Sep 25, 2008

Anastasio speaking to House subcommittee today

September 25, 2008

Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio is scheduled to testify before a congressional subcommittee this morning. The House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations is holding a hearing on security at Department of Energy national laboratories.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

A link to a video Web cast of the hearing is here.


Anonymous said...

Of the proposed $700 billion that is needed to stabilize the financial system, how much do you think will come out of the LANS budget for LANL? Why this amount?

Anonymous said...

9/25/08 7:17 AM

Maybe all of it. Can the United States afford LANL, LLNL, Sandia, Oak Ridge, NASA, NSF, NIH, and the war? We have other things to worry about now.

Anonymous said...

Too funny, Rep Burgess did not even know that LANL changed contractors two years ago.

Anonymous said...

The $700 billion will be paid for by inflation and lower standard of living for Americans. I predict no change in government funding for anything.

Anonymous said...

The NNSA budget (and many others) are about to get slammed in the next fiscal budget that will be announced sometime in the early Spring. This will occur no matter who wins the November election.

Next week we'll see passage of the $700 B Wall Street "give away", another $25 B for the Big-3 US automaker bailout, plus money for yet another stimulus package with Treasury checks for Americans.

Given all this sudden action, politicians will have no choice but to make deep cuts throughout the rest of the discretionary budget.

Agencies and Departments will work hard to persevere what they have but NNSA will make out poorly in these fights because St. Pete can no longer help and there is strong bi-partisan support to cut NNSA's spending.

The end result of all this is to increase the likelihood of layoffs at LANL sometime by next summer or shortly there after. There are no more "SSP" solutions to help ease the pain. I wish this wasn't so, but the cards being dealt in this game really stink for LANL.

Anonymous said...

Mike will tell Congress: "Morale at LANL is great and safety and security are better than ever under LANS management."

He'll forget to tell them the means used to achieve these stats is through intimidation and through the application of Work-Free Safety Zone strategies.

Anonymous said...

LANS will have a CR for the next few months until Congress gets their act together, then watch out! without Sen Domenici to safe-guard our butt, they (the Congress) will cut and slash our budget. We are again, living on borrowed time....until then, enjoy the next few months.....

Anonymous said...

The Omnibus bill passed yesterday. Everyone in the government (not just NNSA) is under a CR for six months.

Anonymous said...

Let's all hope the CR holds for as long as possible during FY'09!

Anonymous said...

Here's the official LANL PR spin:

LANL News Bulletin - September 25, 2008

Michael Anastasio Emphasizes Lab's security successes

Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio told a congressional subcommittee this morning that the Laboratory is improving its security posture with a record of successes in both physical and cyber security.

Testifying before the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations hearing on security at Department of Energy national laboratories, Anastasio said the Lab has reduced the number of vault-type rooms by nearly 25 percent; reduced its Accountable Classified Removable Electronic Media from 12,000 to fewer than 4,000; opened its first super vault-type room and plans to open four others.

Ninety-four percent of targeted classified workstations have been converted to diskless operations, and other improvements have been made or are under way, Anastasio said.

"We've taken concrete actions to reduce risk, clarify policy, establish roles and responsibilities, and develop solutions to continuously improve our security posture. These measures are working," said Anastasio.

The director said the Lab also is continuing to address cyber security threats, adding that "the cyber threat is one faced by the entire nation. It is something that requires a coordinated national response using our country's combined assets, skills, and experience. The unique cyber capabilities of the national laboratories can be a valuable resource, building on the integration efforts already under way between the Labs and with the [National Nuclear Security Administration]."

Anastasio concluded his testimony telling the subcommittee "Los Alamos is making significant progress improving our security posture, and we are committed to continuous improvement to stay ahead of the evolving threats."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that wonderful testimony, Dr. Anastasio. Now, if you would just leave the big bag of Bechtel lobby money by the back door of Congress, you can be on your way.

Anonymous said...

The GOOD News:

Security at LANL has improved.

The BAD News:

They US is collapsing under a dark cloud of corruption, greed and political rot. There is little left for US security to really protect.

Anonymous said...

Popular Anger puts Fat Cat CEOs on the Run

Sep 26 08:31 AM US/Eastern, AFP

An angry US public and Congress are pushing to snip the rip cord on golden parachutes used by fat cat CEOs to escape Wall Street's mayhem.

Democrats in Congress -- set to resume emergency talks Friday with their Republican counterparts on a 700-billion-dollar (478-billion-euro) bailout for the financial industry -- insisted that any agreed package include restrictions on executive pay.

They caught the mood of a nation sickened at watching the titans of finance walk away from Wall Street disasters not only unscathed, but enriched.

"The wealthiest people, those... in the best position to pay, are being asked for no sacrifice at all," read a petition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, which by Thursday, after three days, had 32,600 signatures.

Arun Gupta, an editor of alternative New York newspaper The Indypendent, said there was "socialism for the rich and dog-eat-dog capitalism for the rest of us."

