This Week in Washington…

Posted on September 18, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |










  • The Federal Communications Commission received 7 million public comments regarding its net neutrality proposal before the comment period ended this week, a tally that far outpaces the number received following Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction.”
  • The FBI announced its Next Generation Identification system, which uses facial-recognition technology, has achieved “full operational capability.”
  • A declassified investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee found 20 successful cyberattacks
  • The Senate Commerce Committee passed a mostly clean version of a satellite reauthorization bill, turning away many amendments considered unfriendly to the cable industry and broadcasters.
  • A coalition of anti-surveillance hardliners announced their opposition to the USA Freedom Act, a bill that aims to reform government surveillance, on grounds it falls far short of true reform.
  • Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle federal charges of violating a child-privacy law.
  • Recently unsealed court documents show that federal authorities threatened Yahoo with a $250,000-per-day penalty for noncompliance with an order to provide users’ communications data as part of the National Security Agency’s PRISM program.
  • Apple Inc., which begins selling its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on Friday, has altered its data encryption toprevent all but the device’s owner from accessing sensitive data.



  • “Jeff Sessions is probably held in higher esteem than the Alabama football coach and the Auburn football coach put together.” — Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., on the state’s junior senator, who faced no primary or general election opposition in 2014 (Associated Press)
  • “There’s only a certain amount of days Sean can be in the country for tax reasons, so I know that he intends to use them wisely.” — Neil Connery, explaining why his brother will not appear in Scotland to promote independence (Edinburgh Evening News)
  • “Maybe someday I’ll write a little article about whether it was more difficult to go through the paperwork to work with anthrax, or whether it’s going to be more difficult for me to make some bourbon. They’ve both awfully complicated, so we’ll see.” — Dr. Ian Glomski, who left a microbiology position to open a bourbon distillery (NPR)
  • “I don’t know how I’ll get home. Maybe I’ll hitch a ride on a tank.” — Ukrainian finance student Vladyslav, who traveled to Kiev to watch exiled soccer team Shakhtar Donetsk (New York Times)
  • “You’re acting very warlike yourself. Would you please leave?” — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., to Code Pink protesters (Roll Call)
  • “At that moment, if I could have just disappeared, I would have. If I could have just melted in tears, I would have. But I had to just sit there and talk to him. … I didn’t hear a word he said, but I wasn’t in a place where I could tell him to go fuck himself.” — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., on a labor leader’s disparaging comment about her weight several years ago (Huffington Post)
  • “You know what I say? ‘That’s my boy Grimm.’ Nobody is perfect. He didn’t murder anyone.” — Staten Island resident John Colombo, on Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. (National Journal)


  • The Martin Prosperity Institute charts the geographic distribution of singles, who now comprise more than half of the U.S. adult population.
  • Using data from Twitter, forensic linguist Dr. Jack Grieve maps Americans’ choice of filler words “um” and “uh.”
  • The New York Times tracks the roughly 342,000 swings Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has taken during his professional career.
  • The Washington Post charts the success of Miss America and Miss USA pageant contestants by state.
  • Barclays charts the migration patterns for high net worth individuals from around the world.
  • The Hollywood Reporter maps the risk of infectious disease at Los Angeles schools, which has risen due to parents’ opposition to vaccinations.
  • DNAInfo New York charts the 1,585 children who disappeared from a city-operated shelter from Feb. 2013 to March 2014.

Future events

  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The White House will host an event to launch “It’s On Us,” a new public awareness and action campaign designed to prevent sexual assault at colleges and universities, change the culture on our campuses, and better engage men in this effort.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – Vice President Biden will hold a roundtable discussion on domestic violence in Denver.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “21st Century Cures: Examining Ways to Combat Antibiotic Resistance and Foster New Drug Development,” at 11:30 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 23 – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “The FANS Act: Are Sports Blackouts and Antitrust Exemptions Harming Fans, Consumers, and the Games Themselves?” at 10 a.m. in 226 Dirksen.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 to Friday, Sept. 19 – The Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum holds the 21st annual National Issues Conference at 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Scheduled participants include first lady Michelle Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 to Saturday, Sept. 20 – The Campaign for Liberty holds its fourth Liberty Political Action Conference at 5000 Seminary Rd. in Alexandria. Scheduled participants include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 17 to Friday, Sept. 19 – The Corporation for Enterprise Development holds its 2014 Assets Learning Conference, “Platforms for Prosperity,” at 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Sept. 22 – The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will hold a discussion, “Policy Implications of the New U.S. Labor Market Normal,” at 2:30 p.m. at 1150 17th St. NW.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The Center for American Progress will hold a discussion, “The Cost of Climate Inaction,” at 10 a.m. at 1333 H St. NW.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion, “Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy,” at 1 p.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 – The Institute of World Politics will hold a presentation, “Threat Assessments: Managing the Threat of Terrorism, Espionage and Violence,” at 4 p.m. at 1521 16th St. NW.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 – The Women’s Foreign Policy Group will hold a discussion, “Looking Toward UNGA 69, Peace, Security and Development: New Perspectives and Partnerships,” at 6 p.m. at 37 Observatory Cir. NW.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 23 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “The Future of the Union: The UK and Europe After the Scottish Referendum,” at 6 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 – Susan G. Komen will hold its 2014 gala, “Honoring the Promise,” at 5:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus will hold the 5th annual Childhood Cancer Summit at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The Center for the History of the New America and the Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland will hold a conference, “Health Across Borders: Migration, Disease, Medicine and Public Health in a Global Age,” at 9 a.m. at the University of Maryland.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold adiscussion, “The U.S.-Japan Internet Economy Dialogue: A New Role for the Alliance in Preserving the Global Internet,” at 4:30 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Sept. 19 – The New America Foundation will hold adiscussion, “Digital Borders and Technological Sovereignty: Breaking or Saving the Internet as We Know It?” at 9 a.m. at 1899 L St. NW.






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