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Federal Eye: November 15, 2009 - November 21, 2009

GOP investigation ties Rhee to IG firing

By Bill Turque in The Post's D.C. Wire blog: D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee had several conversations last year with a federal inspector general investigating Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for alleged financial misconduct and inappropriate behavior with female students...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 20, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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Coco-crazy town's post office saved

Coconuts helped save one Florida town's post office. Updated 3:46 p.m. ET Among the post offices saved in the latest round of cutbacks announced Friday is the one in coconut-rich Lantana, Fla. Eye readers will recall that the town's...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 20, 2009; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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4 D.C.-area postal locations to stay open

Three postal service branches in Maryland and one in the District that have been considered for closure, as the U.S. Postal Service looks to trim costs, will remain open, the agency announced Friday. Eight locations in the District remain candidates...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 20, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Orszag on health care reform

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag delivers the Obama administration's health-care reform sales pitch in a Washington Post op-ed today by focusing on the economic impact of the efforts. "If we do nothing to slow the skyrocketing cost...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 20, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  FY-Eye, From The Pages of The Post, Health Care  
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Eye Opener: No smoking near federal buildings?

Happy Friday! A New York lawmaker is trying -- yet again -- to ban smoking within 25 feet of federal buildings. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill this week that bans the practice, even though the General Services...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 20, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Postal Service's Letter to Santa program lives on

(Spoiler alert: This report contains some details potentially unsuitable for the young and old that believe in Santa.) Have no fear, kids: The Postal Service's Letters to Santa program lives on ... just not at the post office in...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 19, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Auditors raise doubts about stimulus numbers, but expect data will improve

Updated 6:33 p.m. ET Government auditors raised doubts Thursday about the number of jobs created or saved by the economic stimulus program, but they also cautioned that erroneous mistakes reported in recent weeks signal the benefits of government transparency. Recovery...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 19, 2009; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Congress, Tracking the Stimulus  
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More turbulence for FAA

Updated 1:25 p.m. ET Airline passengers can anticipate ongoing delays at some of the nation's major airports on Thursday, thanks to an early-morning glitch in the Federal Aviation Administration computer system that handles basic flight plan data. Problems with telecommunications...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 19, 2009; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Notables tapped for B'casting Board

Updated 9:00 a.m. ET Happy Thursday! President Obama has tapped several well-known names to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, including a few journalism veterans and a former Bush administration official. Obama has asked Aspen Institute President and...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 19, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Tracking the Stimulus  
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GAO: clearer guidance needed for reporting stimulus funds

A government audit set for release Thursday urges the Obama administration to provide further guidance on how recipients of economic stimulus dollars should report jobs created with the funding. The administration has struggled to clearly define how to report new...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 18, 2009; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Stimulus mistakes corrected on Recovery.gov

Government officials on Wednesday corrected mistakes in the reports submitted by recipients of economic stimulus funding to Recovery.gov, the government's stimulus-tracking Web site. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which oversees the Web site, corrected mistakes that misled or confused...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 18, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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House panel approves domestic benefits bill

UPDATE 7:33 P.M. ET: The committee approved the bill 23 to 12 following more than four hours of debate. More details in tomorrow's Federal Diary column by Joe Davidson, and The Eye promises to post a more detailed transcript Thursday...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 18, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Biden explains stimulus mistakes

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cJoe Biden Pt. 1www.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Crisis Vice President Joseph Biden blamed bad civics lessons for the recent reports of stimulus reporting errors during an appearance Tuesday...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 18, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Eye Opener: Nov. 18, 2009

Happy Wednesday! Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter and submit your news tips here. In the news... • More Obama Nominees Announced: On Tuesday the president tapped Robert A. Petzel to serve as undersecretary for health at the Department...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 18, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Latino population growth to have political impact after Census

The chart above shows the potential impact of Latinos on Congressional reapportionment (Image courtesy of America's Voice Education Fund) The nation's growing Latino population is likely to help eight states gain at least one more Congressional seat following the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census, Congress  
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Flawed stimulus numbers -- or a flawed promise to provide them?

By Alec MacGillis in The Post's 44 blog: Another day, another flurry of outrage over the jobs numbers claimed by the government for the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus program. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) released a blistering...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Tracking the Stimulus  
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House approves bill preserving FDR records

Lawmakers approved legislation on Monday that allows the National Archives and Records Administration to purchase Grace Tully's collection of documents and memorabilia related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Tully served as an aide to Roosevelt when he served as New...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Eye Opener: New survey on federal agencies

A new national survey on perceptions of government puts federal workers ahead of lawmakers. (Images courtesy of Gallup, Inc.) Updated 9:10 a.m. ET Happy Tuesday! The military, president, Supreme Court and your local government rank higher than federal agencies...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  
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Postal Service posts $3.8 billion loss in 2009

Updated 4:21 p.m. ET The U.S. Postal Service posted a $3.8 billion net loss during its fiscal year that ended in September, despite $6 billion in cost-cutting moves. Total mail volume for 2009 fell by 25.6 billion pieces, or almost...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 16, 2009; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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'Tweetup' marks Space Shuttle Atlantis launch

Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Monday afternoon. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty) To the surprise of no one, Monday's Space Shuttle Atlantis launch will be Twittered. But in a first, NASA has invited 110 Twitter-using space flight fans...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 16, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Childish questions for Jane Goodall

Officials picked at least three children to ask Jane Goodall questions after her speech at the Interior Department on Friday, despite the presence of several adults with hands in the air who wanted to ask the famed animal expert about...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 16, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Tracking contractors' conflicts of interest

Happy Monday! As the Obama administration nears some big decisions on the future of government contracting, it has for the first time proposed new rules on how some contractors should deal with potential conflicts of interest among their employees....

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 16, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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