If you plan to travel outside the U.S. in the coming year, you will already have heard of the chaos in passport issuance which is delaying or halting many travel plans.
Patricia Kushlis at Whirled News has compiled a page of handy tips and hints to help those applying for passports through the maze, including how to get to talk to an actual human when phoning. It's a Q and A compilation based on suggestions from readers (including a Congressional intern and a Congressional staffer) and other info she has gleaned since she's been following the problem beginning in early February. The Tips Page includes a few lesser known telephone numbers and contact info that have helped people break through the obfuscation.
I dunno - you would almost think your government doesn't want you Americans finding out what the rest of the world is really like...