The Administration's attempt to whip up a backlash against the sequester (which, by the way, they designed) by cutting services that people value, rather than the ones they think are a waste has been so transparent that even such reliable sycophants as the writers at The Washington Post and The Hill have noticed that it's not working, and are urging the President to find some solution to accommodate White House Tours. From the Post:
Reopen the White House doors to tourists
THE DECISION to drop White House tours always had a whiff of what’s known as Washington Monument syndrome. The ham-handed tactic is employed when government is faced with budget cuts and officials go after the services that are most visible and appreciated by the public. It’s a kind of bureaucratic hostage-taking, so the pushback that the Obama administration has encountered is a proper comeuppance...And from The Hill: White House tour move backfires on Obama
But even accepting the explanation by a Secret Service spokesman that the decision involved a broader reassignment of officers to minimize furloughs, is the $2 million that’s estimated to be saved through September really worth the price of shutting Americans out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?
The White House is playing defense over the decision to cancel tours at President Obama’s residence, the latest stumble for Obama in the messaging war with Republicans over the sequester.Meanwhile, ICE decided it might be a good idea to re-arrest a few of the thousands of illegal, excuse me, undocumented aliens, excuse me, immigrants that it released in anticipation of the possible sequester:
White House press secretary Jay Carney fielded a series of pointed questions Wednesday about why the tours had to be canceled. Emboldened House Republicans also challenged Obama on the issue at a private meeting on Capitol Hill...
“Using the tours to send a message seemed like a surefire winner,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communication and advertising. “I think the White House was expecting everyone to go ‘Oh, this is so horrible!’ but this time it didn’t play, perhaps because it was too overt.”
Sensing a problem with the canceling of the tours, Obama backed off, saying in an interview Wednesday that the decision wasn’t made by him and that the White House is looking into setting up tours for school groups.
The Obama administration said Thursday it has rearrested and brought back four of the most dangerous immigrants it released from detention last month in the run-up to the budget sequester cuts.It's sad when the president overestimates the presses willingness to
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton testified to Congress that his agency released 10 “level one” offenders, and has gone out and brought four of them back in. He said the other six are non-violent.
Mr. Morton also acknowledged that overall, 2,228 immigrants were released — far more than the several hundred the agency had initially admitted to.
Of those, 629 had criminal records, though Mr. Morton said they were low-level offenders...
“The optics of this are just terrible. This looks like it might have been an attempt to undermine comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania Republican.