- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VETTING DHS

A Washington Times reader and a veteran steps forward, reluctantly, on Veterans Day, with a distinct concern, a warning and lots of acronyms.

“There is problem within the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) that is directly affecting veterans employed as civilian personnel. We cant get the Chief, Human Capital Office (CHCO) to properly implement Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidelines regarding accrual of benefits,” the veteran says.

“For example, OPM has adopted a Justice Dept. opinion regarding application of military service while individuals are serving in civilian full time positions while on terminal military leave. The OPM policy is that an individual in terminal leave is not yet retired - and therefore their full service must be credited when setting their leave accumulation rate during their terminal leave period. Yet, CHCO wont even answer employees when asked to correct leave balances for such periods.”

The office is “similarly non-responsive” when asked to credit military service for newly appointed employees, the vet says.

“Given that military personnel are frequently recruited by DHS specifically because their former duties directly relate to their new civilian position, it should be readily apparent that this lack of action or policy serves as a disincentive to veterans, and a morale killer to those who choose to continue serving the nation as civilians within DHS … Such a disincentive is going to be a serious challenge to DHS achieving its goal of employing 50,000 Veterans by 2012.”

BUMPER PATROL

“Hey Barack. I’m Ba-roke.” - spotted in Alexandria, Va.

CZARCASM

The 32 Obama administration “czars” continue to hold court in and around the Beltway. Frank Schell, a contributor to the American Spectator who is also on the editorial board of the Chicago-based National Strategy Forum, wonders why there are no “czarinas” in the mix, and whether the weapons czar may get competition from the weapons of mass destruction czar.

“In view of the proliferation of czarist positions, it might be wise to appoint a czar of czars who will manage the affairs of other czars and critique their performance - ideally 24/7, using cyclical 360 feedback, or 720 just to be sure. The number of questions raised by this pool of czarist talent might also suggest that a questions czar be appointed, whose principal qualifications would be inquisitiveness and the ability to poke around with a stick,” Mr. Schell says.

“Sometimes we learn more about a country by the czars they do not have: There is no czar for combating narcissism, and there is no stiff-upper-lip czar. Nor is there a czar to prevent grandstanding and empty posturing by Congress,” he adds.

And no gaffe czar either. Pity.

STILL STANDING

She admitted making a steamy home video for a boyfriend, and owned up to the regrets that followed. But in the middle of her revelations, Carrie Prejean has also become a media analyst. The former Miss California has become an aggressive critic of the mainstream press, and defender of those females like herself who have been “Palinized” - attacked for their looks, politics, ideology or all three.

“There is a double standard out there. There is an extreme double standard that conservative women are under attack,” Miss Prejean told NBC on Tuesday.

“If Sean Hannity went out there and said some of the things that Keith Olbermann has said about me, if he said anything about Sonia Sotomayor or Michelle Obama, he would be off the air. Why is there this double standard?” she asked.

Miss Prejean is currently promoting her new book, “Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks,” penned after she publicly spoke out against gay marriage earlier this year.

“What I went through told me something about America. There is something broken in our culture when a majority of Americans are afraid to speak out on a prominent issue. There is something sick about a political-correctness smear machine that can be turned on instantly and can throw so much hatred at a young woman who dared to speak her mind,” the 22-year-old author notes.

POLL DU JOUR

• 76 percent of voters overall say most lawmakers put their careers ahead of helping the people who elected them.

• 53 percent say it is unlikely that members of Congress will address serious issues facing the nation.

• 63 percent of voters would not want their children to grow up to be politicians.

• 17 percent would approve the career choice, 20 percent are not sure.

• 22 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans would be happy if their child became a politician.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Nov. 7-8.

Salutes, critiques, curious asides to [email protected] or 202/636-3085.

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