October 29, 2008 11:42AM

For a Good Time Call the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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Back in September, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service became a punchline after issuing 3.5 million duck stamps with the wrong phone number. But it wasn’t just any ordinary wrong number. Unassuming callers who were “lucky” enough to dial it were invited to “talk only to the girls that turn you on” for $1.99 a minute.

It’s a safe bet that were this to have happened in the private sector, someone would have been reprimanded or fired. Not so in the public sector. In fact, the Washington Post’s Al Kamen tells us this morning that an upcoming U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trip “will send 28, that’s twenty‐​eight, senior officials to Mexico for a week of post‐​election R and R. It includes a tour of the fabulous Mayan ruins in Palenque in the Lacandon rain forest.”

Kamen says, “It’s unclear what benefit will be derived by the wildlife agency’s director, Dale Hall, who’s retiring Jan. 3, and Assistant Interior Secretary Lyle Laverty, who should be moving on after Jan. 20. The group includes most of the agency’s regional directors and various assistant directors.”

The folks out there working hard today, whose taxes pay for incompetent, joy‐​riding career bureaucrats like Dale Hall, should bear stories like this in mind the next time some DC politician speaks of the federal budget being “tight.”