Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
FDA sides with your parents, says tattoos hurt, could cause infectionPosted August 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Food and Drug Administration is warning people that getting a tattoo comes with several risks, including the possibility of being infected with HIV or hepatitis, allergic reactions, and other skin problems.
And if you ever decide to remove your tattoo later, the FDA is warning about “pain and high costs.”Read More »
Justice Department watchdog investigating $854K in payments to Amtrak secretaryPosted August 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General says it is investigating wasteful payments of $854,000 over 19 years to an Amtrak secretary for providing ridership information to the Drug Enforcement Agency that the DEA should have been able to get for free.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) highlighted the excessive payments earlier this month, and said this apparent case of wasteful spending was highlighted in an OIG assessment of Amtrak. That report listed the payments as an issue that could be the subject of a criminal action.Read More »
Steve King Threatens Government Shutdown Over Obama’s Pending Immigration MovePosted August 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Does it matter that Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was ‘wiped clean’? Maybe…Posted August 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
An IRS official told a federal court last week that the Blackberry used by former IRS official Lois Lerner was “wiped clean” in 2012, soon after Congress starting probing what would later become known as the IRS targeting scandal.
But according to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, an IRS lawyer also said last week that the government has a backup system that should retain the emails of Lerner and other IRS workers.Read More »
CBO slashes GDP expectations in half for 2014Posted August 27, 2014 at 11:14 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to grow by just 1.5 percent in 2014, a 50 percent cut from the prediction it made six months ago.
Back in February, CBO predicted that U.S. gross domestic product would see a 3.1 percent increase. But it’s latest report on the budgetary and economic outlook said surprising weakness in the first half of the year will significantly reduce that more optimistic estimate.Read More »
USDA announces breakthrough for people with peanut allergiesPosted August 27, 2014 at 10:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that researchers at North Carolina’s A&T University have discovered a way to treat peanuts to reduce their allergic effects on people.
The breakthrough has the potential to end the suffering of millions of people with peanut allergies, and could allow them to eat peanuts in any form. USDA said the breakthrough is also showing promise in reducing the effects of wheat allergies.
Read More »
FCC takes steps to lower the volume of TV advertisementsPosted August 27, 2014 at 9:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday published a final rule that is expected to lower the volume of television ads beginning in 2015.
The FCC rule is its latest action under the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or the CALM Act. That 2010 law bans broadcasters from running ads at volumes that are higher than the TV shows they support, and is a reaction to complaints from viewers about the spike in volume that seemed to accompany many TV ads.Read More »
Final Report on Phoenix VA Finds 20 Veteran Deaths Linked to Poor Access, Shoddy CarePosted August 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Senate Dem demands plan for dealing with Islamic State, plus congressional authorizationPosted August 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) warned this week that the Obama administration must seek out congressional authority for any military action against the Islamic State, and also called on officials to develop a full strategy for engagement against the terrorist group before acting.
“I agree that ISIL poses a significant terrorist threat to U.S. interests and partners in the region, which is why the administration has initiated military action against the group,” Kaine said. “But I do not believe that our expanded military operations against ISIL are covered under existing authorizations from Congress.”Read More »
Lawmaker slams Obama’s American Legion speech: ‘No one has been fired as a result of the VA scandal’Posted August 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) blasted President Barack Obama Tuesday for claiming that the broken Department of Veterans Affairs is being repaired, and said the absence of decisions to fire officials involved in the VA health care scandal show this is not the case.
Miller also said Congress’s requests for information and updates continue to be stonewalled.Read More »
GOP probes $600,000 for posters, $100,000 book club, other wasteful spending at Department of LaborPosted August 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is asking the Department of Labor for all information about a series of wasteful spending, including spending $600,000 on posters for the department’s elevators, and $100,000 to promote a book club.
“[D]ocuments obtained by the committee appear to show a pattern of wasteful spending and mismanagement at DOL,” Issa wrote to Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Monday.Read More »
Obama Administration Promoting Workplace Rights for All, ‘Regardless of Immigration Status’Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:08 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
One Democrat’s solution for stopping Burger King-style corporate inversions: Cut the corporate tax ratePosted August 26, 2014 at 9:30 am by Pete Kasperowicz
A Senate Democrat this week put forward a surprisingly simple idea for stopping U.S.-based companies from moving their headquarters overseas in order to escape high U.S. corporate taxes — lower those taxes.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on Monday mocked Burger King for considering the purchase of Canada-based Tim Hortons, which would allow Burger King to move its headquarters to Canada. He said he would support other U.S.-based burger chains who “haven’t abandoned their country or customers,” and said companies shouldn’t pursue these corporate inversions just for the sake of a lower tax burden.Read More »
Conflict of interest? Justice official defending IRS worked at IRS, was involved in targeting scandalPosted August 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday called on Attorney General Eric Holder to set up a special counsel for the IRS targeting scandal, in light of new evidence that one Justice Department official defending the IRS was himself part of the targeting scandal when he was an IRS employee.
