Nov 29, 2007

Comment of the Week, Thursday Edition

From the Anastasio Caught in a Very Large Fib post:


So, why would Anastasio be telling the State Legislature that he has no control over growing WFO at LANL, and then tell Udall that "he's the man" to grow WFO at LANL?

That was a rhetorical question, of course. LANS, DOE, and NNSA don't want WFO at LANL, they want pit production. A year from now LANS can say, "Well, we tried, but we can't find any WFO. Guess we'll just have to do pit production."

And guess what: it's going to work for them, just that easy.


Anonymous said...

I know this isn't the right place to post this, but this GAO report came out today

GAO - Report: Nuclear and Worker Safety: Actions Needed to Determine the Effectiveness of Safety Improvement Efforts at NNSA's Weapons Laboratories. GAO-08-73 (pdf-518K)

Anonymous said...

I wish I hadn't read this post. This guy is probably right in his analysis of Mikey and NNSA. I'm feeling very nauseous again.

Anonymous said...

Mikey has achieved the status of the most disrespected LANL director of all time.

Nobody ever called Hecker, Browne or even the despised Nanos a liar.

Anonymous said...

Nanos was a liar, he was called a liar. 6:43, you need to read

jacks said...

I don't understand the contention that Anastasio lied: he says DC has to tell him what to do, but Udall is DC -- isn't that what the complaint about his vote is about? So when DC
does say go after WFO, Anastasio is
CONSISTENT in saying, will do, and

Anonymous said...

No, 1:44. Anastasio is a lier. He just happened to get caught at it this time. Mikey need to be more careful what he tells he media -- they tend to write down what he says.

Anonymous said...

1:44 PM

Udall isn't DC, DOE/NNSA is. Udall can't tell Anastasio what to do, only DOE/NNSA can.

The only way Anastasio can build WFO is by implementing policies that better allocate the small amounts of discretionary funding DOE/NNSA allows him to control -LDRD which is only 6% of the budget.

So Anastasio' big lie is that he is the man to get it done. He isn't, he doesn't have sufficient leverage to get it done - and apparently he doesn't have sufficient intelligence to recognize it.

The truth is, WFO programs at LANL are built from the bottom-up through the hard work of individuals and small teams - Principle Investigator survival units. LANS management isn't involved in this WFO work in any way whatsoever except as gate-keepers and tax men.

Anonymous said...

"..LDRD which is only 6% of the budget." - 6:36 AM

FYI, it use to be 6%. LDRD tax is now 8% and it comes straight off the top of all incoming funds, including those for WFO.

The tax was raised so that FTE rates on LDRD projects could be set at much higher rates to help pay for more bloated management and overhead.

The tax increase did not allow LDRD to "grow", though this is exactly how the politicians and management sold the increase when it was instituted about 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

In response to 12/1/07 10:59 AM, the LDRD increase was never sold that way. Congress simply ordered that LDRD be subject to overhead tax. Never mind that LDRD itself is an overhead tax, and that they were ordering an overhead tax on an overhead tax.

At the time, even DOE stated that the order by Congress violated Generally Acceptable Accounting Practices (GAAP) practices. But an order is an order.

The fundamental problem is that Congress does not like LDRD, since it represents research being conducted at a government laboratory that Congress did not expressly dictate. For related reasons that I don't recall, they decided that applying overhead tax to LDRD charges was somehow appropriate. Nevermind about GAAP.

Anonymous said...

Au contre, 1:54 PM. I succinctly remember St. Pete crowing about how the increase in LDRD to an 8% level demonstrated that basic science was alive and well and doing better than ever at LANL. Maybe DOE didn't sell it that way, but St. Pete sure did!

Anonymous said...

Au au contraire, 6:00PM. From the 2006 Energy and Water Conference Report (136th page) (click here)

The conferees are concerned with the level of overhead charges
applied to programs funded in this bill and urge the Department
to continue to work to minimize the overhead burden on all program
activities. In order to ensure an equitable allocation of overhead
costs the Secretary should apply overhead charges to LDRD
activities consistent with cost accounting practices applied to program activities that are direct funded. The conference agreement
increases the allowable percentage for LDRD, PDRD and SDRD activities
to allow this accounting change without harming the underlying
discretionary research activities. The change in accounting
practices should be implemented with no net reduction in LDRD
levels below 6 percent of the funds provided by the Department of
Energy to such labs for national security activities and 2 percent
for PDRD and SDRD activities at the appropriate plants and sites.

St. Pete was just making lemonade from lemons. Congress wanted overhead charged on overhead, in opposition to GAAP.

The other battle that year was that the House was going to dramatically slash LDRD below 6%. By allowing this dumb overhead on overhead tax, Domenici rescued the net original 6%. Hence the crowing you reference.

Anonymous said...

LDRD had the FTE rates raised to cover for overhead, yet the rates for those who work in management and in overhead divisions are still low compares to the normal FTE rates.

If we are going to tax overhead to pay for overhead, then it is time to start raising the FTE rates on management and overhead divisions.

Recursive overhead charges for everyone == The Magic Path to instant wealth!

I think I just solved LANL's huge budget problems. We can tax ourselves out of this situation!