Imagine, for a moment, that you had held your job for the last sixty years. And then the boss wanted you to re-apply for your job, all over again. But your past performance over the decades that would barely count, when you filled out the application.You'd call that kind of a mixed, message, right? But it's exactly what the Energy Department did yesterday, when it began to put the Los Alamos National Laboratory's contract up for bid, for the first time ever.Since the days of Oppenheimer, the country's premier nuclear lab has been run solely by the University of California. But after a seemingly-endless series of scandals, security breaches, and financial shenanigans, the Department of Energy finally decided it might be a good idea to let other universities and companies compete for the multi-billion contract, too.But in its draft request for proposal, issued Wednesday, the Energy Department made it clear that Los Alamos' recent past the missing secrets, the injured employees, the censored whisteblowers, the millions pilfered from government accounts didn't matter a whole lot. Proposals will be judged on eight, point-scored criteria that will add up to 1,000 points, the Associated Press notes. Science and technology will get 325 points, lab operations, 175; key personnel, 150. But, according to the Albuquerque Journal, "past performance, going back five years, will account for only 75 points on the scale."Sounds like a stacked deck to me.THERE'S MORE: Tongue buried deep, deep in cheek, the lefty lab critics of Nuclear Watch of New Mexico have declared their intention to bid for control of Los Alamos.
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