Why Aren’t These People Already Unemployed?

February 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Department of Energy | Leave a comment
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General panoramic view of Hiroshima after the bomb ... shows the devastation ... about 0.4 miles ... / official U.S. Army photo (1945)

General panoramic view of Hiroshima after the bomb ... shows the devastation ... about 0.4 miles ... / official U.S. Army photo (1945)

(TPMMuckraker) It seems that the staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory is having trouble keeping track of its computers. A recent memo shows that currently 67 computers are missing and that 13 of them are confirmed lost or stolen in the past year alone. Furthermore, officials at the laboratory may have erred when they decided to treat the lost computers as a property management issue and not a potential lapse in cyber security. Among the losses is a laboratory BlackBerry that went missing in a “sensitive foreign country.” (Project on Government Oversight)

In December 2003 the nuclear laboratory facility was “praised” for its response to “discovering ten missing computer disks during routine inventories conducted in late November and early December [2003].”

What was the response which elicited praise?

Sen. Tom Connally, David E. Lilienthal and Sen. Brien McMahon) February 3, 1950.

Atomic Committee calls emergency meeting (Left to right: Sen. Tom Connally, David E. Lilienthal and Sen. Brien McMahon) February 3, 1950.

“Officials at the New Mexico nuclear lab notified the Energy Department and the University of California, which runs the facility for Energy.” Praising them for reporting the loss, as they were required to do, sets the bar pretty damn low.

Here we are, six years later, and these morons are just now figuring out that losing laptops and computer disks should be handled as potential risks to national security.

In early February Energy Secretary Chu recused himself from “contract, financial and certain work performance related decisions” at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, because they are managed by Chu’s former employer, the University of California.

This brilliant young man, appointed by the deciderer-in-chief in April 2008, continues as acting Deputy Energy Secretary.


Jeffrey F. Kupfer (Photo: DOE)

Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, he served as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House. He also served as Executive Director of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. From 2001 through 2005, Mr. Kupfer was Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary at the Department of the Treasury. In 2003, Mr. Kupfer handled a temporary assignment as a Special Assistant to President Bush’s Chief of Staff.

Before joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Kupfer served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee; a counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs; and a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Kupfer also clerked for Chief Judge Thomas P. Griesa in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Given the Energy Secretary’s recusal, I assume that the acting deputy secretary is in charge of overseeing management at the labs.

It’s a good thing I have already given up.


Secretary of Energy

December 16, 2008 at 10:01 am | Posted in Department of Energy | 1 Comment
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President-Elect Obama has nominated Dr. Steven Chu for Secretary of Energy. PE Obama had the following to say at the time of the announcement on December 15, 3008:

Dr. Steven Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has been working at the cutting edge of our nation’s effort to develop new and cleaner forms of energy. He blazed new trails as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. Steven is uniquely-suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission. The scientists at our national labs will have a distinguished peer at the helm. His appointment should send a signal to all that my Administration will value science, we will make decisions based on the facts, and we understand that the facts demand bold action.

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