But, hey -- the dress uniforms look great!
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johnnyg1200
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 10:11:00 PM

“NickHammer” . It's simply a fact that government employees generally make less, but make up for it later when they retire.”””

I hate to burst your bubble but here are the numbers.
-

More Government Employees Paid Twice Average Salary, Because They're That Damn Good
-
Average federal pay matches Microsoft
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Does the Government Pay More than the Private Sector?
-

A teacher in my kids school with 8 years experience makes more than I do after 15 years with the same company and a move in to management.
\
2012 Missouri educators' salaries

Government worker are far from under paid and there pension programs will bankrupt many cities and states.

[Edited by: johnnyg1200 at 1/18/2013 10:11:26 PM EST]
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RAB2010
All-Star Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 10:05:52 PM

Well, from a liberal standpoint, that makes sense; the interior secretary would naturally tend to spend money on the interior!
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johnnyg1200
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 9:56:05 PM

“”””BTW, all of this pales in comparison to the military, where you could retire at age 38 (assuming you started right out of high school) with full benefits.””

For a lot of service members this is a pipe dream. The military has a move up or move out policy. I know because I was caught up in this trap. I was an aircraft mechanic for eight years. The field was top heavy so there was no room to get promoted. After eight years I was refused reenlistment because I had not gotten enough rank. The sad part is I loved what I was doing and would have been happy to keep doing it at the same rank and pay. Also if you retire at 20 you don’t get full retirement. You have to make 30 for that and that is an even harder bench mark to make.

The other part of the equation is any bad marks in your record and you will not make E-6 or E-7 so you end up forced out before any retirement can be reached. A black mark can be something like a DUI, argument with the wrong officer and so on. It doesn’t take much.
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AC-302
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 9:49:38 PM

AFSNCO said: "OK...I have to ask...who the heck wants a fridge in their bathroom?"

--Have you ever seen that commercial that has a guy opening a beer with a wall mounted bottle opener next to a toilet roll, then the announcer says: "Now you can enjoy a cold Guinness anywhere.."? Maybe Ken Salazar took this to heart?

I'm a little surprised at you Marty. Since Salazar is a Democrat, I'm surprised you're "outing" is corruption. But I agree that this kind of corruption needs to end. The taxpayers are not subsidizing this extravagance, nor should they.
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 9:48:38 PM

>>Retiring from your job, getting a pension equaling your wages, and returning to the exact same job the next day for a substantial increase in pay (as a government contractor), all while only 55 years old, is something not found in the private sector.<<

It's not something found in the public sector, either. No one is getting "a pension equaling [their] wages".

>>I'm sorry, I don't buy the government employee hardships that you are trying to sell.<<

I'm not trying to sell any hardships. It's simply a fact that government employees generally make less, but make up for it later when they retire. No one is forcing anyone to work for the government or not work for the government. You want more money now? Work in private industry. But then don't go crying later on when the people you've been earning more money than for the past 30 years are getting better retirement benefits than you are.

We all make choices in life. You can be the tortoise, or you can be the hare. I choose to put 18% percent of my salary into my 401(k), and I've done that for almost 20 years. I take home less money now, and will have a lot more when I retire. Likewise, your friends CHOSE to work for the government and have more money LATER, while you CHOSE to work in private industry and make more money NOW. Don't begrudge your friends for making a choice that you could have made.

>>Even if I was to buy it, being underpaid does not make it right to create a $222,000 private bathroom for your office.<<

No one has claimed that this person created a $222,000 bathroom because they felt they were underpaid. Why they spent that much I don't know. Is it waste? It sure looks that way. Does it have anything at all to do with the salary and retirement benefits of government workers? Not in the least, and I have no idea why johnny brought it up, but don't crap on government workers simply because a member of the President's Cabinet decided he needed to take his dumps in the lap of luxury.
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 9:43:49 PM

"And, seriously, please tell us about all the government workers who "retire with pay at something like 55". Find some facts and then get back to us."

I think they can retire earlier than that and get a paycheck. If I remember correctly it only takes 20 years of government service to retire and most will do about 30 and retire in their mid 50s.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 8:47:50 PM

Nick: <<<That's not a loophole. Your friends spent all or almost all of their working lives working for the government - for less money than they could have made outside the government. If they were under the old CSRS retirement system, they paid around 7% of their underpaid salary for this annuity - for 30+ years! Why shouldn't they be entitled to it? (If they were under the FERS, they paid less and receive less)

Nevertheless, the fact that your friends are making more money outside the government also proves my point, which is that they have been underpaid for these past 30+ years. But it's simply a trade-off - get paid now or get paid later. If you're willing to put in the time working for the government for less money, you're rewarded at the end. There's nothing wrong with that. Your friends spent the majority of their working lives working for less money, and now they're being rewarded for it.

