Raise your glass to the hard-working people

Per the comments, I contacted the people at FEEA, Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund, to see if that might be a good place to donate for those looking to help furloughed federal workers. Here is what they said:

We are in desperate need of donations for a program we just launched targeting the lowest income feds with micro grants for groceries, gas, diapers, etc. Donations can be made here.

Here is the description of the program.

I just sent gave them 50 bucks. This shut-down may go on for a long time and federal workers need our support.

71 replies
  1. 1

    If this goes another week, people will start losing their homes and there will be riots. Those won’t be directed at Democrats, either. I think congressional Republicans know, but they no longer know any way to function than to wait for Democrats to bail them out. And obstruction is ALL Mitch knows how to do.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for the link, Cole.

    This is crazy

  3. 3
    satby says:

    I’m heading home tomorrow. As soon as I have secure internet again I’m in for the same.

  4. 4
    SRW1 says:


    Kudlow today declared the opposite. According to him, public service employees going without pay “Honor us. They honor us.” Can’t make up that level of cluelessness.

    us = Trump administration

  5. 5

    @Frankensteinbeck: Haven’t we been hearing from the so called experts how Mitch M is all that and how he always wins!

  6. 6
    Gravenstone says:

    @SRW1: The serfs are always expected to honor their Lords. Kudlow is just delusional enough to believe himself among the Lords as opposed to being just another expendable peon.

  7. 7
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Thanks for mentioning FEEA. I’ve been donating to them for several years, since a previous shutdown, and I’ve mentioned them in comments here several times.

    They get a modest monthly donation from me but I think it’s time to give them a one-time crisis donation too. I’ll check out that link.

  8. 8
    BostonGrumpyBroad says:

    I’m mostly a lurker hereabouts, but I wanted to thank you for providing the link to the FEEA. Donated.

  9. 9
    Cermet says:

    Thanks for the link, I donated. These people don’t deserve this terrible toll they are being forced to endure.

  10. 10
    catclub says:


    people will start losing their homes and there will be riots.

    I seem to have forgotten the riots of 2009 when the millions of people who lost their homes rioted and killed all the bankers.
    Unemployment rate then was 10% now it is 4%.

  11. 11
    catclub says:

    so I have NOW heard of some banks and credit unions that ARE offering low interest loans to Federal employees. Why have I not heard of them until now? Shouldn’t they have been shouting this from the rooftops?

  12. 12
    Wolvesvalley says:

    Thanks for the heads-up and the link, Doug! I just send them the same donation.

    My parents were both federal workers, and I was, too, for a little while after graduating from college. A month without pay would have been catastrophic.

  13. 13
    smedley the uncertain says:

    Doug!, Thanks for the link. This Fed retiree just matched your gift

  14. 14
    joel hanes says:

    Last night I wrote that I feared the decisions of a humiliated Trump.

    According to Digby, he’s not complying with the request to withdraw the diplomats from Maduro’s Venezuela, after officially “recognizing” Guaido.

  15. 15
    Keith P. says:

    Three words – challenge coin auction

  16. 16
    mad citizen says:

    Um, according to google and something called fedsmith.com, the average federal salary in 2017 was 115.5K. That’s way more the median HOUSEHOLD income of 56K. Maybe if there is a fund for national park workers, who have very low salaries. Ok, read the link and see program is for those making 35K or less. That’s good. Can’t imagine there are that many considering the average salary.

  17. 17
    Ksmiami says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I just donate 100 but I’m ready for tumbrels and guillotines

  18. 18
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @mad citizen: That sounds suspicious.

    Here’s the GS schedule for 2017.

    Base pay:
    $115K puts you at the very tippy top of GS-14 or into the GS-15 range. Those are rare positions, very hard to get.

    Here’s the DC-MD area pay (some areas get a locality increase due to estimated cost of living)

    $115K still puts you into GS-13 to GS-15 territory. And you’re saying that half (assuming “average” means “median”) the federal employees were GS-13 step 8, GS-14, or GS-15? I have a lot of trouble believing that.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    For anyone who missed it: here is link to today’s Nancy Pelosi press conference (16 minutes) and a transcript of last week’s. I hope the links transmit. Original comment is in the Good news thread by TaMara, with the peanut butter and duck (not same item).

