Taxpayers Pay $1.9 Million To Teach Senate Staff To Sleep, Spell, Listen

Tyler Durden's picture


Just when one thought the government's boondoggles couldn't get any worse, along comes this...

Sometimes working in the Senate is stressful and means staying up all night to get your projects done.

Fortunately, overworked and under-slept staffers can take one of dozens of lifestyle coaching classes offered by the Senate to ensure they’re okay.

The Senate Office of Education and Training offers Senate employees a wide variety of free courses on everything from the “Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep” to “Pressure Point Therapy Workshop,” in which students are taught "how to locate and relieve active pressure." For its efforts, the office was provided $1.9 million in 2013 according to information provided by the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.

While the office is little known, even within the Senate, it made national headlines briefly in 2012 over a typo on the cover its course catalog.

After misspelling the word "training" by leaving out the first “N,” one staffer remarked, "Ooh! They’ve got an editing and proofreading class!"

According to its website, the Office "provides a variety of ways for you [a Senate staffer] to enhance your professional development and increase your performance and technical skills." These include such offerings as, "Assert Yourself: Speak Up with Tact Rather than Suffer in Silence," which will teach Senate employees the recognize the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive behavior “without being a steamroller or a pushover.”

Other classes for the more reserved include, "Small Talk: Breaking the Ice in Social Situations" and "That’s Not What I Meant!," a one hour class that "explore[s] the difference between your intention and the impact of your words and behavior on the other person." It teaches the important lesson that “[c]ommunication is difficult and complex."

In "Be Curious, Not Furious" students are taught how to examine a difficult work relationship, discuss the difference between labeling people and understanding them, and discuss five ways for understanding challenging behavior.

Should that fail to do the trick, the class on "Forgiveness," defines the concept and explains the "[c]onsequences of holding a grudge."

Some classes are there for Senate staff who slept through elementary, middle and high school such as “Making Subjects and Verbs Agree."

Source: Wastebook 2013

* * *

And now, peasants, pay your taxes.

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Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:06 | 4255430 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Fuuuuck me.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:08 | 4255437 VD
VD's picture

more like outfuckingrageous!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:32 | 4255496 Arius
Arius's picture

i beg to disagree .... think of it this way .... where we would be should they not had taken these courses?  much worse, so lets be thankful someone thought of stuffing the taxpayers .... whats wrong with that anyway

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:33 | 4255505 zaphod
zaphod's picture

This is the product of 100 years of free money. The government (and people) will have absolutely no idea how to live when the free money ends.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:43 | 4255525 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Webinars will surely save us all!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:18 | 4255601 Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was the greatest inventor of all time.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:09 | 4255441 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture




No surprizzzzzzze.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:32 | 4255502 ZH Snob
ZH Snob's picture

didn't they go over this in elementary school?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:37 | 4255509 chubbar
chubbar's picture

Several new courses being considered:

 1). How to handle a fork without piercing your cheeks.

2). How to properly put on your underwear.

3). How to wipe your ass without leaving skidmarks.

Hell, there are probably dozens more topics these fuckheads need help with. Pour on the millions in life lessons!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:49 | 4255538 CPL
CPL's picture

Other courses available:

"Cold water beverage preperation: Remedial studies in faucets"

"Light switches:  On and Off"

"Breathing and chewing gum; a workplace hazard."

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:18 | 4256201 prains
prains's picture

"How To Wipe Your Ass and Not Get Shit in Your Hair": 9 Steps to Proper Handwashing


Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:06 | 4255435 666
666's picture

Only in America...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:59 | 4255569 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

I believe that there should now be made a distinction between "US" and "America."

The US, or United States, is the government of criminals and the nation (DC) that they form and represent. It, they, are a criminal enterprise operating outside the bounds of the legal strictures that created it--the Constitution.

"America" on the other hand is the American people and the country of America that they form. America is the country and people that the US is oppressing, in addition to numerous others around the world.


I am American not US.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:23 | 4256207 prains
prains's picture

sorry but i speak for the rest of the world....and that's not gonna'll need to try a whole fucking lot harder than that

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:53 | 4256341 Seahorse
Seahorse's picture

Sadly, not 'only in America...'

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:07 | 4255439 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Is there a section on dirt naps?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:16 | 4255471 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Did wonders for Sheila Lee Jackson.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:10 | 4255448 logicalman
logicalman's picture

I think they all flunked the listening course.

They all aced the sleeping course.

Spelling - some just about passed.



Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:06 | 4255819 Frozen
Frozen's picture

This is a peace on staffer traiing.  I can only imagine what the cost per session LifeCare bills out.  I will hereby offer a competitive alternative for any moderately attractive female staffer to a good night's sleep, guranteed, and at no cost to the taxpayer.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:00 | 4256353 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Seven Billion dollars of Military equipment that will be destroyed (rather than even given away to Allies or even the Afghan Defence Forces!)

