Dec 30, 2008

First Three Hearings of the 111th

Contact: Bill Wicker
Phone: 202-224-5243

December 19th, 2008

In the spirit of allowing plenty of time to plan for the new year, ENR [Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee] announces its first three hearings for the 111th Congress:

¯ Thursday, Jan. 8, at 9:30 a.m., in Dirksen 366, to receive testimony on current energy security challenges. Witnesses TBA.

¯ Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 10:00 a.m., in Dirksen 366, to consider the nomination of Dr. Steven Chu to be Secretary of Energy.

¯ Thursday, Jan. 15, at 9:30 a.m., in Dirksen 366, to consider the nomination of Sen. Ken Salazar to be Secretary of the Interior.

Sen. Bingaman:Dr. Chu and Sen. Salazar both are highly qualified and experienced, and I look forward to hearing their views on the important work which our President-elect has asked them to undertake.

Sen. Murkowski:I look forward to hearing from the nominees, both of whom are very accomplished, about how we can ensure our energy security. I’ve always had a good working relationship with Sen. Salazar, and I’ve spoken with Dr. Chu and believe I will have the same with him. The administration and Congress must work together to develop sensible and balanced public policy to meet our energy needs and curb our greenhouse gas emissions without hampering the economy.

(Sen. Murkowski is expected to assume the position of ranking Republican on the committee from Sen. Pete Domenici, who is retiring from the Senate.)

# # #


Anonymous said...

I predict these hearings won't produce a single question for Dr. Chu regarding the condition of the US nuclear weapon complex. Not a single one.

Anonymous said...

Here's a possible exchange;

Senator - "Dr. Chu if confirmed, how fast could you move NNSA over to DOD?"

Dr. Chu - "What's NNSA? Does it have anything to do with alternate energy solutions for the American people?"

Senator - "No Dr., you know it makes nuclear weapons for our military."

Dr. Chu - "Oh yea, I was wondering about that box on the org chart they showed me. I sent an email to Bob Gates, and he replied that he thought it was his already. Next question."

Anonymous said...

Condition of the Lab's?...ah, "what Lab's?....

Anonymous said...

Another posibility: LLNL is doing a fine job,and as for LANS, well the jury may still be out on them...
Yes sir I do belive that DOD would indeed be the appropiate way to proceed..Yes Sir, Yes Sir...

Anonymous said...

From The Heritage Foundation
Leadership For America

April 13, 2005

The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century

by Baker Spring and Kathy Gudgel
WebMemo #721

There has been considerable debate over nuclear weapons research programs-such as the Modern Pit facility, Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, Enhanced Test Readiness, and Advanced Concepts-in the wake of Congress´s decision to cut their funding. Although it is unclear whether funding will be restored, some members of Congress are clearly unwilling or unable to understand the evolving role of nuclear weapons in modern national security. At a recent Heritage Foundation event, a panel of experts examined the role of nuclear weapons in the 21st century and their requirements, such as delivery systems, warhead designs, and technology.

The Changed Role of Nuclear Weapons

The role of nuclear weapons today is different than it was during the Cold War, but the lessons of the Cold War are still instructive. How do we judge if nuclear weapons were successful in their Cold War role? What might be the new standards in today´s world?

During the Cold War, the role of nuclear weapons was shaped by the nature of the opponent-the Soviet Union, a fellow nuclear superpower-and reliance on the "balance of terror." Furthermore, holding societal, urban, and industrial targets-and not primarily military targets-at risk was held to be stabilizing. This in turn dictated the numbers and types of nuclear weapons required. The ultimate mechanism of deterrence, which provided extremely effective and certain, was this "balance of terror."

In the post-Cold War world, Russia is no longer the enemy. Today´s threats are regional powers armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and long-range delivery mechanisms. Lesser military powers may now be able to hold at risk U.S. military and civilian targets. Deterrence is an uncertain tool in this environment, and capabilities that were formerly stabilizing may now exert destabilizing effects.