Like I said - there's no reason to crap on government workers.">>>

*********

Retiring from your job, getting a pension equaling your wages, and returning to the exact same job the next day for a substantial increase in pay (as a government contractor), all while only 55 years old, is something not found in the private sector. The burden rate for this position has more than doubled over night. Health insurance for life (and a fancy policy too) is also not found in the private sector. Red tape that makes it virtually impossible to lose your job is not found in the private sector. I have seen incompetent people retained over hard working individuals during a forced downsizing, simply because the incompetent one had an additional week's seniority. That's not found in the private sector either. Nor is automatic pay increases irregardless of performance.

I'm sorry, I don't buy the government employee hardships that you are trying to sell. Nobody is saying that there aren't hard working government employees, but while they might make slightly less than their counterparts in the private sector for wages, they MORE THAN make up the difference in benefits, etc.

Even if I was to buy it, being underpaid does not make it right to create a $222,000 private bathroom for your office.
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jeskibuff
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 6:52:18 PM

gocatgo said: "blah, blah, whah, whah, attacking Mrs Obama is a cheap shot which is what cons do best"

It's not attacking Mrs. Obozo...it's pointing out liberal hypocrisy...and hypocrisy is what you libs do best!
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teacher_tim
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 3:25:00 PM

So the payoff for eating all those rubber chicken dinners on the campaign trail is a quarter million dollar bathroom and $10 million vacations...
nice gig but not for me ;-)
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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 11:52:44 AM

jes, blah, blah, whah, whah, attacking Mrs Obama is a cheap shot which is what cons do best. 4 more years and not one day less.
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 8:27:28 AM

>>Nick, your missing this part of the early retirement loophole from my previous link, which is what all three of my friends utilized for full benefits (two of them at 55, one at 57)<<

That's not a loophole. Your friends spent all or almost all of their working lives working for the government - for less money than they could have made outside the government. If they were under the old CSRS retirement system, they paid around 7% of their underpaid salary for this annuity - for 30+ years! Why shouldn't they be entitled to it? (If they were under the FERS, they paid less and receive less)

Nevertheless, the fact that your friends are making more money outside the government also proves my point, which is that they have been underpaid for these past 30+ years. But it's simply a trade-off - get paid now or get paid later. If you're willing to put in the time working for the government for less money, you're rewarded at the end. There's nothing wrong with that. Your friends spent the majority of their working lives working for less money, and now they're being rewarded for it.

Like I said - there's no reason to crap on government workers.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 1:14:28 AM

Nick, your missing this part of the early retirement loophole from my previous link, which is what all three of my friends utilized for full benefits (two of them at 55, one at 57):

>>>"However, your annuity will not be reduced if you completed at least 30 years of service, or if you completed at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60."<<<

All three work as consultants now (doing their previous jobs), and are treated as outside contractors, making better money than when they were employees, while collecting 100% of their pensions.

[Edited by: EZExit at 1/18/2013 1:15:32 AM EST]
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 12:18:52 AM

>>Once you retire early at 55, you can come right back in and do your same job as a consultant, and make even bigger bucks!<<

I'm sure there are instances where you could "do your same job as a consultant", if the government is looking for a consultant instead of a government employee to do your job. But even then, the annuity is a small percentage of your salary to begin with, and it's half that if you retire at 55 - not exactly what I'd call "with pay" and probably not more than 15% of what you were earning. Like Social Security, you're basically forfeiting a higher annual benefit by taking benefits early. So, unless you can get more than 85% of what you were making in the government, you're not ahead of the game. And you're going to be way behind when you do retire, since you've forfeited half your annuity. I suppose if you plan on dying young, though, this strategy could work out for you.

>>Healthcare is covered, that's a lifetime benefit.<<

You have to pay for your health care, just as you would at any other company.

