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Eye Opener: Dec. 4, 2008

By Ed O'Keefe

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Eye Opener

Good morning! When you have a few moments today, make sure to watch The Post's Philip Rucker interview Bill Gates, who spoke in Washington on Wednesday. The pair speak about how the Microsoft founder has adapted his business experiences to philanthropy. Philip helps write the famed "In the Loop" column.

In other news...

Waiting for The Call: A "highly accomplished policy veteran" writes on The Washington Note blog about playing it cool among friends and colleagues while waiting to get "the call" from Obama-Biden transition team officials about a potential job with the new administration. "I wait in a state of suspended ambition," the anonymous writer states, noting he/she has dreams that feature Obama, Biden or Hillary Clinton offering a job. "Sometimes in these dreams they offer me a job, and sometimes they say they can't offer me a job because they can't find my resume amidst the other 300,000 on I wake in a cold sweat." The horror!

Waiting for Justice (to Turn Over Sensitive Cases): "The Justice Department's new leaders may not gain access to the Bush administration's most sensitive legal opinions until after the January inauguration, [Attorney General Michael] Mukasey told reporters," according to The Post's Carrie Johnson. "The legal opinions are drafted at the request of other federal entities, such as the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, which have a say in how and when they are released. Some of the materials also are highly classified, which adds another layer of complexity. In some cases, Mukasey said, it is possible that certain documents will not be available to Obama's team until the new president takes the oath of office in January."

Revolving Door: While The Post's "Building 44" project keeps tabs on Obama's picks and potential picks, you should also peruse National Journal's "Lost in Transition" blog and its more extensive list of potential picks. Everything from interior secretary to Peace Corps director, who would become the boss of The Eye's sister.

Reviewing USDA: "The USDA is still battling long-running problems: subsidy programs that give huge sums to ineligible, millionaire farmers; a food inspection system that puts Americans at risk for food-borne illnesses; and nutrition programs that fail to identify more than 30 percent of Americans who live in poverty and are at risk of hunger every month," reports The Post's Kimberly Kindy. Finalists for agriculture secretary: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, lobbyist Charles W. Stenholm, Pennsylvania agriculture secretary Dennis Wolff.

Democrats Don't Like Recent Executive Order: points out that "Some Democratic leaders are questioning a recent executive order that rescinds the collective bargaining rights of thousands of federal employees, and say they will join union leaders in opposing an extension of the order to employees in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 'Without reasonable justification, the unprecedented action to strip away those rights amounts to a power grab by the executive branch to undermine the rights of federal employees and workers throughout the country,' said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. 'Federal employees work every day in service to our country and deserve better.' A large number of federal employees live in Hoyer's congressional district."

Ex-Contract Worker Pleads Guilty to Stealing GAO Property: Former information technology analyst Darryl R. Lyles pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court yesterday to theft of government property, reports The Post's Del Quentin Wilber. Prosecutors said he stole 89 laptop computers and other equipment worth about $175,000 from the Government Accountability Office from June 2006 through December of last year.

Events: The "Big Three" auto executives are back on Capitol Hill. Let's hope they did their homework!

This Day in History: On this date in 1783, George Washington bid farewell to his military officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City to inform them that he would return to civilian life. More here.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 4, 2008; 7:22 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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