Nostradamus rides again!

After rereading the June 20th column “Plan B for Feds,” I panicked. I admit it.

The column was about what would happen to federal offices, operations and employees if something — a terrorist attack, solar flares, EMPs a major storm or terrorist attack — knocked large parts of the country out. No lights, no A/C, no gas pumps no ATMs. Life without electricity. Off the grid. Forgetabout!

And who knew, as it turned out, that I was a sort of prophet. A modern day Nostradamus sans that silly beard.

Imagine an event — in this case natural — that would knock out most of the East Coast including the Nation’s Capital. What are the odds?


I scared myself so much that I fled to Bermuda so that I would be safe and could carry on if the worst-case scenario hit you and yours. Much as they have special escape places for the president, members of the cabinet and Congress. Safe havens so they can better protect us and carry on. And believe me, I carried on.

But now I’m back.

The D.C. area has returned to normal (or what passes for normal here). As of yesterday morning, only about 7,000 homes were still without power. Repair crews came into the D.C. area from as far away as Texas, Georgia and Ontario (Canada, not California). The monster storm we had — survivors report sideways bolts of lightening — is long gone, even if some of the trees it took down are still there.

While I was in my safe location, I thought only of you and the good I could and would do upon returning. Trust me, it isn’t easy sitting on a lonely beach (air temp 82 F water temp 81 F) while reading that half the nation was suffering. I broke down and wept for you more than once. Although I escaped the bad times and 100-plus temperatures, I paid a price when I got home.

Although exercising daily as promised on vacation, watching my diet, etc., a thief or thieves or broke into my house while I was gone.

Oddly, they took nothing. But they messed with my mind. And my pants. Example:

After two weeks at the beach, none of my pants fit. It took awhile to figure out that they have substituted every pair of pants (trousers) I had, and replaced them with a smaller size. They were identical, except they didn’t and don’t fit. I didn’t know it until I got up Monday and tried to squeeze into pair after pair. Nothing. Nada. Fiendishly clever.

Same for the shirts. They too were identical to my real shirts, except a size too small. I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy, except with a tan. It was maddening, and heart wrenching until I figured out what had happened. Now I just have to get new clothes.

Bottom line: Delighted to be back. And a special thanks to folks who wrote guest columns. They were great and there will be more to come this summer.

Meantime, Congress is back. I’m back. What could possibly go wrong?


By Jack Moore

Who says U.S.A. still isn’t No. 1? According to Slate, the U.S. ranks at the top in cheese production, number of paved miles (and most cars) and rollercoasters, among other categories.


Number of federal teleworkers hits all-time high of 25 percent
The Office of Personnel Management sent Congress a 2011 report on the number of employees teleworking. This is the first report since the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 became law. PTO, GSA, HHS, Education and Treasury are among the leaders in percentage of eligible employees working outside the office.

Obama signs highway, student loan deal with phased retirement
President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday maintaining jobs on transportation projects and preventing interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students, saying it would “make a real difference” for millions of Americans. The bill spared changes to federal retirement benefits and allows retirement-eligible federal employees to opt for a partial retirement.