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Federal Eye: May 17, 2009 - May 23, 2009

Post Politics Program: Salazar, Vilsack, 'Best Places to Work'

This weekend on the Memorial Day Weekend of "The Post Politics Program": Lois Romano's recent interviews with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Plus: Max Stier of the Partnership for Public Service explains this year's Best...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Post Politics Program  
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National Parks Gun Law Takes Effect in February

A new law permitting concealed loaded firearms at National Parks will not take effect until February and the Interior Department will continue to enforce Reagan-era restrictions until then, a spokeswoman said today. "Under the current regulation, firearms are generally prohibited,...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Spotted: Kathleen Sebelius and Elmo

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with Sesame Street character Elmo at HHS headquarters on Friday. The Obama administration has recruited yet another Sesame Street character to help push a policy initiative, this time new efforts to raise...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Spotted  
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Hubble Repair Mission Widens NASA Policy Rift

Here's another great example of the headquarters vs. regional office dynamic, as reported by The Post's Joel Achenbach: NASA's triumphant mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope this week has cracked open a policy rift within the space agency, with...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Turf War  
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Best Places to Work: HQ vs. Regional Offices

It's certainly true of journalists and in all types of other professions, but this week's Best Places to Work data definitely confirms that some federal employees much prefer toiling in the field rather than working at headquarters. Take EPA for...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: Maggie Simpson Wins Stamp Poll

The youngest member of the Simpson Family won the postage stamp popularity contest. (Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service It's the Friday of a three-day holiday weekend, so what the heck: Maggie Simpson, the all-but mute member of the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 5:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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NOAA Releases 2009 Hurricane Outlook

Government forecasters predict a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with one to three major storms reaching as high as category five strength and as many as 14 named tropical storms. Despite the predictions, administration officials warned Americans to prepare now...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 21, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: More Postal Woes

Happy Thursday! As if it wasn't bad enough for the U.S. Postal Service, rising gas prices could be its next big challenge. "Low fuel prices have been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy year for...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 21, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Eye On the Panda Staff

So far The Eye has profiled government meteorologists, Customs and Border Protection officers, the National Mall's grounds crew and one of the government's most skilled printers. Today we meet some of the National Zoo staffers who have spent the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 21, 2009; 5:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye On..., Video Report  
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Spotted: Duckworth Formally Sworn In

VA Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth was sworn in Wednesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Photo by VA Dept.) She's been on the job since late April, but Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth returned to an important spot...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 20, 2009; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Spotted  
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House Passes National Parks Gun Bill

The House voted today 279 to 147 in favor of a bill permitting visitors to carry concealed loaded firearms into National Parks and wildlife refuges. The Senate passed the same measures yesterday after Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) attached the gun...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 20, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Orszag Warns Poor Performing Agencies

The Obama administration will keep close tabs on agencies that performed poorly in this year's Best Places to Work survey, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag warned today. Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag (Photo by...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 20, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Lawmakers Tracking Loss of Clinton-Era Data

The acting director of the National Archives and Records Administration will not appear tomorrow before a House subcommittee to explain the possible theft of a hard drive with one terabyte's worth of sensitive data from the Clinton administration, according to...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 20, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Eye Opener: Best Places to Work 2009

Happy Wednesday! The eagerly anticipated Best Places to Work 2009 survey has landed and for the second consecutive time, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency tops the list, closely followed by the Government Accountability Office, NASA and the State Department. Down...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 20, 2009; 5:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Senate Votes to Allow Guns at National Parks

Updated 5:54 p.m. ET The Senate passed a measure today that would allow visitors to carry concealed loaded firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges, approving a bill that could restore a Bush-era policy rejected by a federal judge in...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Stimulus Assistance Bill Passes House

State and local governments may soon get some relief in tracking and distributing federal economic stimulus dollars now that the House has passed a bill granting permission to use more of the funding for oversight purposes. The proposal, sponsored by...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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DHS Rebuffed by NOAA on Hurricane Modification

Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina as it approaches the Gulf Coast on Aug. 28, 2005. Courtesy NOAA. By Steve Tracton of The Post's Capital Weather Gang blog: The field of hurricane modification research has been largely silent since 1983,...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Turf War  
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Voices of Power: Ken Salazar

Ken Salazar and Barack Obama both arrived at the U.S. Senate in 2004, the only Democrats to win Senate elections that year. The two later lived in the same building and the Colorado Democrat now serves as Interior Secretary....

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration, Video Report  
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Eye Opener: Stimulus Progress Reports Are In

Happy Tuesday! It's been 91 days since the economic stimulus package became law, which means each government department or agency receiving recovery act funding has submitted their first detailed report on what they plan to do with the money....

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 6:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Postal Service Expects Steeper Declines

The U.S. Postal Service has cut 25,000 jobs this year and mail volume will continue to drop into 2010 as it struggles to break even and return to profitability, Postmaster General John E. Potter warned today. The bleak outlook comes...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 18, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Geithner Needs Help!

Happy Monday! You saw this coming: The Post's David Cho reports today that "Government officials, inside the Treasury and out, say the unresolved issues are piling up in part because of vacancies in the department's top ranks. But some...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 18, 2009; 5:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Post Politics Program: Obama's Commencement Addresses, Post's Connolly, Slevin and Hsu

This week on "The Post Politics Program": The Post's Peter Slevin on the controversial reception President Obama has received at commencement addresses. Ceci Connolly discusses the latest news in health care reform, and Spencer Hsu reports on the White...

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 17, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Post Politics Program  
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