    @WaterGirl: re Nancy Pelosi’s press conference

    linky for C-Span: https://www.c-span.org/video/?457222-1/speaker-pelosi-not-true-democrats-negotiating-scenes-end-shutdown

    Here’s C-Span link to today’s press conference. 16:12.

    Here’s transcript of last week’s press conference; this week’s is not up yet. Pelosi, January 17.

    linky to transcript: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/11719-2/

  20. 20
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:


    I just donate 100 but I’m ready for tumbrels and guillotines.

    Another BJ denizen said about 18 months ago that what should happen to people like Kudlow, Trump, etc., is that they should count their blessings that we’re not marching them down some main drag in a major metro area, Chinese Communist Cultural Revolutionary Style, into a stadium where they are shot. The family is charged the cost of the bullet and their wealth is redistributed to the poor.

    But, in a pinch, I’d settle for tumbrels and guiollotines.

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I am suspicious, too.
    Even though I do know that many very low GS level jobs have been contracted out, that still seems pretty high.

  22. 22
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @catclub: Banks and CUs have been advertising their emergency loan info to customers since the almost the beginning of the shutdown . US Bank has had a banner at the top of their website.

  23. 23
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @mad citizen: OK, injecting a little reality.


    $115K was, according to that article, the average salary for Washington, DC. I still have a little trouble believing that, since as I pointed out that means that half the employees are GS-14’s or GS-15’s, but let’s take it at face value.


    Claiming it’s the average federal salary for the entire US is completely wrong. It’s not the average.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Keith P.:

    Challenge Coin Auction

    I have no idea what this is referencing.

    Do we pay laid off feds in bitcoin?

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @WhatsMyNym: Good! It is still a shame that it only becomes known after Wilbur Ross brings it up.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    @mad citizen: That doesn’t even come close to passing the smell test. There are nowhere near enough GS-13 through 15 gigs to overbalance the salaries like that. zhell a GS-12 step 10 only makes $100K or so. Federal salaries are publically availabe information, so wherever that stat comes from it’s not based in reality.

    – a GS-9 step 4 drone.

  28. 28
    Ksmiami says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: first Trump and family, followed by Mnuchin, Ross, Adelson… ugh so many people, so few guillotines…

  29. 29
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Thanks for this, Doug. I’m in for $50.

  30. 30
    WhatsMyNym says:


    only becomes known after Wilbur Ross brings it up.

    I’ve seen it referenced in the news before, but I live in the middle of the military industrial complex surrounding Seattle. The banks and CUs probably want to take care of existing customers first.

    ETA: there’s a Coast Guard station down the street from me.

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    News of the vote:

    In its second vote of the day, the Senate rejected a Democratic bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8.

    The measure failed on a 52-to-44 vote. A half-dozen Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah), defied Trump, voting with Democrats in favor of the measure.


    I think that many crossovers by GOP senators are a good sign.

    Grrrr Bloomberg headline says they voted against “Democrats Shutdown Bill’

  32. 32
    The Dangerman says:


    Banks and CUs have been advertising their emergency loan info to customers since the almost the beginning of the shutdown .

    If they are charging enough interest just to cover costs, good for them.

    If they are profiting, well …

  33. 33
    randy khan says:


    The Republican crossovers are a good sign, for sure.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:


    so many people, so few guillotines…

    We got a bunch of people with unexpected time on their hands …

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    The other vote:

    The Senate rejected Trump’s proposal to end the shutdown, which included $5.7 billion in border wall funding and temporary protections for some immigrants.

    The measure failed on a 50-to-47 vote, with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) crossing party lines to vote against the measure and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) joining most Republicans in voting yes.

    Only Manchin from Democrats voted for it. Good.

    I am surprised to see those two GOP senators voting against. But they did not vote for the Democrats open the government bill.

  36. 36
    chopper says:

    @mad citizen:

    why are you comparing average to median?

  37. 37
    Bostondreams says:

    Off topic, but in Betty’s neck of the woods:
    Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel resigns. He was JUST appointed a month ago.