BTW, all of this pales in comparison to the military, where you could retire at age 38 (assuming you started right out of high school) with full benefits. And guess what? It's much easier to get a job at age 38 than it is at age 55.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:48:57 PM

Nick, if you consider Post Office employees and local school district employees to be "government employees", then yes you can retire at 55. Actually the Letter Carrier who did my street for years retired at age 48 with 30 years in. I had a teacher who taught about 35 years and retired at 57. Teachers get a little later start as they need four years of college before the career starts.

I have proposed many times that anyone who "earns" a pension (and you certainly do earn it) can begin collecting it at age 65. You can start a job at age 22 and work for 30 years, qualifying for a full pension, which you can then collect beginning at age 65. That simple change would remedy much of what is upside down in our retirement systems. You just need to find something else to do for income from age 52 until age 65. Get a second career, start a business, or keep working at the 30-year career you already did.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 9:20:24 PM

Nick, this one's for you!

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Once you retire early at 55, you can come right back in and do your same job as a consultant, and make even bigger bucks! Healthcare is covered, that's a lifetime benefit. Straight from the source, life is good (if you're a government employee) :)

I personally know three people, (all democrats BTW), that have this win-win situation for income using this technique.

[Edited by: EZExit at 1/17/2013 9:23:03 PM EST]
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jeskibuff
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:27:01 PM

gocatgo said: "so now Mrs Obama is bashed for something that happened under W"

No. Moochelle is bashed for wasting millions of tax dollars under "O". The $222K bathroom is an enormous and flagrant waste of tax dollars, but it's eclipsed by the enormous waste that we see coming out of the Obozo administration...Moochelle's & Obozo's vacations, the Solyndras, A123s and Abounds, etc. Those total in the BILLIONS. Suddenly, $222K looks like chump change in comparison!

[Edited by: jeskibuff at 1/17/2013 5:27:35 PM EST]
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johnnyg1200
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 1:57:54 PM

It must have been a Union job!

I am not a union fan by any stretch of the imagination. Before we blame the unions for this we need to look at how the job was done. By that I mean was it done by government workers or was the job contracted out. Where I work we have a building maintenance department. They replace lights, remodel offices, add or remover rooms, maintain the stand by generators and even break up concrete in some areas and replace it if needed. If they can’t do it they are responsible to find a contractor that can. If it was done by government workers the person in charge of this project needs to be fired for gross misappropriation of government funds. If it was a contractor who received a contract we need to find out who wrote the contract and fire him/her for the same reasons. Then it needs to be investigated if there was any improper contact between the contractor and the project manager to see if jail time is appropriate.

Sadly like with Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi this will make the news but no one will receive more than a reprimand. It will stay just like it has been for the last fifty plus years official misconduct will not be prosecuted.
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:36:24 PM

>>Nick, how much is healthcare insurance for life worth? How about the value of the Cadillac retirement plans? How about the value of the other benefits that they (you too, perhaps?) enjoy? How about being able to retire with pay at something like 55 years old to turn around and double dip into another job? Finish your math and then get back to us.<<

EZ, I'm not talking about politicians - I'm talking about "government workers"/"government employees", like johnny wrote. Perhaps you missed the part where I wrote "except for politicians".

And, seriously, please tell us about all the government workers who "retire with pay at something like 55". Find some facts and then get back to us.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:22:32 AM

$222,000 ??

It must have been a Union job!

(In other words, how many union bosses also got a remodeled home bath done under this "project"?)
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xrdc
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:22:04 AM


"...the pain of losing the election must be agonizing"

Not nearly as painful as not having reading material at hand when nature calls.

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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:05:28 AM

OK...I have to ask...who the heck wants a fridge in their bathroom?
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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:04:32 AM

jes, so now Mrs Obama is bashed for something that happened under W. The pain of losing the election is really starting to show.

xrdc, "the Obama library" again the pain of losing the election must be agonizing.

Johnny, "I don't care which party is doing it because they both do it". At last some sanity.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 10:40:13 AM

Nick, how much is healthcare insurance for life worth? How about the value of the Cadillac retirement plans? How about the value of the other benefits that they (you too, perhaps?) enjoy? How about being able to retire with pay at something like 55 years old to turn around and double dip into another job? Finish your math and then get back to us.



[Edited by: EZExit at 1/17/2013 10:43:49 AM EST]
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 10:10:46 AM

>>All pay for government workers and politician making more than the median income cannot be raised unless the government takes in more money than it spends.<<

Why are you crapping on government workers? Do you have any evidence that these people (those "making more than the median") are overpaid? In fact, "according to Charles Fay, a professor at Rutgers University and former Federal Salary Council member", those people whose salaries you want to freeze are underpaid.

