Eye Opener: 'Don't ask' back on, DOJ drops Blackwater prosecution and a pilot refuses TSA's full-body scan
ST. LOUIS -- The Federal Eye is on special assignment today in Gateway City (and enjoyed a fantastic meal last evening at the Sidney Street Cafe) so blogging will be lighter today. But here's a fast look at what's going on across the government:
• Question of the Week: A new Post poll finds 52 percent of Americans believe federal workers are overpaid, and more than a third believe they're less qualified than private sector workers. But three out of four respondents who interacted with a federal employee said it was a positive experience. What do you think? E-mail email@example.com and please include your full name and hometown. We may use your comments in Friday's Post.
• Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama will visit Pakistan next year. First Lady Michelle Obama honors youth arts programs. Former President George W. Bush says he tried to leave the presidency better.
• Military wins temporary reprieve for 'don't ask' policy: The Obama administration won a temporary stay against the moratorium on "don't ask, don't tell" Wednesday, granting the Pentagon the right to once again enforce the 17-year-old ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military.
• Pentagon plans $60 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia: Congress has 30 days to review the sale before the Pentagon and the weapons makers go into more detailed contract discussions.
• Pentagon will help Homeland Security Department fight domestic cyberattacks: The system would mirror that used when the military is called on in natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires.
FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION:
• Dems want FEC slam on Linda McMahon: Connecticut Democrats asked the agency to investigate the WWE's involvement with her GOP Senate campaign.
• Efforts to prosecute Blackwater collapse: The Justice Department on Monday said that it would not seek murder charges against a Blackwater armorer accused of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24, 2006.
• OPM tackles retirement claims processing again: The agency is trying to reduce processing times, which currently average 138 days, and improve service. Failed attempts to automate claims processing and a decrease in staff, coupled with an increasing workload, have caused the backlog to rise.
• Pilot refuses full-body scan, says TSA doesn't make travel safer: ExpressJet Airlines first officer Michael Roberts also refused a pat-down and went home.
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