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Shows & Panels
Are you paranoid or perceptive?
Wednesday - 7/17/2013, 2:00am EDT
Did NASA fake the moon landings, filming them in a top-secret area of New Mexico, with the interiors done in a GSA photo studio outside of Philadelphia?
Were Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter really visited by aliens — little green persons from outer space. And if so, what did they tell them not to tell us?
Is Elvis — now an elderly, arthritic store greeter with a "Hi, My Name Is Wally" ID badge on his coat — really working in a Wal-Mart in suburban Maryland? Or is he being held, against his will, as part of a top-secret protection program set up by the U.S. government and the Freemasons?
Think before you scoff.
Washington is a city that simultaneously generates, lives off of and is constantly fighting conspiracy theories. Often all at the same time. Which is the point. How do you know when one may be right?
When these conspiracy theories are wrong, they are wrong, they can be a real problem. Also, when they are correct. Either way, people are misled for whatever reason. That produces situations where we are sometimes misled into thinking we are being misled — which is almost as bad as really being misled because we're not!
UFO cover-ups, and the real story behind crop circles, are still with us. But the issue du jour for much of official Washington is the "Mystery of Sequestration." Why did this bad boy — designed by the White House and implemented by Congress — go into effect when both sides said it would be terrible?
Some people believe it is part of a plan to dumb down the government so it will stop doing pesky things, like collecting taxes and searching our bags at airports. Others believe that the assaults on federal workers — who skipped most of the first part of the recession — are part of a plan to drive the best and brightest out, and to discourage bright new talent from even considering a career with Uncle Sam.
Here's a couple of thoughts from feds — maybe not so paranoid — about the cause and effect of sequestration:
- "You wrote about people 'furloughed through no fault of their own.' Come on, Mike, you know better than that (I hope). Who elected these jokers? Yeah, federal workers.
"And another thought: Why IRS furloughs are a good thing? More delays in processing delinquent returns means higher interest/penalty payments. Sounds like a nobrainer." — Revenuer
- "Just an observation on the article, 'Interior touts Millenials as key to diversity': Has anyone informed the new Secretary of Interior that the federal government is not in a hiring mood — in fact, due to sequestration and other looming budget issues, the government payroll is shrinking! In addition the future outlook of government employment — pay freezes and talk of gutting of benefits — is to say the least an unattractive option for our millennials. The politicals seem to be living in some kind of fantasy world." — Jeff
National Treasury Employee Union president Colleen M. Kelley is our Your Turn radio show guest today at 10 a.m. She's been touring the country talking to IRS employees about the impact of sequestration on workers and taxpayers, the IRS budget, and what's ahead in 2014. Also joining us will be Federal Times senior writer Sean Reilly. He'll talk about furloughs, RIFs and what's on the horizon for federal and postal workers and retirees.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Ever seen beams of sunlight shining through the clouds? The correct meteorological term for these are crepuscular rays.
(Source: Mental Floss)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
IRS cancels 1 furlough day
The Internal Revenue Service is canceling one of its planned furlough days. In an email to staff obtained by Federal News Radio, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced the agency is foregoing the scheduled furlough day on Monday, July 22.
FEEA overwhelmed with furlough aid requests
The number of furloughed federal employees seeking emergency loans from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) continues to grow, as FEEA tries to keep up with the heightened demand. The agency expects the number of loan requests to increase dramatically in the next few days, due to upcoming Defense Department furloughs.
Public defenders facing 'complete destruction' under sequestration
Federal public defender offices have been slammed by across-the-board budget cuts this year. But as damaging as sequestration has been in 2013, the offices face virtual extinction if the cuts continue into next year, according to Michael Nachmanoff, the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
New taskforce to help agencies use volunteers to meet goals
President Barack Obama announced a new taskforce Monday designed to help agencies achieve their goals by expanding volunteer opportunities. In a new memorandum, Obama charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with leading the taskforce. The CNCS chief executive and the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council will act as co-chairs. The taskforce will include representatives from 18 government agencies and organizations.