How do you take a day off during a lockout?

Be honest, how many of you bet a colleague, or yourself, that the president wasn’t going to give feds a bonus holiday next Monday, the day before Christmas? Think about it, an 8-hour freebie even as the powers-that-be were locked in a power struggle that would have and still could shutdown the government for an indefinite period starting at midnight on Friday.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Which is what makes government work so exciting, maybe like swimming with sharks or bathing in a pool favored by salt water crocodiles. You just never know what’s next.

After weeks of speculation, the White House fooled lots of people by announcing late Tuesday that non-emergency federal workers will have the day off on Monday the 24th, with pay — no strings. The precedent was there if you believe in such things. After all, President George W. Bush gave civilian federal workers three bonus holidays. President Barack Obama granted one. But that was then and this, of course, is now.

Which is what makes government work so exciting sometimes. You can be furloughed without pay, resulting in a 20 percent pay cut in the same year that you can be involved in a shutdown, forced to stay home but not allowed to use previously scheduled vacation. And you can be paid sometime in the future.

There have even been two mini-shutdowns this year, one so brief that it was literally over before many people knew it was on.

Reading tea leaves has always been both a sport and a profession of sorts in Washington. But in the last few years figuring out what will happen in the future has been succeeded by trying to figure out what is going on now, or what just happened?

If anyone has an inside line on what’s next, much less what just happened, please drop me a line at mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com. Merry, uh, Christmas, right?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

New York City was first nicknamed “Gotham” by author Washington Irving in 1807 in the satirical literary magazine Salmagundi. Gotham is a village in the county of Nottinghamshire, England, which dates to the Middle Ages and is described in folk tales as a place of simple-minded fools. Gotham, or Gottam, means “Goat’s Town” in old Anglo-Saxon.

Source: New York Public Library

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L 2030 41.7659 -0.4088 12.37%
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G Fund 16.7517 0.0007 1.38%
F Fund 20.5326 0.0627 -1.46%
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I Fund 38.2607 -0.4114 11.45%
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