Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
Republicans trash Obama’s pick for Ebola czarPosted October 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Republicans on Friday slammed President Barack Obama’s pick to head the federal government’s response to Ebola, charging that Obama chose a political operative instead of someone with expertise in solving a health crisis.
Obama named Ron Klain as his new Ebola “czar,” and in doing so picked someone with years of experience working on campaigns for Democrats and lobbying. Klain worked on the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and most recently was Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff.Read More »
Pending rule will force colleges to expand definition of ‘hate crime,’ boost protections against sexual violencePosted October 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Education next week will publish a final rule requiring colleges around the country to broaden their definition of “hate crime” and take other steps aimed at limiting dating violence and sexual assault.
Among other things, it will require educational institutions to add gender identity and national origin as a new basis for determining whether “hate crimes” have taken place. It will require schools to outline the disciplinary processes used to deal with cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.Read More »
GOP lawmaker looks to force Obama’s hand with Ebola travel ban legislationPosted October 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said Friday he would introduce legislation to ban all travel between Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa and the United States, and prevent the issuance of any new travel visas to people in those countries.
Poe’s bill is the latest sign of pressure from members of Congress who have pushed for some kind of travel restriction, only to see the Obama administration continually reject that idea.Read More »
Is the Federal Reserve helping the Obama administration carry out its secretive Operation Choke Point?Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Republicans this week asked the Federal Reserve to explain if it has in any way helped the Obama administration implement Operation Choke Point, a secretive program critics say is being used by the Obama administration to quietly shut down companies it doesn’t like.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and regulatory affairs subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday to ask if the Fed is playing any role in that program.Read More »
Countries blowing off urgent U.N. request for Ebola fundsPosted October 17, 2014 at 11:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Four weeks after the United Nations made a request for $1 billion to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the U.N. has collected only 38 percent of that amount from member nations, and is warning that the shortfall is hurting efforts to fight the deadly virus.
“It’s time that those other countries who really have capacity, (that) they would provide financial support and other logistical support,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
Read More »
Years Later, Justice Department Still Covering Up Aftermath of Fast and Furious ScandalPosted October 17, 2014 at 9:46 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Watch: CDC’s Frieden can’t answer whether White House has ruled out an Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden had a tough time answering questions about whether he or the White House have ruled out imposing a travel ban to help stop the spread of Ebola.
Frieden faced members of a House subcommittee on Thursday, and many Republicans pressed him on why a ban on travel from West Africa hasn’t been imposed. Frieden said several times that a ban would make it harder to help West Africa recover from Ebola, and make it harder to track people who may have the virus.
Read More »
Obama Admin. Launches New Program to Improve Quality of Parent-Child Talks at Home, Boost ‘Language Nutrition’Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
GOP docs demand Frieden’s removal, call for House vote on Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden on Thursday lost the support of two Republican members of the House who are also doctors, as one called for Frieden’s removal, and the other called for a House vote on imposing an Ebola-related travel ban.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) released a statement saying the first step to combating Ebola should be to remove Frieden for failing to be more careful about stopping the spread of Ebola in the United States.Read More »
House Dems side with Obama, oppose Ebola travel banPosted October 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Democrats said Thursday they oppose a travel ban on people coming from Ebola-stricken countries in Africa, going against Republican calls for some form of travel restriction in order to protect Americans from Ebola.
The Democratic comments in the House also support the position taken by the Obama administration, which says it does not support banning people flying from West African countries that have seen Ebola outbreaks.Read More »
Merry Christmas! A New Government Rule Says Your Holiday Lights May Soon Be Illegal…Posted October 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm by Pete Kasperowicz196 Comments »
Health official: Work on Ebola vaccine ‘highly complex’ and will ‘take time’Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:45 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Obama administration health officials are indicating that a vaccine for Ebola is still many months and possibly years away, as the handful of drugs that show some promise are no where close to being mass produced and sold to consumers.