Several questions must be considered in this new environment:

- Is there a continued deterrence role for nuclear weapons?

- What does the changing role of deterrence mean in terms of numbers and types of weapons?

- How can the U.S. best respond to any dramatic changes in threats?

Even in the post-Cold War environment, deterrence remains important. The Cold War arsenal must be adjusted, in numbers and types of weapons, to provide deterrence in a new and dynamic situation. And the U.S. needs to be able, more than ever before, to respond to dramatic changes.

A New Set of Requirements

The time is right to look with renewed energy at what is being done in the nuclear weapons field. With increasing proliferation worldwide, four main concepts described in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) are important:

- Assure: Friends and allies not confident in U.S. deterrence may arm themselves with their own capabilities. It is necessary to assure friends and allies alike of continued U.S. capability and that deterrence is not a bluff.

- Dissuade: Deterrence is still an essential concept in the post-Cold War environment, but today´s circumstances, such as increasing proliferation, mean that weapons must be more flexible. Stability, credibility, and the correct mix of capabilities are all more crtical than the sheer number of weapons.

- Defeat: In order to defeat an adversary, the right capabilities (for example, high accuracy, low yield, and uniquely tailored weapons) must be on hand when required. It is important to not foreclose any options when the strategic environment is as dynamic as today´s.

The Nuclear Posture Review prescribed a flexible nuclear weapons policy. This is necessary in today´s environment of multiple players with different strengths, which has replaced the two-player model of the Cold War. However, policymakers should remember that nuclear modernization is not only about weapons, but also about delivery systems. This necessary infrastructure and the programs that support it are suffering from neglect. Furthermore, new military requirements should be developed to address this changed environment and to ensure a modern strategic force capable of dealing with different kinds of missions:

- Leadership and command and control targets, which may operate from heavily fortified underground locations;

- Hostile nuclear coalitions, which may include rogue states, failed or falling states, powerful terrorist groups with potential to take over weak states, and terrorist groups based in sanctuary states;

- New nuclear-armed allies, which may or may not have full confidence in the United States´deterrent ability; and

- Electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMP), an effective deterrent that adversaries may be able to wield.

The United States must prepare its nuclear capabilities for all of these possibilities, while also establishing the correct offensive-defensive mix and maintaining a robust defensive posture.

The overarching question remains: What nuclear posture fits with our capabilities in a relatively seamless and integrated manner? The basic policy is in place, but it remains to be seen whether the programs can catch up with the policy.


The U.S. nuclear stockpile it little different from that designed to fight the Soviet Union and is nearly useless against today´s threats. The U.S. can undertake several steps to modernize its nuclear capabilities:

- Adopt a dual strategy of nuclear deterrence toward belligerent states and proliferation prevention among law-abiding states.

- Terminate the test moratorium. Not only does testing benefit research into new capabilities, but it also maintains a safe, reliable, and effective stockpile.

- Restore funding to research and develop new nuclear weapons appropriate in today´s environment and re-establish an effective nuclear deterrent.

- Focus global anti-proliferation efforts on the proliferation problem and not on nuclear disarmament.

Research from The Heritage Foundation supports many of these points. For more information, see Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 618, Congress is Wrong to Defund Strategic Programs.

Baker Spring is F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Kathy Gudgel, Research Assistant in Defense and National Security, contributed to this piece. This WebMemo is based on presentations given at "The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century," a public event held at The Heritage Foundation on Monday, March 14, 2005. Panelist presentations are available at


Anonymous said...

A Heritage Foundation report? You have got to be kidding me. Perhaps you failed to noticed, but we just had a major regime change in this country. Neo-cons and conservatives are powerless after this last election.

Nobody cares what either the AEI or the Heritage Foundation has to say in their reports. This Heritage report will make a nice colored flame in the fireplace, but little else.

Anonymous said...

