Archive for July 2012

NTI: Iran sanctions are the right approach

July 31, 2012 - 02:00 PM
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Concerns over nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons continue to be a focus on the campaign trail and a priority for the U.S. State Department.

On Sunday, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney told an audience in Israel that the threat of a nuclear Iran, "has only become worse" over the past five years.

Has it?

Deepti Choubey, with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, offered analysis on Capital Insider.

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Federal workers bristle at some STOCK Act provisions

July 31, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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In April, President Obama signed the STOCK Act into law. STOCK, or Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge, is a bipartisan measure designed to prevent members of Congress from using non-public information to help them make money on Wall Street.

Now, some top federal workers are concerned an expansion of the original measure will compromise their financial security.

Joe Davidson, Federal Diary columnist for the Washington Post, discussed the issue on Capital Insider.

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Sammies Finalist James Cash

July 30, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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In May, The Partnership for Public Service announced 33 finalists for the Service to America Medals.

The "Sammies" honor federal workers who show a commitment to public service and make the agency they work for stronger.

James Cash, chief technical advisor for the National Transportation Safety Board's Office of Research and Engineering, is a finalist for the 2012 Career Achievement Medal. He discussed his work with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

July 30, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney met with Jewish donors in Jerusalem on Monday. He told them their culture is part of what allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians.

The comments outraged Palestinian leaders. They called Romney "racist" and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed Romney's overseas trip, the political importance of Israel, and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Bulgarian bus bombing latest incident in covert war

July 27, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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On Wednesday, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Haim Waxman repeated the accusation that Iran and Hezbollah carried out a suicide bomb attack in Bulgaria last week. It killed five Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian bus driver.

Iran called that claim baseless. For their part, Tehran claims Israel's Mossad spy agency killed five of their nuclear scientists since 2010. They also accuse Israel of other clandestine operations -- like planting computer viruses.

WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green offered analysis on Capital Insider.

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Cybersecurity bill headed to Senate floor

July 27, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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Cybersecurity legislation cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Thursday. The bill is designed to protect critical U.S. industries and other corporate networks from electronic espionage.

To win enough GOP support, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and others made several changes to the bill. Some argue it's now a water-down version of its former self.

Col. Cedric Leighton (U.S. Air Force, retired) offered analysis on Capital Insider.

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Political theater presents Bush-era tax cuts

July 26, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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On Wednesday, Senate leaders voted on rival plans for extending the Bush-era tax cuts.

The Republican plan (to extend all rates for one year) failed on a 45-54 vote.

The Democratic plan (to extend rates for households making less than $250,000) passed on a 51-48 vote. That said, it stands no chance of passage in the Republican-controlled House.

Taxpayers Protection Alliance President Dave Williams discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Federal contractors new buzz word: "Diversify"

July 26, 2012 - 03:28 PM
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All the talk about sequestration, austerity, and small government has had an impact on companies that cater largely to federal agencies.

Their new buzz word is "diversify."

The Washington Business Journal's Jill Aitoro offered background and analysis on Capital Insider.

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Marketplace Equity Act, defense spending, and "zombie" earmarks

July 25, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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On Tuesday, a House committee held a hearing on the "Marketplace Equity Act." It's a bipartisan proposal that would let states require online merchants to collect sales tax.

Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander offered analysis on that and other top tax topics.

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Does Dodd-Frank need a tune up?

July 25, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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It's been two years since Congress passed what's known simply as "Dodd-Frank," a huge piece of consumer legislation designed to prevent another big bank collapse. It also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency designed to keep your money safe.

Founder of Consumer Financial Services, an Oklahoma-based debt-collection agency, Bill Bartmann discussed the CFPB's impact.

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House passes defense spending bill

July 24, 2012 - 05:30 PM
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Sequestration takes effect on January 2nd unless Congress comes up with a plan to save $1.2 trillion. The cuts were a last resort -- a stop gap measure that few lawmakers want. Defense spending will be a big part of the equation.

