Archive for November, 2014

This Week in Washington…

Posted on November 27, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET, ECONOMY & FINANCE

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENSE

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

  • Five months after a Supreme Court decision effectively destroyed its business model, Aereo, the streaming television startup, announced it is entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Lawmakers are vocally opposing a nonbinding plan by the European Parliament to “unbundle” Google’s search engine business from its other operations.
  • Sony agreed to settle federal charges that it misled customers about features on its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device, and has promised refunds of $25 in cash or $50 in merchandise to customers.
  • The Federal Communications Commission announced that T-Mobile has agreed to disclose more information to its customers when it reduces their data speeds.
  • Rebecca Richards, the NSA’s recently installed civil liberties and privacy officer, answered user-submitted questions on the intelligence community’s official Tumblr page as part of a growing agency effort to “begin to rebuild that trust” lost after the Snowden revelations.
  • In response to a letter from Sens. Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he plans to establish a working group to develop new cable set-top-box encryption standards.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16—we will need to sell him. I have a plan.” — Twitter CFO Anthony Noto, in a since-deleted tweet (CNBC)
  • “All I can say about this camp, Langley, it’s pretty much vacation. It’s Wi-Fi everywhere, flat screens everywhere, big gym to either lift or run. There’s an asphalt road kind of running around the perimeter that you can work out on. This isn’t bad at all.” — Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Knifley, on Ebola isolation (Associated Press)
  • “The reason I have a clean conscience is ’cause I know I did my job right.” Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, on shooting Michael Brown (ABC News)
  • “The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70-75% of the time.” — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, on police practices in black communities (NBC News)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 — The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association will hold its 39th annual Winter Gala at 7:30 p.m. at 1250 New York Ave. NW.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 3 — The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing, “Transforming Federal Spending: Implementing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act,” at 9:30 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — The Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform will hold a discussion, “Enhancing Health System Transparency through Meaningful Health Data Releases,” at 2 p.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan will deliver a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon address on trends in higher education at 12:30 p.m. at 529 14th St. NW.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 — The Thomas B. Fordham Institute will hold a conference, “Education for Upward Mobility,” at 8:45 a.m. at 999 Ninth St. NW.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — The Westminster Institute will hold a discussion, “ISIS: Its Origin, Methodology and Objectives,” at 9:30 a.m. at 6729 Curran St. in McLean, Va.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a briefing, “Iran Nuclear Extension: Key to Deal or an Empty Room?” at 10 a.m. at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 — The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a “China Oil Forum” at 9 a.m. at 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 — The Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies will hold its 2014 annual S. Telecoms Symposium, “Competition-Competition-Competition or Regulation-Regulation-Regulation?” at 8:30 a.m. at 1135 16th St. NW.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a discussion, “Waking From the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King,” at 4 p.m. at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Dec. 1 — The Cato Institute will hold a discussion, “Reviving Federalism,” focusing on the “damage caused by federal aid-to-state programs,” at noon in B-354 Rayburn.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 — The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing, “President Obama’s Executive Overreach on Immigration,” at 1 p.m. in 2141 Rayburn.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 3 — President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at 8:30 a.m. at 1001 16th St. NW.
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This Week in Washington…

Posted on November 21, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET, ECONOMY & FINANCE

