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Federal Eye: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

Suspicious packages revive postal worker fears

The U.S. Postal Service is reminding workers how to track for suspicious packages after the discovery of three parcels containing low-grade incendiary devices in Washington, D.C. and Maryland -- incidents that remind some of the anthrax mail scare almost a decade ago.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 8, 2011; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Parent One, Parent Two to replace references to mother, father on passport forms

Goodbye, Mom and Dad. Hello, Parent One and Parent Two.

By Mary Beth Sheridan and Ed O'Keefe  | January 8, 2011; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  
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Postal Service starts reorganizing to cut costs

The U.S. Postal Service thinned out its top ranks Friday as it prepares a series of changes to cut costs and boost revenues.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 7, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Pentagon moving fast to end 'don't ask,' Gates says

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wants military leaders to start training troops about the formal end to the "don't ask, dont' tell" policy in a "very few weeks," he said Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 7, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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The reemergence of Donald Rumsfeld begins

Details of Donald Rumsfeld's forthcoming book tour are out, as the former defense secretary plans to sit for a series of interviews with ABC News in early February, the network announced Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Revolving Door  
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Former CIA officer charged in leak probe

A former CIA officer involved in clandestine spying efforts against Iran was arrested Thursday on charges of leaking classified information to a reporter, continuing the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown on the flow of government secrets to the press.

By Greg Miller  | January 6, 2011; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Pentagon to cut spending by $78 billion

The Pentagon will have to cut spending by $78 billion over the next five years, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday, forcing the Army and Marine Corps to shrink the number of troops on active duty and eventually imposing the first freeze on military spending since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

By Craig Whitlock  | January 6, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Budget, Military  
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What are Cabinet secretaries really for? Ask Andrew Cuomo

So what are Cabinet secretaries good for? Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) knows.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Changes at the White House (Video)

The Federal Eye discussed the impending White House staff shuffle on Thursday's "Fox 5 Morning News."

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Revolving Door, Video Report  
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Coming soon to a post office near you: Gift cards

Gift-card sales are booming and the U.S. Postal Service wants a piece of the action.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Federal worker awards contest seeks nominations

Awards season is underway in Hollywood (the People's Choice Awards were last night, the Golden Globes are soon and the Oscars are next month) -- and nominations are now being accepted for one of Washington's top rank and file honors.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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President Obama, Robert Gibbs, and the public sector pay debate

Gift-card sales are booming and the U.S. Postal Service wants a piece of the action.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener  
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Ombudsman's report says IRS should recast itself

Buried within the annual ombudsman report on the Internal Revenue Service, the nation's taxpayer advocate warns that the agency needs to recast itself as it prepares to enforce elements of the new health-care reform law.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 5, 2011; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Health Care  
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National Park Service announces fee-free days

Want to visit a national park this year but don't want to pay the entrance fees? Plan your visit on any one of 17 days in 2011.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 5, 2011; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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WikiLeaks prompts government to order detailed security reviews

The WikiLeaks saga is forcing officials across the government to complete detailed reviews by month's end in order to safeguard against future leaks, asking among other things how agencies measure the trustworthiness of employees with access to sensitive information.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 5, 2011; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Administration  
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IRS extends tax filing deadline to April 18

Taxpayers across the country have three extra days to turn in their tax returns this year thanks to a holiday in the District of Columbia.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 5, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener  
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FDA's No. 2 leaving to helm Md. health department

The second-in-command at the Food and Drug Administration is leaving the Obama administration to become Maryland's top public health official.

By Lyndsey Layton and John Wagner  | January 4, 2011; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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What will happen in 2011? (Video)

The Federal Eye previewed major issues to watch across the government in 2011 on Monday's Capital Insider with Morris Jones on TBD.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 4, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Video Report  
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Watchdog fired by Obama loses appeals case

A three-judge panel rejected appeals Tuesday by Gerald Walpin, a former federal watchdog fired by President Obama in 2009, likely ending his attempts to get back his old job.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 4, 2011; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Administration, Oversight, Supreme Court  
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The top government agency on Twitter is...?

So which federal agency is tops on Twitter?

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 4, 2011; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Federal savings plan sends out erroneous payments

The Thrift Savings Program, a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees, announced Monday that it had mistakenly sent payments to thousands of people and that it wants the money back.

By Joe Davidson  | January 4, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Postal union 'frustrated' by pace of negotiations

The nation's largest postal union has summoned its top leaders this week to Washington as negotiations for a new multi-year contract with the U.S. Postal Service appear close to an impasse.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 4, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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FEMA hasn't recouped $643 million, watchdog says

The Federal Emergency Management Agency hasn't recouped about $643 million in federal disaster relief funds improperly distributed to about 160,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, according to a new watchdog report.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 4, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Oversight  
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D.C. schools general counsel tapped to lead Legal Services Corp.

The top lawyer for District of Columbia Public Schools and former president of the District of Columbia Bar has been tapped to lead Legal Services Corporation, it announced Monday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 3, 2011; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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Federal breast-feeding policy detailed

Federal workers who need to breast-feed on the job should be given a reasonable amount of time, must be provided access to a clean, private room and might not be paid while doing so.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 3, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Health Care, Workplace Issues  
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Navy's quick condemnation of Capt. Owen Honors wins praise of gay rights groups

The Navy's quick condemnation and pledge to investigate videos in which a senior officer on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier used anti-gay slurs and mimicked masturbation won the praise of gay rights groups Monday.

By Greg Jaffe  | January 3, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Military  
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Some post office closures delayed

The long-feared closure of post offices across the country is being delayed by at least two weeks because of the holiday rush, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 3, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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10 things to watch across government in 2011

Happy New Year! Want to know what The Federal Eye will be watching for in 2011? Here are 10 issues across the government worth tracking as the new year -- and the new Congress -- begins:

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 3, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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