Friday Morning Federal Newscast – January 28th

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Defense Department is sampling internet traffic from across the government and putting it into a database. The goal is to get a common operational picture of cyberspace. That will lead to more effective protection. NextGov reports, the new DOD Cyber Command is still concentrating on Defense networks. Contributions to the database from civilian agencies is voluntary. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Robert Schmindle, junior, is deputy chief of Cyber Command. He says bringing together data streams from across government and making sense of them is an ugly challenge. Schmindle says agencies contributing information will have access to the data base.
  • House Oversight and Government Reform chair Darrell Issa is asking agencies for details on all FOIA requests during the last five years. He wants names, dates, and information on what agencies have disclosed. The move is part of a broad congressional inquiry into President Obama’s promises to improve government transparency. Agencies have until February 15th to provide the information.
  • The Senate passes a binding resolution to end secret holds. The new rule will require public disclosure anytime a Senator objects to legislation, nominations or other Senate action. You might recall that it was a secret hold at first that prevented Martha Johnson from taking leadership at GSA for nine months. The Senate resolution also bans revolving holds, where Senators can avoid disclosing their names by passing holds off to colleagues.
  • Fewer presidential appointees would need Senate confirmation under a proposal by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Aides tell the National Journal, Reid and other Senate leaders want to reduce the number of Senate confirmed positions by 400. That would leave a thousand jobs still requiring Senate approval. Among the jobs no longer requiring confirmation would be nominations to boards and commissions without policy roles. Ditto for public affairs and information technology positions.
  • Two of President Obama’s recess nominations for federal positions are running into trouble. One has withdrawn his name. The Wall Street Journal reports, Joseph Smith asked to not be re-nominated to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The former North Carolina banking regulator is strongly opposed by several Republican senators. Business groups are weighing in against the re-nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Unions back the economist and former union executive. Separately, the president re-nominated William Boarman, a former union executive, to be Public Printer of the United States.
  • Lockheed Martin appears to be doing well in this economy. The defense contractor saw its profits rise 19 percent. The Washington Business Journal reports Lockheed’s quarterly sales also hit a new record. Lockheed CEO Bob Stevens says the company had a solid fourth quarter, and that it was a very solid performance in what he calls a very demanding year.

More news links

CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape (CNN)


NASA marks 25th anniversary of Challenger accident

Air Force official’s sentencing hearing set

Former Time journalist to be Obama press secretary

Tweets of the day: Federal News Radio catches OPM snoozing (FederalTimes)


Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** Regulations – President Obama wants to cut what he called dumb regulations. How do you do that? The British government saved billions of dollars through a similar initiative, and we’ll talk to the person who led that effort.

** And feds in financial distress. How do you find them? We’ll find out

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