    At some point he thought wearing blackface as a female ‘Katrina Victim’ to a halloween party was a good idea.

  38. 38
    Keith P says:

    @catclub: Earlier post about Sectet Service making shutdown coins

  39. 39
    Planetjanet says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: he also can’t compare averages to medians. They are not the same.

  40. 40
    gvg says:

    @Keith P: With pacifier on the margin….smirk

  41. 41
    Yellowdog says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I wonder if the DC figure includes all the congressional paychecks and the cabinet level positions.

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    According to what I saw at TPM, the Democratic Senate bill to reopen got more votes than the Republican. (Both failed, of course.)

  43. 43
    Keith P says:

    @gvg: And I’d pay handsomely for one. Ditto for the Kim Jong Un and just one actual infrastructure challenge coin.

  44. 44
    Sab says:

    Can you rerun this in a week or so if it’s still needed.

  45. 45
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Definitely not the big salaries here in Cinci. I retired last year at GS4, Grade 6. I have a very modest pension that needs supplementing with Medicaid and Food Stamps. Maybe the Director makes GS 15 around here. A lot of us were GS-3 to GS7-8. I don’t even know what the seasonals (being phased out) are doing now. Give if you can, while I hope that this doesn’t fuck with my pension-it’s already fucking with my Food Stamps. God knows about Medicaid.

    What we need is a Telethon to wake people up more. Some people are helping-Cinci Police is bringing food for TSA workers at the airport, people are chipping in all over. But a national awareness effort is needed here.

  46. 46
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Bostondreams: who the hell hasn’t learned by now that black face is always a bad idea? Sheesh.

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: yes. Let’s do it in the Washington [racist nickname]’s stadium. And finish the first day with Dan Snyder.

  47. 47
    gene108 says:

    @joel hanes:

    You know, there’s probably a smart way to recognize Guaido and pressure Maduro to step down. Maduro’s been terrible for Venezuela, and looks like he wants to consolidate more and more power to himself, while the country suffers.

    But this administration can’t even be bothered to do anything besides making things worse.

  48. 48
    chopper says:


    man, i love it when the trash takes itself out.

  49. 49
    dmsilev says:

    Done, and thank you for the pointer. I’ve also been upping the amount of money that I’m giving to the local food bank; they’ve been sounding the alarm about increased need and that’s presumably true all over the country.

  50. 50
    Bostondreams says:


    He previously won an MLK award for expanding voter registration and access.
    Just so so dumb.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Who wouldn’t want to go as a Katrina victim lipstick and all after close to two thousand died.

  52. 52
    TomatoQueen says:

    fedsmith is known around here as a garbage source (around here being DC metro), particularly about employment info. Sure there are GS 15s, but there are also GS 5/6/7s who generally are younger folk who do actual work (nurse aides, legal assistants, copy shop technicians, help desk folk, case processors) and have to pay rent, day care, parking, tolls, car insurance etc just like everyone else, and are highly vulnerable to furlough or worse being called back as excepted because they do work that needs to get done. Remember when Adam was talking about how contracts depend on SBA sign-offs? How do you think those actually happen? It’s by a GS-7 shoving paper from one side of a desk to the other side, and then down the hall to a supervisor. Also, Coasties, you know, the folk who go rescuing on the sea, are part of Homeland Security and have not been paid, unlike DoD folk. The above fund gets far too little notice but is the first one to step in to help when, for example, there’s a natural disaster, such as a hurricane hits American Samoa and all those GS 5s there are living in tents, in the rain. So rather than abstractedly complain and be suspicious about the salary tables, accept that Feds are human beings and are by and large just one paycheck away from disaster, just like everyone else, and do not deserve to be pawns in this fucking game, again.
    –A GS8-10 who is fully funded through September 30th and is wanting to slap some self-righteous faces.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @Bostondreams: He should have said he was just displaying school spirit. That’s what the boys from Covington Catholic said.

  55. 55
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @CarolDuhart2: This is a very nasty replay of the Vietnam era idea–why don’t we support the Pentagon with bake sales–and children and families with the amount the govt gives the Pentagon?

