10:40 pm, May 27, 2015

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  • Sequestration? Yep
    I think it's a certainty. The odds are against the two parties agreeing to a budget and although the GOP is not excited about huge cuts to national defense, they will view sequestration as the only way to begin cutting the budget.
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  • Agree almost
    I agree there well may be a shut down this time, then the parties will agree to something, as it makes better press. The agree could well be the same or worse for some Agencies than sequestration, but I am willing to bet Defense comes out with more money than sequestration.
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  • time is running out
    There are only 11 working days left for lawmakers between now and March 1st (must be nice). Sequestration IS likely to happen. Moving the debt ceiling issue behind sequestration (in terms of the calendar) was done for a reason. The GOP can now try and force the Dems to move the mandatory cuts in sequestration to areas where there'd be less pain. I don't think the GOP will be successful. Most Dems, especially the more liberal ones, want the defense cuts to happen. The GOP doesn't want those cuts, but they've come to realize that's the only way to begin cutting the budget.
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  • The House moved the debt ceiling issue...
    FERS Fed
    ...so they could clear their legislative calendar for a few more opportunities to vote to repeal Obamacare!
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    One additional tip that Mr. Caused overlooked in dealing with political appointees is to simply maintain a very low profile and avoid them as much as possible, provided that they are not your direct report. You'd be surprised how quickly 3-4 years go by! This is obviously a tactic of last resort but a very effective one under the right circumstances.
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  • Career - political appointee interface
    Not mentioned in the article is a very major risk factor upon which senior career officials have often come to grief, based on my observations of relationships between top career staff and their often not-ephemeral-enough political masters over many years. This is the danger of being - or giving the impression of being - co-opted, i.e., going beyond policy implementation to active involvement - again, or the appearance of such - in political policy-making. There is a fine line to be walked here. Career civil service officials must give full support for policy initiatives put in place by their political superiors that conform to legal and ethical parameters, but not to the point that they become - or are viewed as having become - partisan political advocates, as is very easily the case in such situations. Then, whenever the inevitable change of political masters occurs, these same career appointees face the likelihood of being viewed by the "new political kids on the block" as very probable partisan enemies out to sabotage the new regime's goals and objectives from within. How individual senior career types deal with this conundrum has varied, but I've seen all too many relegated, in effect, to the outer bureaucratic darkness once a new political team arrives and perceives a need to clean house if they believe - rightly or not - there is a likelihood that their inherited senior career staff are likely to act as roadblocks to their own policy prescriptions. For senior career civil servants, therefore, the tightrope always beckons.
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  • Surviving Your Political Boss - 2013
    Points well taken. I'm not looking to blow my own horn here, but in the book I recently wrote about my long federal career I devoted an entire chapter to "Care and Feeding of Your (Political) Boss." A bit tongue in cheek but true. In the intro I stated "The careerists handle the business elements and are responsible for the continuity of programs. The political boss gets photographed by the press and makes sure the current president gets credit for initiatives of the prior administration." I haven't been proven wrong. www.thegovernmentman.com
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