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Federal Eye: October 10, 2010 - October 16, 2010

Obama: Federal jobs may stay vacant, doesn't rule out furloughs

In a conversation Friday with newspaper columnists, including colleague Joe Davidson, President Obama did not rule out furloughing federal workers but warned that such action could result in loss of services:

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 15, 2010; 3:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Social Security decision affects federal retirees

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients will get no cost-of-living adjustment next year, the Social Security Administration announced Friday. The same applies to federal retiree pension payments.

By Joe Davidson  | October 15, 2010; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Pentagon cites 'uncertainty' about future of 'don't ask'

There is uncertainty about the future of the military's gay ban, the Pentagon's top personnel official said Friday in a message to senior military leaders.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 15, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Military  
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Estimate: Government to make 125,000 new hires

The federal government will make approximately 125,000 new hires for full-time, nonseasonal jobs during this fiscal year, according to new estimates.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 15, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Folks recommend working for the government, poll finds

A majority of Americans would recommend pursuing a government career to a close friend or relative just getting out of school, according to a new Washington Post poll on perceptions of federal employees.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 15, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Public Service  
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Obama administration seeks stay of 'don't ask' ruling

The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge's ruling that the military suspend enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, arguing the decision is disruptive to an ongoing Pentagon review of how to end the ban on gays in the military.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 14, 2010; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Administration, Military  
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Federal worker union blasts tea party in radio ad

The nation's largest federal worker union plans to air a new radio ad in seven states attacking Republican, tea party-backed Congressional candidates who are promising to cut government spending and freeze federal hiring.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 14, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Need for permits eased at national parks

Small groups wishing to gather at National Parks including the Mall in Washington no longer need to obtain a permit from the National Park Service, it was announced Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 14, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Administration expected to appeal 'don't ask' ruling

The effort to repeal the law barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military is nearing a chaotic endgame involving fast-moving courts, a slow-moving military, a lame-duck Congress and an administration increasingly caught in the middle.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 14, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration, From The Pages of The Post, Military  
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Federal holiday calendar confusion

For those of you planning ahead to the holiday season, (The Eye already is) you might notice a quirk in the federal holiday calendar.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 14, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Gates: Abrupt end to 'don't ask' would have 'enormous consequences'

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that an abrupt end to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy would have "enormous consequences" for troops.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2010; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Administration, Military  
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Economic stimulus news and notes

Remember the economic stimulus program? You know, the one that sent checks to dead people?

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Justice Dept. sues New York for military absentee ballot delay

The Justice Department is suing New York State and has settled a similar case with New Mexico for missing deadlines to mail ballots to overseas troops as part of a new federal overseas voting law.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Administration, Military  
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Chilean miners: NASA official on their health

Michael Duncan, chief medical officer and lead of the NASA team that went to Chile, answered questions Wednesday about the health of the rescued miners and the agency's role in assisting with the rescue mission.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2010; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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'Don't ask, don't tell': Now what?!

A California federal judge's order Tuesday that the military stop enforcing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy at all bases worldwide continues a back and forth between federal courts and Congress over the fate of the 17-year old law. So now what?

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Who is Judge Virginia A. Phillips?

The federal judge who ordered the military to stop enforcing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy has spent almost her entire life in and around Riverside, Calif.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 7:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Public Service  
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'Don't ask, don't tell' enforcement struck down by judge

A California federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction stopping the military from enforcing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in uniform.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (262)
Categories:  Military  
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USDA office to open again on Wednesday

An Agriculture Department office damaged by a weekend fire will reopen with normal operating hours on Wednesday, USDA said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Video: Should Columbus Day be a holiday?

The Federal Eye appeared on TBD's "Capital Insider" on Monday to discuss whether Columbus Day deserves to be a federal holiday. Discuss in the comments section below. (And once again -- The Eye has nothing to do with the unflattering screengrab. Ehem.)

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Video Report  
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NASA contractors want retraction from Justice Dept.

Contractors working for NASA are calling on Acting Solicitor General Neal K. Katyal to retract statements made last week to the Supreme Court regarding which agency facilities they can access with their identification badges.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Administration, Contracting, Supreme Court  
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Government rates poorly in new polls

In case you missed them over the holiday weekend, two new national surveys present snapshots of an American public seemingly confused and contradicting itself regarding the size and scope of the federal government.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Public Service  
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USDA building damaged by fire closed Tuesday

Some U.S. Agriculture Department workers will enjoy a fourth consecutive day off on Tuesday due to a fire at their Maryland offices.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 11, 2010; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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New ad campaign targets veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a multimillion advertisement campaign Monday that encourages troops preparing for civilian life to enroll for government benefits and health-care services.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 11, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Government sets reduction targets on data centers

The federal government is moving to dramatically reduce the number of data centers it relies on, in a move that promises to reshape the local information technology landscape.

By Marjorie Censer  | October 11, 2010; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Budget, From The Pages of The Post  
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Pentagon's share of civilian federal workers decreases

As some Republican congressional candidates continue to target federal workers while on the stump, we're continuing our occasional look at the size and scope of the federal workforce by culling through government statistics.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 11, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Military, Workplace Issues  
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Darrell Issa (again) on his plans for oversight

Democrats across the country are invoking Darrell Issa's name to scare up votes and money, arguing the California Republican will politicize the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee if Republicans win the House majority and he becomes the panel's chairman.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 11, 2010; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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Federal bookstore rebrands itself

Book sales are down nationwide, independents are gasping for air, and the future for bricks-and-mortar bookstores looks bleak. Government is going green and thrifty.

By Lisa Rein  | October 11, 2010; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  
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Should federal workers take Columbus Day off?

Though many federal employees are enjoying a day off Monday to mark Columbus Day, several states no longer give state workers the holiday, cities have canceled parades and some campuses have dropped Columbus's name to reflect the concerns of indigenous populations.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 11, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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