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Eye Opener: Nov. 30, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

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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.

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 30, 2009; 6:05 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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