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Former justices back to the bench? And EEOC complaints on the rise

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Monday! A very special thank you to colleagues Lisa Rein and Rachel Weiner for "blogsitting" while The Eye enjoyed a two-week respite. Make sure to check out Lisa's front page story from Saturday's paper about younger federal workers.

Also check out Bob Barnes' scoop on potential legislation that would allow former Supreme Court justices to return to the high court if colleagues have to recuse themselves.

In other news, Presidential Management Fellows today can start submitting a 60-second video answer to the question, "What does it mean to be presidential?"

And here's a story that may give some federal workers pause: Workplace bias is on the rise, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The number of complaints by feds rose in 2009 over the previous year. Not a big jump, but significant because it represents the second year of an increase.

In other news...

Cabinet and Staff News: First Lady Michelle Obama wraps up her Spanish vacation and hires a young London fashion designer to make her a coat. Environment Czar Carol Browner says there's a chance Congress will take up energy legislation during a lame duck session. Elena Kagan and John Roberts had similar paths to the Supreme Court, but are worlds apart ideologically. James Clapper confirmed as new intelligence chief. Two judicial picks blocked by GOP. Peter Diamond blocked as pick to join San Francisco Federal Reserve. Hugo Chavez rejects President Obama's pick for ambassador to Venezuela. Ex-HHS Secretary Donna Shalala was interrogated last month at an Israeli airport.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Karzai calls for ban on private security companies: His comments ratchet up recent tensions with the U.S. over two American-backed anticorruption agencies.

Defense ends performance-based pay for intelligence employees: Except for National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees, the intelligence workforce will move from pay-for-performance to a compensation system similar to the General Schedule.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING:
Contractor performance data to become public: Some federal contractor performance data will be made public as part of a new law.

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT:
Minerals Service had a mandate to produce results: The causes of the BP oil spill remain unclear, but a number of the agency’s actions have drawn fire.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
As spill recedes, probes advance: They might bring changes to the way the offshore oil industry operates in the U.S. and even criminal charges against some of BP's employees.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES:
Watergate becomes sore point at Nixon Library: Officials at the National Archives have curated a searing recollection of the scandal that was supposed to have opened on July 1.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:
Chuck Grassley: NSF still a hotbed of porn: The Iowa Republican wants answers after a whistleblower informed his office that the agency has failed to crack down on porn-surfing employees.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
Postal Service may not be able to pay 2011 bills: It plans to "increase efficiency, reduce costs, and generate new revenue", but that may not be enough.

SEC:
Clawbacks divide SEC: A dispute over how to claw back pay from executives at companies accused of cooking the books is roiling the commission.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
Veteran Affairs clarifies controversial life-insurance program: It's dispatching letters to 10,000 beneficiaries of policies of military members to clarify the workings of now-controversial money-market-like accounts for death benefits.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | August 9, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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