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Senate votes to privatize its restaurants

The Senate's government run restaurants were so badly managed that they lost millions of dollars in the past few years, as much as $2 million so far this year alone, and their food was so horrible that senators routinely dined at the privately run House restaurants.

As a result, upon the recommendation of Senator Dianne Feinstein, last week the Senate finally voted, at night mind you, to privatize its restaurants.

The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires.

The House is expected to agree -- its food service operation has been in private hands since the 1980s -- and President Bush's signature on the bill would officially end a seven-month Democratic feud and more than four decades of taxpayer bailouts.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Rules and Administrations Committee, which oversees the operation of the Senate, said she had no choice.

"It's cratering," she said of the restaurant system. "Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses."

"It's so bad that the Senate hasn't yet figured out that House 'Taco Salad Wednesday' trumps any type of entree they have to offer," said Ron Bonjean, a former press secretary to both the House speaker and the Senate Republican leader.

"Those who think the House and Senate don't talk enough clearly haven't been in the Longworth cafeteria on the House side at lunchtime recently. Senate staffers have been flocking there for better food, more options, and you get some exercise to boot," said Brian Walsh, spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.),who frequently dines on the other side of the Capitol.

I know this is just food service, nothing earth shakingly important, but do I really have to point out the obvious here? If the US government can't even run a food service organization without driving it into the ground, how in the hell is it going to run our entire health care system that comprises approximately 15% of our nation's GDP and has much more at stake than a badly done New York Strip?

Well????


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Comments (14)

So DiFi and Peeeloshi's Sa... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

So DiFi and Peeeloshi's San Francisco treat of snoot food was a flop. The democrats probably demanded Brie cheese on their hamburgers as well as their Phillie Steak. Not enough calls for chitlins. LMAO

Short answer: They can't.</... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Short answer: They can't.

Slightly longer answer: When has Fedco ever run an operation without totally screwing it up by under performing and suffering cost over runs? Never.

That's hilarious - they can... (Below threshold)

That's hilarious - they can't even run a friggin' restaurant, and they think they're capable of running a country?

You know - come to think of it, this must be a joke. It's a joke, right? I mean - they've GOT to be able to find a decent manager, and have him run it - right?

If this isn't a joke, then we really ought to reconsider who we have trying to run the country - and reconsider letting them have ANY access to the budgetary process.

What was the price of arugu... (Below threshold)

What was the price of arugula in the Senate cafeteria?

Wanna hear an even funnier ... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

Wanna hear an even funnier one? A coupla years back the Feds got hold of a bordello somewhere out Nevada way. They got hold of it after a tax proceeding of some kind and tried to run it themselves.

They lost money, and eventually sold it to a private owner.

Think about that.

The Federal Government Lost. Money. Running. A. Whorehouse.

Been to DC lobbying. Been ... (Below threshold)
epqdor:

Been to DC lobbying. Been to the cafeterias. They both suck, but the House side was a shade better. The employees on the Senate side were obviously government workers. THe House side did have a different atmosphere.

Sorry Wolfwalker but they r... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Sorry Wolfwalker but they ran out of hookers and tried to run it by hand. There's more to the joke but I would get banned for posting it.

Just slap a McDs in there o... (Below threshold)
914:

Just slap a McDs in there or let them bring their own lunchbags the lousy crumbs.

Sure this failed, and FEMA ... (Below threshold)

Sure this failed, and FEMA failed in New Orleans, the welfare and social security systems have failed but I think they will get health care fixed.

Government: "Look, I kno... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Government: "Look, I know we have a bad track record with waste in numerous programs; welfare, FEMA, infrastructure, military, medicare, etc. and poor returns on Social Security, and too much poork in our bills, but the last time we voted ourselves a raise the money was direct deposited to our bank accounts with the very next paycheck without a hitch. That proves we're capable. I know, I know, you're thinking that the statement, "Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be," should extend to other programs. It will when we take over health care and the money starts rolling in from oil profits. Trust us.

Hmmmm...The Dems m... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Hmmmm...

The Dems must not have issued any talking points about this. None of our ususal lefty trolls have had anything to say here so far.

Here is my letter to Schume... (Below threshold)
cathymv:

Here is my letter to Schumer, Clinton (My senators) and Feinstein:

Dear Senator ----------,

I was reading about the issue of the restaurants that the Senators and Congress use and the blatant misuse of funds thru the years. I had no idea that my tax money subsidized your meals. Silly me I thought that since all our politicians make a decent salary that they would be able to pay for their meals out of their own pockets. I was surprised to find out this assumption is false.

Therefore, I have been robbed. I wish to be reimbursed. Here are my approximate calculations. I have to say, I have prorated everything and feel that I have been extremely generous in my under/over meal costs and therefore, because of current economic issues, I will only count lunch.

For Congress if applicable:
525 congress @ 5.00 per lunch x approx 200 days work x my 28 years paying taxes
525 x 5.00 = 2,625 x 200 = 525,000 x 28 = 14,700,000

102 senators x 5.00 = 510 x 200 = 102,000 x 28 = 2,856,000

Congress: if applicable 14,700,000
Senate: 2,856,000
approx total $17,556.000.

Now I, as one person, should be compensated:

1 x 5.00 = 5.00 x 200 = 1,000 x 28 = 28,000

I would like to be compensated for $28,000. This number represents the lowball cost of what I have spent in lunch for the past 28 years. Since the politicians have done such a bad job at accounting for the money for their restaurants, this money should be refunded to me as soon as possible. I do not feel I should have to pay any money in taxes to supplement your meals if you can not account for thoes monies. I refuse to pay anything towards your meals when money has been stolen.

All those who think that if... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

All those who think that if the food had been better tasting we wouldn't have heard a peep out them say, "Aye!".

The government also runs th... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The government also runs the cafeteria's in the government school systems.

Why is government run food service fine for our children but not for our rulers ? Two America indeed!




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