>>All government employees must abide by the same laws and regulations that apply to the rest of the population<<

Again, except for politicians, do you have any evidence that government employees don't already "abide by the same laws and regulations that apply to the rest of the population"? In fact, there are more restrictions placed on government employees than on non-government employees.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:58:59 PM

Great sentiment, Johnny, but it would have to be passed by the same clowns that cause these problems in the first place. The foxes guard the hen house. The founding fathers of our great country never foresaw that the American people would eventually become too stupid to vote out poorly performing politicians and replace them with people willing to serve our country with honor. If they had foreseen this, they would have probably written something similar to your suggestion into the constitution.
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johnnyg1200
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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:58:44 PM

I don’t care witch party is doing it because they both do. This just one more example of what is wrong with Washington. They spend money like it comes from an inexhaustible source. Then when they run out they scream we need more or you won’t get your SSI or Medicare. Washington needs a real spending cap that can’t be moved up.

How’s this sound for a constitutional amendment.

1. All pay for government workers and politician making more than the median income cannot be raised unless the government takes in more money than it spends. Any pay raise for congress or the president must be voted on by both the house and senate and have a supper majority of ¾ to pass then signed by the president.

2. All government employees must abide by the same laws and regulations that apply to the rest of the population with the exception of the military for the needs of national security.

That last one would include SSI, Medicare, Obamacare and all other social programs. If they want to spend my SSI then they need to be paying into the system they have robbed to the point of insolvency.
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chocolateflash
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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:42:31 PM

Bathroom is inside(the interior). It's for the Interior Secretary. So what's your problem?
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xrdc
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:39:13 PM


I think a similar bathroom would be a great center piece for the highly anticipated Obama library.
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jeskibuff
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:33:47 PM

Just think...we could have had 45 more of these extravagant bathrooms if Moochelle Obozo wouldn't have blown close to $10 MILLION on her extravagant vacations! At least the taxpayers have some assets still in the bathroom, as opposed to Moochelle flushing our taxpayer dollars down the toilets in Spain!
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xrdc
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 5:27:21 PM


One doesn't have to read the article to easily deduce that he would not have posted it if it made Obama look bad.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 4:21:54 PM

Gocat: <<<"Ez, "political slant" has zero to do with robbing American taxpayers. How often do you bring attention to those of your party for using a "slant" on a topic? ">>>

*****

Look below, I was the first to condemn this behavior, after having read Marty's story. I call it the way it is, I don't care who is responsible, and have always in these threads.
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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:58:20 PM

Nick, "whoever renovated the bathroom made a hefty profit". I am surprised you have not been attacked for bashing wealthy job creators.

Ez, "political slant" has zero to do with robbing American taxpayers. How often do you bring attention to those of your party for using a "slant" on a topic?

I wonder how high the other bids were? Oh well, nothing but the best for our politicians in DC.
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Michiganian
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:48:29 PM

>>>> "<<<Of course if you read the link, that was from the Bush era.">>>

************

...and of course you are unable to discern right from wrong unless you establish a political slant to any given issue. <<<<

Remember what category this is, EzExit??? Besides, the subject line did not indicate which Interior secretary ordered the bathroom so it was President George W. Bush's Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:29:40 PM

"<<<Of course if you read the link, that was from the Bush era.">>>

************

...and of course you are unable to discern right from wrong unless you establish a political slant to any given issue.
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MahopacJack
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:25:30 PM

Elected officials spending recklessly? At a time when deficits were just beginning to sky-rocket? Yes BOTH parties do this but we still vote them back into office.

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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 2:45:05 PM

"Of course if you read the link, that was from the Bush era."

That's absolutely correct. I deliberately copied just up to that point.
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Michiganian
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 2:26:52 PM

Of course if you read the link, that was from the Bush era.
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NickHammer
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 1:48:01 PM

When you link to the original article, you'll see that the bathroom is 100 sq. ft. and there are more seemingly outrageous and expensive materials. But the cost of all those materials doesn't come close to $220,000. I suspect that whoever renovated the bathroom made a hefty profit.
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 1:30:37 PM

At that price his office desk should also be in there.
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 12:43:44 PM

Yep sure does sound like another case of the politicians having the attitude they are special or something.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 12:32:43 PM

I find the wasteful spending of Washington absolutely disgusting.
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