Archive for May 2012

Federal workers less satisfied with pay in 2011

May 31, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Unemployment continues to hover around eight percent, many Americans have stopped looking for work, and others find themselves under-paid or under-employed. The federal work force makes up a huge part of the U.S. Economy -- more than two million employees -- and most of their budgets will shrink next year. So, how satisfied are the feds with their take-home pay?

Lara Shane, vice president for research and communications with the Partnership for Public Service, discussed a new report on the topic with Capital Insider.

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Tax hawks target NASCAR sponsorships

May 31, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. carries a lot of name recognition on and off the track. His car does too. It's tattooed with the logo for the U.S. National Guard.

Earnhardt is not the only racer sponsored by the U.S. Military and NASCAR is not the only sport the military sponsors. U.S. taxpayers shell out tens of millions of dollars each year to boost recruitment. Is the investment worth it?

Taxpayers Protection Alliance President Dave Williams discussed the issue with Capital Insider.

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Debt but no degree

May 30, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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A growing number of people with some college education have a pile of debt, but no degree to show for it. Government data also suggests college dropouts are four times as likely to fall behind on student loan payments.

Washington Post Financial Reporter Ylan Mui went over the numbers and their possible implications with Capital Insider.

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Tax hawks question $150 million for U.S. Enrichment Corporation

May 30, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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The House Rules Committee continues to hammer out a budget for the next fiscal year. Some amendments will make their way to the floor, others will not. Both houses of Congress, the White House, and American taxpayers will be watching closely as the national debt approaches its ceiling once again.

Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander discussed controversial amendments on the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act with Capital Insider.

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Sammies Finalist Deborah Temkin

May 29, 2012 - 02:30 PM
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The Partnership for Public Service, a locally-based non-profit organization, announced 33 finalists this month for the Service to America Medals. The "Sammies" honor federal workers who have shown a commitment to public service and who have made the agency they work for stronger. Deborah Temkin, research and policy coordinator for bullying prevention initiatives at the Department of Education, is a finalist for the 2012 Call to Service Medal. She discussed her work with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

May 29, 2012 - 02:00 PM
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Key Republican leaders have done an about face -- admitting that Mitt Romney might actually have a chance at winning this year's Presidential election. Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Erikka Knuti discussed that and other trending political topics on Capital Insider.

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U.S. targets Al-Qaeda websites

May 29, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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In a rare glimpse into cyber warfare tactics, a top U.S. official has acknowledged that the government hacked into websites run by Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. Agents changed advertisements that bragged about killing Americans into advertisements that underscored the deaths of Muslim civilians in Al-Qaeda terror attacks. CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry discussed the approach and other cybersecurity issues on Capital Insider.

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Weapons-grade uranium central to talks with Iran

May 29, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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What happens if nuclear talks with Iran break down? WTOP Radio National Security Correspondent J.J. Green discussed complicated uranium-based talks between the U.S. an Iran on Capital Insider.

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NATO, Afghanistan, and the future of U.S. support

May 23, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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President Obama closed the NATO Summit in Chicago by emphasizing the end of a decade-long war in Afghanistan. Concerns going forward include troop numbers and ongoing financial support for Afghan security forces.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (U.S. Army Reserve) discussed the future of our role in Afghanistan on Capital Insider.

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House GOP to release details on health care investigation

May 23, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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House Republicans have been investigating what they call "secret deals" between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry during negotiations leading up to the health care overhaul. They say President Obama made promises to industry lobbyists to accomplish the Affordable Care Act despite campaign promises to be transparent.

The White House calls the investigation a distraction from real issues -- like jobs -- but promised to comply with requests for information.

CQ Roll Call Staff Writer Jonathan Strong discussed the issue on Capital Insider.

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Senate committee hearing will detail Secret Service investigation

May 22, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security Committee will take a close look at the prostitution scandal in Catagena Columbia. The Secret Service dismissed nine agents and cleared three others of serious misconduct after a night of drinking and interaction with about 20 prostitutes just before President Obama's arrival for the Summit of the Americas.

