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FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013
OF THE HOUSE AND HOME
BY BOB FRANKEN
Have you been following the uproar over the new Yahoo CEO’s policy on telecommuting? To put it in its simplest terms, Marissa Mayer is banning it in most cases. As the immortal Bart Simpson would say, a lot of people are having a cow.
It’s easy to understand why, since working from home is such a help in balancing the overwhelming demands of professional and personal lives. Ms. Mayer’s theory is that the advantage of everyone going to the office is the productive face-to-face contact. Of course, the big disadvantage of everyone going to the office is the time-wasting face-to-face contact.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the members of Congress simply stayed at home and spent little time in the Capitol? Oh wait, that’s what they do now. They pop in for a couple of days a week to name a few post office buildings. The Republicans also will contrive a vote against anything President Barack Obama wants before they head out. Paradoxically, about the only time they show up is during their many extended holiday breaks. That’s so they can take taxpayer-funded trips to the world’s exotic destinations. They prefer to call their days off “District Work Periods,” but that’s only accurate if their district is in Paris or on some beautiful beach in Thailand.
Washington is a big telecommuting town. When you think about it, the president mostly works from home. Right now, he’s making a big push to stifle the impression that the budget sequestration is not that big a deal. If this were the old Johnny Carson show, we’d have his straight man asking “How bad is it?” Each day, some cabinet member pops up with an answer.
Even the White House has gone into Grinch mode, announcing that tours of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be suspended. It just so happens that these traditional walk-and-gawks are usually booked by members of Congress. A recording states that it is “due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration,” but in his Mullings blog, my longtime conservative friend Rich Galen calls it “petulance.” Not to be outdone in the spiteful department, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, from the House Ignoramus Caucus, has come up with an amendment that would deny Obama tax money to fund his golf outings. And here you thought there was no reason to revere our national leaders.
So POTUS made a big deal of telling everyone he used his own money when he took a gaggle of Senate Republicans to dinner. Given the level of maturity these days, he should have taken them to a place that serves kiddie meals.
All of Washington is consumed by foolishness. When it’s not Education Secretary Arne Duncan fabricating teacher layoffs, it is various officials telling horror stories about airports choked by chaos while we all scratch our heads trying to notice a difference. Meanwhile, at the Transportation Security Administration, the people who manage protection -- or should I say mismanage it -- have fallen back on that executive philosophy, “If it ain’t broke, break it.”
TSA geniuses suddenly have decided that it’s OK to bring small knives onto the plane, along with an assortment of other doodads: Wiffle ball bats, hockey and lacrosse sticks, pool cues, ski poles, as well as two golf clubs. Predictably, flight attendants are having one of those aforementioned cows. But it would not be the least bit surprising if all the airlines (what few are remaining) decided they would charge an extra $25 for every knife, bat, lacrosse and hockey stick, pool cue, ski pole and golf club --each of them.
Back to the new Yahoo telecommuting prohibitions, one explanation is that the company is floundering so badly, it is time to try something different. That also would describe our government.
© 2013 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.