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James48

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Member since: Sun Jan 3, 2010, 01:16 AM
Number of posts: 1,681

About Me

Was once a republican. long long ago, in a far, far away place. I apologize.

Journal Archives

Trump Administration Cancels Contract That Failed to Bring on More Border Agents

$43 MILLION already spent. Just 36 Agents recruited.

by Eric Katz, http://govexec.com

The Trump administration on Thursday canceled a key contract it issued to fulfill an early promise by the president to add thousands of new border security personnel to the federal ranks over the vendor’s inability to deliver new hires.

The announcement followed Customs and Border Protection issuing a partial stop work order on the contract last year, which itself followed reporting by Government Executive and a subsequent inspector general investigation that found Accenture Federal Services was not delivering new hires. The contract was worth up to $297 million for Accenture to hire up to 7,500 Border Patrol agents and other officers on CBP’s behalf.

As of December, the company had only helped the agency bring on 36 employees.

CBP awarded the contract after President Trump required the agency to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents through an executive order he signed shortly after taking office. Accenture was tasked with onboarding those 5,000, plus an additional 2,000 customs officers and 500 air and marine officers. Accenture largely was paid on a per-hire basis, most of which was awarded when CBP sent an offer letter to a candidate, with the remaining amount paid when the employee actually started working.

Prior to the partial stop work order in December, CBP has obligated $43 million to the contract. That included $19 million in start-up costs and nearly $24 million for potential hires. The contract’s cancellation was first reported by Axios.

More:

https://www.govexec.com/management/2019/04/trump-administration-cancels-contract-failed-bring-more-border-agents/156104/?oref=top-story





Pentagon Watchdog Launches Probe of Acting Defense Chief's Boeing Ties

Source: GovExec.com

The Defense Department’s inspector general confirmed on Wednesday that it has launched an investigation of acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on whether he has made decisions overly favorable to his former employer, airline industry giant Boeing.

A spokeswoman for acting IG Glenn Fine released a statement saying the watchdog “has decided to investigate complaints that we recently received that Acting Secretary Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules. In his recent Senate Armed Services Committee testimony, Acting Secretary Shanahan stated that he supported an investigation into these allegations. We have informed him that we have opened this investigation.”

Joe Buccino, a spokesman for Shanahan—who is among several candidates to be permanent Defense chief—promised full cooperation. “Acting Secretary Shanahan has at all times remained committed to upholding his ethics agreement filed with the [Defense Department],” Buccino said in a Wednesday statement. “This agreement ensures any matters pertaining to Boeing are handled by appropriate officials within the Pentagon to eliminate any perceived or actual conflict of interest issue with Boeing.”


Read more: https://m.govexec.com/defense/2019/03/pentagon-watchdog-launches-probe-acting-defense-chiefs-boeing-ties/155729/



Here comes the IG- and the Ethics problems keep on coming!

Orlando TSA Officer Airport Suicide, Delay Reports Flood Twitter

Source: Heavy.com

Orlando police and airport officials say that an on-duty and uniformed TSA officer jumped to his death from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into the atrium area of Orlando International Airport just above a security checkpoint, causing delays and crowds at security and leading some people to be stuck on planes.

"We are working an incident at the Orlando International Airport @MCO where a person jumped from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into the atrium area of the airport. This is an active and on-going investigation. More information to follow..." Orlando police confirmed. You can see some videos from the scene later in this article. The man's name was not released.

"This is an isolated incident within the atrium area of the airport. Any reports of suspicious vehicles related to this incident are FALSE. The person that jumped has been pronounced deceased..." police wrote. The man, who was in his 40s, "was found in critical condition and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased," police wrote. "Preliminary information suggests an apparent suicide. We can confirm the deceased individual involved in this incident is an employee of the @TSA. Our hearts are with the @TSA family during this very difficult time."



Read more: https://heavy.com/news/2019/02/orlando-airport-suicide-security-delay/



Another casualty of the Trump shutdown. Many Federal employees are psychologically adversely affected by being used by Trump as hostages and slaves.

I'm sure this is not the first, nor the last to have the Trump shutdown push them over the edge. I have no idea what else was going on in his life- but whatever it was, whether the forced labor without pay for 35+ days ( we still haven’t been totally compensated- some people still haven’t been paid) or whether something else was just too much for him- we all need to watch out for our fellow federal workers.

If you too are a victim, ask for help.


