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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 21, 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 Public Sector Media 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. October 21, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 14 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Yet in 2006, under similar circumstances, the positions were reversed. A Republican was in the White House. Democrats controlled the House and Senate . When the debt ceiling issue came up, all the Democrats, including the then senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, voted against it. They took the same position then that many Republicans are taking now. President Obama admits that he voted no, and that (now that he is president) he sees that was wrong. A big mistake. The first two years of the federal pay freeze is the result of recommendations of a White House panel (which actually proposed a three- year delay) that was endorsed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. The Republican-run House happily extended it another year. Now the White House has pro- posed a modest pay raise for 2014, and also wants to change the way the consumer price index is calculated so that future cost-of-living adjustments---for federal, military and Social Security retirees---will be smaller. House Republicans, credited/blamed for the shutdown, surprised Democrats by passing legislation that would guarantee back pay for workers who were furloughed, and pay the "essential/exempted" federal employees who had to work. Then the Democratic Senate delayed action on the pay-the-feds plan OK'd by the House. If you are confused by all this, welcome to the club. It is increasingly apparent that much of politics today is designed to maneuver the opposition into a place where it will lose the battle of public opinion. The right and wrong of issues (and good people can and do differ on them) doesn't seem to enter the equation. As Gary, an IRS employee and FEND reader from Indiana, said, "A local scion of a political family here in Chicagoland (either Bill or John Daley) said that '...the problem with the Internet is that it makes it too easy for people to find the news they agree with.' This is a rough paraphrase but I think you get the idea." Good point. Some of us only see and believe what we want. If this pattern of "I'm-against-whatever-you- are-for" politicking continues, the next debt ceiling vote in the years ahead could again divide the parties. If the president happens to be a Republican, the Democrats who now favor raising it, will oppose it. And Republicans, who now oppose it, will favor it. Or we could have a repeat of the current political divide if Democrats retain the White House. The issue, if you buy this line of logic, isn't the issue itself. It can be war, peace or shutdowns. It is opposing whatever side the opposition takes, and using time, talent, energy and money to ensure that the opposition gets the blame. A month ago, the big issues were Egypt, Iran and whether to bomb Syria from afar or move the red line. The only agreement among the politicians was no boots on the ground. So when is the last time---since the shut- down and the debt limit issues emerged---you heard serious talk about Iran, Syria or Egypt? They may come back into the public con- sciousness, but for now, the public and the press---thanks to the pols---are worried about closer-to-home events. Last Monday, the color photo on the front page of one of D.C.'s two papers, the more lib- eral Washington Post, was of the Washington- Dallas football game the day before. We (in D.C.) lost the fourth of five games. But it was still the most important story of the day to the Post, which previously had condemned the shutdown daily for the past few weeks. By contrast, the more conservative Washington Times ignored a football picture and led with a photo and caption showing what it (now) considers the stupidity of the shutdown. It was a color photo of elderly World War II vets tearing down the "Closed" barriers at the World War II Memorial on the Mall. Odds are that the nation will recover from the shutdown, and the debt crisis will somehow be avoided. Or kicked down the road. So what's the next hot-button item coming out of Washington? Look for a debate over the name of the Washington Redskins. A growing number of columnists and politicians find it offensive. The unpopular owner says he will never change it. Unless some world-shaking event comes along, the Redskins debate may have to do as the top news in Washington for the next few months. Until the debt ceiling issue returns in all its horror and glory. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Oct 14, 2013
Oct 28, 2013