"Think about it," Gupta wrote in an email that quickly circulated to thousands of activists and inspired the New York street protest. "They said providing healthcare for nine million children, perhaps costing six billion dollars a year, was too expensive, but there's evidently no sum of money large enough that will sate the Wall Street pigs."

Forbes, the magazine for and about the rich, also said enough was enough.

"The compensation schemes for Wall Street CEOs should be capped to a small fixed amount," wrote national editor Robert Lenzner.

"The rest should be dependent on performance in a way that does not reward taking greater risk than is prudent. If CEOs don't perform, they should get nothing."

One worker in the New York finance sector, who asked not to be named, said his colleagues were as angry as the general public.

"A lot of people are very upset that managers in their own companies and captains of industry in other areas made some really, really bad decisions," he said.

"The most insulting thing is the golden parachutes where these jackals from Fannie and Freddie, having destroyed the company, walked away with millions.... It all comes down to greed."


And what about all the piglets that infest LANS upper management? The $200 million in new annual costs to support the "for-profit" operations? The luxury sports car supplied to our Director, parked out front of Otowi each day for all to see? The special pension insurance so he will never suffer a single dime of pension loss? The increases in the number of upper level positions and the big rise in salaries and bonuses for those at the top PAD and AD levels? The revolving door at NNSA that lets NNSA managers move from government jobs to lucrative positions with the NNSA contractors they recently hired?

Enough of the greed and the public loss/private gain theme. Enough of Bechtel Corporation milking what they can out of the place while the science slowly dies. Enough of the crazy policies and the "dumbing down" of LANL operations.

LANS LLC was a very bad idea for a government owned scientific institution. It may be fine for places like Pantex and Y-12, but it doesn't work here. LANS and their profit fee motives are slowly killing the laboratory. I know it will never happen, but LANS needs to be stripped of the contract and LANL needs to be returned back to a non-profit entity. Many of the best scientists are walking out the door in digust at what has occurred here over the last two years. More will soon follow. If there is anyway that LANL can be returned back to non-profit hands, it needs to be done, and done quickly.

Anonymous said...

FY '09 Senate Appropriations for NNSA:

Listen starting around the 2:02 mark on this video. This is the meeting where at 2:09 Sig Hecker talks about the very poor work environment at the labs ("like prisons") brought about by the LLCs and says that the LLC privatization of the labs has made them very bad places for scientists to do their research. Yeah, hiring a construction firm like Bechtel to run a science lab wasn't a bright idea, was it?

Sen. Feinstein mentions at the 2:08 point that "I don't want to get 5 years down the road and find out something dreadful has happened to these labs!" (Note to Sen. Feinstein: You won't have to wait 5 years; it's already happened!)

I'm with Sig and share Feinstein's concerns. Let's get rid of the LLCs and their "for-profit" status and put the labs back under non-profit management. Give Bechtel the boot. It will re-invigorate science at the labs and also save the US government a ton of money (and God knows they need to save some money right about now).

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breathe for Feinstein to do anything. Her husband is a UC Board of Regents.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mikey is being compensated like a Wall Street ceo:
high salary
housing allowance
vehicle allowance
golden parachute.

This was not necessary with his
predecessors (except for Admiral Butthead).

This is further evidence of incompetance on the part of LANS.

Anonymous said...

LANS LLC has turned out to be a big 'downer' for most of the employees at LANL, but look at the really swell parties they throw each year in town. At least we get free hotdogs and sodas!

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mike spends more time talking to Congress about the great successes of LANS than he spends talking to his own employees. Our Dear Director is missing in action.

Anonymous said...

How's that special LANS executive pension insurance going for you, Mikey? I'll bet it allows you to sleep much better at night with all this stock market turmoil going on.

Anonymous said...

Your (or Mikey's) pension payout isn't affected by day-to-day stock market moves, unless the pension fund goes belly-up - not likely for UC but who knows for LANS. However, your 401k is a different matter. Don't confuse the two - if you think your 401k is a "pension" you are really in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Mikey's pension is not affected by stock market moves in any manner since he gets special pension insurance on any possible pension loss. And, 8:19 PM, FYI, I know the difference between a 401k and a pension and have both.

No confusion here at all. However, pensions need to make around 8% returns per year. If the markets keep going down or even sideways and bonds keep blowing up, the effects on TCP1 will be horrendous.

The most likely outcome of this would be that LANS would decide to stop the bleeding by freezing the pension and forcing everyone into the 401ks (which are also going down). This would mitigate their financial risks. That's what I expect will probably happen in the next few years if things don't turn around. In this scenario, you get some reduced pension payout on retirement and have to make up for the loss of expected income with a 401ks, which are declining in value. It's not a pretty scenario, especially for those who are less than 15 years from retirement.

Anonymous said...

11:18 am: LANS cannot do anything to the TCP1 pension without a change to the contract. Specifically, it cannot deviate from UC's treatment of their DBP during the duration of the current contract. Look it up, and stop fearmongering.