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The Government Now Admits There's an 'Area 51'

August 15, 2013 Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51. Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government's spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention ...

Obama Returns Solar Panels to the White House

August 15, 2013 Now that the tedium of the 2012 campaign is over, President Obama is making good on his 2010 pledge to put solar panels on top of the White House. The panels (American-made, of course) will be the second set the building has ever seen. The first ones were removed when ...

Analysis: What We Don't Know About a Hillary 2016 Bid

August 15, 2013 For all of the incessant and on-going speculation about Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign — two days of stories about the Clinton Foundation, stepping to the center of New York City's mayoral debate — one point is worth making. There is nothing — no poll, no historic data, no web indicators ...

Larry Ellison, NSA Database Supplier, Approves of NSA Surveillance

August 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Larry Ellison is exceedingly rich and powerful. He is the third-most-wealthy person in the United States and runs Oracle, the database giant. And yet somehow, as he revealed during an interview on CBS Tuesday morning, he is hopelessly uninformed on the ramifications of NSA surveillance. Or, perhaps willfully uninformed. After ...

The Filmmaker Behind the Edward Snowden Leaks

August 13, 2013 The New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass detailing how Edward Snowden reached out to the two reporters that broke the NSA surveillance story isn't about that surveillance. It's only sort of about journalism. Instead, it's largely a story about how close to the boundaries of civilization you ...

It Doesn't Count as Outreach When Obama Talks About the NSA in Secret

August 9, 2013 On Thursday, Obama met behind closed doors at the White House with tech company executives and privacy groups to discuss his administration's system of surveillance. The context was radically different from the last conversation he participated in on the subject, his chat with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. But ...

How Long Could Obama Stay At the White House — If He Were Renting?

August 5, 2013 President Obama is doing a question-and-answer session Monday hosted by Zillow.com, a website that focuses on one of the president's "cornerstones" of a strong middle class: home ownership. To bolster enthusiasm for the session, Zillow put a dollar value on Obama's current residence, estimating that it would sell for $319 ...

Update: Now We Know Why Googling 'Pressure Cookers' and 'Backpacks' Gets a Visit from the Cops

August 1, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How'd the government know what ...

No, NSA Leaks Weren't Due to Sequestration

August 1, 2013 A small detail from a Washington Post interview with Edward Snowden's father has been seized upon by political observers. Lon Snowden disputes his son's claim that he went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton in order to steal more documents. Instead, Lon blames a scarier opponent: government sequestration, which cost ...

How a Deeply Unpopular Congress Keeps Getting Elected

July 29, 2013 As deeply unpopular as Congress is, most members of the House of Representatives who stood for re-election last year won their races — some 91 percent of the 390 people who wanted to return to the body. The Wall Street Journal, by way of the non-partisan Cook Political Report, suggested ...