This Week in Washington…

Posted on January 22, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |










  • President Obama’s State of the Union touched on cybersecurity, broadband, NSA spying, and trade agreements, although patent reform earned no love.
  • Google reportedly plans to become a wireless carrier by relying on wholesale access to the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile to sell phone plans.
  • GOP lawmakers are desperately trying to find a compromise on Internet regulation—but Democrats are in no hurry.
  • The FCC fined Viacom and ESPN $1.4 million collectively for airing promos for the movie Olympus Has Fallen that included improper use of emergency-alert tones.
  • Backers of broad patent reform formed a new United for Patent Reform group that brings several Silicon Valley giants together with retail and restaurant groups.
  • The Justice Department reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after DEA agents used info from her cell phone to create a fake Facebook page in her name.



  • “He’s on official business. There’s no Argentinian lover involved.” — Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, whose whereabouts were unknown during an economic development mission to the United Kingdom (New York Times)
  • “It’s still fun. My constituents look for me, like seeing me, expect me to be there. It can even be months later, and someone will still come up to me and say—I saw you on TV with the president.” — Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who for 26 years has been among the first to arrive in the House chamber before the State of the Union Address (Bloomberg)
  • “Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel. I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media.” — Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, responding to criticism over her appearance in a photo with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon (New York Times)
  • “We’re always looking for something to do, it’s cold. No one wants to go outside, better find something.” — Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, explaining the team’s embrace of board game Settlers of Catan (Wall Street Journal)
  • “We went and had one or five large and delicious Old-Fashioneds when I was in Washington. I told him you’re Sam Seaborn from the show ‘The West Wing.’ I mean, Cody Keenan, it sounds like a made-up name.” — Comedian Stephen Colbert, on the president’s chief speechwriter (New York Times)
  • “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits – but no.” — Pope Francis, explaining that despite its ban on contraception, the Church promotes “responsible parenthood” (Reuters)
  • “They were all memorable. All of them.” — Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., on the 33 consecutive presidential addresses he watched with his brother, retired Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. (Wall Street Journal)


Future events

  • Friday, Jan. 23 to Saturday, Jan. 24 – Fosterly will hold a conference, “Collaborate: The Innovator’s Conference,” at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Jan. 26 – The R Street Institute and Public Knowledge will hold a briefing, “Understand copyright in the Internet age,” at 2 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 – The Internet Education Foundation will hold the 11th annual State of the Net conference at 9 a.m. at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Jan. 22 – The Center for a New American Security will hold a discussion, “Health Care Technology as a National Security Asset and Improving Outcomes,” at 5:30 p.m. at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Jan. 22 to Saturday, Jan. 24 – Families USA holds its Health Action 2015 Conference, “Building Real Progress,” at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Jan. 22 to Saturday, Jan. 24 – The Association of American Colleges and Universities will hold its 2015 annual meeting, “Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative,” at 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Supporting Teachers and School Leaders,” at 10 a.m. in 430 Dirksen.
  • Thursday, Jan. 22 – Senate Armed Services ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., will hold a meeting with Defense secretary nominee Ashton Carter at 4 p.m. in 728 Hart.
  • Monday, Jan. 26 – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy will hold a policy forum, “Expanding Counterterrorism Partnerships: U.S. Efforts to Tackle the Evolving Terrorist Threat,” at noon at 1828 L St. NW.
  • Friday, Jan. 23 – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a discussion, “Global Oil and the Middle East Economic Outlook,” at noon at 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Jan. 26 – The Center for American Progress will hold a discussion, “Energy and Climate Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region,” at 9:30 a.m. at 1333 H St. NW.
  • Friday, Jan. 23 – The Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center and the International Tax Policy Forum will hold a conference, “Corporate Inversions and Tax Policy,” at 8:50 a.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Jan. 26 – The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion, “Dynamic Scoring: Now What?” at 9:30 a.m. at 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 to Wednesday, Jan. 28 – The Federal Open Market Committee will hold a policy meeting at 20th St. and Constitution Ave.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 21 to Friday, Jan. 23 – The United States Conference of Mayors holds its 83rd winter meeting at 1001 16th St. NW.
  • Friday, Jan. 23 – Bloomberg Government will hold a webinar, beginning at 10 a.m., “Lobbying Fact & Fiction: How Is (and Isn’t) Lobbying Changing.”
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 – The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing, “Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy,” at 9:30 a.m. in G-50 Dirksen.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing, “President Obama’s 2015 Trade Policy Agenda,” at 10 a.m. in 215 Dirksen.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28 to Friday, Jan. 30 – The House Democratic Caucus will hold its Issues Conference in Philadelphia.
  • Monday, Jan. 26 – Vice President Joe Biden will host the first Caribbean Energy Security Summit at 2201 C St. NW.

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