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Federal Employees News Digest : July 29, 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 29, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 2 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com his imagination---to what the juror was seeing in his head. So the prosecutor urged that one to "see" the action and events he had asked the other juror, the one identi- fied as more audio-oriented, to hear: "Can you see the look of terror on the little boy's face?" Stuff like that. Did it work? I haven't a clue. Far as I know, the con- sultant's still doing it. So somebody must think it works. In fact, he once gave me the test---which took about five seconds---and concluded that while I was strongly visual, I was more audio. In other words, I learn more, get more, retain more, by listening than by reading. He gave me a political test and couldn't conclude whether I was liberal or conservative. Being a long-time reporter, I kind of liked that. I have been in focus groups where people were given something to read or hear, and then asked to say whether they agreed or disagreed, loved it or hated it, thought it was brilliant or claptrap. Fine. Then groups were told who they had just read or heard. And in many cases they were horrified. Sometimes the liberals were given something they thought was by a liberal writer or politician. But it wasn't. Same true for conservatives. They thought it was their icon talking, when it was just the opposite. I've been fooled, too. We have an exercise in that going on right now in Washington and many parts of the country. It is about the IRS scandal, which is different from, and closer to most of our homes, than the General Services Administration scandals, the Secret Service scandal and other things that have come and gone. Many if not most of us will never have direct contact with GSA or the Secret Service. But the IRS knows us all. And we know them. As a result, most of us have an opinion about the "scandal" involving IRS officials in Cincinnati allegedly targeting conserva- tive and Tea Party groups seeking prefer- ential tax treatment. As many, many other groups have done. Several schools of thought on this one: A) It is no big deal. This happens all the time. Any problem was an honest mistake. And it was local to Cincinnati. Washington knew nothing about it. B) It is the scandal of the 21st Century. The government was taking political sides---using tax laws---and the orders came from the top. Bigger than Watergate. C) Maybe a little of both. Hard to tell who did what to whom and why. Or whether this was just a local mess, or the White House and top IRS officials in fact were up to their 1040s in it. If you picked the A option, you are probably a Democrat. If you picked B, you are likely a Republican. If C, you are uncommitted, confused, sure of the situa- tion or playing your cards close to the vest. The fascinating thing is that the IRS incident is viewed along party lines. Congressional Democrats say it is nothing. Republicans say it is a major abuse of power. Democrats say the IRS inspector general, who blew the whistle, is way out of line. Republicans say he should be Time's Man of the Year. At least. Were the situation reversed---with the GOP controlling the White House and the Democrats driving Congress---the A team would have picked B, while the B crowd would certainly be pushing theory A. The severity of the crime often depends on who commits it, and who picks the judge and jury. It isn't always politics all the time. But unfortunately it seems that each year it is more politics more of the time. Keeping political control is essential in part so the other (opposition) party doesn't get the clout and resources to launch congres- sional investigations, which can be great moral crusades or political witch hunts designed to break (literally break) people emotionally and financially. And if you get caught up in a congres- sional investigation you'd better have a very, very good professional liability insur- ance policy and a lot of money, like maybe a million bucks, set aside for legal fees. Which, given the pay situation over the past three years, is not very likely. But that's another scandal altogether. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
July 22, 2013
Aug 5, 2013