Archive for June 2013

Saving lives by burning down buildings

June 28, 2013 - 02:50 PM
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The Service to America Medals, or Sammies, honor federal workers who show a committment to public service and make the agencies they work for stronger.

Dan Madrzykowski, finalist for the Citizen Services Medal, discussed his work at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology with Capital Insider.

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Gauging Americans' support for domestic drones

June 28, 2013 - 02:47 PM
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The Senate passed their version of the immigration bill this week. It would add 18 new, unmanned surveillance drones along the U.S.-Mexico border. Also this week, Oregon State University started flying drones over potato fields. They use tiny infrared cameras to search for unhealthy plants. In short, applications for unmanned aircraft varies greatly.

The Institute for Homeland Security Solutions and RTI International published a new study about public support for the use of unmanned aircraft. The results might surprise you.

Ben Gielow, attorney with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, discussed the issue with Capital Insider.

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Gen. Dempsey and the future of U.S. Military "swagger"

June 28, 2013 - 02:45 PM
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This week, President Obama said he's re-enlisting Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey has a lot on his plate.

J.J. Green, national security correspondent for WTOP Radio, discussed Dempsey's priorities with Capital Insider.

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A crucial deadline for Obamacare

June 27, 2013 - 04:50 PM
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This October, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will operate health insurance exchanges in 34 states. They're called FFEs -- federally-facilitated exchanges.

Some FFEs have yet to be completed. Others are behind schedule.

John Dicken, director of health care issues for the Government Accountability Office, studied the issue. Dicken discussed his new report with Capital Insider.

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Orbital lawsuit an uphill battle

June 27, 2013 - 04:40 PM
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Orbital Sciences Corporation, a contractor based in Dulles, sued a joint venture backed by two of the nation's top three contractors last week. Orbital says United Launch Alliance is violating antitrust laws.

Jill Aitoro, senior staff reporter at the Washington Business Journal, discussed the lawsuit with Capital Insider.

 

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Is Putin eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States?

June 26, 2013 - 04:40 PM
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On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke publicly about the search for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Putin says Snowden is free to go wherever he wants because he has not officially crossed into Russia.

Col. Douglas Macgregor, executive vice president of the Burke-Macgregor group, discussed that and other top defense topics with Capital Insider.

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The future of the farm bill

June 26, 2013 - 04:35 PM
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On June 10th, the Senate passed a farm bill with a two-thirds majority.

On June 20th, the House rejected its version of a five-year half-trillion dollar farm bill.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said his chamber would not pass an extension of farm bill policy. Reid told the House to figure it out.

So, now what?

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NSA surveillance programs and encrypted communication

June 25, 2013 - 03:30 PM
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A new company called Silent Circle, based at the National Harbor, encrypts phone calls and texts so users don't leave a trail.

Marjorie Censer, reporter for The Washington Post, profiled the company for Capital Insider.

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Snowden and background investigations

June 25, 2013 - 03:25 PM
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The U.S. reached out to allies and adversaries alike this week in an effort to catch fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The White House demanded he be denied asylum, blasted China for letting him go, and urged Russia to "do the right thing." Snowden faces espionage charges in the United States.

Francis Rose, host of "In Depth with Francis Rose" on Federal News Radio, discussed the fallout for government contractors with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

June 24, 2013 - 12:55 PM
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Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler review the week in politics. In this installment, they debate new security provisions in the Gang of Eight's immigration bill, the rise of Sen. Rand Paul, and the legacy of Lebron James.

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The outsourcing of government secrets

June 21, 2013 - 03:35 PM
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On Thursday, a government watchdog testified that there may have been problems with a security clearance background check conducted on Edward Snowden -- the former federal contractor who disclosed previously secret NSA surveillance programs.

The leak raised privacy concerns and also begs the question, "Is the federal government outsourcing too much important work?"

J.D. Gordon, executive director of "Protect America Today," discussed that and other top security issues with Capital Insider.

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Reducing violent crime on Indian reservations

June 21, 2013 - 03:30 PM
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The Service to America Medals, or Sammies, honor federal workers who show a committment to public service and make the agencies they work for stronger.

Charles Addington, finalist for the Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal, discussed his work at the Bureau of Indian Affairs with Capital Insider.

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High-performing federal workers fall through the cracks

June 20, 2013 - 02:20 PM
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Earlier this year, the Partnership for Public Service released its annual study, "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government." They found job satisfaction declined for the second straight year, and hit its lowest point since 2003.

Federal Coach Tom Fox discussed a breakout from that study -- performance-based rewards and enhancement -- with Capital Insider.

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Bond buying and the U.S. housing market

June 20, 2013 - 02:05 PM
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U.S. mortgage rates fell for the first time in seven weeks, keeping the average for a 30-year fixed loan to just shy of four percent. But those rates are expected to surge next week -- as markets respond to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the central bank will likely reduce bond purchases later this year.

Housing Policy Professional Ingrid Beckles discussed the issue with Capital Insider.

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Moderate cleric elected president in Iran

June 19, 2013 - 04:25 PM
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According to Iranian state TV, the Guardian Council (the country's election overseer), has approved the results of Friday's presidential election. Hasan Rowhani won nearly 51-percent of the vote.

How will his election will impact the U.S.? Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, senior fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, discussed that and other top defense issues with Capital Insider.

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The Wireless Tax Fairness Act

June 19, 2013 - 04:20 PM
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David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, discussed the Wireless Tax Fairness Act with Capital Insider.

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The Whitmore case and its impact on future whistleblowers

June 19, 2013 - 04:15 PM
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Robert Whitmore's federal whistleblower case started in 2005 and only wrapped up this week -- when the Labor Department agreed to pay him $820,000 dollars.

Joe Davidson, Federal Diary columnist at The Washington Post, discussed Whitemore's case with Capital Insider.

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The WT Top 100

June 19, 2013 - 04:10 PM
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Every year, Washington Technology Magazine uses federal procurement data to analyze government spending. They rank the top companies and look for trends.

Nick Wakeman, editor-in-chief of WT, discussed the magazine's findings with Capital Insider.

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Political Action Committees have a slow quarter

June 19, 2013 - 04:05 PM
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Last year, PACs lifted campaign spending to new heights (the 2012 election was estimated at $7 billion by the Sunlight Foundation).

Armed with that data, The Center for Public Integrity took a look at first quarter spending for the nation's top 40 lobbying firms.

Senior Political Reporter Dave Levinthal discussed the results with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

June 17, 2013 - 05:10 PM
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Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler review the week in politics. In this installment, they debate the White House's decision to arm Syrian rebels, the future of federal benefits for same-sex couples, and Hillary Clinton's mysterious "to be determined" twitter bio.

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