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Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasiligambros Matt Vasilogambros is a policy writer for National Journal, covering foreign affairs, the White House and Congress. He previously covered the 2012 presidential election and other federal elections for the National Journal and The Hotline. Before joining the company, Matt covered politics for PoliticsDaily.com, the Iowa Independent and the Huffington Post. Matt is a graduate of Drake University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper. He is a native of Arlington Heights, Ill.
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'Soft Targets' Remain Vulnerable to Terrorist Attacks

April 19, 2013 Once the drama in Boston is over, attention will inevitably turn to how to prevent another terrorist attack on an event with limited security. These so-called soft targets–places like malls and movie theaters, as well as sporting events–have always been vulnerable to terrorist attack, especially given how much harder it ...

Experts: Antigovernment Groups Probably Not Behind Boston Bombings

April 17, 2013 While officials are still investigating who was behind the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon, President Obama made it clear on Tuesday that authorities still don't know whether domestic or foreign actors are responsible for the attack. But one message from domestic terrorism experts is clear: Most of the evidence ...

The Art of Denying Cabinet Rumors

March 12, 2013 White House press secretary Jay Carney leaves Cabinet announcements to the man who actually makes the nominations: President Obama. Reporters know this, but it doesn’t stop them from asking about rumored candidates anyway. Since Obama won reelection, White House reporters have pressed Carney for information about Obama's deliberations on candidates ...

The 4 Most Politically Sensitive Budget Cuts

March 4, 2013 President Obama and congressional Republicans have been trading blame for the failure to avoid automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, but once the reductions start to take effect, both sides could face blowback. Here are four areas where cuts are the most politically sensitive. 1) Traveling: From Airports to National ...

At Defense, Hagel Would Face a Tough Task on Day 1: Handling Massive Spending Cuts

February 25, 2013 Chuck Hagel will likely get confirmed as secretary of Defense on Tuesday, with deep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget set to hit three days later. After months of Defense Department officials forecasting armageddon and with Congress unable and unwilling to prevent the steep spending cuts, Hagel would be entering his ...

If Sequestration Happens, What's Getting the Ax?

February 21, 2013 President Obama has been warning that deep cuts triggered by sequestration could be devastating for the military and other government programs. But many Republicans, determined to see a reduction in federal spending, show no sign of wanting to cut a deal with the president to avoid the sequester. Since the ...

John Kerry Differs in Style, Not Substance, From Hillary Clinton

February 20, 2013 The idea of John Kerry living it up in Cartagena, drinking and dancing with his State Department colleagues and locals as his predecessor Hillary Rodham Clinton once famously did, is hard to imagine. But their policies might not be as different as their individual styles. On Wednesday, just weeks into ...

Fewer Afghan Civilians Are Being Killed, But Drone Deaths Are On The Rise

February 19, 2013 In the early morning of Sept. 16, a group of women and children in Afghanistan’s Laghman Province were walking to a nearby mountain to collect pine nuts and wood when they were hit by a NATO coalition airstrike. No insurgents or militants were harmed in the strike, but four women, ...

Chuck Hagel's independent streak backfires

February 1, 2013 It was Sen. Lindsey Graham’s turn. Republican senator after Republican senator had grilled Chuck Hagel over his comments in 2008 that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” to do “dumb things.” The South Carolina Republican jumped right in. “Name one person, in your opinion, who is intimidated by ...

The History John Kerry Doesn't Want to Repeat as Secretary of State

January 29, 2013 This story was updated after John Kerry's confirmation. Now that the Senate has confirmed nomination, John Kerry will be the first chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the secretary of State in more than 100 years. But if he has any ambition at all, he'd better hope ...