Top officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services will testify before a House panel Thursday on efforts to produce an Ebola vaccine. While neither estimated when one might be ready in their prepared testimony, both said possible vaccines are still at the early stage of development.Read More »
House leader on foreign affairs wants the U.S. to shut down visa applications in West AfricaPosted October 16, 2014 at 8:23 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The point man for foreign affairs issues in the House on Wednesday became the latest member of Congress to call for a ban on anyone traveling from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) pointed out that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are still processing visas for non-U.S. nationals to travel to the United States, and called on Kerry to suspend that visa service as long as the Ebola outbreak is not contained.Read More »
Eric Holder gives ‘distinguished service’ awards to DOJ employees who handled the government shutdownPosted October 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday handed out 278 performance awards to Department of Justice employees, including 11 for the work some lawyers did related to last year’s partial government shutdown.
Parts of the government shut down for 16 days in 2013 after Congress failed to reach a funding agreement in time for the new fiscal year. The Department of Justice said that led to “complex legal issues” that several officials worked on, which led to Holder’s decision to give them an “Award for Distinguished Service.”Read More »
The ‘destroy’ part of Obama’s ‘degrade and destroy’ plan for the Islamic State might still be a ways offPosted October 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Obama administration’s top coordinator for its campaign against the Islamic State indicated on Wednesday that it may still take many months or even years before coalition forces can begin destroying the Islamic State.
The administration’s plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group appears to have two main parts, as the broad description suggests. The first part is U.S. airstrikes, which have been happening for weeks now against vehicles, infrastructure and other targets the that group controls.Read More »
Obama administration has made no request to boost NIH, CDC funding for EbolaPosted October 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Despite a spreading Ebola crisis and political fighting about whether the government has enough funding to fight the virus, the Obama administration had no plans as of this week to increase federal funding for these efforts.
Some press reports have suggested that Democrats in Congress will be pushing for some kind of funding increase after the mid-term election. But a staffer on the House Appropriations Committee said requests for a funding increase almost always come from the executive branch, and said no such request has been made for either the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Read More »
Louie Gohmert: CDC Has Collective Heads ‘Up Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine’Posted October 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
‘Fired’ VA official escapes being fired, opts for early retirementPosted October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A top procurement officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs who might have been fired for misconduct has instead opted for early retirement, a move that will let her escape a formal decision on her removal.
Susan Taylor, the former deputy chief procurement officer who is accused to steering VA contracts to a specific company, also appears likely to escape with all the pension benefits that she racked up after 29 years of working in the federal government.Read More »
Can 3-D printers help mankind colonize space?Posted October 15, 2014 at 10:39 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is looking at launching 3-D printers into space that would be used to print parts and equipment that could ultimately help mankind colonize space.
White House Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil wrote Tuesday that NASA is working on “printable spacecraft” and using robots to assemble equipment from 3-D printed parts in space, and has already sent the first 3-D printer to the International Space Station.
Read More »
Obama Admin. Spending U.S. Taxpayer Funds to Fight Workplace Discrimination Against Women and Gays…in MexicoPosted October 15, 2014 at 9:08 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Official Barack Obama Twitter Account Invites People to ‘Stick It to Climate Change Deniers’Posted October 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Pete Kasperowicz216 Comments »
Shooting death of U.S. citizen in Saudi Arabia leads to review of embassy securityPosted October 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the United States is reassessing its security in Saudi Arabia after two American citizens were shot by a former co-worker.
Kerry said the shooting took place about 20 miles from the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia, and said U.S. officials are still investigating the shooting.Read More »
CDC regrets not moving more quickly on first Ebola casePosted October 14, 2014 at 4:13 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden said Tuesday that he regrets not having a more aggressive response to the first case of Ebola in the United States, and said that going forward, the CDC would immediately send an expert Ebola team to any hospital that reports a case of the virus.
In a briefing with reporters, Frieden said the CDC did sent a team to Dallas to help investigate who Thomas Duncan, the now-deceased first Ebola patent, may have infected with Ebola. But he admitted that more might have been done earlier.Read More »
Federal Workers Splurge on Gym Memberships, Hairdos on the Government’s DimePosted October 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Lawmaker says Obama’s war plans based on politics, not victory: ‘He has a political strategy to get us beyond November 4′Posted October 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Monday accused President Barack Obama of letting politics determine the way he’s waging war against the Islamic State, and said Obama so far isn’t pursuing any military plan that will succeed against the terrorist group.
“The president doesn’t have an effective military strategy,” Cotton said in a Senate debate against his opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). “He has a political strategy to get us beyond November 4. What we need is to take it seriously.”Read More »
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