Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
The Vacation Kings return
Tuesday - 6/10/2014, 2:00am EDT
In reality, some members actually had a lot more time off. They are charter and new members of the TWT Club. That stands for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — the days when many are actually in Washington. Most of them leave town late Thursday or early Friday and return in time for work Monday. If you doubt it, check out the Free VIP parking areas at Washington's Reagan National Airport. Most members of Congress keep their home-state license plates so they are easy to spot.
One theory about the high number of paid days off for members of the House and Senate is that they are indignant much of the time. And indignation takes its toll. Many, if not most, members of Congress spend a lot of time being indignant about something or other, especially in off-year elections. Like 2014.
The fact that the presidency isn't at stake in this year's elections means a lot fewer people are tuning in, and the number of people who actually vote in November will probably be down. That's good news for some politicians, bad news for others — especially incumbents who face strong challenges.
Fortunately for politicians, there are a number of things to be indignant about this year. Both ways. There is the VA scandal, which is yet to be fully explained, attacked and defended. And the prisoner swap where five Guantanamo detainees were traded for an American soldier who has been in Taliban hands for five years. Although promoted twice during his captivity, critics of the swap say there is a lot we don't know. Although it is shaping up along partisan lines — Democrats saying we don't leave soldiers behind, Republicans saying maybe we should have in this case — some members are furious the required 30-day alert wasn't given.
Whatever happens with the VA and the prisoner swap, it is going to be a long, hot summer. With at least two winners:
- The 24/7 cycle news media. It loves indignation because it
gives drama and color even when things are otherwise. The more heads that roll,
- Federal workers almost certainly will benefit from indignation fever. Because while Congress is busy being indignant (not to mention running for reelection), it is distracted from playing whack-a-mole with feds.
For most feds, 2014 promises to be better (as in more peaceful) than last year. Enjoy it while you can.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, tasked by President Thomas Jefferson with mapping out the newly acquired western territory of the United States in the early 1800s, remained relatively unknown for 150 years after their expedition. It wasn't until the 1960s that popular historical interest picked up and the duo became more widely known.
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