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Federal Employees News Digest : July 22, 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: 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 $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 22, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 1 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com be. Even if you work for the government. Unless, of course, you only have a five-figure salary. Or worse yet, a four-figure salary, which many people have no choice but to get by on. While we don't yet know much about Snowden (did he really date a pole dancer?), the mantra of the news media is to "follow the money." That advice helped to reveal the truth during The Washington Post's Watergate period. Deep Throat told investi- gative reporter Bob Woodward to follow the money, which he did more or less. Certainly better than most other reporters before or since. But now, while we lip-synch the follow- the-money cliché, we don't do it very much, if at all. Following the money isn't easy--- unless you are the IRS, CIA or NSA. Even then it can be tough if somebody deals in cash and eschews cards and computers. Most reporters were not math majors. Few are economists and most of us have never taken a statistics course. We ask other people for answers. I personally lost interest in math after I learned how to figure a base- ball player's batting average. But I do wonder, a lot, when somebody goes on a crusade, blows the whistle or decides to take two years off to study Spanish in Mexico, or read English at Oxford or just kick back and think. I think about the job you no longer have and the income that ceases when you chuck your work. Take the aforementioned whistleblower du jour, Ed Snowden. Briefly a federal employee, briefly a government contractor. Now, as of this writing, he is a resident of the purgatory section of the Moscow air- port while awaiting asylum in Venezuela, Iceland, Bolivia or wherever he's applied. Even the Russians are considering his bid, although so far they have kept him in the airport's limbo lounge. The contractor Booz Allen, Snowden's last employer of record, told The Washington Post it was proud of its record in vetting employees before they were given top secret postings. The government would prob- ably---if it hasn't already---said the same thing. Still, accidents happen. I would love to know what Snowden knows; what (if anything) he has handed off to the Chinese (in Hong Kong) and the Russians (in the privacy of an airport lounge). I also would like to know what still unpublished information he gave The Post and The Guardian newspapers that they haven't used---so far. Is it a tease, or do those papers have genuine national security concerns? But most of all, wage-slave that I am, I would like to know: How is Snowden eating? And how's he paying for it? And with what? Does the McDonald's at that Russian airport take debit cards? And what happens when he runs out of money? A friend who was recently assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said that to the best of her recollection, a Big Mac with cheese, fries and a drink in that city could be had for about 150 rubles. About $4.50. Still ... Presumably, his last two employers have cut him off financially, and would probably like to cut some more off, if they could figure out how. But one still wonders: Did he get extra pay for vacation he had coming? Did he belong to the TSP during his brief stint as a fed? Did he own or rent here in D.C., or, more recently, in Honolulu? If so, is he, and how is he, making the payments? I would really love to know. Might come in handy sometime. The Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund, the feds-helping-feds charity, said it is swamped with requests for no-cost loans from government workers at DOD, IRS, HUD and the EPA who have lost several days of pay because of furloughs. If ordinary federal worker/taxpayers are having a hard time being denied one day per pay period of salary, what does a guy like Snowden do with no known income? How is he getting by while his status is being decided? Maybe he can write a fast-food version of "Europe on $12 a Day." Inquiring minds want to know... INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
July 15, 2013
July 29, 2013