Make or Break Night for Pres. Obama — Your Debate Guide — 7 DorobekINSIDER Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • We are less than three weeks from the election. So the big question now, is what’s next? What happens after the new president is elected? How should career feds handle the transition. NAPA and ASPA have tried to answer some of those questions. They’ve launched the Memos to National Leaders project to help inform incoming national leaders about policy and management challenges facing the nation. Click here for the full recap.

Tonight is the second presidential debate
The second of three debates for the presidential candidates. This debate uses the town hall format, and there is much discussion about what can happen — whether President Obama will actually show up.

Democratic insiders tell the National Journal that this could be a make-or-break night for President Obama.

In a stark warning on the eve of the second presidential debate, veteran Democratic strategists Stanley B. Greenberg and James Carville write in a newly released memo that the campaign “has reached a tipping point” that could cost President Obama reelection if he does not present a more compelling vision for the next four years.

As with the previous debates, we will be live tweeting the event using the hashtag #DebateGov. We’ll be watching for government focused questions or comments. And we’d love to hear your thoughts as the debate goes on.

Meanwhile with just weeks before the official transition begins, thoughts turns to transition and who will/could/should take key administration posts. National Journal has looked at the potential for both teams.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Federal retirees will see their cost-of-living adjustments increase by 1.7 percent next year. Federal News Radio says Social Security recipients received a 3.6 percent increase in benefits this year after getting none the previous two years. Meanwhile, the increase is more than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate earlier this year of 1.38 percent. The increase means more than 56 million Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent next year.
  2. Meanwhile new figures show the much talked about retirement tsunami has finally arrived. Federal Times reports, it’s not just retirements, overall attrition shot up in 2011, which caused the government’s total workforce to drop by its greatest amount since the height of the government downsizing in 1999.
  3. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is accepting responsibility for the fatal attack on the U.S. compound in Libya. She said requests for embassy and consulate security go to the State Department not the White House. Federal News Radio says Secretary Clinton says that means the buck stops with her. Clinton made the remarks in an interview with CNN during a visit to Peru. She has asked an advisory board to investigate the conditions that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador. The board is expected to release its findings next month. Meanwhile, Republicans have criticized State Department officials for calling the assault “unprecedented.” It took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  4. The United States, once again, is nearing its borrowing limit. Republican senators want to know how the Treasury Department will avoid default if it reaches the federal debt limit. Federal News Radio says the default could happen sometime toward the end of this year. The Treasury Department could put off default for a few more months by taking emergency measures. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for details. They said planning ahead could avoid a repeat of what happened last year. That’s when a similar debate nearly shut down the federal government, and the government’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history. It also led to the Budget Control Act, which put the wheels of sequestration and automatic budget cuts in motion.
  5. The Justice Department is asking a federal court to throw out a Republican lawsuit over documents concerning Operation Fast and Furious. It said the Constitution prohibits the courts from resolving such disputes between the executive and legislative branches. If the lawsuit goes forward, the Justice Department said it could open the door for more lawsuits whenever Congress doesn’t get the papers it seeks. In this case, the Justice Department has withheld some documents requested by Republican leaders of the House Oversight Committee. They concern the botched gun-tracking program along the Mexican border. President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege to protect Attorney General Eric Holder in this dispute. The House has found Holder in contempt for not turning over the papers. (Federal News Radio)
  6. What does a Chief Learning Officer do? That’s a question that 63% of feds can’t answer. The results are part of a new study by Government Business Council. Government Executive reports, the CLO position in the private sector is a vital one. CLOs, sometimes called the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO), are responsible for making the business of learning not only effective but cost efficient and profitable. For the full results of the survey, click here.
  7. And on GovLoop, with the increased emphasis on cybersecurity in government, open source software places a critical role in keeping government information secure. In our next training, “OSS and Cyber Security for Government,” we will discuss open security projects and techniques that support and protect government cyber assets.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • What Makes a Great Boss?– New research shows the huge economic value of effective supervisors and the surprising ways they make workers more effective.
  • What’s the value of a good boss? When the boss is a CEO, that question has been closely scrutinized. But the role of less exalted front-line supervisors—the folks who directly oversee teams of workers—has been overlooked. Do supervisors vary in quality? How valuable is a good one? And what makes a good one good? These are questions that preoccupy people in their daily work lives, but haven’t been the subject of much formal research… That it’s better to have a good manager than a poor one isn’t very surprising. But the authors’ two other findings are a bit more striking. The main impact effective supervisors have on their employees doesn’t come from motivating or supervising them per se, it comes from teaching them better work methods. About two-thirds of the productivity boost from working under a good supervisor persists even after the worker switches bosses. That leads the authors to conclude that “teaching”—imparting better methods or skills—is the biggest part of effective supervision. The good boss effect does decay over time, however, so that after six months only about 18 percent of the boost remains.

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