Shutdown odds, VA funding, politicals vs. career feds

Senior Correspondent Mike Causey has a few questions about some recent top news stories.


  • What are the odds of another shutdown either because of man-made political gridlock or because a late March snowstorm ordered up by Mother Nature?
  • Now that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been ousted who’s next? And what’s happening to career employees at the State Department, EPA, Interior and other places who may be deemed as disloyal, or non-team players by their political bosses.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has asked/urged/demanded that Defense Secretary James Mattis get a handle on what he says is waste at the Pentagon and excessive salaries of some Defense Department contractors. Some defense contractors (technically capped at $487,000) make more than Mattis. Or Sanders. Or almost anybody else in government.
  • When TV and newspapers do stories about the Department of Veterans Affairs they often refer to it as being “embattled” or “chaotic.” So what’s going on? Is it in trouble and can it be saved? Or privatized?
  • And what about Interior’s plan to move more employees out of Washington to west of the Mississippi offices to be closer to the programs, and people, they manage?

All of the above will be topics during today’s Your Turn radio show (10am EDT) here on (1500 AM in the DC area).

Federal News Radio correspondents Nicole Ogrysko, Eric White, Jory Heckman and David Thornton will talk about the hottest topics on their beats and what may be ahead for active and retired feds.

Is it possible that after two brief but embarrassing shutdowns, Uncle Sam will once again have everybody report to work on Friday only to tell nonessential/non-emergency folks to go home? And if it happens, how long will it last? And when will you get paid?

Also, what’s the deal with government contractors? Most of the publicity these days is from studies ‘showing’ that federal workers are overpaid (and with a superior fringe benefit package) compared to their counterparts in the private sector. But who says? And is it true?

In many parts of government, Defense, Homeland Security and the CIA, contractors seem to outnumber career civil servants. So who makes more? Why is Sen. Sanders, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination, on the offensive against DoD contractors?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

There is a fully-functioning lighthouse in the middle of the prairie in Cochin, Saskatchewan, a land-locked province of Canada.

Source: Atlas Obscura

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