GSA Redux

A federal weather agency is following in the footsteps of the General Services Administration, as it seeks a magician to perform at an upcoming conference.

The [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] wants a motivational speaker to create "a unique model of translating magic and [principles] of the psychology of magic, magic tools, techniques, and experiences into a method of teaching leadership," says the ad, which appeared Tuesday.

NOAA isn’t flying its staff to a pricey Las Vegas hotel, and it says it needs a magician for training purposes, not entertainment. Still, spending taxpayers’ money on prestidigitation risks conjuring up comparisons with the General Services Administration’s infamous Vegas adventure.

Several GSA employees, including its director, have resigned since the agency shelled out more than $800,000 for a lavish Las Vegas conference featuring a magician and mind reader.