Amanda O'Brien of Jet Blue (Crew member) posted this:

"I'm hearing that a TSA agent in Orlando ended their life this morning/early afternoon at the Orlando airport. Please remember that even though the government shutdown has ended some people felt the effects of the shutdown very strongly. The financial burden, especially, the shutdown caused our TSA agents and many others will be felt for a long time. Airline employees, especially know and see the stress these workers endure on a normal basis, and with the addition of the stress of the shutdown.... Please take a moment to think before you speak to people, do not take your travel stresses out on others...

And this same thought should be applied to every situation, just be kind to one another and think before you speak.

For those of you who might need someone to talk to, please consider reaching out to a friend or family or a professional. I'm always here to chat!

Check on your friends.

Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Vaporizing Another Norm, Trump Goes Partisan Inside the Pentagon

Source: GovExec.com

The generals tried hard to keep politics out of the Pentagon, but even they don’t have the firepower to stop Donald Trump.

The president went to the Pentagon on Thursday to deliver what was supposed to be a speech announcing the findings of the Defense Department’s missile defense review. Instead, the president used senior uniformed and civilian DOD leaders as a backdrop for a partisan political speech. This time, Trump bashed Democrats and previous unnamed presidents while proclaiming his own greatness on everything from missiles to the budget, the Iran deal, and the military’s overall strength.

It was unprecedented, even for a commander in chief who has used troops as backdrops since his 2016 campaign. Trump started his presidency by crossing unwritten lines — and perhaps Constitutional boundaries — by giving a politically charged speech inside CIA headquarters at Langley, Va. and, one month later, disparaging the American press before troops at the Tampa, Fla., headquarters of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. Both drew sharp criticism, for politicizing America’s strictly apolitical intelligence professionals and troops who swear oaths to serve the Constitution and are expected to do theirs sometimes life-threatening jobs without regard to the party of the president.

More recently, when Trump visited troops in Iraq and in Germany, he was again criticized for the political nature of his rallies and message, especially after troops were permitted to bring red “Make America Great Again” hats for him to sign.

Paying the critics no mind, Trump made no attempt to keep his Thursday appearance politically neutral.



Read more: https://www.govexec.com/defense/2019/01/vaporizing-another-norm-trump-goes-partisan-inside-pentagon/154261/?oref=river



He is damaging the Armed Forces of the United States.

New Poll: Nearly Three-Quarters of Federal Workers Oppose Shutdown, Majority Oppose Wall

Source: Govexec.com

Federal employees remain overwhelmingly opposed to the partial government shutdown, according to a new poll by Government Business Council and GovExec.com, with 72 percent against it and just 21 percent supporting it.

The results vary little from the last GBC/GovExec survey, conducted during the first week of agencies closing their doors, when 71 percent of federal workers said they opposed the shutdown. Now in its 25th day, federal employees appear cemented in their shutdown views.

Just 34 percent of federal employees support President Trump’s request for funding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while 56 percent oppose it. Of those against the wall, more than four out of five are strongly opposed to it. One in 10 respondents said they were neither for nor against Trump’s push for the wall.

Those working at shuttered agencies, which includes more than 800,000 employees who are not currently receiving pay, generally reflect the opinions of the federal workforce at large. Employees at closed agencies were only more opposed to the shutdown than their colleagues at fully funded agencies by 3 percentage points. Employees who are currently working—either at shuttered agencies without pay or at funded agencies—were slightly more opposed to the shutdown than their furloughed colleagues.

Read more: https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/01/poll-nearly-three-quarters-federal-workers-oppose-shutdown-majority-oppose-wall/154183/?oref=top-story



Overwhelming opposition to the shutdown, AND the wall by civil servants.

JUST SAY NO! Stand strong. End the lockout!

Paul Manafort pressured by Russians to pay back debt while Trump's campaign chair

Source: CNN/ Time Magazine

Washington (CNN) Paul Manafort was pressured by a former Russian associate to pay back millions he owed during the time he was running Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report from Time magazine.

Former Russian intelligence officer Victor Boyarkin was in touch with Manafort during the 2016 US presidential campaign on behalf of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to the Kremlin, the magazine reported Saturday.

Boyarkin told Time magazine that he contacted Manafort to collect the debt he owed to Deripaska.

"He owed us a lot of money," Boyarkin told Time this past fall. "And he was offering ways to pay it back."




Read more: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/12/29/politics/russian-former-spy-paul-manafort-trump-campaign/index.html



So now we know who Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Manager, was colluding with, and why- because of a multi-million dollar debt to key Russians.

$43 Million spent. Just 15 people hired.

The Administration Signed a Contract to Bring on 7,500 Border Personnel. It's Hired Just 15.
ERIC KATZ | NOVEMBER 26, 2018 4:49 PM ET



A consultant hired by the Trump administration to boost the number of border agents and customs officers has brought on just 15 of the 7,500 called for in its $300 million contract, according to figures provided by the agency.