Big changes are coming to the nuclear weapons research community in the next few years. I don't think Dr. Chu wants to be bogged down with the problems of the weapons community. Dr. Chu's overriding concern is energy production and he wants to focus all his efforts on that important issue.

I expect Dr. Chu will take the nuclear weapons problems off his plate by quickly agreeing to hand the whole weapons complex over to DOD. Bob Gates of DOD wants the complex and he will get it. The effects of a DOD handover on the culture and operations of LANL and LLNL will be extreme.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/1/09 2:09 PM writes:
"The effects of a DOD handover on the culture and operations of LANL and LLNL will be extreme."

Maybe so, but the change to LANS has also been extreme. Actually the proper phrase is "extremetly bad!"

Anonymous said...

"Bob Gates of DOD wants the complex and he will get it"

If true you can kiss wfo goodbye forever including just about all basic science and say hello to one big ass layoff.

Anonymous said...

So what if wfo goes away? Why should a weapons lab be doing it? I understand why the staff wants the ability to play around, but I don't understand why the NNSA should allow it.

(There is a clause that says wfo is ok if it does not divert resources, but of course it almost always does. This was just ignored when the inmates ran the asylum.)

Anonymous said...

WFO and science are what brings the top scientists and engineers to LANL. Later, many of them migrate to the weapons program. Without the WFO and science work, LANL would not be able to attract the top talent needed for the weapons work. Of course, neither the DOE nor LANS understand this or actually give a shit about attracting top talent.

Eric said...

Three quick things.

Steve Chu is a lot more sophisticated than is presented above. He has been on review committees for nuclear weapons policy as far back as a decade ago (I think). Read his biography.

There are strong reasons not to move nuclear weapons work to DoD. Commenters might want to send letters to Udall and Bingaman presenting these reasons coherently.

WFO has a simple role at LANL. It attracts and keeps talent. Without WFO, the postdoc program would probably disappear, the foreign nationals part of the post doc program would disappear, and many of the remaining scientific talent, needed for new weapons design, would leave. As for young talent, there is no rallying cry, "I am young and ambitious. I really want to go work on nuclear weapons, where you can't do experiments and the designs are frozen in decades old approaches." The rallying call is, " I want to do nanotechnology or biotechnology." Both of these are mostly WFO projects.

Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

"Without WFO, the postdoc program would probably disappear, the foreign nationals part of the post doc program would disappear, and many of the remaining scientific talent, needed for new weapons design, would leave." (Eric)

I don't think you fully grasp what the NNSA's Complex Transformation is all about, Eric. It is about shrinking the weapons complex down in size by a large amount (around a third) and focusing what remains on weapons work that has a strong production flavor. There is no real need for WFOs, bright post docs, LDRD and foreign nationals in the vision which NNSA has decided to follow.

I don't like this new vision for LANL, but it is the path which NNSA has decide to go down. LANS will carry out these wishes if they hope to continue to make a healthy profit for the LLC partners. Sig was right. Contractorization was the death knell for the nuclear weapons research labs.

Anonymous said...

Horseshit, 1/3/09 7:00 AM ! WFO was not what brought the Allies' best scientists together at Los Alamos in 1943 ! LANL hasn't mustered that totallity of intellect since.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1/3/09 2:27 PM said"

"Horseshit, 1/3/09 7:00 AM ! WFO was not what brought the Allies' best scientists together at Los Alamos in 1943 ! LANL hasn't mustered that totallity of intellect since."

Yes, that was true, but that was 55 years ago. Since then, the nuclear weapons program is not what has drawn the bright young scientists to LANL.

Anonymous said...

1/3/09 7:50 AM

Dr. Chu is not a nuclear czar, e.g. pro nuclear weapons, and pro nuclear power as Dr:s C. Paul Robinson, John S. Foster, Stephen M. Younger, and C. Bruce Tarter would be. His, i.e. the President-elect Obama´s stand on nuclear weapons, and nuclear power is unclear and naive, at best ambivalent, i.e. he will not benefit the NWC, and the nuclear industry, e.g. the stalemate will continue with 99.99% certainty.

