In two unrelated developments, Secretary of State John Kerry proved once again that “money is the mother’s milk of politics,” by shelling out largesse that would make a fiscally conservative Democrat like Harry Truman turn over in his grave.
On a trip to Africa, Kerry told foreign nationals working in the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that they would be receiving pay raises of 42 percent and that State Department employees there would also receive a pay hike, according to the Weekly Standard. “…I want you to know it’s long overdue. You deserve it, and I want to note that the biggest applause of the day was for you getting your money…I’m happy for all of you…it’s very important,” he said.
Similarly, assuming the public trough bottomless, the State Department announced it is seeking bids from public relations firms to teach employees how to testify before Congress. Given the recent anemic performances by Foggy Bottom officials before investigating committees and Democratic Party bundlers nominated for ambassadorships, and with more to come with the Benghazi brouhaha, the Obama administration has plenty of egg on its face.
But Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is having none of it, the Washington Post reported. In a blistering letter to Kerry, the chair of the Government Affairs subcommittee asked if hiring private contractors to role play with prospective witnesses is a prudent use of public funds, and if Kerry’s own Bureau of Legislative Affairs might not be the more appropriate venue.
“I question the Department’s decision to award a new contract to manage its communications with Congress, rather than focusing its time and attention on fixing its underlying problems,” she wrote. She further asked for a list of “all quotes, bids, proposals and other responses submitted by contractors,” and wanted to know who at State proposed the training anyhow.
Kerry has never held a job outside of government and is married to the Heinz 57 Varieties heiress, Teresa Heinz. Like his boss, he’s never struggled to make a buck, but has no trouble giving it away from those who have. Like Harry Truman.
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