This Week in Washington…

Posted on August 14, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |







  • The Treasury Department released a rule that serves as a road map for how money collected from penalties issued in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill will be distributed to affected communities.
  • OAO Novatek, big Russian natural-gas company that President Obama has targeted withlimited sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, brought on a U.S. lobbying firm.
  • The Transportation Department announced that it will distribute just over $20 million in grant money to states to improve emergency response to transportation accidents, including incidents involving the transport of crude oil by rail.
  • A study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline could lead to an increase in greenhouse-gas emissions that is more than four times greater than the State Department estimated in its analysis of the project.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said it is important for climate change to be taught in schools.
  • A state regulatory board voted unanimously to approve a proposal to build a 1,000-turbine wind farm in Wyoming; it will be the nation’s largest onshore wind installation.




  • Net-neutrality advocates are criticizing a Sprint plan that, for certain prices, allows customers to use only Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, and no other data.
  • The NSA crashed Syria’s Internet in 2012 while attempting to hack into its communications networks, according to Edward Snowden; Syria’s Internet has gone down sporadically during the country’s civil war, and the U.S. was not accused of hacking until now.
  • Privacy advocates have long worried about computers’ ability to monitor where and when people drive their cars, but now that services such as Car2Go and ZipCar make it possible, consumers are not concerned.
  • Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said bitcoin sales could add about 4 cents per share to the company’s earnings this year.
  • Network engineers say the Internet is outgrowing its infrastructure and that as the worldwide number of Internet routes approaches 512,000, routers will need to be tweaked.



  • “You’re welcome. I’m awesome!” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, after a speech in Iowa (Politico)
  • “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” — Hillary Clinton, on the Obama administration’s foreign policy (The Atlantic)
  • “I would say the biggest handicap we have right now is some nutcases in our country that don’t believe in global warming.” — Jimmy Carter, on the challenges to combating climate change (The Hill)
  • “This is not about racism, It’s about tyranny.” — protest sign in Ferguson, Mo. (National Journal)
  • “I understand that there are some Republicans, and some candidates in particular, that don’t like it. But that’s their problem. If you don’t like the straw poll, there’s something wrong with you—it’s just a great day.” — Chuck Laudner, who ran Rick Santorum’s Iowa campaign in 2012 (National Journal)


  • The Washington Post graphsthe racial breakdown of Republicans’ and Democrats’ constituents.
  • The New York Times charts mentions of trendy foods such as sundried tomatoes, pesto, and hummus.
  • FiveThirtyEight charts the liberal or moderate ratings of Democratic senators who have endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • Pew Research projects Puerto Rico’s expected population decline.
  • Quartz graphs how Africa is catching up to Asia in its population under the age of 5.
  • The Washington Post charts the quality and diversity of beers available at Major League Baseball stadiums.
  • The New York Times charts the geographic origins of residents of all 50 states.

Future events

  • Wednesday, August 20 — The Migration Policy Institute will hold a webinar, “The U.S. Deportation System: What Difference Would Executive Action Make?” beginning at 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday, August 18 — The Cato Institute will hold a discussion, “Transparency Time: Wikipedia-Editing for Congress,” at noon in B-354 Rayburn.
  • Friday, August 15 — United We Dream will hold a conference-call briefing, beginning at 10:30 a.m., to release and discuss a report on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the impact it has had on lives and communities.
  • Wednesday, August 20 — Bloomberg Government will hold a discussion, “Stay Ahead of the PAC,” on campaign finance trends in the November 2014 elections, at 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 20 — The Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its July 29-30, 2014 meeting at approximately 2 p.m.
  • Monday, August 18 — The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a discussion, “Energy Extraction vs. People and the Environment: An In-Depth Look at the Camisea Gas Pipeline Project,” at noon at 1350 New York Ave. NW.
  • Wednesday, August 20 — The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Africa Program will hold a discussion, “Preempting Environmental and Human Security Crises in Africa: Science-Based Planning for Climate Variability Threats,” at 10 a.m. at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, August 19 — The Society for International Development’s Washington Chapter will hold a discussion with Young African Leaders Initiative fellows on fellowship experiences, the impact on U.S.-Africa relations and future endeavors, at 4 p.m. at 819 7th St. NW.
  • Wednesday, August 20 — The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion, “The Ukraine Crisis and Russia’s Place in the International Order,” at 2 p.m. at 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Friday, August 15 — The National Academy of Sciences will hold a discussion, “Post-Disaster Recovery of a Community’s Public Health, Medical and Social Services,” at 10 a.m. at 1030 15th St. NW.
  • Wednesday, August 20 — NextGov will hold a discussion, “Innovations in Cybersecurity,” at 8 a.m. at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.



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