This Week in Washington…

Posted on May 30, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |







  • President Obama used a wide-ranging foreign policy speech at West Point to call climate change a “creeping national security crisis” and knock Republican global-warming skeptics.
  • Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that cities will play a crucial role in the effort to stall global warming due to the fact that a majority of greenhouse-gas emissions originate from major metropolitan areas.
  • Koch Industries has inked a deal to buy PetroLogistics, a firm that operates a plant that turns natural gas into a chemical used to manufacture plastics.
  • TransCanada must now submit to third-party oversight and adopt a quality management program during the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction, two new mandates imposed by federal regulators if the administration greenlights the project.
  • Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million in the Northern Hemisphere last month, a new record in air pollution.
  • In the absence of a long-term nuclear-waste repository in the U.S., nuclear plants across the country are grappling with interim measures to safely store spent nuclear fuel.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency notched another win in a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the agency’s decision to delay writing regulations to protect against acid rain.




  • Edward Snowden said he was “trained as a spy” and that initial responses from administration officials calling him a low-level “administrator” were misleading.
  • Apple agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion; founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will work for Apple and the product will keep its current branding.
  • WikiLeaks identified Afghanistan as the “Country X” in which the National Security Agency is collecting data on nearly all phone calls.
  • A Boca Raton, Fla., dentist started buying up domain names with the ending “.democrat,” including “” and “” once they became open to the public because he is angry about the Affordable Care Act.
  • Entertainment companies and Internet providers sent 1.3 million notices about alleged copyright violations in 2013 in a new program that gives users until their fifth or sixth strike before instituting sanctions.



  • “America must always lead on the world stage. But U.S. military action cannot be the only—or even primary—component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”—President Obama, in a commencement address at the United States Military Academy (New York Times)
  • “Ladies and gentlemen: I want to get into your mind, I want to get into your heart, and I want to touch your soul.”—Joe Grandanette, physical education teacher and Republican congressional candidate in Iowa’s Third District, at a debate (Des Moines Register)
  • “You know, uh. It depends on what you’re asking me of. But I’ll tell you this,” he continued. “What I’m guilty of is trying the hardest and giving 100 percent of myself and putting my heart and soul into representing the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn. But I do believe when all is said and done, I will be exonerated and I think the people that supported me will be proud that they did.”—Rep. Michael Grimm, when asked if he is innocent of criminal charges of fraud (Politico)
  • “This keeps piling up, and it can’t be just an isolated—the Phoenix VA is not an island.”—Sen. John McCain, calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign (Huffington Post)
  • “I have taken no steps toward such a thing, and I’ve got to tell you, I do not wish that job upon anybody—including myself.” –Ben Carson, on running for president (National Journal)


  • The New York Times maps Detroit’s battle with blight.
  • Slate creates a timeline-map of carbon emissions worldwide.
  • National Journal charts which lawmakers are the most well traveled.
  • A New York Times interactive determines whether it’s smarter to rent or buy a home.
  • National Journal maps which congressional districts have the highest percentage of veterans.
  • Quartz maps which countries use the most steel.

Future events

  • Thursday, May 29 – Vice President Biden will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at noon PST at a private residence in Seattle.
  • Monday, June 2 – First lady Michelle Obama will take part in a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Illinois at 1:30 p.m. in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
  • Friday, May 30 – The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “Over-Criminalization Task Force: Penalties,” at 9 a.m. in 2237 Rayburn.
  • Friday, May 30 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Department of Energy Oversight: Status of Loan Programs,” at 9:15 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.
  • Wednesday, June 4 – The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a hearing, “From Military Service to Small-Business Owner: Supporting America’s Veteran Entrepreneurs,” at 3 p.m. in 428-A Russell.
  • Friday, May 30 – The Inter-American Development Bank will hold a D.C. political economy seminar, “Looking Beyond the Incumbent: Exposing Corruption and the Effect on Electoral Outcomes,” at noon at 1300 New York Ave. NW.
  • Friday, May 30 – Rand will hold the spring 2014 Behavioral Finance Forum Public-Policy Roundtable, “Leveraging Behavioral Insights to Improve Financial Health,” at 9 a.m. in 106 Dirksen.
  • Friday, May 30 – The American Enterprise Institute will hold a discussion, “Trading Up: Free Trade’s Growth Opportunities,” at 9 a.m. at 1150 17th St. NW.
  • Thursday, May 29 – George Mason University’s School of Public Policy will hold its annual Awards and Recognition Gala, featuring a discussion on “The Geopolitics of Energy: The Changing Dynamics of Power,” at 7 p.m. at 3351 Fairfax Dr. in Arlington, Va.
  • Thursday May 29 and Friday, May 30 – The Veolia Institute, Agence Francaise de Developpement, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the U.S. National Research Council Water Science and Technology Board will hold a conference, “Ecosystems, Economy and Society: How Large-Scale Restoration can Stimulate Sustainable Development,” at 2101 Constitution Ave. NW.
  • Friday, May 30 – First Focus will hold a briefing, “National Climate Assessment and Air Pollution: The Impact on Asthma and Allergies,” at 2 p.m. in CVC-201 in the Capitol.
  • Thursday, May 29 – The Center for National Policy will hold a discussion, “Ukraine, Russia, and the Rest,” at 6:30 p.m. at 1250 I St. NW.
  • Thursday, May 29 to Friday, May 30 – The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association will hold its Spring Intelligence Symposium, “Insight From Chaos: Making Sense of Big Data,” at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.
  • Friday, May 30 – The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion, “Russian Military Modernization and Military Operations in the Crimea, North Caucasus and Georgia,” at noon at 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • Friday, May 30 – The Alliance for Health Reform will hold a briefing, “Patient-Centered Medical Homes: The Promise and the Reality,” at 12:15 p.m. in 325 Russell.
  • Thursday, May 29 – The TechAmerica Foundation will hold an event to release and discuss a report, “Cloud Buyer’s Guide for the Federal Government,” at 3 p.m. in B-339 Rayburn.




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