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November 12th, 2010
Because Every Meeting Room in D.C. was Booked...

Members of a key panel created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (you may remember it as the 'Stimulus' bill) will take a meeting on Nov. 22 to consider ways to prevent "fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds."
The group is called the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, a sub-committee of the larger Recovery Accountability and Transparency board (sometimes known as the RAT board).

The stimulus bill set up the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, or RIAP, to make recommendations to identify and prevent waste of the bill's $814 billion in stimulus spending...specifically, the panel will discuss various techniques to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as larger issues of transparency and public awareness.

Portions of the meeting will be open to the public, while other parts will be closed.

"The purpose of the November 22, 2010 meeting is to allow the RIAP to have an open dialogue, with input from the public, on issues relating to fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds," says a notice in the Federal Register.


This meeting on fiduciary misappropriations has been booked at the super-luxe Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.

Now, I've not been to the Arizona Ritz-Carlton, but it sure does sound splendid!

It is "in the midst of the picturesque Camelback Corridor, the city's premier shopping, dining and financial district," according the hotel's website.

 - Every guestroom and suite will offer views of the expansive desert terrain including lush desert vegetation, rugged rock formations, and ancient petroglyphs.

 - They can enjoy Afternoon Tea in the "uniquely warm and inviting" Lobby Lounge, or hungry waste-and-abuse hunters can dine in three restaurants from gourmet to "casual elegance, in a relaxed atmosphere and uniquely inviting ambiance of the European-inspired bistro 24." which includes al fresco dining to enjoy the desert vistas and sunny, year-round weather.     

 - There is a 17,000- square –foot spa and fitness center… special features an array of treatments and special services from wellness counseling to beauty and anti-aging therapies.

 - The Jack Nicklaus Signature twenty-seven hole Golf Courses will challenge their skills amidst the scenic desert terrain. The $60 million facility includes an elaborate Clubhouse complex, complete with swimming pools, dining, and fitness center.

So...let's take a look at the situation thus far;

- Gov't panel meeting to discuss government business...
- The government business being discussed is improper use of tax dollars...
- The Federal gov't booked this meeting at THE RITZ-FUCKING-CARLTON HOTEL!!

At least the meeting is in Arizona.  Yes, in the ultimate show of standing by their word to boycott Arizona, the Federal government booked this act of the most Ultimate Dog & Pony show in a state they advocated boycotting.

If you would like to stop by the Ritz and see your tax dollars at work, according to the Federal Register notice, members of the public who want to attend are instructed to send their comments to panel@ratb.gov and write "November 22, 2010 RIAP public comment" in the subject line.



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