For John, BLUF: Management by walking around.
Last week, on City Life, Producer John McDonough was all over the cost of the care and feeding of our US Senators and House Representatives. He is correct in noting it is very expensive. They have their salaries, health benefits and retirement contributions. They have their own cafeteria, their own gym, their own post office, their own barber shop, and on and on. They have a special parking lot at Reagan Airport. They go on junkets, flying here and there. They have staffs, both in DC and at home. They cost a lot of money.
That said, someone I know down in Connecticut, who has connections in the Kingdom of Jordan, or at least an interest, sent along this article from The Jordan Times.♠ It helps explain the value of Congressional Travel, known, at least by those in Embassies and on US military bases being visited overseas, as Congressional Delegations.♥ In this case, Senators John McCain and Robert Menendez and Congresswoman Kay Granger travelled to Jordan to learn about things first hand, rather than listening to people from the US Department of State testify at some hearing on Capitol Hill. They are avoiding the filter of the Department of State's "official Administration" position.♦ When you talk with Jordan's King Abdullah, in English, which he does very well,♣ you get what the King of Jordan wants you to know, not what SecState John Kerry thinks you should know.
I happen to think that getting those 535 CongressCritters a chance to hear the word unfiltered is a good thing, even if they have to fly to Jordan to hear it.
Regards — Cliff
♠ The Jordan Times is an English daily newspaper in Amman, Jordan.
♥ Or CODEL.
♦ Remember how the "official" position, articulated by Ambassador Susan Rice, was that the attack on our CIA facility (with a State Department cover) was a spontaneous mob action? Right.
♣ King Abdullah, II, attended Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA.