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Eye Opener: Dec. 12, 2008

By Ed O'Keefe

Good morning!

The Federal Eye celebrates its first month of existence today. In lieu of flowers, please continue to read the blog frequently... and tell your friends!

In the news...

Eye Opener

NASA Chief Denies Transition Tension: NASA Adminstrator Michael Griffin on Thursday denounced an Orlando Sentinel report that he and the space agency had been uncooperative with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, The Post's Joel Achenbach reports. "The story, headlined 'NASA Has Become a Transition Problem for Obama,' stated that Griffin had obstructed efforts by the transition to get information and had recently told a transition team leader that she was 'not qualified' to analyze plans for rocketing humans into space." More: "Not known as a diplomat, and fierce in a debate, Griffin had a very public face-off last week at a book party at NASA headquarters with Lori Garver, a leader of the Obama transition team assigned to the space agency. According to the Sentinel story, the encounter became heated and Griffin became 'red-faced.' The article quoted a snippet of conversation based on the account of unnamed eyewitnesses."

Seasoned Environmental Regulators Tapped By Obama: A review of the records of Carol Browner, Lisa P. Jackson and Nancy Sutley shows they "are not activists but regulators who have spent years in the weeds of such issues as mercury emissions, brownfields and black-bear hunts," reports The Post's David A. Fahrenthold. "They will inherit the usual issues -- dirty air, dirty water, brownfields and red tides -- plus an unprecedented one. Obama has promised to cut back U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases -- a proposal that could set off an enormous political fight. A review of their records and past statements reveals little about the exact policies they would pursue under Obama. It shows they have won over some environmental activists with an open attitude and disappointed others who felt they were not pushing hard enough."

Obama's Transportation Pick: Mr. In the Loop has his first assessment of finalists to head the Transportation Department: "Obama is down to a small group of finalists, and Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees transportation planning and financing in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area, is said to be in the rail position." More: "Jane Garvey, who ran the Federal Aviation Administration, and Mortimer Downey, a deputy transportation secretary" during the Clinton Administration are also said to be in the running, as is former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk.

Analysis of Energy Dept. Pick: The Post says the Steven Chu pick highlights Obama's concern for global climate change. GovExec suggests the department's clout will increase under Chu's leadership.

Cool Cabinet Game: In an effort to memorize the new faces of power, play this interactive Cabinet Card Game produced by the AP.

Where Do I Get a Flu Shot?: The folks at USA.gov passed along a helpful link to information about where Americans can get vaccinated against the flu. Today is the final day of National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Events: See if you can get yourself invited to the 2009 Green Inaugural Ball at the National Portrait Gallery on Jan. 19, the night before Inauguration Day. It's co-hosted by several leading environmental groups, but it's also invite-only. It might help if you know the ball's honorary chair, Al Gore.

This Day in History: On this date in 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton and submitted the case to the full House. The Clinton scandal ranks as the second-biggest American political scandal in a new list released by The Fix today. More history here.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 12, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Comments

A suggestion for the "EYE" to watch and expound on going forward on the economic front regarding changes:
1.Social security payments, eliminate the cap on other earnings. Imagine all those seniors earning additional service income getting more to spend without having to repay the government.
2. Consumer Debt relief on installment and credit card loans that have been securitized in asset back securities. Cap interest rate not to exceed 15% and maximum payment term of 5 to 7 years on balances, and tax credit for auto loans. Imagine again available cash flow to consumer along with assurance of having a debt terminus for spending more money. Consumer spending has always created jobs and gotten us out of economic downturns.

Posted by: gordon9 | December 12, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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