Eye Opener: Nov. 30, 2009
In the news...
• Cabinet and Staff News: How should Obama share his Nobel Prize money? Ben Bernanke opines on the future of the Federal Reserve. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke opines on new trade deals. Health-care reform bill would give HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unprecedented powers.
• White House security already under review: A "top-to-bottom" review of the agency's protective department was ordered shortly after Obama began his term amid the highest threat level for any recent president. The results are due soon.
• DOJ: Pay ACORN for contracts: The department has ruled that the federal government can honor some existing contracts to fund the group, despite a law barring the flow of all federal money to the beleaguered community group.
• National parks seek share in discoveries: A soon-to-be-implemented policy for scientists who are permitted to conduct research in national parks will give the National Park Service a share of profits from their work.
• Blogger accused of threatening judges reportedly paid by FBI: Hal Turner received thousands of dollars from the agency to report on neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups and was sent undercover to Brazil, according to a report on Sunday by The Record of Bergen County.
• FBI moves to seize CAIR records from author: The feds reportedly served a grand jury subpoena Friday to seize thousands of pages of records allegedly stolen from the group by an author as part of an undercover infiltration of the group.
• Is the FHA at risk?: Watchdogs worry that 8.5 percent of the agency's loans are at least 90 days delinquent or in foreclosure proceedings, half a percent above the national average.
• Parties launch stimulus PR offensives: Both parties have suddenly mounted messaging offensives designed to define the stimulus as a success or a failure in preparation for the 2010 midterm elections.
• USDA's major reorg driven by focus on performance, results: The department's acting chief human capital says the agency's administrative reorganization in simple terms: It's all about becoming a performance driven and results oriented organization.
• Swamped by the recession: Agencies struck by wave of claims: Agencies that provide federal assistance are seeing their workloads explode as Americans seek unemployment insurance payments, health care insurance, school lunches, food stamps and college loans.
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