Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
After lying to members of Congress, VA caught hiding the truth from American LegionPosted October 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A report late last week said the Department of Veterans Affairs purposefully withheld information from the country’s largest veterans’ group about how many veterans were still waiting for a decision about their eligibility for VA health care.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the American Legion — which has 2.4 million members — asked the VA’s national Health Eligibility Center in 2013 how many veterans were waiting on the VA for an eligibility decision. But in response, deputy chief business officer Lynne Harbin prepared slides that purposefully did not answer the question.
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Obama’s Labor secretary says adding more foreign workers would boost U.S. wages, not depress themPosted October 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Labor Secretary Tom Perez asserted Monday that allowing more foreign workers into the United States would have the effect of increasing U.S. wages, contrary to the findings of several studies, and the law of supply and demand, which say more workers would mean reduced wages.
Perez delivered a speech in Washington in which he cited a Congressional Budget Office study that said the Senate’s immigration reform bill would increase U.S. economic activity by 5.4 percentage points over the next two years.Read More »
A college professor is pushing to shut down a Virginia radio station for using the word ‘Redskins’ on airPosted October 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A radio station is in the middle of a fight at the Federal Communications Commission over its right to broadcast, as a college professor has petitioned the FCC to shut it down because it uses the word “Redskins.”
WWXX in Buckland, Virginia, is owned by Dan Snyder, who also owns the Washington Redskins. The name of his football team has been under attack all year from Democrats who say the word “Redskins” is racist and is a slur against American Indians.Read More »
House Dem writing bill to stop Nazis from getting Social Security benefitsPosted October 20, 2014 at 11:33 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Monday she’s preparing to write a bill to make sure Nazi war criminals aren’t given U.S. Social Security benefits.
Her comment was a reaction to an Associated Press investigation that found some Nazis and Schutzstaffel, or SS guards, have collected millions worth of Social Security benefits. The AP found that at least 38 suspects kept their benefits after being forced out of the United States since 1979.Read More »
Four Unsettling Ways the CDC Has Changed the Way It Talks About EbolaPosted October 20, 2014 at 10:13 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
USDA says you don’t always need to feed your preschoolerPosted October 20, 2014 at 9:17 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday said people should make one meal for the whole family, and not make separate, smaller meals for picky preschoolers.
And if a kid doesn’t like the meal being served, USDA said it’s fine if the kid eats nothing.Read More »
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.
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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.
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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.
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