Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How Much of the State Dept's Budget Will be for a New Embassy China Pattern?

Gosh, some things just get lost in the news.

"Clinton Says US Diplomacy Abroad Creates Jobs at Home, Warns Against Cuts" July 12, 2011ABC News' Kirit Radia reports:

"In a speech in Washington...[Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton argued that American investments and diplomacy abroad pay back dividends by creating jobs in the United States. She also warned that nothing short of America’s global primacy is at risk if those efforts are not properly resourced."

Maybe the State Department should trim their $5.4 Million drinking glasses budget....

and stop buying them from non-experienced but Oh-So-Well-Connected Interior Designers...

who promptly subcontract to foreign companies without allowing American companies to bid...

while committing fraud:

De$igning woman defrauded feds
By GEOFF EARLE, NY Post Correspondent (who broke and persistently followed this story)
Last Updated: 7:07 AM, April 22, 2011

"WASHINGTON -- A politically connected interior designer who won a $5.4 million deal to design fancy crystal glassware for Hillary Rodham Clinton's State Department has pleaded guilty to committing fraud to get another government contract.

"Darlene Mathis-Gardner, the owner of Systems Design Inc., admitted to conspiring to defraud the United States and misrepresenting other contractors as her own employees in order to land a $1.3 million contract to do interior-design work at a Department of Homeland Security building in DC.

"She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"The person overseeing Mathis-Gardner's State Department contract gave more than $4,000 to then-Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

"Whistleblower Doris Southern, who used to handle the contract at State, says she was forced out for resisting it."
More background here.

 I don't know about anyone else, but honestly, whenever my family finances are a concern, the "wine glass budget" is usually one of the first things we jettison.  All those little piddly expenses will eat up a paycheck faster than anything.

UPDATE 8/6 : Heh. Thanks to Miss QR for including this post in Bread Upon The Waters' sidebar item "Quite Rightly's List of Good Places to Start Budget Cutting"


  1. LOL!

    And here I was thinking I might have to cut down my jelly-glass budget.

  2. I was reminded of Nancy Reagan, whose purchase of new White House China was a huge scandal at the time, given the bad economy when Reagan was elected. She insisted the purchase was essential because "there wasn't even enough matching china to set a full State dinner"!

  3. Tina there is so much more to this story than Darlene Mathis Gardner. The crimes that were committed at State were not committed by Darlene Mathis Gardner. Therefore, there will be no follow-up. The State Department was not getting a new china pattern. It was getting a new glassware pattern. But up to and until Hillary Rodham Clinton took over at State we used to do our contracts according to the rules and laws governing government contracting. That was then. This is now. Please no one look behind that curtain. You can be sure it will not be opened. If you give me a way to contact you off the blog, I can give you an ear full.

  4. Anonymous, I wish I were an investigator, but I am not. I can't help with something like this. Ordinary people like you and me can only pray (and prayer is such a powerful thing), and vote.

    I would like to encourage you to remember that we will have a new administration in a very short time, and things will, hopefully improve again. Thank you for the good job you do - each of us can do our own job well even when the way we are told to do it isn't best.

    I want you to know that I am grateful to have good people like you that take care of the day to day work of government, and we do not expect you to be responsible for the actions of those above.

    Thank you for caring about our country! God bless you and keep your job in good stead!



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