Jul 18, 2014

This Is Extraordinary

     Let's review what has happened
  • On Wednesday there was a single report on a West Palm Beach, FL television station about long lines of people waiting in the hot sun to get into the local Social Security field office. 
  • Staff at the West Palm Beach Social Security field office forced the reporter and camera operator off the property, making things look even worse. 
  • The reporter tried to get a response from Social Security's public information office in Atlanta. That office promised a response by 5:00 Wednesday but couldn't manage to get back to the reporter by then. That didn't help. 
  • The television station reported that on the next day, Thursday, President Obama met at the White House with Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin and the local member of the House of Representatives to discuss the West Palm Beach problem. 
  • Note that the President had at least a couple of other things on his plate yesterday -- almost 300 people killed when a commercial airliner was shot down over rebel controlled territory in Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza. 
  • Republican Senator John McCain criticized the President for sticking to his regular schedule yesterday despite the international problems yet the President still squeezed in a meeting about a local television report of people waiting in line outside one Social Security field office.
  • The local member of Congress came out of the meeting blaming sequestration brought on by Republicans for the service problem. 
  • Now the television station is reporting that the West Palm Beach Social Security field office has been closed due to unspecified "facilities problems." 
      For all I know, there is some major "facility" problem requiring the closure of the West Palm Beach office but it sure looks like the office was shut down to prevent television cameras recording the lines snaking out the door. The problem is that this isn't the only Social Security field office with a line out the door. You can't shut down all field offices where there are lines going out the door. You certainly won't make people in West Palm Beach happy by shutting down their Social Security field office.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Note that the President had at least a couple of other things on his plate yesterday"

I don't think the refugee/illegal immigrant problem is being swept under the rug either. Despite lack of current coverage.

Anonymous said...

"Note that the President had at least a couple of other things on his plate yesterday"

I don't think the refugee/illegal immigrant problem is being swept under the rug either. Despite lack of current coverage.

Anonymous said...

Where does the article state that they met with the President? I read that the Rep Frankel met with Ms. Colvin at the White House but it makes no mention that Mr. Obama was present.

Anonymous said...

I agree that just because the meeting was held at the White House does not mean that POTUS was present.

If this isn't just some giant and honest coincidence, then it looks like this situation has turned into a real mess. Something like this couldn't have happened a few decades ago, even in the tightest of budget times. Managers managed, leaders led, and a vast majority of workers understood their jobs and actually did them. Problems were addressed and fixed. All that has changed. It's now a free for all. Nobody seems to be in charge of anything, and rarely is the leadership (esp. SES) held accountable. I'm so glad to be gone from there.

Anonymous said...

Ask AFGE why their members refused to work in that office.

Anonymous said...

RE 5:06

Apparently those who know aren't talking, and those who are talking don't know. The agency is obviously broken from the top down and this newest item certainly doesn't bode well for Ms. Colvin. President Obama should reconsider this nomination.

Anonymous said...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/complete/2014-07-17

Not seeing a meting anywhere on record that Colvin could have attended. Lots of speculation, very few facts making it highly unlikely that anyone higher than an OMB minion would have met with Colvin at such short notice. The President's schedule just doesn't work that way.

Anonymous said...

Obama wasn't at the White House because he was doing his usual fundraising. He barely had time to address the actual events of the day.