Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
Ebola czar’s first few days on the job involve…phone calls and meetingsPosted October 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that the first few days on the job for Ebola czar Ron Klain has involved lots and lots of meetings.
“He is somebody who has been convening meetings and regularly working closely with officials at the CDC and HHS as they have put in place some of the protocols that have been announced over the course of this week,” Earnest said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.Read More »
VA fires Alabama official who lied to member of Congress, but appeal is still possiblePosted October 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
More than two months after a member of Congress said a Department of Veterans Affairs lied to her, the VA says it has fired that official.
The VA announced Friday that it “formally removed” the director of the Alabama Veterans Healthcare System. While the VA didn’t name the official, it’s James Talton, who was recently put on leave with pay.Read More »
The Government’s First Line of Defense Against a Pandemic: Thousands of Bottles of Expired Hand SanitizerPosted October 24, 2014 at 11:45 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Darrell Issa warns absent Ebola czar he needs to show up to the next hearingPosted October 24, 2014 at 10:22 am by Pete Kasperowicz
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he was “disappointed” that President Barack Obama’s new Ebola czar, Ron Klain, did not appear before his hearing on Ebola Friday morning, and warned that Klain shouldn’t skip the next hearing.
“We did invite the president’s new czar, Mr. Klain, to testify, and we’re very disappointed that he was not able to,” Issa said as he opened the hearing. “But we understand he has just started, and we do not expect that that would be repeated if there’s a followup hearing.”Read More »
Nurses demand federal standards to keep them safe from EbolaPosted October 24, 2014 at 9:08 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The nation’s largest association of registered nurses on Friday blasted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for providing substandard guidelines for protecting nurses against Ebola, and called on the federal government to set national standards to keep nurses safe.
Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United, was one of several witnesses scheduled to appear at Friday’s House Oversight Committee hearing on the nation’s response to Ebola.Read More »
House members prep bill to stop U.S. government payouts to NazisPosted October 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Reps. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said Thursday that they’ve teamed up to write legislation that would prevent the U.S. from paying out any Social Security benefits to Nazi war criminals.
The bill is a response to an Associated Press report that found $1.5 million in benefits had been paid out to 28 Nazi war criminals by 1999. Some payments had continued as part of a deal under which the war criminals agreed to leave the United States and return to countries where they might be tried.Read More »
Watchdog Group’s Big Finding: Obama Protecting Emails Eric Holder Sent to His WifePosted October 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
VA secretary blows off John McCain after promising to work with CongressPosted October 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Over the summer, incoming Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald promised to discipline officials involved in the scandal that denied thousands of veterans health care services, and promised to work closely with Congress to fix the broken VA.
Three months later, those two pledges have gone unfulfilled — McDonald has threatened to fire just a handful of people, and has let some of them escape into early retirement.Read More »
Islamic State makes a stunning $30 to $40 million each month through oil, kidnapping, extortionPosted October 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Obama administration’s Treasury Department said Thursday that the Islamic State is earning about $30 million each month by smuggling oil out of the Middle East, and earns millions more through kidnapping and extortion.
David Cohen, under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, reiterated that the Islamic State is a very-well financed terrorist organization, and said U.S. officials are continuing to work on ways to reduce those profits.Read More »
Obama administration will let key witness testify on lost IRS emails…after the election…maybePosted October 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of preventing an official with information about the IRS scandal from testifying until after the November election.
Camp wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to point out that his committee asked in mid-September to hear testimony from Hannah Stott-Bumstead, a lawyer who may have been the first person told about the lost emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.Read More »
Obama Administration Wants High Schools to Teach Government Lesson Plans on How to EatPosted October 23, 2014 at 11:57 am by Pete Kasperowicz209 Comments »
Democrat says ‘Leave It to Beaver’ family structure doesn’t work anymorePosted October 23, 2014 at 10:18 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on Thursday tweeted out that the family structure portrayed on the classic TV show “Leave It to Beaver” doesn’t work for “21st century working families,” and implied that those sorts of families aren’t good enough for working women anymore.
“We must help #womensucceed!” she tweeted.
Read More »
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) October 23, 2014
GOP lawmaker: Be ready for tighter security, Islamic State is ‘out to get us’Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:15 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said the United States needs to step up its surveillance of possible terrorists who are being directed by the Islamic State, in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting in Canada by a man who had just converted to Islam.
King also warned that the Islamic State is “out to get us,” and that there have been signs for the past few weeks that the group has called for these kinds of attacks. While it’s not clear that the shooter in Canada was motivated by the Islamic State, Canadian officials had designated him as a “high risk traveller.”
King, who sits on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, said the U.S. has already started to tighten up security at possible terrorist targets in the United States.
“There are real concerns because there has been an increase in chatter over the last week, because the fact that ISIS has made it clear going back over several weeks now that they want to attack military personnel and their families,” King said on Fox News Wednesday night.