According to Issa, Andrew Strelka worked at the IRS Exempt Organizations Division from 2008 to 2010. That division is the group that slow walked and delayed applications from conservative entities seeking tax-exempt organizations.Read More »
Gov’t Watchdog Says IRS Lawyer Admitted Lois Lerner’s ‘Lost’ Emails Were Backed UpPosted August 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm by Pete Kasperowicz217 Comments »
Steve King: Obama’s immigration move would trigger constitutional crisisPosted August 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) warned Monday that President Barack Obama would trigger a “constitutional crisis” if he used his executive authority to give millions of illegal immigrants legal status, a move Obama is reportedly considering before the end of the summer.
In a phone interview with TheBlaze, King predicted that while Obama’s executive action would make things even worse for the millions of Americans still looking for work, it would also serve to wake people up.Read More »
Are drug smugglers getting more creative? Latest bust finds coke in tamalesPosted August 25, 2014 at 10:51 am by Pete Kasperowicz
U.S. border agents over the last few weeks have thwarted some very creative attempts to sneak drugs into the country, including by hiding drugs in food and children’s toys.
On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it found seven ounces of cocaine hiding inside tamales.Read More »
Daily government emails teach people how to eatPosted August 25, 2014 at 9:20 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Anyone who isn’t being nagged enough about how to eat right can sign up for a daily email from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is offering daily tips on how to eat better.
USDA’s “MyPlate” website is where the government’s nutrition guide is housed. It was launched in 2011, with the help of First Lady Michelle Obama, and notably replaced USDA’s traditional food pyramid with something closer to a pie chart (although there is no room for pie on the chart).Read More »
Here’s How You Can Check Whether the Government Released Illegal Immigrants with ‘Homicide-Related’ Convictions Into Your TownPosted August 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Boehner blasts Obama’s ‘lapse in judgment’ by releasing the Taliban FivePosted August 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Friday that President Barack Obama made a critical tactical error earlier this year by releasing five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, especially as the threat of the Islamic State continues to grow.
“At a time when we are grappling with the evil terror of the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq – a group whose leader was once an American detainee, before being released – it is difficult to imagine a more potentially serious lapse in judgment by the Obama administration,” Boehner said.Read More »
Lawmaker: Best way to let VA officials know reform is needed is to ‘fire a few people’Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said Thursday that the best way to get Department of Veterans Affairs employees to improve their performance on the job is to fire the bad ones.
In an interview with NewsRadio 1620 in Pensacola, Miller said that most VA employees understand that it’s time to respond to the VA health care scandal by focusing on getting heatlh care to the nation’s veterans. But even after the national scandal, Miller said some in the VA are still part of the problem, and should be fired.Read More »
States struggling to control fraud in federal food stamp programPosted August 22, 2014 at 10:40 am by Pete Kasperowicz
States around the country are finding it more difficult to monitor and prosecute fraudulent efforts to obtain federal food stamp benefits in large part because state enforcement budgets have fallen even as the number of food stamp beneficiaries has increased dramatically.
Another problem cited in a new Government Accountability Office report Thursday is that even when fraud is detected, state prosecutors often decide not to prosecute because of scarce resources. And in some cases where fraud is prosecuted, states are finding that juries are often sympathetic to the food stamp scammer.
Read More »
VA official accused of lying to Congress placed on administrative leavePosted August 22, 2014 at 9:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
A senior Veterans Affairs official accused of lying to a member of Congress has been placed on administrative, along with another top official at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
CAVHCS Director James Talton was placed on leave, along with Chief of Staff Dr. Cliff Robinson.Read More »
Report Says Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Violated Two U.S. LawsPosted August 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
State says Foley execution won’t change government’s mind on paying ransomPosted August 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A State Department spokeswoman said Thursday that the execution of James Foley by a member of the Islamic State is not leading to new discussions within the government about whether it should pay ransoms to terrorist groups who kidnap Americans.
“We do not make concessions to terrorists.,” said Spokeswoman Marie Harf. “That includes, we do not pay ransoms.”Read More »
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- FDA sides with your parents, says tattoos hurt, could cause infection
- Justice Department watchdog investigating $854K in payments to Amtrak secretary
- Does it matter that Lois Lerner's Blackberry was 'wiped clean'? Maybe...
- CBO slashes GDP expectations in half for 2014
- USDA announces breakthrough for people with peanut allergies