Anonymous said...

Sen. Pete Domenici appeared in an extensive interview aired on KOAT this afternoon. It it, he said that the House wants to cut the NNSA weapon lab budgets by 25%. These cuts included the $400 million in cuts destined for LANL this year that were held off by the CR.

If these massive budget cuts happen, Pete says it will result in the immediate loss of 2000 jobs at LANL, but significantly less at SNL (because of their well diversified project base). The loss of 2000 jobs at LANL will have devastating effects on this area. It will plunge the region into a severe recession and will bankrupt those who hold homes in Los Alamos, a small one company town.

The Obama Administration will be releasing their FY2010 budget sometime in the Spring. Talk in Washington DC is currently all about saving jobs. It will be interesting to see if Obama and the Democrats ignore this wish when it comes to the good paying high tech jobs at their very own national security research labs.

If the next budget shows up with big cuts for LANL, realize that both the Presidency and Congress are firmly under the control of one party, so whatever money is in this next budget will be what comes down to LANL on Oct 1st. There will be no hope of a CR to hold off massive job cuts.

Therefore, it's time to start holding the local Congressional delegation's feet to the fire in this matter. With the November election, New Mexico became a fully Democratic state. Bingamin, Udall and Lujan have no excuse if they let these massive job cuts occur at LANL with Democrats in full control while at the same time they also proceed with plans to spend close to $1 trillion in job stimulus money.

Anonymous said...

2:27 missed the point. Maybe 50 years ago, LANL attracted the best and brightest staff by building the bomb. Today, LDRD and WFO is what brings in the postdocs to perform uncleared work that can be published in open journals. Many postdocs leave, some remain doing research but a majority migrate into the weapons world as it provides the most stable funding stream.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting claim,1/3/09 7:21 PM. I suppose that you can support it with facts and figures. For example, since 1992, when nuclear testing ended, exactly how many postdocs has LANL hired into WFO and LDRD programs, how many of them stayed, and how many of them migrated into mainstream weapons work? Compared with TSMs hired directly into nuclear weapons work?

Anonymous said...

10:11 is too demanding with the "exactly" request. However, we all know that very few people migrate from LDRD/WFO to weapons.

I would say that the number is zero in my experience, but maybe there are a few that do migrate. There are a bunch of LDRD/WFO recruits who are happy to charge to weapons when times are tight, but they seldom do much actual work.

Frank Young said...

Rings true, 10:58.

Anonymous said...

"10:11 is too demanding with the "exactly" request. However, we all know that very few people migrate from LDRD/WFO to weapons.

I would say that the number is zero in my experience, but maybe there are a few that do migrate. There are a bunch of LDRD/WFO recruits who are happy to charge to weapons when times are tight, but they seldom do much actual work.

1/3/09 10:58 PM"

This comment is so off the wall that I have to ask if you work at LANL? I know about 40 people who have migrated over. Also your statment about people charging to weapons and not actually doing the work is total bullshit.

I have also known a large number of postdocs that came to LANL under LDRD/WFO who have than gone on to programatic work. You really should know this. I have real dounbts that you work at LANL. The question is what is your real agenda?

And Frank I do appreciate the blog and your hard work but your "Rings true, 10:58" comment is out of line, you simply do not know.

Anonymous said...

" Many postdocs leave, some remain doing research but a majority migrate into the weapons world as it provides the most stable funding stream.

1/3/09 7:21 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an interesting claim,1/3/09 7:21 PM. I suppose that you can support it with facts and figures. "

Yes I think the number is about 2/3 of the hired postdocs. The doccument with these numbers is on the LDRD site. Also that number rings true with my personal experinece.

Anonymous said...

