Congress

Looking beyond the current debt crisis, the Obama Administration (and future presidents for that matter) should expect continued stiff resistance from the Congress whenever the ceiling needs to be increased. No one likes to vote for a debt ceiling increase; there’s no clear upside and plenty of down, particularly for members of Congress who were elected promising to hold the line on spending and taxes.

Moreover, the composition of our accumulated debt is incomprehensible; just seems to be a growing miasma of political toxicity – a debt blob. Notwithstanding imaginative, though apparently unworkable, short-term fixes like the platinum coin, there needs to be consideration of ideas beyond the binary choice of Congress either enacting a debt ceiling increase or failing to act and putting the nation into default. Keep reading →

The District of Columbia’s Public Service Commission recently joined the emerging ranks metropolitan government agencies delivering service information to the public via a mobile application.

“The PSC is proud to be one of the first public utility commissions in the country to provide a mobile app to consumers,” said Chairman, Betty Ann Kane. “With a single tap of the finger, District residents will have faster and easier access to information that impacts their daily lives.” Keep reading →

The “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report released today highlights NASA, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Surface Transportation Board among agencies with top rankings, but it also found growing discontent among public servants. Keep reading →

With the sequestration deadline looming, government contractors are split on whether the pending sequestration budget cuts will occur.

According to survey findings released today by Market Connections, Inc., a leading government market research firm, 36% of government contractors believe sequestration is unlikely to happen, while 34% believe the budget cuts are somewhat likely. Keep reading →

“We’re long past the point of doing more with less,” said the blunt-spoken Under Secretary of the Navy, Robert Work. “We are going to be doing less with less in the future.”

But with a continuing resolution, sequestration in three weeks, and to-be-determined defense cuts a likely part of any “grand bargain” to avert the fiscal cliff, how much less is maddeningly unclear. So it’s impossible to make intelligent plans or choices. Keep reading →

The U.S. Senate today joined the House in approving a bill that would postpone a requirement to post to the Internet financial disclosure forms of as many as 28,000 senior level federal employees. The House approved the measure on Dec. 5.

The passage of H.R. 6634 effectively delays the current deadline for posting the financial data of senior federal employees, from Dec. 8, 2012, until April 15, 2013. Keep reading →

The United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union has taken the unprecedented step of adopting a standard for the Internet that would essentially permit eavesdropping on a global basis.

According to a just-published piece on the RT.com web site, ITU members decided to adopt a standard, known as Y.2770, which would permit the inspection of Internet traffic. This inspection of emails and message content would be the physical world equivalent of opening any piece of mail and reading what is inside. The only defense against this is encryption. Keep reading →


The tab for the 2012 election is breaking records, with $4.2 billion raised through Sunday on the races for the White House and Congress.

Never before has so much money flowed into federal races. Much of it comes from the unlimited fundraising power of so-called independent groups, including super PACs. Keep reading →

Intelligence about the tragedy in Benghazi continues to dribble out very slowly, almost one document at a time. Some of the electronic cables, messages and reproductions of other physical documents have come into view over the past several weeks. Some of these documents were classified, but still found their way to members of Congress and openly reported in the media.

However, one piece of electronic information about security concerns on that fateful day has not received the attention it deserves. Keep reading →


Government agencies and departments are learning to live with travel restrictions and discovering innovative alternatives amid an anti-conference trend brought on by budget restrictions and well-publicized abuses.

But some managers fear the trend will inhibit federal workers’ ability to stay current with new technology field advancements or to consult with experts in the private sector via site visits, professional seminars and annual conferences. Keep reading →

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