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENSE

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down. Police aren’t going to be able to protect every single individual. If you don’t prepare yourself and get ready for the worst, you have no one to blame but yourself.” — Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies in Ferguson, Mo., on the surge in business ahead of a grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown shooting case (Associated Press)
  • “No one has noticed; no one gives a shit. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them.” — Australian TV host Karl Stefanovic, who has worn the same suit on air nearly every day for a year as part of an experiment on gender bias (Fairfax Media)
  • “I’m going to wear it. Napoleon did impossible things. I think it will bring great luck in my development.” — Russian businessman Oleg Antoshin, who paid €37,500 for a medallion containing a lock of the French emperor’s hair (New York Times)
  • “If I was the government, I would absolutely look to AIG and to anyone else to pick up some of the tab. That would just be financially prudent.” — Wharton professor David Zaring, on the possibility that former AIG Chairman and CEO Maurice Greenberg could prevail in his lawsuit (Bloomberg)
  • “No frickin’ way am I retiring. With all this rehab, for me just to walk was a huge effort. I had to re-learn how to walk again after the stroke. And all the rehab and all the effort shows the mental determination times 10 to keep serving.” — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. (Roll Call)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Friday, Nov. 21 – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a briefing, “The Problems and Promise of Global Clean Tech Trade,” at 10 a.m. in B-318 Rayburn.
  • Friday, Nov. 21 – The Brookings Institution and Friends of Cancer Research will hold a conference, “Clinical Cancer Research,” at 8:30 a.m. at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 to Sunday, Nov. 23 – The National Council of Teachers of English holds its annual convention, “Story as the Landscape of Knowing,” at 201 Waterfront St. in National Harbor, Md.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 to Friday, Nov. 21 – The Foundation for Excellence in Education holds the 2014 National Summit on Education Reform at 2660 Woodley Rd. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “ISIS and Implications for the Security of the Middle East and West,” at 5 p.m. at 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 24 – The Brookings Institution’s Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative will hold a discussion, “Iran-P5+1 Nuclear Negotiations: the Road Ahead,” at 10:30 a.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 – The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will hold a discussion, “A Global Perspective on the Underutilized Potential of Nuclear Energy,” at 3:30 p.m. at 1957 E St. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 24 – The Center for American Progress will hold a discussion, “Entering the Homestretch: U.S. Climate Diplomacy on the Road to Paris,” at noon at 1333 H St. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 21 – The Senate Banking Committee’s Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Improving Financial Institution Supervision: Examining and Addressing Regulatory Capture,” at 10 a.m. in 538 Dirksen.
  • Friday, Nov. 21 – The Law & Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law will hold a briefing, “Cyberattacks, Data Breaches, and Serial Litigation – Should Federal Data Security Legislation be on Congress’ Horizon?” at noon in 2237 Rayburn.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 to Friday, Nov. 21 – Beyond K Street, LegiServe and Lincoln Park Consulting hold the 2014 Professional Women in Advocacy Conference at 1001 16th St. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 – The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Nicholas Rasmussen to be the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, at 2:30 p.m. in 562 Dirksen.
  • Monday, Nov. 24 – The White House will hold a ceremony to honor the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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This Week in Washington…

Posted on November 13, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET, ECONOMY & FINANCE

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

  • The U.S. and China announced historic new commitments to curb emissions ahead of next year’s United Nations climate talks with China pledging to limit rising emissions by 2030.
  • Polling from the Pew Research Center indicates that more Americans now oppose fracking than support it, by a ratio of 47 percent to 41 percent.
  • Senate Republican leaders announced that Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy will have a seat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if he wins his runoff election in Louisiana by defeating Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
  • Jim Prentice, premier of the oil-sands-rich Canadian province of Alberta, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about winning U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • The free-market advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to Congress on Monday urging lawmakers not to renew a now-expired tax credit—the renewable-electricity production tax credit that has given wind energy a major boost—during the lame-duck session.
  • Illinois lawmakers on Nov. 6 approved rules on high-volume oil and gas drilling that will allow for hydraulic fracturing in the state, but kept a number of details under wraps.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENSE

