8:20 am, April 23, 2014

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  • Bigger than Interior
    contrarian
    How many supreme court justices are from west of the Mississippi?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Are federal laws...
    FERS Fed
    ...different west of the Mississippi?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Nice Try
    contrarian
    Then why only Yankees need apply?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Because west of the Mississippi...
    FERS Fed
    ...they're all Dodgers? ;-)
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Really?
    Rock Man
    Does Mr. Berry really want to jump from the frying pan into the fire at Interior? He has been great for OPM, and would be sad if he left.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Stellar job at OPM
    dailycheese
    OPM's main function is to process paperwork for federal employees. Especially processing federal retirement packages, promptly and accurately. While Mr. Berry has been at the OPM helm, the backlog has been in the 50,000 or more range for years with some retirees taking a year or more to get accurate pension checks. Some retirees, that I know personally, had to request "hardship" status after 9 months to get things straight. Sounds like Mr. Berry is eminently qualified for a promotion to the Dept of Interior.
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  • Berry and DOI
    Jeremiah
    The article states rather surprisingly that Mr. Berry has "gotten high marks" for his tenure at OPM. Who is giving such "high marks" is the question. He presided over the debacle in OPM's seeking to implement its Retire-EZ program to automate the civil service retirmeent application process (to be fair he inherited a troubled program, but did nothing to change OPM's inability to manage effectively - according to GAO - the contractor, Hewitt and Assocates, who had the lead on developing the new automated approach. Until congressional sources responded to constituents' complaints about delays and mishandling of their retirement applications did little to deal with this - for him obviously - low priority topic. His repsosne was essentially one of throwing money inefficiently at the problem by beefing up the manual processing function rather than finally dealing with the need to automate it. He also oversaw the badly botched launch of the ballyhooed USAJOBS 3.0 in-house project, which became a national embarrassment for government recruiters, until again major resources were belatedly made available to fix the problems after the fact. Mr. Berry has been a loyal Obama administration apparachik who has made no secret of his desire for higher appointive office. Whether his at best mediocre record has prepared him for a Cabinet position is certainly at least highly debatable.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • all members of the cabinet get high marks
    Rob
    Name one who doesn't. Just this week Hillary was praised for her work as SOS despite four Americans killed, including an Ambassador, during her watch. Timothy Geithner? There's another one. The tax cheat who oversaw the Treasury Dept even got high marks. Please! Department heads are never held accountable for their incompetence.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Department heads are never held accountable for their incompetence?
    FERS Fed
    You mean like Donald Rumsfeld? Or maybe Michael Brown of Hurrican Katrina fame? Or Alberto Gonzalez, who gave us the legal framework for torture?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Biased Rob
    Moderate
    Rob always criticizes the Democrats no matter how well they do and always minimizes Republican gaffes no matter how bad they are. He should be more accurate.----He does not remember Bush declaring victory on a ship while the fighting went on.I have seen no bad comments about Bush, who presided over the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, from him.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Berry Will Fit Right In
    ben
    States take about 30 to 60 days to approve drilling for oil and gas on private and state land. BLM takes about 12 to 18 months to accomplish the same. Looks like Berry will fit right in -- more backlog to justify a larger staff -- classic empire building.
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  • "States take about 30 to 60 days to approve drilling for oil and gas"
    FERS Fed
    Which only serves to prove that it's easier and quicker to 'grease the skids' at the state level.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Proof Please
    ben
    So, your argument is that, instead of efficiency, the reason is criminal. Proof please!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • "Proof please"?
