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Federal Employees News Digest : Aug 12, 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. August 12, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 4 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com You knew what they believed and wanted, but they stuck to the facts, even if those facts sometimes undercut their side's argument or goals. I appreciated it at the time, but even more now. Because now I only know two people like that. One a man, one a woman. Both retired after been-there-done-that careers. Now that he’s retired, my male friend visits his out-of-town parents every couple of weeks. He's a retired fed who worked for a financial regulatory agency. He also had experience on Capitol Hill and worked as an organizer for a federal union and as lob- byist for a federal professional association. In short, he knows how official Washington works. He's also very religious, but not in an in-your-face way. So how did his Washington career start out? On the first day of his first DC job many moons ago, he was given an envelope full of cash and told to hand-deliver it to a well- known congressmen from a western state, in his office in one of the House office buildings next to the U.S. Capitol. He said that while it was a first for him, he suspected the represen- tative had done this before. So what? While I believe him, I don't know it for a fact. So no names. But if you knew (and if it is true) who the alleged cash-taker was, you would be amazed. And very disappointed. So, I suspect, would the IRS. And maybe, but not for sure, the House Ethics Committee. My other friend, a woman, had a similar experience. Except she went with her boss when he delivered a bundle of cash to Capitol Hill, this time to a ranking majority member of the Senate committee that investigated the Watergate affair that led to President Nixon’s resignation. He said the funds had nothing to do with the case. But the fact that it hap- pened, if indeed it did, says a lot about the squeaky clean senator who accepted the cash. None of this was covered in Civics 101. While that was back in the day, when things were looser and people smoked on the Senate floor, it may not have gone away entirely. A few years back, a congressman from New Orleans was sentenced to 13 years for accepting $500K in bribes. Again no federal, state or local tax, and no FICA, was deducted. A firm believer in cold cash, the FBI found $90,000 (neatly wrapped) in his kitchen freezer. There are several members of Congress--- including a Vietnam War hero—who are doing federal time for accepting cash and gifts that were unreported and illegal. By the time you read this, there may be another scandal du jour, even though August is sup- posed to be a slow month. Back to my friends. I told you more than you probably think you want to know about them for a reason. Both have a lot of experi- ence in government and with related groups. Both are very, very, very smart. Both have the ability---I think---to think outside the box we mostly all live in. Although both have strong political opin- ions, they have a way of cutting to the chase, the important part. They may not like a politician or his politics, but they can care- fully analyze what he/she wants and is doing. Very helpful. So I asked them the other day, with their nearly 100 years of Washington insider expe- rience between them, if political gridlock has ever been worse. Could they remember back in the good old days (which weren't always so good) a time when so many Democrats and Republicans actually hated each other? Both of them thought for awhile, and then said they've never seen it worse. And they cited instance after instance where both polit- ical parties were at fault, and where the right, center and left wings of the political spectrum could have and should have done better. They blame it on the rise of the Tea Party on the right, and on certain "progressive" Democrats on the left. And money. The fact that money is so important that many sena- tors spend two hours a day---at special sites away from Capitol Hill---on the telephone begging for, or demanding, money. And they expect things will continue to go downhill because of the 2014 elections. Having followed feds for years, both have predictions about what's in store for you. They each think an extended (maybe two- year) pay freeze is likely, and that Congress and the White House will reach a deal to raise your retirement contribution levels, as well as trim future cost-of-living adjustments for retirees who get COLAs. It's not all bad, however. The good news, they think, is that because of gridlock, all the other horrible things they have planned for feds will fall by the wayside. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Aug 5, 2013
Aug 19, 2013