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The Soapbox: Dick Clark, GSA, Secret Service

We lose Dick Clark and scandals rock GSA and the Secret Service.

In a week in which separate scandals rocked two very different government agencies, we mourned the loss of a television icon.

Dick Clark dies at 82 

Dick Clark, a ubiquitous face on television, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He was famous for several roles, particularly his annual special ushering in the new year. He produced and hosted "American Bandstand," a television show in the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s that introduced audiences to rock 'n' roll and dance moves.

What's your favorite memory of Dick Clark?

GSA scandal widens

As Congress lines up to criticize the General Services Administration for its lavish conference spending in Las Vegas, the Washington Post reports that legislation has been drafted to gut government spending on conferences.

The Baltimore Sun thought the GSA affair shouldn't have happened, but private companies are equally wasteful:

It does make a great showpiece for congressmen's wrath, but wait a second, don't the congressmen go on the same kind of junkets paid for by lobbyists?

How should we respond to such wasteful spending?

More firings at Secret Service

The Associated Press reported Friday that three more members of the Secret Service will lose their jobs over the Cartegena prostitution scandal.

Meanwhile, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions are trying to connect the twin scandals to President Obama.

Michael Crowley, in Time Magazine, says the outrage over the Secret Service helps to mask deeper problems the GSA incident might reveal.

The Secret Service scandal may be a moral outrage, and perhaps suggests that presidential security needs a review. But, really, there’s not much else to say about it. The GSA scandal, on the other hand, strikes right at the heart of a real debate: Is the federal government bloated and filled with waste? Would the spending cuts Republicans demand really be as painful as Democrats say, or do we have a lot of room to tighten the belt just by trimming the old troika of waste, fraud and abuse? For a lot of Americans, no doubt, the GSA story suggests we do.

Which has bigger implications for the federal government? Which is likely to affect voters in November?

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