Archive for August 2012

Sammies Finalist Patricia Hayes

August 13, 2012 - 05:30 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.

Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for women's health services at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a finalist for the 2012 Career Achievement Medal. She discussed her work with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

August 13, 2012 - 04:45 PM
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During a speech in Iowa on Monday, President Obama linked Mitt Romney and his running mate to congressional gridlock. Obama said Congressman Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders blocked a bill designed to help farmers cope with the historic U.S. drought.

It's part of a multi-pronged Democratic attack on Romney's newly-named running mate.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed Ryan's strengths and weaknesses as a vice-presidential candidate on Capital Insider.

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Agent to the unemployed says resumes are overrated

August 10, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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New data points to an improvement in hiring and greater U.S. exports -- two more bright spots in the beleaguered economy. According to the Labor Department, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, suggesting modest job creation could carry over into August.

Don Garrett, founder of "Resume Not Required," offered analysis and advice for those seeking work.

Here's his interview on Capital Insider:

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Iran takes central role in Syrian conflict

August 10, 2012 - 02:30 PM
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In Syria, battles continue between government troops and rebels in the city of Aleppo. Meanwhile, Iran hosted a meeting of Assad regime allies to discuss an end to the conflict.

Iran's foreign minister accuses rebels of kidnapping foreign nationals and using civilians as human shields. Last week, rebels seized a bus carrying nearly 50 Iranians including members of the Revolutionary Guard.

Col. Douglas MacGregor (U.S. Army, retired) offered analysis of Iran's growing role in the Syrian conflict on Capital Insider.

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Woolsey: "Most anything Joe Lieberman does I'm in favor of"

August 9, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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On June 29th, a fast-moving, violent thunderstorm complex known as a derecho slammed the Washington area. It knocked out power for millions of people -- in some cases, for weeks. The storm also caused millions of dollars in damage and resulted in a FEMA disaster declaration.

Now, Pepco wants to know if it should spend billions to put power lines underground.

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Jr. offered analysis on how the derecho relates to U.S. concerns about cybersecurity. Here's the second half of his interview with Capital Insider.

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Redundant job training programs still in place despite GAO report

August 9, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report on job training programs in Oklahoma. He titled it, "What works and what doesn't: The good, bad and ugly of federal job training in Oklahoma."

Coburn's findings echo those made by the Government Accountability Office, specifically that taxpayers are spending $18 billion on 47 redundant job training programs.

Dave Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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TCS: DOE loans are a risk we can't afford

August 8, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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The Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program remains one of the Obama administration's more controversial initiatives.

It was created under President George W. Bush in 2005, but expanded under President Obama in 2009.

The DOE's goal: encourage renewable energy.

Recently, the program has come under fire from GOP lawmakers. They point to Solyndra, Beacon Power, and About Solar -- companies that won loans then filed for bankruptcy.

Taxpayers for Common Sense Vice President Steve Ellis discussed that and other topics on Capital Insider.

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Fiscal 2012 and Federal Christmas

August 8, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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Lawmakers are back in their home districts this week, but the business of Washington is just as busy as ever. Federal agencies are less than two months away from the end of fiscal 2012.

Federal News Radio Host Francis Rose discussed what he calls "Federal Christmas" on Capital Insider.

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Is defense funded medical research worth the cost?

August 7, 2012 - 02:00 PM
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Lawmakers are back in their home districts this week after an unproductive late summer session. They left several major items on the table -- including the defense spending bill.

Medical research is one expense in the defense budget.

CQ Roll Call's John Donnelly discussed the cost of such research, and whether or not that cost is justified in an era of austerity.

Here's his interview on Capital Insider.

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Vornado Realty, RagingWire's new data center, and credit unions' big boost

August 7, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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The Vornado Realty Trust, a New York based company, has a big footprint in Northern Virginia. They own 20 million square feet of real estate.

President Mitchell Shear wants to turn Crystal City into a destination for the young and hip.

Danielle Douglas, business writer for the Washington Post, discussed the impact of BRAC (the Base Realignment and Closure Commission) on Vornado's operation.

Here's her interview on Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

August 6, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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The Labor Department released July jobs numbers last week. The figures were better than analysts predicted.

The U.S. added 163,000 jobs in July, even though the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent.

President Obama focused on the bright spots of that report during a campaign event in Washington on Friday. Mitt Romney heaped more blame on the president for the grindingly slow pace of our economic recovery.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed that and other topics on Capital Insider.

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IT experts concerned about drone "spoofing"

August 6, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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There are growing concerns about drone aircraft and cyber attacks, particularly a method known as "spoofing."

In June, researchers at the University of Texas successfully hijacked a drone with $1,000 worth of equipment. In July, lawmakers referenced the experiment during a meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Drones remain a major growth industry despite a big fight over privacy, civil liberties, and regulation.

John Shore, information security analyst at Dynamics Research Corporation, discussed "spoofing" on Capital Insider.

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Annan steps down as Syrian envoy

August 3, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan says he will quit the high profile job at the end of August.

"You have to understand as an envoy, I can't want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council, or the international community for that matter," he said.

Annan also reasserted his belief that Syrian President Bashar Assad must leave office for the good of his country.

Fmr. Defense Department Spokesman J.D. Gordon discussed the developments in Syria with Capital Insider.

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DC attorney leads class-action suit against HSBC

August 3, 2012 - 12:30 PM
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Britain's largest bank, HSBC, will be charged $700 million in U.S. fines for failing to stamp out money laundering. A Senate Committee says the bank gave terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminals access to the U.S. financial system.

Chairman Douglas Flint admits HSBC made mistakes. He apologized this week. It's one of several scandals to hit the bank this year.

Attorney Athan Tsimpedes outlined another -- a class-action lawsuit for fraud -- on Capital Insider. Tsimpedes says HSBC was complicit in a fraudulent property scheme in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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Woolsey critical of Obama's handling of Syria

August 2, 2012 - 05:00 PM
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On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly dropped a demand that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign, because it faced resistance from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The watered-down resolution faces a Friday vote in New York.

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Jr. spoke with Capital Insider about rising tensions in the Middle East. The second part of this interview will air on Wednesday, August 8th.

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GAO points out TSA soft spots in recent report

August 2, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office pointed out a loophole in the TSA screening process. Officials say some U.S. citizens on a terrorist watch list are banned from flying airplanes, but not from learning how to fly them at U.S. flight schools.

Stephen Lord, director of homeland security and justice issues at the GAO, discussed the TSA soft spots on Capital Insider.

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Fighting in Syria continues as Tlass tours region

August 1, 2012 - 06:00 PM
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Syrian forces pounded the city of Aleppo for the second straight week. Humanitarian conditions keep getting worse. Now, Turkey is prepared to house as many as 100,000 refugees.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Syrian President Bashar Assad's days are numbered. Until then, his country's civil war continues.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (U.S. Army Reserve) discussed the conflict on Capital Insider.

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Opaque future for House Democrats, Pelosi

August 1, 2012 - 05:30 PM
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In 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent the Affordable Care Act to President Obama's desk. One year later, Democrats lost control of the House.

This fall, they want to gain it back -- a tall order.

CQ Roll Call's Jonathan Strong discussed the Democrats' chances and Pelosi's opaque future on Capital Insider.

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