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Federal Employees News Digest : July 15, 2013
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---$39 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: email@example.com 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 $39. 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 2013 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. July 15, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 50 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Management Agency---which most people had never heard of---got a black eye following Hurricane Katrina when it hit New Orleans. Whether that shiner was deserved or not, it left a lasting impres- sion. The relatively quick recovery fol- lowing Hurricane Sandy helped revive the agency somewhat. But it nonetheless will be the poster child of inept government for a long, long time. On the other hand, federal operations like DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) are so good, so consistently good, that they are hard to describe. And are seldom seen by the public. What DARPA has done, and is doing today, is truly mind-blowing. The fact that you (and I) generally don't know it says even more about DARPA and similar off-the-radar federal outfits. Small example: If you are reading this on your computer, thank DARPA! Unfortunately for the government, and for long-suffering taxpayers, we don't have many (maybe not any) fed- eral heroes anymore. The Work Projects Administration's arts program and the Civilian Conservation Corps programs of the Depression era are gone. Forever. We hope. But they seemed like a very good idea at the time. My father and four of my five uncles were in the CCC, where they did outdoor work, got three hots and a cot, a little money to spend and some to send home. They got used to institutional life, uniforms and eating in chow lines during the Depression. Served them well when they enlisted during World War II which, by the way, we won. At the moment, federal agencies in the spotlight are not doing so well. The Secret Service was in the hot seat for awhile thanks to some miscues (to put it kindly) in Colombia. But it was bumped off the what-were-you-thinking list by the General Services Administration, the Justice Department, the State Department, the IRS, the NSA, etc. Again and again. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' controversial Fast & Furious gun program contro- versy fizzled because it was complicated and the media lost interest. State's prob- lems (if any) in Libya are also complex. The Justice Department's snooping into reporters' phone calls and notebooks hasn't outraged anybody outside of the media. But the IRS did get our attention--- whether you are liberal, conservative or just a long-suffering taxpayer---over its targeting of certain groups seeking non- profit status for extra scrutiny. Was it right or wrong? Was it a Cincinnati-only program, or did it come from D.C.? Come to think of it, just who should be exempt from paying taxes, anyway? The biggest winner (as in loser) how- ever, has to be the GSA. Few Americans have a clue as to what the General Services Administration does. And its name doesn't help. But many if not most of us have heard about GSA's legendary parties, party favors, what-happens-in-Vegas-stays-in- Vegas activities and, of course, its now infamous YouTube skits. The bad news is that the silly stuff from GSA continues to pop up. The good news, for other federal agencies that get caught doing something stupid, immoral, and maybe illegal, is that the GSA is still out there. Nonetheless, even as we speak, someone at a federal agency, somewhere, is probably making a another "hilarious" (to them) video. And you'll be able to find it online a few days after the next scandal. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
July 8, 2013
July 22, 2013