The House of Representatives picked up the issue of defense spending last week.

CQ Roll Call's Defense Editor John Donnelly offered analysis on Capital Insider.

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SAIC the latest contractor to add health care IT to service portfolio

July 24, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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Last month's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act continues to reverberate on the campaign trail, on Wall Street, and in state houses across the country.

Political considerations aside, it's clear that government contractors consider the field a good investment.

Washington Post Reporter Danielle Douglas discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

July 23, 2012 - 01:30 AM
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The acrimonious presidential campaign eased back into action on Monday.

President Obama and Mitt Romney suspended events, ads, media interviews after the shooting in Colorado.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Erikka Knuti discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Sammies Finalist Richard Boly

July 23, 2012 - 01:00 AM
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In May, The Partnership for Public Service announced 33 finalists for the Service to America Medals.

The "Sammies" honor federal workers who show a commitment to public service and make the agency they work for stronger.

Richard Boly, director of the Office of eDiplomacy, is a finalist for the 2012 National Security and International Affairs Medal. He discussed his work with Capital Insider.

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Russia, China veto U.N. resolution on Syria

July 23, 2012 - 12:30 AM
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Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed U.N. resolution on Thursday -- aimed at pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad to end his country's civil war.

British officials sponsored the plan and called the double-veto appalling.

Meanwhile, the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. Activists say 17,000 civilians have been killed since the uprising began last March, and that the veto will only lead to more violence.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (U.S. Army Reserve) discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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New home construction up, other indices down

July 23, 2012 - 12:00 AM
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In June, builders put up more new homes than any other month in four years. It's a long-awaited recovery that could help energize the U.S. economy.

The improvement has been gradual, but this week those numbers coincided with strong home-builder confidence and higher stock prices for building companies.

Ingrid Beckles discussed that and other real-estate issues with Capital Insider.

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Abramoff to host new show on XM Radio

July 19, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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In January of 2006, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion. He spent three years in prison, owes tens of millions of dollars in restitution to American Indian tribes, and did halfway house work for six months at a Baltimore pizzeria.

Since then, he's been something of a regular on the cable news circuit -- offering advice on how to reform Washington's money-based political culture. That's the idea behind his new job as a radio host.

"The Jack Abramoff Show" debuted last month on XM Satellite Radio. Abramoff spoke to Capital Insider about coming full circle.

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GAO reviews the smuggling of bomb ingredients into Afghanistan

July 19, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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On Sunday, two Afghan troops were killed when their car hit a roadside bomb in Kandahar Province. Improvised explosive devices continue to plague the U.S.-led military coalition. This year alone, the death toll stands at 237 international service members including 168 Americans.

The Government Accountability Office recently completed a study on how U.S. Agencies detect and prevent calcium ammonium nitrate (CAO is a key IED ingredient) from making it's way into Afghanistan.

Charles Johnson, GAO's director of international affairs and trade issues, discussed the review with Capital Insider.

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CBO prepares new report on ACA price tag

July 18, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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Next week, the Congressional Budget Office will deliver a new estimate outlining how much the Affordable Care Act will cost taxpayers.

The Supreme Court upheld most of the law, but it rejected a rule that requires states to expand Medicaid.

CQ Roll Call Health Care Reporter Emily Ethridge offered analysis on Capital Insider.

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Israel concerned about Assad's arsenal

July 18, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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The Chief of Military Intelligence in Israel warns that global jihadists have moved into territory bordering the Jewish state and could use Golan Heights as a point of attack.

Intelligence officials say Syrian President Bashar Assad has pulled troops out of Golan to fight rebels in Damascus and other areas.

The weakened regime still has an extensive arsenal. Israel worries it could wind up in the wrong hands.

Col. Douglas Macgregor (U.S. Army, retired) discussed that and other issues with Capital Insider.

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