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Eye Opener: Nov. 23, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Monday! Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter and submit your news tips and events listings here.

The Government's Art: A cool Wall Street Journal sideshow depicts some of the most notable pieces from the collections of the House, Senate and State Department.

More Obama Nominees Announced: The president on Friday tapped Maria Sally Matiella to serve as assistant secretary of the Army for financial management; Paul L. Oostburg Sanz to serve as the Department of Navy's general counsel; Solomon B. Watson IV to serve as the Department of Army's general counsel; Kathleen S. Tighe to serve as the Education Department's inspector general; Orlan Johnson to serve as chairman of the board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporatio; and Sharon Y. Bowen to serve as the vice-chair of the board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Track all of Obama's nominees with The Post's Head Count.

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama meets with the Cabinet Monday, then meets separately with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (The man who took hostages at Clinton's New Hampshire campaign office set free.) Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Canada, but can't push them for more troops. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren host a live chat to discuss the administration's efforts to boost science, technology and math eduction. Gen. Carter Ham will lead the Army's Ft. Hood probe. Veterans Affairs undersecretary for benefits stepping down. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims and former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske making Washington State proud.

Some rivals who shouldn't be seated near the carving knife:
Washington is a town where lots of folks have a "history" with one another -- a history that's not always the most pleasant. That makes the task of holiday dinner-party seating an especially exacting science, since there's always the risk of a food fight.

EPA tangles with Texas in air quality battle: At the heart of the dispute is an agency threat to void some of the state's air-quality regulations, which it says break federal law.

Lawyer: 9/11 defendants want platform for views: The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy.

Astronauts take 2nd spacewalk of mission: Expectant father Randolph Bresnik and Michael Foreman were so far ahead despite their late start Saturday and interrupted sleep the night before that their commander handed them extra work.

Rule could slow Pentagon's revolving door: The Defense Department published a final rule in the Federal Register that will require senior officials to obtain written approval from an agency ethics officer before taking a job with a Defense contractor within two years after leaving government service.

Most TSA employees in line for performance-based payouts: Seventy-six percent under the agency's Performance Accountability and Standards System will receive pay boosts or bonuses, based on the quality of their work in 2009.

GSA headquarters to become model green building: It will go through a major refurbishment using stimulus funding to become a model of energy efficiency for the public and private sector.

Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter | Submit your news tips here

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 23, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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