Federal News Countdown: Fiscal cliff, Petraeus probe and whistleblower law

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Molly O’Neill, vice president and Global Energy and Environmental Industry lead, CGI
Josh Sawislak, senior fell, Telework Exchange

Molly O’Neill’s stories
#3 Report recommends IT priorities for second term
From FCW:

“Post-reelection, the Obama administration is getting plenty of recommendations on national policy challenges. One set of ideas worth a second look is the newly released compendium of tips on how IT can help slash the federal deficit by more than $200 billion annually.”

#2 Budget deal poses threat to pay, benefits, jobs
From Federal Times:


“President Obama’s re-election last week means some of the most aggressive ideas for cutting federal pay and benefits are likely off the table. But the threat of some cuts still looms as policymakers set about forging a comprehensive budget deal in the coming months to fend off severe tax increases and spending cuts dubbed the ‘fiscal cliff.'”

#1 Pentagon reviewing legal, ethical conduct of senior officers
From The Washington Post:

“The Pentagon has launched a sweeping review into misconduct by senior officers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced Thursday, a rare undertaking at the nation’s largest bureaucracy, beset by recent high-profile scandals involving the brass.”

Josh Sawislak’s stories
#3 Congress approves federal whistleblower protections
From The Washington Post:

“It’s been a long time coming, but Congress has finally approved legislation to strengthen protections for federal whistleblowers. With the Senate’s bipartisan voice vote Tuesday, the measure, which advocates have been pushing for more than a decade, goes to President Obama for his signature. The legislation is designed to protect employees who expose government wrongdoing against retaliation by supervisors.”

#2 Online Privacy Issue Is Also in Play in Petraeus Scandal
From The New York Times:

“The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and has now entangled the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans. ”

#1 Sandy, ‘fiscal cliff’ and election revive global warming talk; even carbon tax reconsidered
From The Washington Post:

“Climate change is suddenly a hot topic again. The issue is resurfacing in talks about a once radical idea: a possible carbon tax. On Tuesday, a conservative think tank held discussions about it while a more liberal think tank released a paper on it. And the Congressional Budget Office issued a 19-page report on the different ways to make a carbon tax less burdensome on lower income people.”