The unprecedented security breach happened last month.

Washington Post Columnist Joe Davidson offered perspective ahead of Wednesday's meeting on Capital Insider.

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Putin skips G8, viewed as snub

May 22, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Russian President Vladimir Putin skipped the G8 Summit this weekend, a move widely viewed as a snub of President Obama. Some say it signals a shift in the relationship between the two super powers. Putin, who won a third term this year, sent former president and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his place.

Dr. Gene Novikov, co-author of the forthcoming book Re-thinking the Reset Button: Can We Trust Vladimir Putin's Russia? discussed the relationship on Capital Insider.

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Sammies Finalist Michelle Bernier-Toth

May 21, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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The Partnership for Public Service, a locally-based non-profit organization, announced 33 finalists this month for the Service to America Medals. The "Sammies" honor federal workers who have shown a commitment to public service and who have made the agency they work for stronger.

Michelle Bernier-Toth, managing director of overseas citizens services at the State Department, is a finalist for the 2012 National Security and International Affair Medal. She discussed her work with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

May 21, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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This weekend's G8 Summit and this week's NATO meeting could generate changes in worldwide fiscal policy.

Currently, the U.S. and Germany find themselves on opposite sides of the fiscal divide. President Obama supports measures designed to stimulate economic growth, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel champions austerity.

The G8's course of action could determine the future of the European Union and echo on the Presidential campaign trail.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Showdown over Violence Against Women Act

May 18, 2012 - 01:45 PM
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House Republicans set up a showdown with the Senate and President Obama over legislation to protect women from domestic violence. The House vote 222 to 205 on Wednesday to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act for another five years.

The Senate took similar action already.

Still, big differences remain and advocacy groups say the House bill doesn't go far enough.

Erin Matson, Vice President of the National Organization for Women, discussed the issue on Capital Insider.

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U.S. and China pledge cyber cooperation

May 18, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Cybersecurity concerns brought the world's two biggest economies together this week. Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie made a rare public appearance with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. They pledged cooperation in the field of cyberwarfare.

Col. Cedric Leighton (U.S. Air Force, ret.) discussed the implications of the visit on Capital Insider.

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Tax Insider: Ex-Im Bank, MEADS, and the NatGas Act

May 17, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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In a rare show of congressional bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank for another three years. The bill also raises that agency's lending cap from $100 billion to $140 billion. The measure now heads to President Obama and he's expected to sign it.

Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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LSU professor: "Fed's inflationary bias fuels energy costs"

May 17, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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The price of oil dropped to a six-month low this week. Speculators are concerned economic uncertainty in Europe could hurt demand for crude. In the U.S., gas prices have been flat -- about $3.73 a gallon according to AAA. That's down more than 20 cents from early April.

Will that trend continue? And can the federal government do anything to help?

LSU Finance Professor Joseph Mason discussed the issue on Capital Insider.

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Senators push for swift action on 2012 farm bill

May 16, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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The current farm bill doesn't expire until the end of September, but public anticipation continues to mount. Action on the 2012 farm bill could be only weeks away.

Currently, a bi-partisan group of 44 senators asked top leaders to act quickly on the half-trillion dollar bill. It would cut spending by $25 billion over the coming decade -- slashing subsidy payments in favor of new crop insurance programs.

Taxpayers for Common Sense Vice President Steve Ellis followed the money for Capital Insider.

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Realtors to stress home ownership during Washington rally

May 16, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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The National Association of Realtors estimates 10,000 members will participate in a rally this Thursday at the base of the Washington Monument. They want Congress to know how much home ownership impacts the economic recovery process.

There are signs of hope on the horizon. The housing market seems to be rebounding and the average income for real estate agents also rose last year. The 2.3-percent increase was the first gain in nine years.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yoon offered a detailed look at the real estate industry on Capital Insider.

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