Well, 5:52 PM, you want government funding to keep LANL running? Get in line behind all the others who have their hands out in hopes of being saved. This list is very long and rapidly growing:

Steel Industry Hopes for Big Stimulus Shot - NY Times, Jan 2nd

The steel industry, having entered the recession in the best of health, is emerging as a leading indicator of what lies ahead. As steel production goes, and it is now in collapse, so will go the national economy.

The industry itself is turning to government for orders that, until the collapse, came from manufacturers and builders.

U.S. Governors Seek $1 Trillion Federal Assistance - Reuters, Jan 2nd

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Governors of five U.S. states urged the federal government to provide $1 trillion in aid to the country's 50 states to help pay for education, welfare and infrastructure as states struggle with steep budget deficits amid a deepening recession.

Treasury to Mull CITI-style Rescues - AP News, Jan 2nd

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Treasury Department opened the door Friday to using a Citigroup-style rescue package to help other troubled financial institutions.

Obama Says Unemployment May Exceed 10% Without Rapid Steps on Economy - Bloomberg, Jan 2nd

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama said that Democrats and Republicans need to act with urgency to address the “great and growing” economic crisis, warning of double-digit unemployment if swift action isn’t taken.

“These are America’s problems, and we must come together as Americans to meet them with the urgency this moment demands,” he said today in his weekly radio address. “If we don’t act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment.”

Notion of Fast U.S. Recovery Falls Flat at Parley - CBS Marketwatch, Jan 4th

At annual meeting, economists see little chance recession will end in `09

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - The idea that the U.S. economy is going to recover in the next six months is given little credence at a gathering of top academic economists here over the weekend.

"People are getting nervous," said Adam Posen, deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

"We don't know what to do. It's really a throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-the-problem strategy. It is hard to argue with it in the middle of the crisis, but you can bet everyone will 10 years from now," said Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

The Fed has indeed thrown the kitchen sink at the financial-market crisis, expanding its balance sheet by $1 trillion, to little obvious effect.

2008 Job Losses Probably Worst Since 1945 - Bloomberg News, Jan 4th

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy probably lost more jobs in 2008 than in any year since the end of World War II as firings rippled from homebuilders and automakers to banks and retailers, a government report may show this week.

“We’re continuing to lose massive amounts of jobs,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. “The negative momentum carrying over into the first half of 2009 will hold down the economy regardless of policy.”

Anonymous said...

I don't have statistics to back up my claim, just what I see.

For 10:58- I am one of your statistics that does not exist (ZERO). I hired into LANL as a PD under a LDRD DR, then tranistioned into a TSM under a programmatic job. I then moved over into the weapons world due to budget constraints and not wanting to deal with yearly funding issues.

One of the largest weapons budgets in the lab is under ADSMS. I think we currently have ZERO postdocs, maybe one at best. Yes, ADSMS has students but nobody under the PD program. Several reasons for this: 1) no uncleared lab space available to perform useful work; 2) programs not willing to pay for and support R&D (not ALL programs but most) and 3) difficult to find uncleared research related to weapons program that would result in publicagtions, etc.

Anonymous said...

This is 10:58.

11:25's comment is so different from my experience and the experience of my colleagues in multiple disciplines, that I would for the first time wonder whether 11:25 has ever worked at LANL.

Frank Young said...

I was responding to what I thought 10:58 meant. You are correct, what he wrote was different.

Did you mean, "...seldom do much actual [weapons] work." 10:58?

I didn't mean to imply LDRD/WFO people were fraudulently billing their time.

Anonymous said...

"This is 10:58.

11:25's comment is so different from my experience and the experience of my colleagues in multiple disciplines, that I would for the first time wonder whether 11:25 has ever worked at LANL.

1/4/09 8:42 AM"

Bullshit 8:42AM. You either do not work at LANL or if you did you have some agenda againts it and are deliberately being dishonest. If you work at LANL than name the group and I can point to people that have migrated to your group. Fair enough?

Anonymous said...

