Federal Drive Show Blog – August 1, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s Interviews:


Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has rolled out what he calls a “menu of options” for implementing the 10-year budget cuts called for under sequestration. He says none are good. They can’t be implemented quickly enough to achieve the budget savings the law calls for. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu joined Tom and Emily with details.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Katherine Archuleta convinced Senate lawmakers that she’s qualified to be the next director of the Office of Personnel Management. But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says her qualifications aren’t the reason he isn’t letting her nomination go through. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller joined Tom and Emily with details on why OPM may have to wait longer to get a new director.

Deborah Hersman
National Transportation Safety Board

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This guest was probably glad it’s the beginning of a new month. The National Transportation Safety Board had a busy July. It investigated two commercial plane incidents — one in San Francisco and the other in New York — on top of everything else. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman explained how the board has ramped up.

Colleen Kelley
National Treasury Employees Union

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The Office of Personnel Management has drawn up a plan for how long-time federal workers can ease into retirement. The National Treasury Employees Union likes the general idea of phased retirement. But its leaders think OPM didn’t go far enough. They’re calling on OPM to revise its draft rule. President of the NTEU Colleen Kelley explained.

Bobak Ferdowsi
Engineer on Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Project

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Mars is starting to feel like home to the NASA Curiosity Rover. The personality-driven robot landed a year ago this month. Bobak Ferdowsi is the NASA flight engineer who controlled that landing.

Dr. Brandie Smith
Senior Curator for Mammal Husbandry Sciences, Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry Research
National Zoo

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If you were breathlessly following the countdown to Kate and William’s royal baby last week, you’ll be glad to know there’s another babywatch happening closer to home. The National Zoo’s female giant panda could be pregnant again. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub last fall, but it died a few days later. To find out why the panda pregnancy means so much for the zoo, Tom and Emily called Brandie Smith. She is the senior curator for Mammal Husbandry Sciences, Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry Research.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.