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Federal Employees News Digest : Dec. 10, 2012
INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1 Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$99 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2012 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. December 10, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 22 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Last Tuesday, I got to the Starbucks even earlier than usual. No celebrities at that time, but there was the usual unusual coffee group. It varies in size between two and eight people. There is usually one woman, sometimes two. They look like retirees anywhere, in any coffee shop. But these people are different. While standing in line one morning, I heard one man talking about meet- ings he had had with tribal leaders in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The others listened carefully. While he was talking about rockets and Russian Hind heli- copters, one of the women interjected a phrase in what sounded something like Arabic. Several of the people laughed. Another member of the group talked about a surprise he got when he first flew on Aeroflot, the notorious Soviet airline. One of the women talked about her experiences getting around the Middle East. One member of the coffee group was talking about his recent trip to Guantanamo. My ears perked up because I was there on a press visit a couple of years back. It was clear, how- ever, that he had spent a lot more time there doing some kind of research. Hmmm. They could have been making it up, of course. It could be that they are a troop of actors---or just bored people--- who assemble every day in hopes of impressing me, and people like me, who eavesdrop on their conversations. Or not. Washington is different. I used to commute by bus (the N 2, if you know the line), which took me down Massachusetts Avenue to Dupont Circle. The bus was never crowded, and several times I rode with a former director of the CIA. On one such ride, the bus passed a distinguished gentleman walking a dog. The man was wearing what my kids called "whale pants." That is, expensive, high-end blue cord pants with green whales on them. Not everybody could--- or should---wear pants like that. But he could and did. This man, too, was a former CIA director. It's not every day that you see two at the same time. One on the bus, and one from the bus. Interesting neighborhood. Interesting bus line. Interesting town. So what's the point? To the extent that there is one, it's this: Washington, D.C., is very much like any other big city or world capital. Lots of people (and traffic, don't get me started!), most of whom come from somewhere else. But it is what brings them here that sets them apart (for better or worse). And many of them stay here after they retire, because this where they raised their kids, made their friends, put down roots. After years of pining for God's country (which is wherever they came from) they realize they can't go home again. How many people in your average American coffee shop (even an upscale Starbucks) can talk, first hand, about being there for coups in Chile or Iran? Or tell jokes in Pashto? Or talk about lost luggage on an Aeroflot trip? Different, yes. Weird, maybe. But pretty neat all the same. Gotta run. I'm pretty sure Wolfe Blitzer just bumped my car while he was parking. I'm sure he's got good insur- ance. But you never know.
Dec. 3, 2012
Dec. 17, 2012