The weapons project codes are the safest place to work at LANL until the funding gets cut. Then, they instantly become one of the most dangerous places to be working at the lab. LANL is, unfortunately, about to enter this latter scenario.

As far as the Domenici interview on KOAT, I found it interesting that he said LANL could be facing the IMMEDIATE layoff of 2000 employees if the current weapon budget cuts are executed. His emphasis on the word "immediate" was the key part of that sentence.

If the weapons funding is cut in the next NNSA budget, you will likely see massive layoffs and they will come very quickly. They could come as early as next Fall if LANS decides to rapidly correct the budget imbalance. If a $400 million cut equals 2000 jobs at LANL, then a lessor and more probably cut of $200 million equals around 1000 jobs.

Unless the Obama stimulus program makes it to LANL, I would plan on seeing at least 1000 staff laid off at LANL sometime after Oct 1st. LANS has already used accelerated retirement inducements with the SSP in Jan '08, so I doubt there will be anything to cushion the blow this time around. The one thing that might cushion the weapons cuts is if much greater funding is supplied to LANL for non-proliferation or energy projects. That is not a given at this point in time.

Sandia, with it's well diversified portfolio and reduced reliance on NNSA, will avoid much of the economic pain. LANS should have been more aggressive at weaning LANL from heavy reliance on NNSA funding over these last 2 years. Even at this late date, LANS refuses to effectively control costs and make LANL a competitive place for performing WFO projects.

Anonymous said...

"1/4/09 8:42 AM"

So you do not want to name your group? Maybe it is because you are in not a group? This is the problem with a blog anyone can post with whatever agenda they have. 8:42 is just some phony.

Anonymous said...

"you are in not a group?"

"This is the problem with a blog anyone can post"

-2:36 PM


Learn English, 2:36 PM. It will help you to advance at a faster pace while working at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Why yes 10:40/2:36, I'll get right on it to give you the full details. I would love to be fired during a nation-wide recession and when I can't sell my house here.

Anonymous said...

1/3/09 10:11 PM notices that there are still no facts or vetted numbers to back up the wild speculation on both sides of the postdoc conversion to nuclear weapon expert arguments. Oops, sorry, that would be too much like the scientific method. (We're not LASL anymore.)

Anonymous said...

1/4/09 4:48 PM

2/3 LDRD page

Anonymous said...

There won't be any layoffs at LANL. It might cause more discrimination legal suits and the resultant legal awards would hurt the LANL operating budget even further.

Instead, LANS will implement unpaid vacation furloughs to compensate for any budget shortfalls. It's happening at more and more places as the US economic depression deepens.

I'm not sure what effect the furloughs would have on LANL's HAPC and future TCP1 payouts. It could result in a significant reduction in future pension benefits.

Workers Forced to Take Unpaid Vacations - AP, Jan 4, 2009

NEW YORK - Here's the vacation no one wants, courtesy of the recession: Forced time off without pay.

Financially struggling universities, factories and even hospitals are requiring employees to take unpaid "furloughs" — temporary layoffs that amount to one-time pay cuts for workers and a cost savings for employers. This year, the number of temporarily laid off workers hit a 17-year high.

"If they do it once, I think it's easier for them to try to do it again," said Carrie Swartout, who researches traumatic brain injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Maryland is requiring unpaid time off for 67,000 of its 80,000 employees as it struggles with a budget crisis. The state says the furloughs will save an estimated $34 million during the fiscal year.

State governments, facing lower revenues but stymied by the long process required to cut public sector jobs, are using furloughs as a quick way to trim payrolls. Private-sector businesses — from automakers to small businesses — are shutting down factories and offices as sales drop.

The temporary layoffs are "kind of employment purgatory, but it's better than the alternative," said Carl Van Horn, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University. They're a typical response to decreasing demand in a recession, although this round is slightly worse than past bad recessions, Van Horn said.

Anonymous said...

Good point 4:48. In my experience with LDRD, they scramble to find such numbers (and they don't mind in the least how cooked the numbers are) to support the concept that LDRD does lead to programmatic staffing or expertise.

