Eye Opener: Another delayed start
Happy Tuesday! The federal government will slowly ramp back up to full operating status today, but not before enduring another two hour delay and unscheduled leave for those who can't make it into work.
"After three more days of clean up, things should hopefully go better, but repeating Friday['s operating status] will also give us a good baseline to see if the system is ready to return to 100 percent, which we will hopefully be able to do Wednesday," Office of Personnel Director John Berry said in an e-mail to The Federal Eye on Monday night. He was harshly criticized on Friday for his decision to issue a two hour delay and unscheduled leave.
And amid an already shorter week thanks to Monday's federal holiday, we're wondering: Do you agree with today's decision? Will you work longer hours this week to make up for lost time? Or did you successfully complete tasks last week while working from home? (Or did you have to work through the storm regardless?) E-mail us your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or leave your thoughts in the comments section below
• Cabinet and Staff News: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fears Iran is becoming a military dictatorship and gets the royal treatment in Saudi Arabia. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is honing his political ear. The White House communications team is revamping the communications strategy. The White House and Congressional Democrats trying to woo an Energy Department official back to Miami to run for Congress. Obama taps a White House lawyer as envoy to the Muslim world. Ex-special prosecutor Kenneth Starr named Baylor University president. The White House executive and pastry chefs appeared on Monday's "Martha Stewart Show" to celebrate President's Day.
• U.S. Marine walks away from shot to helmet in Afghanistan: On the one hand, he was shot in the head. On the other, the bullet bounced off him. In one of those rare battlefield miracles, an insurgent sniper hit Lance Cpl. Koenig dead on in the front of his helmet, and he walked away from it with a smile on his face.
• Civilian agencies help fuel growth in translation contracts: A large part of the recent increase was in Defense Department contracts. The Army went from spending $260 million on language contracts in 2007 to $834 million in 2008.
ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROGRAM:
• Democrats target stimulus critics who sought funds: Democrats are targeting Republicans who have attacked the program and then lobbied to get money for their districts.
• Biden: NYC estimates for 9/11 trial exaggerated: Both Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly put the estimate at $200 million a year for five years, saying it would be an expensive proposition for the City. Biden, however, disputes the numbers.
• DEA agent wounded in Afghanistan: Shot multiple times and wounded on Sunday while on a mission, according to people familiar with the incident.
• DOT snubs DOJ in approving airline alliance: The Transportation Department granted immunity to British Airways, American Airlines, and Iberia to jointly schedule and price flights without running afoul of any antitrust laws.
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION:
• Charges in web video bring unusual rebuttal from FDIC: All week long, agency officials watched with growing dismay as a YouTube video ricocheted around the Internet.
• Space station's $27 million lookout attached: But astronauts will have to wait a few more days before gazing out the domed lookout, expected to provide unprecedented 360-degree views of Earth, outer space and the space station itself.
NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION:
• U.S. safety agency reviewing more crashes: The cases, among 26 such Toyota incidents reported to the agency, are based on complaints that drivers and their families have filed with the NHTSA since Jan. 27.
• Spain to accept five Guantanamo detainees: It's the largest commitment by a European country and a boost for the Obama administration's dragging effort to close the military detention center.
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION:
• 10,000 TSA staff to get secret intel: The agency's plan aims to help its officers spot terrorists by giving them more detailed information about tactics and threats, officials and security experts said. It hopes to empower its higher-level workers as part of an effort to professionalize airport security.
• UK airport scanners may violate laws-rights group: The use of full-body scanners at British airports may breach human rights laws, the country's equality commission said on Tuesday, potentially undermining the latest weapon against terrorism.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
• White House, Congress resist Postal Service goal of cutting delivery days: More discussion, if not begging, will be needed before officials are convinced that five-day delivery is the strong, albeit distasteful, medicine that the ailing postal operation needs.
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