By Phil Piemonte
Sick of the debt ceiling? Tired of fed bashing? Ready for a break?
Well, we’ve dug through the news and picked some stories aimed at
lowering your blood pressure. Read on…
Effective Feds Dept.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration
announced the results of a 20-month investigation that resulted in the
largest strike against La Familia Michoacana drug cartel in the United
States: 1,985 arrests and seizure of $62 million in U.S. currency,
approximately 2,773 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,722 kilograms of
cocaine, 1,005 pounds of heroin, 14,818 pounds of marijuana and $3.8
million in other assets.
- Tucson (Ariz.) Sector Border Patrol agents
recently seized more than 2,400 pounds of marijuana with an estimated
value of $1.2 million in six separate incidents over a 24-hour period.
Do-Good Feds Dept.
- The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, an education
nonprofit that represents 350 colleges and universities in the United
States and Puerto Rico, has bestowed the Outstanding HACU Public Partner
Award on the Veterans Affairs Department in recognition of the department’s efforts to bring Hispanics into its workforce.
- Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will
partner with other organizations to provide children with disabilities
with the opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing Aug. 6 at the Potholes
Reservoir near Moses Lake, Wash.
Strarry-Eyed Feds Dept.
- The American Forces News Service reports from the Naval Air Station Fourth Joint Reserve Base
that the 301st Fighter Wing’s main hangar “was turned into something
akin to a Hollywood movie set” as contestants from last season’s
“American Idol” TV show filmed a public-service announcement for Air
Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service. The 'American Idol'
contestants "are just as interested in what we do in the military as we
are in them,” reported one soldier involved in the activity.
Warm and Fuzzy Dept.
There. We hope that helped.
Posted on Jul 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM3 comments
One begins to wonder how many D-Days can be packed into a single year.
After all the potential “government shutdown” deadlines resulting from a seemingly endless series of short-term continuing resolutions to fund the federal government earlier this year, feds now face the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
As probably even smallest child knows by now, a failure to come to an agreement by that time would force the federal government into default where it can no longer afford to pay its bills.
The federal government would no longer be able to write many of the 70 million checks it sends out every month (or 80 million, depending on who one listens to), and the government’s credit rating probably would be downgraded. And all heck would break loose for Social Security recipients, Medicare beneficiaries and others, to name a few.
What has largely been a procedural vote in years past has turned into an ideological tug-of-war this year. The political parties in Congress apparently have failed to do their job to bring holdouts into line to reach a mutual solution that will survive a presidential veto. And stand-fast budget cutters in the House continue to block any compromise on the issue, perhaps forgetting (or never having known) that the legislative process is all about compromise.
While a lot of the recent topline news on the debt ceiling has centered on what has been going on in Congress and the White House, we have heard less about what is going on in federal agencies.
So we ask: What is the official line at your agency? What’s the talk around the water cooler? And how are you taking all of this?
Posted on Jul 28, 2011 at 7:04 AM28 comments
Consider yourself on notice, all you folks at the Education, Labor and Commerce departments: We’re just going to have to shut you down.
It’s just the best thing for everybody.
At least, that is, according to Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), chairman of House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. He noted this necessity in a recent op-ed in the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger.
He was laying out some of the things that divide two major political parties in terms of the debt ceiling crisis:
“Granted, the Department[s] of Education, Labor, Commerce, and other bureaucracies that have enjoyed double-digit budget increases the past 10 years will have to shut down. But this is where our differences truly materialize. I believe that states like Florida can educate our kids, ensure a safe workplace, promote our products and are closest to the people.”
A quick Web search turns up some ballpark employment numbers for 2008 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (while it still exists): 39,000 positions at the Commerce Department, 16,000 at Labor and 4,000 at Education — or 59,000 positions in all.
That seems likes small potatoes compared, for example, to the 652,000 Defense Department employees listed by BLS. If cost-cutting is the goal, one might suggest that the Florida National Guard take up the defense of Florida as well.
Of course, the likelihood of that happening is probably on a par with the likelihood of closing down the three aforementioned federal agencies.
But the fact that the lawmaker who chairs the federal workforce subcommittee suggests that several agencies simply “will have to shut down” can’t bode well for feds — no matter where they work.
Posted on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:35 AM17 comments
Unless you have been hiding in a cave somewhere, you probably have heard about or seen an ad for the movie “Horrible Bosses,” which was released this week.
Even if you haven’t heard of it, e-mail marketers and bloggers sure have.
We don’t know about you, but our e-mail has been full of ads and press releases touting one or another (probably recently retitled) book or presentation or seminar dealing with the subject of horrible bosses and what to do about them.
The truth is, we are not above exploiting the topic here, either (this is a blog, after all), so we thought it might be a good idea to open up the floor to your best (or worst) horrible boss stories. Right here, right now.
So think back. Have you ever had a boss who yelled at you for not working independently enough one day and then screamed at you the next for sending an e-mail without approval?
Or one who wasn’t happy unless he or she kept you reworking (and reworking) something until the wee hours? And then decided not to use it?
Or how about a boss who called you in the middle of the night from some Central Asian republic (where they only have electricity eight hours a day anyway) to micromanage you in the middle of Sunday dinner? (We might be getting a bit too specific here.)
C’mon. We’re sure you have some horrible boss stories that are way better than these.
Posted on Jul 08, 2011 at 1:54 PM40 comments