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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.
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Bob Dylan is Thinking About the Government

“I’m on the pavement, thinking about the government,” Bob Dylan sang in Subterranean Homesick Blues in 1965. Apparently he’s been thinking about it again lately.

Specifically, the folk and rock legend doesn’t think much of government as a job creator, and would prefer that wealthy business leaders pick up the slack.

In an interview with AARP The Magazine in connection with the upcoming release of Shadows in the Night, an album of American standards previously recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dylan offered his opinion on the state of the American economy and government’s role in it:

The government’s not going to create jobs. It doesn’t have to. People have to create jobs, and these big billionaires are the ones who can do it. We don’t see that happening. We see crime and inner cities exploding with people who have nothing to do, turning to drink and drugs. They could all have work created for them by all these hotshot billionaires. For sure that would create lot of happiness.

Dylan went on to say that billionaires ought to keep their focus on helping out at home, “because there are a lot of things that are ...

TSA Does Its Job, Finds More Guns in Carry-ons Than Ever Before

The Transportation Security Administration posted its 2014 year in review on its blog Friday and in it, the agency announced it had discovered more than 2,000 firearms in carry-on luggage during the year, in over 224 airports.

The 2,212 firearms were not all loaded, but the blog post noted that "most" were. The number is a 22 percent increase from the 1,813 firearms found in 2013. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was the No. 1 American airport for firearms discoveries, with 120 uncovered last year. Two other Texas airports were in the top 10. Florida also had three airports on the list.

All of the airports in the top 10 were in states with conceal carry laws. In addition to the 2,212 guns discovered in carry-on bags, TSA agents found scores of other dangerous weapons.

Other dangerous items discovered last year include: a fireworks making kit, fireworks, black powder pellets, live flash bang grenades, propane, a flare gun, seal deterrent, M-1000 fireworks, over 700 stun guns and live smoke grenades.

In Arizona's Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, an 8.5 inch knife was discovered in an enchilada, which brings up the question of why ...

State of the Union: The Message for Feds

  • By Eric Katz and Katherine McIntire Peters
  • January 20, 2015
  • Leave a comment

10:10 p.m. It's a wrap. "A brighter future is ours to write," Obama says.

9:58 p.m. Obama is now speaking about the National Security Agency and other federal offices that have come under fire for their surveillance of American and foreign citizens: “As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.”

9:53 p.m. No threat poses a greater challenge than climate challenge, Obama says. He gives a shoutout to federal scientists: “ I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We ...

New Oversight Chairman Replaces Issa Portrait With Photos of Postal Workers

The new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has taken steps to distance himself from the panel’s previous leadership.

Apparently, Chaffetz meant that not just philosophically, but physically as well.

The Republican lawmaker announced this week he would remove a portrait of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., his predecessor as committee chair, from the public hearing room. Issa’s portrait, along with all previous chairmen, will be moved to private conference rooms.

In their stead, Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., have decided to hang photos of U.S. Postal Service workers and “other everyday Americans,” according to Politico. USPS falls under the oversight committee’s purview. Issa worked aggressively to pass postal reform, and Chaffetz has promised to continue that effort. 

Chaffetz has vowed to change the tenor of his committee, and has touted his outreach to Cummings. While Issa and Cummings were able to come together on certain pieces of legislation, their relationship was strained and hearings often contentious.

While Chaffetz downplayed the removal, former committee aides found the move offensive.

"Only someone with a massive inferiority complex would go to the extreme and somewhat unprecedented step of having every ...

Why You May Have Noticed Beefed Up Security at Your Federal Office

Noticed more security guards in your federal office lately?

You’re not paranoid.

Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson announced this week the agency would ramp up security at federal buildings in response to the terror attacks in Paris last week. Johnson emphasized that there is no “specific, credible intelligence” of any threat on U.S. soil, and his decision is purely precautionary.

Public threats by terrorist organizations, however, have focused on “aircraft, military personnel, and government installations and civilian personnel,” he said.

Johnson has asked the Federal Protective Service to enhance its presence at government buildings in Washington, D.C., and other “major cities and locations around the country.” The secretary declined to elaborate on the exact locations, calling them law enforcement sensitive. He added sites of focus will shift and be reevaluated regularly.

The enhanced security builds on a similar DHS initiative launched in October, Johnson said, when a gunman in Canada shot and killed government personnel at a war memorial and the Parliament building.

“We urge Americans to continue to travel, attend public events, and freely associate with others,” Johnson said. “However, given world events, this is a time for heightened vigilance by federal, state and local ...