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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Search Of . . . The Perfect Glass: Our Misguided Priorities

The State Department has informed us that they won't be answering any more questions about Benghazi.  Apparently, they've told us all we need to know, and after all, they're REALLY busy . . .
The U.S. Department of State once again has resumed its search for providers of high-end crystal stemware and other tabletop glassware, only this time the estimated cost has leaped back up a couple of million.

The estimated price tag previously was $5.4 million, but had dipped to $3.5 million at the time of the initial report. That estimate has jumped to $5 million--though State assures taxpayers that it will not spend more than $2 million on the glasses in any given year over the five year life of the contract.
Now, before you get all wee wee'd up over a perceived lack of justifiable priorities, the fine people at the State Department go on to explain . . .
Not just any crystal pieces, according to the solicitation, but only those “of the quality that is sold in high end retail department stores for fine dining, such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Lux Bond & Green, Borsheims, Michael C. Fina, etc."
The United States international relations, national interest and success are, in part, built upon the ability of our ambassadors to entertain host country nationals in our embassies and residences abroad. In this regard, furniture, art and tableware that are provided by the Department of State to our embassies and residencies abroad represent U.S. cultural and manufacturing excellence to our host country guests.
Well, that certainly clears things up, doesn't it!?

. . .  Still (call me silly), I wonder if $5 million might be better spent on upgrading embassy and consulate security?  Because I just don't see how goblets from Bloomingdales would have prevented (or survived) that night in Benghazi.

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