Customs and Border Protection has so far obligated $43 million on the contract with Accenture, which is worth up to $297 million over five years. The agency invested $23.5 million in Accenture hires and an additional $19.1 million for start-up costs. The company has so far produced just 15 employees who have actually started working for CBP. Another 33 have accepted job offers.

CBP issued the contract to help fulfill President Trump’s mandate that the agency hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, which he issued through executive order shortly after taking office. Accenture was tasked with onboarding those 5,000, plus an additional 2,000 customs officers and 500 air and marine officers. Accenture gets paid on a per-hire basis, most of which comes when CBP sends an offer letter to a candidate and the remaining amount when the employee actually starts working.

The $43 million already obligated was slated for Accenture to help CBP bring on 600 employees. CBP is still confident the spending will bear fruit, with a spokesperson saying Accenture has 3,700 additional candidates in the hiring process. The contractor expects a “gradual increase of candidates to successfully exit the process in the coming months,” the spokesperson said.

More:

https://m.govexec.com/management/2018/11/administration-signed-contract-bring-7500-border-personnel-its-hired-just-15/153036/

Melania Trump Racked Up $174,000 In Hotel Bills For a Day Trip To Toronto

First Lady Melania Trump ran up a six-figure hotel bill for a one-day trip to Toronto last year, according to federal spending records.

Government spending data show at least six separate Toronto hotel charges ranging from just under $12,000 to nearly $49,000 for a total of roughly $174,000. She did not spend the night.

The total was roughly eight times what it cost to house the first lady’s advance team, whose $18,000 in hotel expenses were broken out separately; in addition to the hotel charges, the first lady’s trip involved $21,000 in transportation costs.

Reports from the press pool that accompanied Trump on her September 23, 2017, Canadian excursion showed that her schedule involved multiple hotel stops. Based on those reports, this was her itinerary for the day:

Source: GovExec.com

More:
https://www.govexec.com/oversight/2018/11/melania-trump-racked-174000-hotel-bills-day-trip-toronto/152884/

Democratic District Attorney was just ambushed and shot in the face

Source: Washington Press

A former Alabama state trooper has shot the district attorney for Alabama’s 17th Judicial Circuit, Greg Griggers, directly in the face today in an ambush attack, according to AL.com.

The local news site reports that the former trooper, Steven Smith, Jr., was killed by law enforcement responding to the crime scene after he shot the DA.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said that the dead assailant, Smith, has been investigated in the past in conjunction with a 1996 shotgun attack on the home of Sumter County Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway, the first black judge to preside over Sumter, Marengo, and Greene counties in the state. Greg Griggers, the victim of today’s shooting, was the district attorney for those same counties and a registered Democrat in deep red Alabama.


Read more: https://washingtonpress.com/2018/11/15/a-democratic-attorney-general-was-just-ambushed-and-shot-in-the-face_2/



No idea on the motive. Reports say the attack occurred as the D.A. Was sitting in his car.

More also at:
https://www.al.com/news/2018/11/former-state-trooper-killed-after-shooting-alabama-da-in-face.html

GOLDEN WINS

Source: LIVE feed

GOLDEN WINS THE INSTANT RUNOFF IN MAINE 2


DEMOCRAT JARED GOLDEN DECLARED VICTOR IN FINAL "INSTANT RUNOFF" MAINE # 2 Congressional District Election.

(LIVE FEED)

Democrat Jared Golden win Maine's 2nd District race

The final vote retabulation in the 2nd District race gave Jared Golden just over 50 percent of the vote.

AUGUSTA - State election officials declared Democrat Jared Golden the winner of Maine's 2nd Congressional District race against incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

A federal judge rejected U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin's request to force the Maine Secretary of State to stop the ranked-choice run-off on Thursday morning.

Sources: Associated Press/Secretary of State
Ranked-choice race for Congress:

Maine's 2nd District
STATUS: 100%

Jared Golden (D) 51% 139,231
Bruce Poliquin (R) 49% 136,326

A candidate must exceed 50 percent of the vote to be declared the winner. Because no one received a majority vote in the first round, last-place finishers are eliminated and their votes get redistributed based on their voters' second or third choices. Learn more here.

POLITICS
Democrat Jared Golden win Maine's 2nd District race
The final vote retabulation in the 2nd District race gave Jared Golden just over 50 percent of the vote.


Read more: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/11/15/final-ranked-choice-vote-count-slated-for-noon/



Source:
https://www.pressherald.com/?relrelated


Congrats to the winner. You can bet that the republican is going to go to court to overturn, but voters in Maine twice approved ballot proposals to adopt rank choice voting.
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