A few items that caught our attention today:

Is America living on “Fantasy Island” when it comes to federal spending? A blog item from The Fix this morning suggested that the sequester could turn into a good wake-up call for Americans who want federal spending to magically decline while also increasing spending on virtually every government program. As proof, The Fix pointed to a recent Pew Research poll that showed the public generally supports spending cuts, but only in a general sense — not so much when it comes to specifics.

Sequester furloughs could put families in a bind. That’s the gist of an article by Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson, who wrote about some of the federal workers who are fretting over the threat of sequestration and the unpaid leave that those automatic spending cuts would entail for many agency employees.

Tell us about your agency’s sequester plans.  We sent out this request awhile back, but we can never have enough responses. Got a memo from the higher-ups? Send it along or share some of the details. We want to know exactly what these cuts would look like.

Congress tells military to phase out animal use in medic training. The last National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 ordered an end to the practice of slaying animals for the purpose of teaching medics to patch up live tissue, according to a front-page article in Monday’s Washington Post. Simulators would be used instead, although Congress wants an analysis of whether removing animals from training sessions could lead to a “reduction in the competency of combat medical personnel.”

Prospective energy secretary pick already drawing criticism. First, the right bashed President Obama for picking Steven Chu, who allegedly wanted gas prices to skyrocket as a way to protect the environment, to head the Energy Department. Now the left is sounding alarms over the man widely believed to be in the running to replace him. Environmental groups have expressed concern about Ernest Moniz’s support for natural gas and nuclear power as energy sources, according to a blog item by In the Loop’s Emily Heil. As they say, you can’t please everyone — except when you choose REI chief executive Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department.


For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, subscribe to his Facebook page or e-mail hicksja@washpost.com.

E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.