Shutdown storm looms over disaster defenses

Shutdown storm looms over disaster defenses

By: Darren Samuelsohn
October 4, 2013 04:30 PM EDT

The federal government may be mostly closed, but leaders from the White House to the Gulf Coast are presenting a brave face that they’ll still be ready for Tropical Storm Karen.

National Hurricane Center trackers never left their posts. FEMA has recalled more than 100 furloughed employees to help coordinate with state and local officials from Florida to Louisiana, plus other parts of the country affected by severe weather. President Barack Obama is even directing traffic in the first big management test of his short-handed government.

With the storm churning toward a Gulf Coast landfall starting Saturday, the administration and warring factions on Capitol Hill know there are political risks for anyone seen as bungling disaster response, even if the government is partially shut down. Continue reading “Shutdown storm looms over disaster defenses”

21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about

21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about

By Caitlin Dewey, Published: October 2 at 9:00 amE-mail the writer

The government shutdown will temporarily slash the staffs and operations of every “nonessential” federal program — which, as you can imagine, adds up to a whole lot of programs. There are the ones you know about, like the national parks and the panda cam. Then there’s everything else.

A right whale sounds in Cape Cod Bay. The advisory committee that protects whales and other marine mammals is one of many cutting back for the government shutdown. (Bill Greene/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A right whale sounds in Cape Cod Bay. (Bill Greene/Boston Globe via Getty Images)Here’s 21 effects of the shutdown you might not have heard about.

1) No one will oversee the program that makes sure your organic food is actually organic. That’s called the National Organic Standards Program, and its entire staff was furloughed. Also on the Department of Agriculture furlough list: the people who check that your meats, shellfish, produce, nuts and ginseng are labeled with their country of origin.

2) The Department of Homeland Security will stop civil liberties complaint lines, investigation and training. The training will affect employees on the state, local and federal level.

3) Wild horse and burro adoptions will stall. (Yes, wild horse and burro adoptions are a real thing.) Continue reading “21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about”

Federal Workers’ Job Satisfaction in Freefall

Federal Workers’ Job Satisfaction in Freefall

By , About.com GuideDecember 18, 2012

Robert Longley

Back in February, all 1.8 million federal government employees were given a chance to rate their job satisfaction. The results were disturbing, as the overall job satisfaction and level of commitment of the federal workforce fell its lowest point since 2003.

In 2011, 64 out of every 100 federal employees said they were satisfied with their jobs. As we near the end of 2012, and the third year of the pay freeze imposed by President Obama in 2010, that number has fallen to 60.8 out of 100. The 5% drop is the largest in the history of the survey. At the same time, the Hay Group reported that employee satisfaction in the private sector remained steady, with a score of 70 out of 100. Continue reading “Federal Workers’ Job Satisfaction in Freefall”