Is there really no end to the stupidity that comes out of Washington? It really makes me wonder. There must be something wrong in Washington D.C. \u2014 something in the air or water. Back in the day, municipal planners for the national capital city wanted to purchase a huge chunk of land from George Washington in order to build a seat of government \u2014 good land. Washington decided it would be inappropriate for him to profit from such a sale. The perception of wrongdoing would be greater than the reality of anything that might come out of such a deal. Even if there was nothing inherently wrong with cutting a deal for the property, Washington believed the suspicion of wrongdoing would not be a good thing for public officials. This, I believe, may well have been the last substantial act of integrity to come out of what would become Washington, D.C. Purchase of the swampy, bottom land that became the capital was determined by the Compromise of 1790, in which James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson cut a deal in which the new federal government agreed to pay off Virginia and Maryland\u2019s Revolutionary War debts in return for a chunk of land on which to build a new federal capital. It was not the healthiest parcel of property. The air was dank and the water was fetid. It was ... a swamp. Today, they still refer to the city as Swampy Bottom, and talk about the capitol building as being located on The Hill. So ... it\u2019s my suggestion that this bad atmosphere affects the minds as well as the general health and well-being of people who work and live there. Case in point ... Recently members of the General Services Administration spent time in Las Vegas at a professional conference. Vegas. A professional conference. Yessir. The GSA is a department within the U.S. government that is responsible for making sure money is spent wisely, and government resources are used effectively, and efficiently. They are kind of the purchasing, IT and human resources department of the\u00a0 U.S. government. In its own mission statement, the GSA states: Our Mission \u201cThe GSA mission is to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions, and by so doing, foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.\u201d In this statement, read the phrase \u201cour customers\u201d as \u201cthe government.\u201d On its website the GSA proudly announces a list of its core values as an organization: GSA VALUES n Integrity n Accountability and transparency in operations n Effective leadership n Responsible decision-making And then ... The GSA leadership heads for Vegas for a conference that ends up costing the American taxpayer $820,000. (Allow me to write that out in plain English \u2014 eight-hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Well more than three-quarter million dollars.) Three-hundred of the GSA\u2019s finest spent a \u201ctraining session\u201d near Sin City \u2014 a session that included a $3,200 mind reader, $100 per person dinners, expensive and expansive giveaways, a $31,000 networking reception, a cheese tasting gathering to the tune of $6,000, $5,600 for individual in-room parties, almost $4,000 for commemorative T-shirts, $7,000 for a sushi reception, and more ... and more ... and more. So, the question begs to be asked: \u201cAre these people out of their %*&#ing minds?????\u201d Well, I blame it one the rancid, stupefying atmosphere that is Washington. Bad air. Bad water. So, here\u2019s the deal. Next time someone in Washington (or Lansing for that matter) needs to hold a professional gathering, I want to be in on the planning (the planning that cost taxpayers $136,000!!!). I can guarantee to do it cheaper, quicker, more effectively, and at much greater savings to the taxpayers (of which I am one). Give me $200 for $300 for my time and trouble. I can get 300 people needing to network and confer into the Evart Middle School auditorium, with catered lunch and dinner for $5,000 ... tops. That\u2019s it. And at the end of the day \u2014 THEY CAN GO HOME. No sushi. No shrimp. No tuxedos. No SWAG gift packages. If they really want a commemorative T-shirt, I can hook them up with folks in Evart who can do the job. As for the rest of it ... To all elected and non-elected officials in Washington, D.C. or Lansing \u2014 Democrats and Republicans alike. News flash!!! You are working for me ... for us. Do your job. Do it to the best of your ability. AND GO HOME. I can\u2019t afford to take a trip to Vegas. You can\u2019t afford to either. It\u2019s my @*&%ing money.