Archive for ‘July, 2013’

Secret NSA court order made public >

Facing criticism in both parties over surveillance work by the National Security Agency, intelligence officials released a series of top secret documents on how the NSA accesses bulk telephone records for terrorism investigations, as lawmakers demanded tighter restrictions to prevent civil liberties violations. “In the interest of increased transparency, the …

Congress eyes TSA misconduct >

Congressional investigators says misconduct among TSA security employees at airports is up 25 percent in recent years, as a new report details workers are routinely accused of stealing, sleeping, bribery and failure to follow proper security procedures. The 38 page report can found here. The rundown of misconduct examples probably …

Details of new Obama economic plan >

The White House moved to put meat on the bones today of President Obama’s effort to create new jobs for the middle class, rolling out a series of plans that include corporate tax reform, an increase in the minimum wage, investments in clean energy research, community colleges and increased spending …

Pentagon signals cut in furlough days >

With two months the fiscal year ends, the Pentagon is reportedly squeezing the military’s budget in search of extra savings, looking to use that money to further reduce the number of furlough days for over 650,000 civilian defense workers. The news came in a leak to the Associated Press, which …

IG calls Afghan aid plan “bad value” for taxpayers >

A new report from a special inspector general who reviews U.S. spending in Afghanistan says a $200 million program to deal with political instability is a “bad value” for taxpayers, after investigators found it spent a quarter of its budget on “conferences, overhead and workshops” instead of issuing grants to …

Congress gets ready for a summer break >

Like college students putting off their homework until it absolutely has to be done, the Congress will clock in for a few more days this week and then beat it out of town until September 9, far behind as usual on the budget work for next year. In other words, …

House, Senate divided over 2014 spending levels >

With both parties unwilling to do the leg work needed in Congress to complete work on time for all twelve spending bills for the next fiscal year, the battle lines are already being drawn – between parties and inside parties – over a temporary budget plan to keep the government …

Attorney General opens new battle over Voting Rights >

In a surprise move, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a legal effort today that could force the state of Texas to again submit any election law changes to the federal government for pre-approval, as the Justice Department tries to move past a recent Supreme Court ruling that set aside such …

NSA critics lose in House, but show strength >

While the White House won a victory on surveillance work at the National Security Agency on Wednesday as the House rejected a plan to limit NSA access to telephone records obtained through the Patriot Act, the close vote demonstrated that recent leaks about U.S. Intelligence work have made the program …

Questions raised about IRS executive travel >

A new report by the inspector general of the IRS found that a small group of top executives at the IRS ran up “extremely high travel expenses” in recent years, with some basically commuting each week to work in Washington, D.C. by plane from around the nation. “In some cases, …