July 7, 2013

Redifining 'Work'

Yesterday I wrote about our hard-working vacationing president.  Now, I will be the first to admit that even Blowie, I am certain, does what so many of us do, so far as constantly being 'on' - phone on, email on, thoughts on work.  The difference is, we do it as we go about our daily lives, trying to make a buck so our kids have it better than we did, so we can retire while we are still young enough to enjoy life, etc.

If I take the day or afternoon off, turn off my phone, or ignore email, I might tick off my peers or boss.  An employee or customer might be inconvenienced.  My company might lose some money.

When our country's leaders tune out from work, there could be devastating effects.  Fortunately for us, with this administration in office, we are probably better off when they aren't 'working', and ignoring their abysmal work ethic beats the stress inducing alternative of revealing their lies.

Wednesday, as Egypt's government was ousted in a military coup, our Secretary of State, John Kerry, was tooling around on his yacht.  You know the one, the Isabel, famous because then-Massatwoshits State Senator Kerry had avoided paying MA taxes on it by docking it in Rhode Island.

Later in the day he was photographed in a kayak.  A full day of water sports, it seems.

When asked about Kerry's absence from the office during a Very Important foreign affairs sort of event, State responded as you would expect:
Kerry spokesperson Jen Psaki denied the report.
“Any report or tweet that he was on a boat is completely inaccurate,” she said, clearly trying to quell any impression that the nation’s top diplomat was not on the job.
“Since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 am, Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt,” Psaki said in a statement.
Kerry was absent from a White House photo showing President Obama meeting with members of his national security team to discuss the situation in Egypt, but Psaki said he had dialed in on a secure phone line for that meeting.
“He participated in the White House meeting with the President by secure phone and was and is in non-stop contact with foreign leaders, and his senior team in Washington and Cairo.”
Earlier a State Department spokesperson said she could not comment on Kerry’s whereabouts on Wednesday, but said Kerry is kept in the loop on all the latest developments.
“The secretary’s department is in touch with officials regarding the developments in Egypt at all levels at all times,” State Department Press Secretary Beth Gosselin said in a statement.
Reading just a little between the lines, it sounds like Beth Gosselin knew exactly where Kerry was and used ambiguous language to deflect, while poor Jen Psaki, either didn't know, or was trotted out as the scapegoat, since the entire course of questioning was based on a photograph that was hard to deny.

So, caught red-handed, State eventually admitted that Kerry was in Nantucket, but claimed that he was working constantly and released this statement:
“While he was briefly on his boat on Wednesday, Secretary Kerry worked around the clock all day including participating in the president’s meeting with his national security council,” she said.
A Kerry aide who was not authorized to speak publicly said the denial on Wednesday was the result of “confusion,” saying Kerry had apparently taken his grandson out for an hour-long sail.
Ooooh, they played the grandson card.  How dare we hard-hearted cynics deny that poor little baby his time with gramps on the boat, during a holiday weekend?  Egyptian coup notwithstanding.

Kerry was photographed on the boat, again, on Friday. 

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