While normally absence of evidence is not equal to evidence of absence, I would submit that in this case it does. There are strong desires to support the claim that wfo/LDRD benefits the programs, and if there were support for this contention, the lab would trumpet this data loudly.

Anonymous said...

The LDRD page is hardly a vetted number. There is serious pressure to inflate their conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Unpaid furloughs might result in about a 10% budget savings to help prevent future layoffs. Combined with a 10% reduction in salary for TCP1 contributions (coming soon?), and we're looking at a 20% drop in salary for employees. A sudden 20% reduction in living standards should do wonders to help lift the morale at LANL!

Good thing that Mikey and his buddies have those 20% bonuses. They'll come in handy in helping to offset any of the financially pain.

Anonymous said...

"Good thing that Mikey and his buddies have those 20% bonuses. They'll come in handy in helping to offset any of the financially pain."

LOL! Yeah, Mikey's going to offset the pain of laying off 1000 LANL employees by spending part of his bonus on a nice vacation in Tahiti.

Anonymous said...

McDonald's Supersized Retirement Plan - MSNBC, 01-05-09

Fast-food titan looks to retain talent by helping workers save

To stanch the bleeding of valuable talent, McDonald's in 2004 began offering a rich retirement savings perk. Employees who put 5 percent of their salary in the company 401(k) receive a company match of as much as 11 percent, turbocharging their savings right off the bat. To make sure employees take advantage of the program, McDonald's has made enrollment automatic. And to ease the pain of automatically deferring 1 percent of pay, the company gave managers a one-time, 1 percent salary increase.


Perhaps McDonald's should be added as one of the NNSA's exemplars in their 105% market surveys for computing lab benefits! Do you want fries with that nice, fat 11% TCP2 match?

Anonymous said...

Whoa 11:47 AM ! We get already get 11.5% back from LANS for the 6% we put in. So we can say with pride that this National lab's plan beats McDonald's (so far).

Anonymous said...

By the time that Tom D'Agostino's Complex Transformation plan has been completed, manager jobs at a McDonald's restaurant will begin looking more secure and attractive to most of the remaining scientific staff.

Anonymous said...

8:37 PM, I'd like fries with that.

Anonymous said...

"...manager jobs at a McDonald's restaurant will begin looking more secure and attractive to most of the remaining scientific staff."

Unclear many of the scientific staff could handle a manager job at McDonald's.

Anonymous said...

"Unclear many of the scientific staff could handle a manager job at McDonald's.

1/6/09 6:11 PM"

Could you?

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be farming.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, it's unclear. Personally, I don't think I have the temperament or skill set to manage a McDonald's. It looks like demanding work and my Pudd'nheaD in engineering would likely be of little value. I think I'd be a better senior/executive advisor, on overhead of course, for say, $160-180k/yr.

Anonymous said...

What would McDonald's be like if it was run by LANS?

Well, the restaurant would start by hiring at least 10 workers for every customer, the food would be served up cold and very slow, and the cost of a Happy Meal would be well over $200. Manager Mikey would also see to it that he had a reserve spot out in front of the store to park his Mikey-D supplied sports car, of course.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't write the IWD to run the cash register, let alone the french fry vat. It would be a worthwhile exercise to try to make a single hamburger at a McDonalds while following every single inane rule that DOE, LAAO, NNSA, Bechtel and company, and UC have imposed on this place. I claim it couldn't be done for any amount of money. Remember, every single rule.

Anonymous said...

picture all those teenage McD workers being required to enter their T&E through the new Oracle system (especially at the end of the year), McD managers being required to order all their food through iprocurement (so the supplies never arrive or arrive thawed), trying to get an Exhibit F pushed through to get someone in to fix a broken fryalator; customers queued up to get lunch having to wait hours because there was a surprise IWD-proving inspection, ah well. it is an entertaining thought-experiment.