Who Will Lead US National Security? Plus Your DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • Sandy wasn't the first natural disaster to create a social media storm. And it wasn't the first event tracked by the professors at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The team of professors run Project Epic. So how do you use the troves of data during an emergency? Click here for the full recap.
Tidbit Thursday:
  • Ex-NASA Scientist’s Data Fears Come True - Ex-NASA Scientist's Data Fears Come True | A former astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California sued NASA, claiming its background checks violated his privacy rights. He lost the case, but his claim now has proved true.
  • Who Will Lead U.S. National Security? A Roadmap for the Obama Administration, from Boston to Benghazi. Cabinet shake-ups are a standard feature of a president's second term, but most of the top national security posts are now or could soon be vacant. Benghazi, Libya and Petraeus's resignation over an extramarital affair will further complicate the changing of the guard.
  • Postal chief: "We're facing our own fiscal cliff" - Inside the talks: Fiscal framework emerges—Jim VandeHei & Mike Allen—Listen to top Democrats and Republicans talk on camera, and it sounds like they could not be further apart on a year-end tax-and-spending deal- a down payment on a $4 trillion grand bargain. But behind the scenes, top officials who have been involved in the talks for many months say the contours of a deal—including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will likely contain—are starting to take shape. Craig Gordon, Rachel Smolkin, Jake Sherman, Carrie Budoff Brown, Joseph Schatz and Steven Sloan are also available on this.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. Politico reports, under pressure to pass this year’s defense authorization bill in just three days, the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee implored their colleagues Wednesday to help make the handling of the bill a “model” for the way the Senate should do business.
  2. The conference spending scandal that hit the VA earlier this summer has turned contentious. Federal Times reports, tension had been building between VA and Congress because the agency has been slow to respond to questions about spending on conferences, including how much has been spent. It was Miller and his staff who came up with the $86.5 million total for 2011, a number that Todd Grams, VA’s chief financial officer, didn’t dispute.
  3. The Senate has given the Pentagon the green light to look into green energy. Federal Times reports, the Senate backed an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May.
  4. Leave a jacket behind at an airport checkpoint and it could find its way to a homeless veteran. The Washington Post says the House has passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) requiring the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to donate unclaimed clothing to homeless veterans. The bill now goes to the Senate. TSA has its own agreements with states over what to do with leftover items. The agency told The Washington Post that travelers forget about 850 pieces of clothing each day at airport checkpoints. Meanwhile, VA said about 75,000 vets are homeless.
  5. Military data centers make up more than half of the 2,900 identified governmentwide; Pentagon officials aim to eventually trim from 1,500 to 250. Federal Computer Week says one of every 13 Defense Department data centers has been closed under the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, and the Pentagon has bigger ambitions -- but the cost savings so far are difficult to pinpoint. So far, DOD has shut down 114 centers, or more than one-quarter of the 382 agency data centers closed since 2010, according to the Office of Management and Budget's latest figures.
  6. The Senate has approved adding an amendment to the Defense authorization bill to require the Pentagon to create a comprehensive and standardized suicide prevention program. The Washington Post says the amendment, which was offered by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman  Patty Murray (D-Wash.), was approved by voice vote Tuesday night and will be included in the bill being considered by the Senate.
  7. And on GovLoop - you still have time to attend our half day in-person training event going on next Thursday here in the District. NextGen plus will feature:
    1. Insights to become a brilliant communicator
    2. Launch your gov career with savviness
    3. Learn to network within and outside of your organization
    4. Training takes place next Thursday
    5. Register before Saturday and you'll save some money!
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder One of the more fascinating stories involving technology and privacy I have seen recently... The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. has strict privacy laws guaranteeing people access to traditional health files. But implants and other new technologies -- including smartphone apps and over-the-counter monitors -- are testing the very definition of medical records. Finally, a 35-Mile Laser Rainbow Illuminates New York As A Memorial To Sandy’s Victim’s.
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