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Federal Eye: January 31, 2010 - February 6, 2010

Half of Obama's Cabinet coming over for the Super Bowl

Nine Cabinet secretaries and several lawmakers will join President and Mrs. Obama to watch Sunday's Super Bowl, the White House said Friday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 6, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Administration  
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Berry: Decision about Monday by Super Bowl kickoff

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry declared mission accomplished Friday afternoon after the Obama administration's first early dismissal of Washington-area federal employees.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 6:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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The Federal Eye on Friday's government shutdown

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. The Federal Eye joined Post columnist John Kelly Friday afternoon for his live video coverage of Snowmaggedon from the front steps of The Washington Post headquarters in Downtown Washington. The Eye discussed the federal government's...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Video Report, Workplace Issues  
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Friday Feedback: 'don't ask, don't tell'; 2011 budget; Scott Brown; and the Census and the Super Bowl

A sampling of this week's reader feedback from some of The Federal Eye's most popular items.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Sen. Richard Shelby blocking Obama nominees

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has placed a blanket hold on more than 70 Obama administration nominees because of home state concerns with the future of the Air Force's tanker fleet and disagreements with the White House over funding for anti-terrorism...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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Early Dismissal for Federal Workers on Friday

The Federal Government is already operating on Friday morning with an unscheduled leave policy, but also plans to dismiss workers four hours early. That means employees who report for work today will be dismissed four hours earlier than their normal...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: Avocados and mangoes on the mind at USDA

Happy Friday! The Obama administration still has to fill several high-profile vacancies, but it’s got avocados and mangoes covered. This week the Agriculture Department named new members to the National Mango Board and the Hass Avocado Board. Both panels...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Revolving Door  
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More data breaches at Commerce Dept.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke informed Commerce Department employees on Thursday that at least two more incidents involving the names and Social Security numbers of some employees have occurred in recent weeks, following two other incidents in the last six months.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Unscheduled Leave for Federal Workers on Friday

Updated 2:49 p.m. ET Federal offices in the Washington area will operate with unscheduled leave status on Friday as a major snowstorm nears the nation's capital. The policy means federal workers in the D.C. area who cannot report for work...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Yes, the IRS buys guns

Some readers have asked what ever happened to the Nuts and Bolts series, and The Eye thought it was time to revive it when Matt Drudge on Wednesday highlighted a proposed gun purchase by the Internal Revenue Service. The conservative...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Nuts and Bolts  
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Labor, GSA nominees confirmed by the Senate

The Senate has confirmed M. Patricia Smith to serve as the Labor Department's top lawyer and Martha N. Johnson to lead the General Services Administration after months of Republican efforts to stall their nominations.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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Census's Super Bowl ad draws a flag from McCain

Sen. John McCain has criticized the Census Bureau's decision to spend $2.5 million for a 30-second ad during Sunday's Super Bowl, calling it "completely out of touch with what's going on out there in the real world."

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Census  
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Eye Opener: Ahead of votes, Obama blasts Senate confirmation process

President Obama on Wednesday criticized a Senate tactic he once used, accusing Republicans of delaying confirmation votes for several of his nominees for reasons unrelated to their qualifications.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener, Revolving Door  
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Former GOP appointee blasts Republicans over 'census' mailing

A former director of the U.S. Census Bureau appointed by George H. W. Bush has criticized the Republican National Committee's decision to send senior citizens envelopes and questionnaires similar in design to the government's decennial census forms.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Census  
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Greeting cards now on sale at more post offices

A customer looks at greeting cards at the L'Enfant Plaza post office. (Courtesy U.S. Postal Service.) The U.S. Postal Service plans to expand its greeting card sales to 900 locations nationwide just in time for Valentine's Day, with plans...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Time for another 'War on Waste'?

President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget would expand the size of the federal workforce to more than 2.1 million workers, well beyond the government's size when Bill Clinton declared in 1996 that "the era of big government is over."