Wonder just how much of that will appear on the Black Market, after "Contractors" decide that falsification of "destruction documents" are very easy money.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:10 | 4255454 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Another thought strikes...

Is the company providing the course run by the spouse of a Congress Critter or Senator?

Inquiring minds......

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:13 | 4255458 user2011
user2011's picture

A bunch of parasites.   The worst of American can be found in those offices.   I see people who earn minimal wages putting out sweats and tears, and worrying about their daily livelihood.   And these bunch of crooks just keep milking the tax payers and screwing tax payers.   Ridiculous !

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:12 | 4255459 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The Senate Office of Education and Traiing.

Yes...we're in the very best of hands.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:45 | 4255526 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

The editor must have needed a good night's sleep.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:21 | 4255475 robochess
robochess's picture

The revoltion will not be tellivised.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:25 | 4255479 Professor Fate
Professor Fate's picture

OK!  This is the "101 Section"  Where are the Masters courses.  Clearly, most in Congress have a Masters in "That's Not what I Meant".  My bet is Obama has been auditing these courses as well.  Especially the "That's Not What i Said" course.

Fate the Magnificent
"Push the Button, Max" 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:25 | 4255486 Fake_nation
Fake_nation's picture

What we have here is a *marketing* problem. If institutions could just learn to harness the power of social media to sell these programs to the public, all this right-wing ignorance of their essential role in society would disappear.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:30 | 4255493 highwaytoserfdom
highwaytoserfdom's picture

Killed audit FED and filibuster.  The crime is no term limits.  It is a cesspool of corruption.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:33 | 4255499 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Global Currency Reset:


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:45 | 4256157 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

It would not surprise me if this is what the TPP is about.
Otherwise why so secret?
Something wicked this way comes on many fronts.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:37 | 4255508 XRAYD
XRAYD's picture

It would be a good investment IF ALL the Senators and Congressman, AND the President were forced to take the course.

And be forced to resign if they failed the exam!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:45 | 4255529 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

Any classes offered on art of Happy Endings?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:47 | 4255530 beavertails
beavertails's picture

That price tag is cheap beyond belief.  Taxpayers would benefit from an expanded budget to include Politicians.

I suggest they give the course to POTUS to see if he can graduate and work down to the rats in congress from there.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:52 | 4255540 cheetahbaby
cheetahbaby's picture

Some years ago the gooberment offered a course entitled "Consideration of Others" (COO). All of the smart asses in the back row "coo-ed" like pigeons. The course instructors, all gooberment contractors, made 80.00 per hour teachin' this kind of shit. Troof....


Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:54 | 4255555 Arbysauce
Arbysauce's picture

I'll make em a deal...they pretend to be productive and I'll pretend to pay my taxes

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:58 | 4255562 Surging Chaos
Surging Chaos's picture

Yes, this is wasteful. Yes, this is ridiculous.

But we need to look at the big picture here. $1.9 million per year is peanuts compared to other things .gov spends money on (SS/Medicare anyone? or the MIC?). These kinds of articles that highlight a really silly program are nothing more than instruments meant to divide and conquer the masses so they become completely oblivious to the real budget-busters. "Who cares if we're spending hundreds of billions on social programs and defense spending? Just look at THIS stupid study that the government is spending money on. That's OUR tax dollars going to waste!!!!"

Remember, the banksters are also getting $85 billion per month. Which will likely become at least $100+ billion a month in 2014 when Mr. Yellen takes over.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:03 | 4255581 Being Free
Being Free's picture

Got a revolution got to revolution!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:27 | 4255619 Dull Care
Dull Care's picture

Just another great thing government has accomplished for mankind. We now know there are benefits to sleep. Thanks .gov!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:30 | 4255633 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

The new normal.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:26 | 4255732 Exponere Mendaces
Exponere Mendaces's picture

"Welecome to the Healthmaster Inferno powered by Joormi Technologies"

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:57 | 4255940 bh2
bh2's picture

No doubt they also earn credits toward a degree in public administration.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:12 | 4255945 Trucker Glock
Trucker Glock's picture

First and most important training is "How to Accept a Bribe on Behalf of Your Senator Without Getting Caught."

Next course, "A Pat On The Ass For A Job Well Done Is A Good Thing"

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:37 | 4256043 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

the cute blond in the pic is tired from being sexually harassed by her ultra conservative octagenarian senator

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:35 | 4256722 d edwards
d edwards's picture

Perhaps she's exhausted from being groped by J0e Biden?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:21 | 4256316 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

This is the kind of stuff wellness companies owned by insurance companies do, so, well, maybe they are scrapig all this profile data for sale to someone along the line here:)  Sure we pay for it but the ones running the programs scraping data are the ones who profit:)

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:12 | 4256634 Pee Wee
Pee Wee's picture

Surely there is a job behind every mistake.  Failure is celebrated and unemployment recalibrated.

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