New hats, or off with their heads?

Imagine it’s the 1790s: You are a French aristocrat and a mob has taken over your villa. You’re still doing reasonably well, and yet at the moment, government officials are debating whether to:

A) Chop your head off,

B) Buy you a new hat for Christmas, or,

C) Shutdown your palace and cut off your income — and maybe your head, too.

Now, fast forward to America in 2018, with your office, your house and your head.

You are a federal government worker who just wants to do his or her job. But the mob — in this case the White House and Congress — debates whether to shut down major portions of the federal government in a dispute over funding an under-construction wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Congress is also considering whether to give feds a 1.9 percent pay raise in January. And the president has yet to decide, or at least announce, his decision whether to give non-emergency federal workers a bonus holiday on Christmas Eve.

Other than that, things are going rather well.

What does a boss do when he’s threatened to shut down the government on Dec. 21, even as there is a possibility of a bonus paid day off on Dec. 24th? Remember, this is Washington so anything is possible.

So what are the odds that feds will get the day before Christmas off? Statistically it’s a slam dunk. But in reality maybe not so much. Here’s the 21st century score card for days off when Christmas fell on a Monday or a Thursday:

  • President George W. Bush gave federal workers Monday, Dec. 24 off in both 2001 and in 2007. He also gave them Friday, Dec. 26 off as a bonus holiday.
  • In 2012 President Barack Obama gave workers the day off on Monday, Dec. 24 and in 2014 he also gave them the day off on Friday, Dec. 26.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) to grant women over the age of 21 the right to vote, in 1869, and had the country’s first female governor. Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected to finish her husband William Bradford Ross’ term when he passed away, serving from 1925 to 1927.

Source: Mental Floss

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