Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
Gallows humor: Sequestration style
Wednesday - 4/3/2013, 2:00am EDT
Thanks to the confusion and complexity of sequestration, and the fear of furloughs among government workers, a new form of dark humor seems to be developing. It's about time, too...
Back in the day, before political correctness made us all better, over-the-hill comedians in cheap night clubs could get away with telling a joke like this:
Question: Do you know what the definition of mixed emotions is?
Answer: Seeing your brand new Cadillac go over a cliff with your mother-in-law at the wheel!!!"
Gross. As a four-time father-in-law I don't find that amusing...
Can you believe that anybody, even the vilest married man, would be so low, so thoughtless, so wrong as to laugh at an alleged 'joke' like that.
Fortunately, things are a little better in government circles thanks to the current threats facing their jobs and paychecks. With a jump start supplied by the still evolving and mysterious sequestration and continuing resolution processes and the fear of furloughs, we now have a new definition of the difference between good news, bad news and really, really bad news. Here's how one reader defined it:
To make this truly ecumenical, here's a furlough-related musical note from "C" He writes:
"I am sure you know the difference between good news and bad news. How about the difference between good news and really bad news?
"First the really bad news: assume the Department of Defense said employees would be furloughed for 7 days. (Not so bad), but then doubled it to 14 days! Now that is really bad news.
"But if DoD announced that employees will be furloughed for 22 days? Pretty bad, wouldn't you say. But then reduced to only 14 days! Now that is good news.
"I am sure you can see the difference. " — Jerry
Finally, the $64 million question. Sequestration is supposed to save a ton of money. But its complex instructions and the talks, meetings, rewriting and exemptions taking place have got to be costing a lot. As a retired Justice Department worker put it:
"We held our family seder a few days late this past Saturday night. Of the 22 people present, there was one active federal worker, one contractor, two federal retirees, assorted spouses and grown kids of feds, and one federal union hack, me. The talk turned to sequestration. One contractor cousin said that the feds around her are talking about how their benefits are threatened, but she lost similar benefits years ago as a local government employee. She wasn't saying that since she lost hers, federal employees should lose theirs, but I think she was just stating a fact. I was about to give my standard soapbox speech, but in the interest of not offending the three Republicans (I promised my 91-year-old father that I would behave), I whipped out my guitar and sang the furlough song which appeared in your column "The Ballad of the Furloughed" last week. There was much group participation."
Anybody have a clue? Are the people pushing for savings also counting the costs?
"I wonder what the amount of money, total, the government is spending (and wasting) in preparing for, scheduling, and implementing hundreds of thousands of furloughs? There has to be a grand total somewhere, no?" — Just Curious
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Seattle-based J&D's Foods is releasing a bacon-scented SPF 30 sunscreen, designed to keep users "smelling like something delicious is cooking for several hours," according to UPI Odd News. The company also specializes in other bacon-flavored products.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Obama to return 5 percent of salary as tribute to furloughed feds
A White House official says President Barack Obama will return part of his salary each month for the rest of the year.
Feds' view of senior leaders takes a nosedive
Employee satisfaction with top agency leadership dipped for the first time in 10 years in 2012, after years of slight but consistent gains.
OPM Director John Berry to leave when term expires
The director of the Office of Personnel Management is limited to a four-year term under the law. Sources tell Federal News Radio, John Berry informed the CHCO Council he's not planning to stay on when his term expires later this month. With no deputy director in place, it's unclear who will fill Berry's shoes in an acting capacity.
SES includes more women, minorities than ever before
The number of women in the Senior Executive Service is at its highest point than at any time in the last five years, even as the total number of executives and salaries has decreased. The Office of Personnel Management released last week its annual report on the SES and found there were 2,678 women in the SES out of 8,004 total members in fiscal 2012.
Bill would tie Congressional pay to spending cuts
The District of Columbia's delegate to Congress says salaries for members of Congress should be reduced the next time automatic spending cuts take effect. Democratic Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says she'll introduce a bill next week that would subject Congressional salaries to any future automatic, across-the-board cuts like those that took effect last month.
Federal News Radio Engagement Survey
Federal News Radio strives to provide our readers and listeners with the best experience possible every time they visit our website, listen to our radio station, or engage with us via our various social media outlets. Now, it's your turn to tell us what you like and what you'd like to see Federal News Radio do differently. Plus, we're interested in learning more about how you use our various platforms as we continue to improve them. Help Federal News Radio by taking our brief, anonymous survey. (The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.)