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

  • President Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to claim expansive new powers over the Internet to protect net neutrality by enacting the “strongest possible” regulations.
  • Internet giants like Facebook and Google have been conspicuous by their relative silence in the net-neutrality debate, even after President Obama threw his full support behind Title II regulation.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture to end debate on the USA Freedom Act, which would usher in a series of reforms to the government’s most controversial domestic-spying program, more than a year after Edward Snowden’s leaks exposed it publicly.
  • AOL acknowledged it had decided to end its affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council, making it the latest in a string of high-profile tech companies to recently bolt from the conservative group.
  • The U.S. Postal Service announced publicly that its computer networks had been breached due to a large-scale data hack, and that the Chinese government is suspected of being involved.
  • The U.S. and China agreed to drop tariffs for tech in a deal that expands the Information Technology Agreement to potentially cover $1 trillion in trade.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “I was expecting them, but the shock was still very big for me. It is hard to be a hacker, but even harder to erase your tracks.” — Marcel-Lehel Lazar, known by the alias “Guccifer,” on being apprehended for targeting politicians and celebrities (New York Times)
  • “Let me just be clear: I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, nor do I say that all Muslims support terrorism. But we have an obligation to face the truth about who the enemy is and what they want to accomplish to have any chance of defeating them.” — Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in a speech at Liberty University (Bloomberg)
  • “At some point, something came over Israel so that everyone has his own ideas—and everyone else is an enemy. It’s a dialogue among deaf people, and it is getting more and more serious.” — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (The New Yorker)
  • “Her role since she has been at the White House is one of the broadest and most expansive roles that I think has ever existed in the West Wing.” — Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, on Valerie Jarrett (The New Republic)
  • “We’re trying to take what the Republican and Democratic parties produce for a short season and produce something good for the next 30 years in the rest of the world. It’s high cotton for us in an election year.” — Ruston Seaman, whose company uses discarded campaign signs to create solar-powered LEDs for use in developing countries (Wall Street Journal)
  • “I’m there alone on this big river in the middle of nowhere in Chile, and what went through my mind was Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 2.” — Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on relocating his own shoulder during a kayaking trip (Yahoo)
  • “We threw an election and nobody came.” — Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, on the 21.4 percent turnout among eligible voters in California’s gubernatorial race (Al Jazeera)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a debate, “What is the Appropriate Legal Framework for Net Neutrality: Section 706 vs. Title II?” at 2:45 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Free State Foundation will hold a seminar, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the ‘Utility Model’ on Internet Providers,” at 8:45 a.m. at 529 14th St. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Saturday, Nov. 15 – Women in Government will hold its fifth annual Healthcare Summit at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Alliance for Health Reform and the Commonwealth Fund will hold a briefing, “Health Insurance Marketplaces, Round II: Results and Expectations,” at noon at 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The George Washington University Global Women’s Institute will hold a launch event for “I Am Malala: A Resource Guide for Educators,” on global girls’ education issues, at 3 p.m. at 805 21st St. NW.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 – The Aspen Institute will hold a discussion, “Achieving College and Career-Readiness: What Do We Know About Common Core Implementation, and How Can We Know More?” at 9:30 a.m. at 1 Dupont Cir. NW.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19 – The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion, “Common Core: How We Got Here and Where We Are Headed,” at 4 p.m. at 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a conference, “Formulating a New Foreign Policy Approach Toward Russia,” at 9 a.m. at 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gases: The EPA Clean Power Proposal and the Role of the States,” at 4:30 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 17 – The George C. Marshall Institute will hold a discussion, “The New Congress and U.S. Energy Policy,” at noon at 300 First St. SE.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Center for American Progress Action Fund will hold a forum, “What Is the True Impact of the 2014 Midterm Elections and Where Do We Go from Here?” at 10 a.m. at 1333 H St. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 14 – The Commercial Finance Association will hold its 70th annual convention, “Turning Insights Into Opportunities,” at 2660 Woodley Rd. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 14 – The Committee for Economic Development will hold its 2014 Fall Policy Conference at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Law and Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law will hold a discussion, “A Symposium on Consumer Credit and the American Economy,” at 8 a.m. at 3301 Fairfax Dr. in Arlington.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of P. David Lopez to serve as general counsel and Charlotte Burrows to serve as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at 2:30 p.m. in 430 Dirksen.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Unaccompanied Alien Children: Pressing the Administration for a Strategy,” at 2 p.m. in 2172 Rayburn.
  • Saturday, Nov. 15 – President Obama will arrive in Brisbane, Australia, where he will participate in G-20 events and deliver an address at the University of Queensland.
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This Week in Washington…

Posted on November 7, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET, ECONOMY & FINANCE