“That’s why we see, for instance, the increase in security at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today, at consulates in this country,” he said. “You’re going see, I believe, an increase in security throughout the country, certainly at any target that could be considered targeted by the terrorists.”
Canadian officials on Wednesday identified Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as the man who shot and killed a guard at a war memorial and then entered the Canadian Parliament before being shot and killed. When asked what can be done to stop this kind of lone-wolf terrorists, King said the U.S. needs to be more proactive by boosting surveillance of these suspects.
“We have to be more aggressive. And if we have any indication or any inkling at all, there has to be, I think, much more intense surveillance and coverage of them,” he said.
“We have to have greater surveillance,” King added. “We can’t be sitting back and be passive. We can’t be somehow hoping it’s not going to happen. They are serious about this.”
The shooting drew reactions from other House leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who said countries will “not be intimidated by those who seek violence, repression, and fear.”Read More »
White House Says Michelle Obama Is Doing a ‘Good Job’ Campaigning for Dems…Despite Flubbing Names, TitlesPosted October 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
‘This Is Crazy’: Josh Earnest Refuses to Say if Plan for More Green Cards Is Related to Obama’s Immigration MovePosted October 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Heritage study implies only 2.5 million uninsured people, at most, signed up for ObamacarePosted October 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A study released by the Heritage Foundation indicates that as few as 2.5 million previously uninsured people signed up for Obamacare in 2014, far less than the 8 million enrollments the Obama administration has touted this year.
The study noted that through the first half of 2014, insurance companies reported an increase of 6.25 million new individual health plans, a total that includes people who bought plans on an Obamacare exchange, and those who bought outside the exchanges.Read More »
Obama administration instructs schools on how to handle bullying against kids with food allergiesPosted October 22, 2014 at 11:32 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Education on Tuesday sent out detailed guidance to schools across the country outlining how schools should react to kids who bully people with disabilities, including ADHD and food allergies.
The 13-page letter was offered to remind schools that “bullying is wrong,” and that schools that federal laws require them to ensure bullying does not get in the way of kids’ education. It also offers examples of the correct way schools should act to avoid violations of these.
Read More »
VA Official Who Tried to Cover Up the Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Pittsburgh Is Getting a PromotionPosted October 22, 2014 at 9:44 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Federal Government Awash in Waste: Rabbit Massages, Paid Vacations, Billions Lost to FraudPosted October 22, 2014 at 12:02 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Government blowing money on zombie musicals, rabbit massages, watching grass growPosted October 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday offered a glimpse of his annual report on government waste, which this year will reveal how the government is subsidizing everything from studies on monkeys playing video games, to laughing classes for college students.
Coburn’s office released a video teaser of his latest Wastebook report that outlines several key elements of this year’s findings:Read More »
Government holds conference on the dangers of driving while tiredPosted October 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday held an all-day conference on the importance of staying fully awake while driving on public roadways — an event that flirted with the irony of putting viewers to sleep and at greater risk of getting in an accident while driving home.
The conference — “Awake, Alert, Alive: Overcoming the Dangers of Drowsy Driving” — was held at the NTSB boardroom, and used up most of the day hammering home the seemingly obvious point that driving while sleepy is dangerous.
It also attracted a very sparse audience. Pictures of the NTSB’s boardroom showed that attendees appeared to be comprised of panelists and maybe one or two others. When the second panel ended by mid-morning, the board room looked like this:Read More »
Read the Threatening Emails Sent to a VA Whistleblower After He Appeared on TVPosted October 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
George W. Bush’s former health secretary supports ‘very aggressive’ Ebola travel restrictionsPosted October 21, 2014 at 11:37 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Michael Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, on Tuesday recommended “serious” travel restrictions on anyone trying to enter the United States from a country experiencing an Ebola outbreak, until the situation in West Africa is under better control.
“I don’t know that blanket travel bans have worked,” he said on CSPAN Tuesday morning. “But I think having very serious travel restrictions, even to the point of saying if you come from an area where Ebola is prevalent, that we’re going to restrict your travel, I think that’s a reasonable approach.”Read More »
Report says hundreds federal workers have been on paid leave for anywhere from 1 to 3 yearsPosted October 21, 2014 at 10:24 am by Pete Kasperowicz
A new report from the Government Accountability Office found that 263 federal workers have taken anywhere from one to three years of paid administrative leave between 2011 and 2013, and that taxpayers shelled out $31 million for all that paid time away from work.
The report also found that while 48 percent of federal workers took less than five days of paid leave from 2011 to 2013, 52 percent took six or more days of paid leave. GAO said 53,055 federal workers took one to three months of paid time off.Read More »
Nancy Pelosi wants to change federal regulations to let transgender people serve openly in the militaryPosted October 21, 2014 at 9:16 am by Pete Kasperowicz
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for a change to a decades-old military regulation so transgender people can serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Leader Pelosi believes there is no place for discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces, including on the basis of gender identity,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told the Washington Blade last week.
Read More »
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