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In The Loop
Posted at 10:21 AM ET, 04/18/2012

GSA’s birthday gift; Romney’s got hope; and the Secret Service’s blind spot? (read-this roundup)

Here’s what the Loop is reading Wednesday morning:

Jeff Neely of the General Services Administration declines to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing . (Yuri Gripas - Reuters)
Birthday trip — More tales of excess from Jeffrey Neely, the General Services Administration official in charge of planning the lavish — and controversial — conference in Las Vegas. In February (when a damning IG report was pending), he and his wife “took a 17-day government-related trip to Hawaii, Guam and the Mariana Islands,” our colleague Lisa Rein reports.

“’It’s yo birfday. . . . We gonna pawty like iz yo birfday!’ Deborah Neely said in an e-mail to her husband, according to documents.”

Now that’s hope — Who says President Obama has a lock on hope? His rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has optimism in spades, our colleague Karen Tumulty reports. “We’re going to be able to get Hispanic voters,” Romney said at fundraiser Sunday. “We’re going to overcome the issue of immigration.”

Blind spots — Wait, aren’t Secret Service folks supposed to be hyper-aware and vigilant? Maybe not in all matters. Homeland Security Chairman Peter King says that in his review of the incident in Columbia where Secret Service men brought hookers back to their hotel, “some of the men said they did not know that the women were prostitutes,” according to our colleagues David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe.

Hm. Did they just think they were really friendly ladies?

By  |  10:21 AM ET, 04/18/2012

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