The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) isn't just about hard hats and safer machinery anymore. The federal government agency charged with regulating workplace conditions has formed an "alliance" with a "national social justice advocacy organization for transgender people" primarily to promote gender-appropriate restroom access.Read more
Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900.Read more
We received this email from a 40-year veteran of the federal workforce, who raises serious questions about Hillary Clinton and her emails:
Since this story broke I have been wondering why "Conversion" has not entered the discussion. In my 40 years in government service, 20 as a senior supervisor, there has been an inviolable rule. One does not use Government resources for personal benefit, and one does not use private resources for Government benefit for personal convenience.Read more
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working on a solution to a problem faced by a growing number of Americans as the population ages and relies more on prescription drugs: "What is this pill?" Much in the way a Google image search looks for similar images in Google's vast caches, the NIH's National Library of Medicine (NLM) desires a tool to match users' smart phone photos of mystery pills with hi-res images in the NLM's existing RxIMAGE databaseRead more
The White House says President Obama signed a presidential memo "directing agencies to allow federal workers to take six weeks of advanced paid sick leave to care for a new child, ill family members, and for other sick leave-eligible uses."Read more
When Congress headed home for the year last week without renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) many in the real estate, tourism, and insurance business predicted disaster. The Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism—a broad grouping representing everyone from real estate investors to sports leagues—blasted the inaction.Read more
When President Obama finally offers his executive action on illegal immigration, the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is going to get a bit busier.
The EOIR is tasked to "adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's immigration laws."Read more
The federal government is taking New York City to court. "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files Healthcare Fraud Lawsuit Against Computer Sciences Corp. And The City Of New York For Orchestrating A Multimillion-Dollar Medicaid Billing Fraud Scheme," reads a headline from the Justice Department's press release.Read more
The American public often rails about bureaucracy. It is not difficult to fathom why. Who amongst us has not fumed while standing in a long line at an understaffed post office? And how many of us have thrown up our hands in frustration at the complexity of income tax instructions and outsourced the work to an accountant?Read more
At first glance, a page on the Health and Human Services (HHS) website seems to be giving that agency's official advice on the "The Health Benefits of Nootropics," a classification of purportedly memory-enhancing drugs. The page is found on the website's subdomain of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) as part of the Health System Measurement Project.Read more
At least three marketers of health-related or insurance products and services have taken advantage of the "data-set" feature at Healthcare.gov to give themselves a virtual presence on the federal government's Obamacare site. The ability to use a web address containing "healthcare.gov" may lend credibility and even imply endorsement by the government.Read more
The federal government is closed, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Managment:
Why? Because the forecast calls for snow. (Currently there is no snow falling or on the ground.) From the National Weather Service:Read more
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that Accenture Federal Services would be taking over for CGI Federal as the main contractor for Healthcare.gov. CMS documents reveal that without the new estimated $91.1 million contract, the government could end up making "erroneous payments to providers and insurers" and that "the entire healthcare reform program [will be] jeopardized."Read more
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.Read more
The government re-opened, and there was no default. No surprise. This was the 18th shutdown since 1976, when the current budget procedure was established. The five shutdowns under Jimmy Carter were mostly over major policy issues such as abortion (he was for it) and the construction of a nuclear-fuelled aircraft carrier (he was against it). They averaged 11 days.Read more
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with James C. Capretta on fallout from the government shutdown and the failure called Obamacare:Read more
Vice President Joe Biden offered returning federal workers handshakes, hugs, and kisses -- and muffins, too -- this morning at the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Via the pool report:Read more
At sea aboard the ms Noordam, off the coast of Greece
THE WEEKLY STANDARD cruisers were supposed to go ashore today in Greece. But high seas prevented the cruise ship from docking at Katakolon, so we're unfortunately missing the ruins at Olympia.
National Park Service director Jarvis said he discussed closing the open-air monuments and memorials with the White House, as well as the secretary of the Interior Department:
"Yes, I did," says the director when asked whether he discussed the closures with the secretary of the Interior Department.
"You didn't discuss it with anyone in the White House, did you?" asks a congressman.Read more
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