President Barack Obama has shut the White House to visitors. A notice went out yesterday saying that due to the personnel reductions required by the sequester, there will be no public tours after Friday. According to USA Today a recording on the White House tour line was as follows:
"Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013, until further notice. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours …"
In case anyone was too dense to get to the "baby puppies, calves, lambs, and kittens will die" part of the announcement, this:
"We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring tour season."
The only thing missing was to give out the switchboard number to the U.S. House of Representatives so callers could blame Speaker John Boehner directly.
Obama is showing his petulance in not being able to bend the Congressional Republicans to his will.
The Department of Agriculture issued a missive suggesting that some of its regional offices should "make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."
After that directive become public, the USDA issued a retractive message saying,
"USDA is committed to doing all we can to minimize the impact of sequester our employees and the farmers, ranchers, and rural communities we serve."
The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, in the run up to the sequester that:
"As many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs. ... There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can't come back this fall."
The Washington Post's fact checking crew gave Duncan the full "Four Pinocchios" saying:
"Duncan made this claim not once, not twice, but three times. Let this be a teachable moment for him: Next time, before going on television, check your facts."
Detention is in order for the Secretary of Education for lying to the American people.
We know that popular sights in National Parks are now off limits and an air craft carrier - the Harry S Truman - will not be deployed to the Persian Gulf - due to sequester requirements.
Barack Obama is being petulant because Republicans in the House and Senate wouldn't bow to his majesty on additional taxes to go along with spending cuts.