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Eye Opener: Getting Out of Town

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Tuesday! The three-day weekend is over for most Americans, but Washington is set to experience one of those slower, mostly uneventful four-day weeks when it seems leaders, lawmakers and most of the news is everywhere else and everyone's recovering from last week or getting ready for the next.

President Obama heads to Nevada and California today and tomorrow while Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden visit Colorado today and tomorrow. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano heads to Detroit today and Ottawa tomorrow to discuss U.S.-Canadian border issues. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spends his day in California at two events. Congress continues a week-long Memorial Day recess today and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in China, leading a Congressional delegation through a week's worth of meetings. Unless the president nominates a Supreme Court pick, expect it to be a quiet week around here.

Cabinet and Staff News: Timothy Geithner says it's not a good thing for the treasury secretary to appear on a People Magazine list of sexy people. Robert Gates tells the Japanese that the F-35 is his fighter jet of choice. Hillary Rodham Clinton gets an honorary degree from Yale University, her alma matter. Janet Napolitano heads to Detroit today, Ottawa tomorrow. FDA nominee Margaret Hamburg and her husband must divest themselves of several hedge-fund holdings and other assets. CTO Aneesh Chopra and other tech nominees confirmed by the Senate. Obama expected to announce a cyber czar later this week.

In other news...

Allegations of Impropriety Surround Parole Commission: The incident at the U.S. Parole Commission, a little-noticed corner of the federal government, was certainly no Watergate. But it was one in a string of curious events that have unfolded quietly in recent years at the small but powerful commission.

Clinton to Extend Benefits to Gay Partners: Big news from Foggy Bottom that broke over the holiday weekend: The secretary will soon announce that the partners of gay U.S. diplomats are eligible for many benefits currently denied them and allowed to spouses of heterosexual diplomats.

Gates to West Point Graduates: Question Authority: Also from the weekend: the secretary urged the nation's future Army officers to question authority, challenge conventional wisdom and work to avoid the dangerous "groupthink" that often takes root in military circles.

Obama's NASA Selection is a Boost for Manned Spaceflight: The choice of astronaut Charles Bolden reassures many who feared that Obama was lukewarm on future manned missions.

DOJ Investigates Pa. Contractor Tied to Murtha: Carol D. Leonnig keeps it coming.

Defense Dept., Industry Join to Protect Data: Companies and the Pentagon have joined forces to stem the loss of important defense industry data -- by some estimates at least $100 billion worth in the past two years.

The IRS is Hiring: Some questions and answers about their hiring process.

The Fight Over Rehiring Retirees: A bill allowing agencies to rehire retired employees won approval of a Senate committee last week, but it still faces opposition from labor groups.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2009; 5:52 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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