Eye Opener: July 16, 2009
Happy Thursday! The Eye and many others will attend tonight's "Summer of Gov" event here in Washington to mark the one-year anniversary of GovLoop.com, the so-called "Facebook for Feds" that's attracted more than 14,000 members, mostly public sector employees looking to compare notes and meet other public servants through the Web.
Another Networking Event: Young Government Leaders hosts its next event July 18th at National Stadium as the Nats take on the Cubs at 7p.m. Buy tickets here.
Two Cool Links: Check out OpenRegs.com, a fantastic portal designed by George Mason University's Jerry Brito that scrapes the Federal Register each day and allows users to read up on new or proposed regulations. ALSO: www.smithsonianscience.org, designed to showcase the Smithsonian's science resources in one spot.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Hillary Rodham Clinton says Iran engagement still in the offering as she tries to reassert her influence. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood delivers a strong defense of the economic stimulus. Nancy Hogan picked as the new White House personnel director. Why did Steven Rattner quit? Janet Napolitano backs cheaper, secure driver licenses. Senate confirms new NASA administrator... just in time for the 40th anniversary of the first mission to the Moon.
In other federal news...
• A Firing Process That Takes Two Years Is Broken: Joe Davidson with the story of how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration strung along a veteran employee at taxpayer expense, then fired him this week.
• Administration Bridles at Bar on Contractors: The White House has objected to a provision in the 2010 defense funding bill currently before the Senate that would bar the military's use of contractors to interrogate detainees.
• Will Asia Outpace U.S. in Clean Energy?: Maybe... which is why Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu are in China this week.
• Age Discrimination Claims Jump, Worrying EEOC, Worker Advocates: Workers filed nearly 30 percent more age discrimination charges last year than in 2007.
• IRS Fails to Collect $1.2 Billion From Those Owing $1 Million: Because of computer glitches, 448 of the 2,454 individual taxpayers who owed $1 million or more as of December, 2007, were waiting to be processed or had been assigned a lower priority than other cases, an audit found.
• Space Shuttle Blasts off After Month's Delay: Can you imagine sitting around waiting for a whole month?!
• CIA Assassin Program Was Nearing New Phase: The plan to kill top al-Qaeda leaders, which had been on the agency's back burner for much of the past eight years, was suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of proposals to initiate what one intelligence official called a "somewhat more operational phase."
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