    FERS Fed
    http://www.wvcoal.com/Research-Development/shale-gas-scandal-alert.html ..... http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/politics.html - see especially 'Gas Politics Are Polluted' ..... http://www.propublica.org/series/fracking ..... http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/when-agendas-meet-science-in-the-fracking-fight/
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Still Awaiting Proof
    ben
    http://www.wvcoal.com/Research-Development/shale-gas-scandal-alert.html Is sponsored by the coal association trying to stop natural gas. No real information about fraud at state level. Innuendo on aquifer pollution, which is not possible with fracking. http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/politics.html Anti-fracking site with no actual evidence. Quoted old info on methane polluting water sources. This was proved to occur over two decades before fracking began in the area. Hint, if methane is the only gas found, it wasn’t caused by fracking. Methane may be found as one of the gases in fracking, but NG is the main product. Methane, found alone, is usually produced from old garbage sites, well above the layers of bed rock below which fracking occurs. http://www.propublica.org/series/fracking From http://www.propublica.org/article/new-study-fluids-from-marcellus-shale-likely-seeping-into-pa-drinking-water, “one of the study's authors, said he still considers it unlikely that frack fluids and injected man-made waste are migrating into drinking water supplies. If that were happening, those contaminants would be more likely to appear in his groundwater samples, he said. His group is continuing its research into how the natural brine might have travelled, and how long it took to rise to the surface. "There is a real time uncertainty," he said. "We don't know if this happens over a couple of years, or over millennia." So, somehow, water managed to seep upwards against gravity and only carry salt, but none of the other fracking chemicals. Perhaps, you should notify the Vatican concerning a miracle. Note, modern fracking chemicals are derived from food products. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/when-agendas-meet-science-in-the-fracking-fight Innuendo, no proof of fraud in state approval process/
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  • I guess there are none...
    FERS Fed
    ...so blind as those who will not see.
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  • Agreed
    ben
    Yes, ignoring 100 years of data on fracking; supposing water can leak thru bedrock carrying only salt and not the other compounds used in fracking; and supposing a gas (methane) may so the same, while refining itself from the other gases is unscientific. Don't rely on advocacy groups for information.
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  • Yes, we SHOULDN'T listen to those...
    FERS Fed
    ...whose lives are being affected on a daily basis by fracking. We SHOULD listen to those who are making money off of fracking because THAT'S who will provide the honest and objective assessment of the situation, right?
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  • At least the feds do due diligence
    Moderate
    Or maybe the feds actually look at the issue. 30-60 days is a short period of time to develop the issues. Do the states actually get public hearings and actually consider the public's position?
    worker
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  • Explains OPM's Backlog
    ben
    Reductio ad absurdum, that would explain the backlog at OPM. Just ensuring that the government doesn't over pay retirees. If you're CSRS, put back 6 months expenses before filing retirement papers.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Backlog
    Moderate
    I will be able to cover my expenses for 6 months. I will complain, but do so. I agree with you that my situation should not be complicated as I shall have worked for the feds for 40+ years without any complicated issues. So why can't the Repubs allow OPM to hire more OPM people so there should be only reasonable delays.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • New Employees Not the Problem
    ben
    OPM planned to automate the retirement system. The software package was flawed -- flawed beyond saving. Now, OPM consists of elderly experienced personnel and new untrained personnel, whose work must be reviewed. OPM did not allow their retiring personnel to be replaced, as they relied upon the upcoming ADP replacement -- big mistake. BTW, I'm not anti-federal worker, as I was one for over 40 years, like yourself. I advocate reducing the government foot print over time to match a budget in the 18 to 19 percent of GDP, not the present, unprecedented 25 percent.
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  • Congressional Repubs are the Problem
    Moderate
    And how long did it take to develop the unsuccessful ADP program? It should not have taken that long whereby you have the elderly and the inexperienced. It sounds like not enough money was given to OPM to hire enough people on a timely basis.----And where do you cut Fed employment? IRS brings in money. Other agencies do not have enough employees to regulate industries such as your food, vitamins etc. Guess you want to bring back the magic elixir.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Wrong Diagnosis
    ben
    OPM spent $30 million on a private contractor (Hewitt) and about 3 years effort -- for naught. There is no indication the Republicans cut any of OPM's budget, or staff. Government regulations are estimated to cost about $2 trillion annually per SBA and updated info. When cost of regulations begin to meet cost of production something is wrong. Government must be cut, either carefully, or wholesale in panic. See the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain for examples. France is next on the list. I would suggest all payments to private enterprise, a civilian BRAC of the 90,000 unused GSA properties, sell off of most of the BLM property. DoD could stand a 10 to 15 percent cut over 3 years.
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