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  What Would You Do?  
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FEMA's Craig Fugate on disaster management

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate appears on the latest episode of "On Leadership" with The Post's business columnist Steven Pearlstein to discuss his take on the problem with "government-centric" response to disasters. Pearlstein asked Fugate to elaborate...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Video Report  
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Eye Opener: Scott Brown blasted by federal union

One of the largest federal worker unions blasted Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in an open letter on Tuesday, accusing him of misunderstanding and misrepresenting the federal workforce in one of his first major national television interviews.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 5:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Unscheduled Leave for Federal Government on Wednesday

Trees heavy with snow just north of Leesburg, Va. on Wednesday. (Post) Federal offices in the Washington area are operating under an unscheduled leave policy on Wednesday as a snowstorm dumped anywhere between 2 and 8 inches across the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2010; 4:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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NASA's new plan: Technology before destination

By The Post's NASA correspondent Joel Achenbach: NASA has a brand-new strategy for human space flight. But now it needs to decide where to go. The dramatic decision by the Obama administration to kill NASA's Constellation program, and with it...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Budget  
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USAID chief: Food aid still hasn't reached many Haitians

By The Post's State Department correspondent Mary Beth Sheridan: Three weeks after a powerful earthquake destroyed Haiti's capital, hundreds of thousands of desperate people still have not received food and shelter from an expanding international aid operation, U.S. officials said...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Duncan apologizes for Katrina comments

By The Post's education correspondent Nick Anderson: Education Secretary Arne Duncan apologized Tuesday for asserting that Hurricane Katrina was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans," calling the remark "a dumb thing to say."...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Live Blog: 'Don't ask, don't tell' Senate hearing

Live coverage of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bans gays from openly serving in the military

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Chat With The Eye!

Highlights of Tuesday's Post Politics Hour, hosted by The Federal Eye

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Reporters swoon for Peter Orszag

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank asks the press corps, before a budget press conference, why they think Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag is so sexy. (Video by Milbank and Emily Kotecki. Photos...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Video Report  
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Former Post film critic joins Obama administration

Former Washington Post film critic Desson Thomson will join the Obama administration and head to London as a speechwriter for Ambassador Louis Susman. Thomson confirmed the news in an e-mail on Tuesday. Former Post film critic Desson Thomson Thomson, who...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Revolving Door  
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Eye Opener: Big day for 'don't ask, don't tell'

Lawmakers on Tuesday will hold the first hearing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy since July 2008, when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen are expected to announce the creation of a group to assess how to carry out a full repeal of the decades-old policy that requires gays to keep their sexual orientation secret.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 2, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Labor nominee M. Patricia Smith clears procedural hurdle

The nomination of M. Patricia Smith to serve as solicitor of labor cleared a procedural hurdle Monday afternoon, nearly ending a contentious nomination process stalled by Republicans concerned with her involvement in creating a wage watch program in New York.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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2011 Budget: Reactions

A sampling of the response to President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget. Updated throughout the day as necessary. Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Budget  
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The Federal Eye talks 2011 budget on CNBC

Following a summary of President Obama's 2011 budget by the esteemed John Harwood, The Federal Eye joined the CNBC "Power Lunch" conversation (at about 1:25) to analyze the president's spending proposals and the potential political fallout.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Budget, Video Report  
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2011 Budget: Cost-cutting ideas from federal workers

The 2011 Budget includes 20 cost-savings ideas submitted by federal employees for the recent SAVE Awards. Agree or disagree with the ideas? Leave your thoughts on the budget in the comments section below:

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget, Workplace Issues  
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2011 Budget: Spending cuts and reductions

President Obama's 2011 budget proposes more than 120 cuts totaling roughly $20 billion in savings. Here's a look at some of the more interesting proposed cuts and spending reductions. Leave your thoughts on the budget in the comments section...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Budget  
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2011 Budget: 1.4% civilian and military pay raise

Civilian federal employees would get a 1.5 percent pay increase next year, while members of the military would see a 1.4 percent jump, according to President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget proposal.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Budget, Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: A Budget Day Preview

The Obama administration formally unveils the fiscal 2011 budget at 10 a.m. ET, a spending plan designed to demonstrate fiscal restraint that will also mean big cuts for some corners of the federal government.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Budget, Eye Opener  
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Federal Government Open on Monday

Despite some school closings in region, Washington-area federal offices will open on Monday on their normal operating schedule. The Office of Personnel Management made the call Sunday night after a snowy weekend that dumped between from 4 to 8 inches...

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 4:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Stimulus created 600,000 jobs at the end of 2009, White House says

The Obama administration's economic stimulus program created nearly 600,000 jobs in the final three months of 2009, a figure in line with the administration's goals for job creation through the end of 2010, the White House reported Saturday night.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 1, 2010; 1:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  From The Pages of The Post, Tracking the Stimulus  
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