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Friday Feedback: 'don't ask, don't tell'; 2011 budget; Scott Brown; and the Census and the Super Bowl

By Ed O'Keefe

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

Regarding President Obama's proposed 1.4% pay raise for civilian federal employees and members of the military...

I haven't seen any Federal employees and their families going to the poorhouse lately. On the other hand, if you're going to expect your Federal government to perform well (despite the maneuvering of their political appointee leaders and the machinations of Congress), you've got to be able to attract and retain capable people. You don't do that by buying 'em a Christmas Turkey or giving 'em free tickets to a couple of baseball games. -- Watersville
Here's my analysis: From what I see, I suggest that the Federal Government follow the policies that they ask of Corporate America and halt salary increases and cut the health and retirement benefits of their workforce. For why should I continue to be required to pay more for our government services, while I am encouraged by the same to make do, with less. So, please tell me again, Why ? -- jralger
Why, jralger? Because your analysis is based on emotional arguments rooted in your personal experience and half-truths instead of cold, hard data. Back it up with some numbers - real numbers, not just stuff you heard on TV - and people will listen. -- acb1

Regarding the Senate's hearing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy...

There are approximately 121 veterans and inactive reservists in the current congress. While their opinions and experience should be given some consideration, we must remember that many of these legislators are generations removed from the bulk of today's forces. -- waltonr1
I noticed that none of the old men pontificating against the abolishment of "Don't Tell" suggested randomly canvassing the opinion of troops currently serving in our military. My guess is that just about everybody under the age of 40 would respond, "Who cares?" Of course, the best time to interview the soldiers would be while their unit is attacking a terrorist stronghold or maybe just after a vegetable truck has blown up at their check point. That would give the old men the statistics they need to grudgingly treat human beings equally.
I'm embarrassed that my country has made an issue of homosexuality in the military. And habitual gay bashers, some of whom have already contributed a comment to this blog, would do well to examine their motives. -- elkar
The military has to let in criminals and low IQs because of recriting shortages and kick out qualified intelligence specialists and Arab linguests over nothing. I bet some on their 7th tour would love to go home now. -- libertyanne

Did you hear Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) took some heat from a federal union after he proposed a pay freeze for rank and file workers?

Obama has increased the federal work-force to the largest size in history. No issue with the individuals, but we need to cut the number of federal workers across the board. Just can not afford them without bankrupting the country. -- JCM-51
As a federal attorney I make 40% of what attorneys I graduated with 3 years ago earn. Mr. Brown, I more then willing to accept a raise to make exactly what my private sector counterparts make. With backpay, you taxpayers owe me $250,000. -- anarcho-liberal-tarian
Good for Scott Brown. The Post and the Federal workforce are absolutely tone deaf. This country has 10% unemployment. People are losing their homes. The Federal workforce is expanding and getting raises. Federal employees should be acting in solidarity with the rest of the country. The Post and the federal work force should be calling for a hiring freeze and salary cut for themselves to help the country out in this time of trouble. Shame on all of you. -- jy151310

Regarding Sen. John McCain's criticism of the Census Bureau's Super Bowl ad...

Wasn’t the 2010 census budget—including advertising allotment—set by Congress in 2006? Wasn’t that under the Bush administration, and I believe a Republican led House and Senate. How did McLame vote then? -- whatitdo
Does McCain also object to the cost of the dozens of ads for the military? And if not, doesn't that make him a hypocrite? Oh, wait - I forgot who we were talking about. -- truamerican
If the census ad campaign can convince a few percentage points of Americans to fill out their census forms when they come in the mail, rather than waiting for a census employee to come knocking on their door, they should save the taxpayers quite a bit of money. It's that door to door stuff which really chews up a lot of money. -- philogratis

Leave your thoughts on -- whatever -- in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 5, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
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