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENSE

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

  • Verizon and AT&T are tracking Internet activity of customers with so-called “supercookies,” a technology that monitors sites visited and cannot be erased.
  • FBI and Justice Department officials met with House staffers last week for a classified briefing on how encryption is hurting police investigations, according to staffers familiar with the meeting.
  • The Justice Department has petitioned a judicial advisory committee to amend a rule that specifies under what conditions magistrate judges can grant the government search warrants, in an attempt to broaden the FBI’s authority to hack into computers.
  • Facebook received 34,946 data requests from governments around the world in the first half of 2014—a 24 percent rise since the last half of 2013.
  • A panel of three Republican-nominated judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenged arguments made Tuesday by a conservative activist and civil-liberties groups that the NSA’s phone spying violates the Fourth Amendment.
  • Lee Terry, R-Neb., lost his House seat, a defeat notable for the tech community because of Terry’s work on data breach and patent-reform legislation.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “I am the chairmaaaaaaaaaaan!” — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who will take over the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, waving a chair over her head at an Election Night party (NPR)
  • “I guarantee you, if we were to walk through my district, people will come up to me — white, black, all colors, some of them high. ‘We love you, Mr. Cummings.’ ‘We love you, man.’ ‘I’ll take a bullet for you.’ Someone told me that yesterday.” — Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. (Roll Call)
  • “American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later, so why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?” — Financial Services Development Council Chair Laura Cha, opposing a popular push for election reform (Hong Kong Standard)
  • “Who is running the worst campaign? Him. Because fucking abortion is all he talks about. He should not talk about it any more whatsoever. There are so many other issues.” — An unnamed donor to Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. (The Guardian)
  • “You’re not going to get a Pulitzer Prize or an Emmy by saying ‘Buddy Cianci is a convicted felon.’ Everybody knows that.” — Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, who waged an unsuccessful bid for his old seat (CNN)
  • “There were several people in the community that felt like it was a dog whistle of sorts to remind the voters that I am a minority woman.” — Kentucky state Senate candidate Ashley Miller, on efforts to disparage her professional history (msnbc)
  • “There have been $2 billion in ads shitting on the president and no one to defend him. He is very fired up to get this campaign behind him, to run through the tape.” — A senior Obama administration official (Politico)
  • “I’ve never played with Obama, but I would. But no, that’s OK, I’d take him out. He’s a hack. … I never said he wasn’t a great politician. I’m just saying he’s a sh–y golfer.” — Michael Jordan (Bloomberg)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Friday, Nov. 7 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a conference and workshop, “Talking Technology,” focusing on how to communicate about science and technology with policymakers, at 8:15 a.m. at 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 10 – The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will hold a discussion, “Addressing Emerging Cyber Threats,” focusing on a recent agreement between the United States and Germany to organize a long-term sustained program, at 6:30 p.m. at 1957 E St. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 10 – Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Endocrine Society, American Thoracic Society and the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies will hold a briefing, “Ensuring a Healthy Start for Every Child: How the Environment Influences Health & Development,” at noon in B-369 Rayburn.
  • Monday, Nov. 10 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “Post-ISIS Iraq: Challenges and Prospects,” at noon at 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 11 – The University of Maryland School of Public Policy will hold a policy forum, “Shale Revolution – Economic, Environmental and Global Policy Implications,” at noon at 1203 Van Munching Hall in College Park.
  • Sunday, Nov. 9 to Tuesday, Nov. 11 – The American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association will hold a Money Laundering Enforcement Conference at 201 Waterfront St. in National Harbor, Md.
  • Thursday, Nov. 6 – The National Archives and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress will hold a discussion, “Congressional Drama: Midterm Election Analysis,” at 7 p.m. at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 7 – The National Democratic Institute will hold a discussion, “Advances and Challenges in Party Assistance,” at noon at 455 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 12 – The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing, “U.S. Government Response to the Ebola Outbreak,” at 2 p.m. in G-50 Dirksen.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing, “Assessing the Implementation of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014,” at 10 a.m. in 334 Cannon.
  • Thursday, Nov. 6 – The White House will hold a “Salute to the Troops,” in celebration of the men and women who serve the United States, at 7:25 p.m. on the South Lawn. The event will be broadcast on PBS at 9 p.m. on Nov. 7.
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