So how about sending a rocker whose hits include “Party Hard” and “Party Til You Puke” to get warring Sunnis and Shiites to start dancing in the streets instead of fighting?
“We had a Bahraini entity approach the embassy about co-sponsoring a visit by this guy, who I take is pretty popular there in Bahrain,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday, our colleague Anne Gearan reports.
Maybe someone at first thought the lyrics to “Party Til You Puke” — “You can never kill us. We choke, We gun, We kill, We stab, We rob, We steal” — would have a calming effect?
In any event, the co-sponsorship request was “initially approved” — what? — Nuland said, “and then when more senior management at the embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of U.S. government funds.”
Seemed someone “looked at the body of his work,” Nuland explained, and the conclusion was “we didn’t need to be part of his invitation.”
Bottom line: “He is not going to Bahrain on the U.S. government’s dime,” she said.
“The body of his work?” His oeuvre?
She’s not in Bahrain either
Odd movement at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Sometime around late summer, General Counsel Lisa Gomer was suddenly moved out of the counsel’s office and given some sort of “special” assignment, we heard.
All the lawyers on her team were told they could no longer talk to her about her work. This was especially problematic because she had planned a big meeting in Washington of agency lawyers, including folks stationed abroad, for October, and because of the situation, it had to be canceled.
Sources said this was a costly decision because of cancelation fees for reservations, air flights and such. The agency says not really, noting that the booked airline tickets were changeable without cost and the conference venue simply moved the booking to a new conference date in February.
Gomer, a Harvard Law School classmate of President Obama’s, is a veteran of international development, having worked for the United Nations and been a consultant to the the United Nations Development Program.
No one at USAID appears to know what’s going on. There were even suspicions that her reassignment was being kept under wraps prior to the election. (Of course everyone suspected everything was kept under wraps until after the election. Besides, weeks after the election, it’s still under wraps.)
The agency is sticking with the usual “not at liberty to discuss,” but it appears that Gomer is still in the building though not in or running the general counsel’s office. Deputy General Counsel Susan Pascocello has moved up to acting general counsel for now.