  56. 56
    Middlelee says:

    Done for $50
    Thanks for finding this Doug.

  57. 57
    joel hanes says:

    there’s probably a smart way to recognize Guaido

    Even under Dem Presidents, the record of US in re Central and Latin America is … discouraging.
    Unenlightened. The origin of the term “banana republic”. Anti-democratic.

    We should STFU for a generation out of shame.

  58. 58
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TomatoQueen: Even if they got three-six months of savings, or making six figures. that’s still BS they incomes are being held hostage because Dollhands is upset a woman had harsh words for him.

  59. 59
    Middlelee says:

    @mad citizen:
    Why don’t you find out how many?

  60. 60
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump would love to invade Venezuela to steal the oil. He made noises in 2016 about going back into Iraq to steal their oil. He is first and foremost a thief, as we’ve known for about 40 years.

  61. 61
    chopper says:


    yeah, fedsmith is pretty garbage. for every one of us GS-15s there are a shit-ton of 5’s and 7’s. the median salary is way lower than people think because of that.

  62. 62
    xjmueller says:

    I’m a fed retiree and been furloughed three times (I think), starting with the Gringrich shutdown. Thanks for the post and the link. We donated.

  63. 63
    Another Scott says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Those numbers also include things like VA physicians (listed as making close to $300k), etc., that aren’t on the GS schedule and that skew the “average”. It’s misleading. That site really should let one average all GS salaries or all SES salaries or all federal physician salaries or … to make meaningful comparisons to the private sector.


    April 11, 2018

    Federal employee salaries on average lag behind those of similar private-sector workers by just under 32 percent, a pay advisory council has said, while also deciding to reassess how it annually reaches similar conclusions, which are at odds with the findings of other pay comparisons.

    The Federal Salary Council on Tuesday reported that what is commonly called the “pay gap” is 31.86 percent, slightly below previous figures, in the 34-35 percent range. The report also again showed that federal employees are furthest behind in the San Francisco area, with the second-widest gap in the Washington-Baltimore area.

    The council, consisting of unions representing federal employees and nongovernmental pay experts, oversees the pay system for most white-collar employees below the executive level, the General Schedule. Under a 1990 law, its findings are passed to a higher-level body of administration officials, who in turn make recommendations to the White House for specific raises for 44 city zones and a single figure for all areas outside those zones. While the process focuses on GS employees, the resulting localized raises commonly are extended to those under other pay systems.


    Government salaries cover a huge range and government employees cover a huge range of occupations.



  64. 64
    Aziz, light! says:

    The bulk of federal workers are in the GS-6 (clerical and other support roles) to GS-12 (professional fields) pay grades. I am a GS-12 technical editor. GS-13 and above generally connotes the management tier. The support people in my unit are currently in big big trouble, and I won’t be surprised to find several of them missing when this is over, having had no choice but to abandon their federal careers and find any job at all to get by.

    It’s very hard for any of us to find other work because nobody wants to hire someone who is likely to walk away when the shutdown ends.

    We can’t actually quit or retire right now because there is no HR staff to process the request.

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    @Aziz, light!:

    We can’t actually quit or retire right now because there is no HR staff to process the request.

    i was pointing that out in a thread last week. it’s kinda nuts.

  66. 66
    Doug! says:

    Thanks everyone

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    If no one has put it up yet: Rolling Stones: Salt of the Earth.

    One my faves. Beggars Banquet. Album for the ages. Street Fighting Man … (that comes next, if Trump and McConnell don’t get their asses in gear)

  68. 68
    Another Scott says:

    @Doug!: No, thank you for the pointer.



  69. 69
    Mary Ellen Sandahl says:

    I went to the donation site, and got as far as entering a $20 amount, but was unable to enter my debit card info. Tried multiple times. Anyone else have a similar problem? Is $20 below a bottom limit. The site interface doesn’t notify you that this is the case.

  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    @Mary Ellen Sandahl: $20 worked for me for a credit card donation.

    I clicked the “Other” button then filled out $20 and everything else. It didn’t seem to have any issues.

    Hope this helps.


  71. 71
    Peter H Desmond says:

    Raised my glass. Thanks for locating this organization!

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