Bad Idea

"I thought it over, and putting the American at economy in grave peril once a year would solve all my issues, so I figure, let's do it six times a year."

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Truthout Publishes OMB Watch Piece on Contracting

Truthout

Today, Truthout, an independent news and commentary website, published an article written by OMB Watch Executive Director Gary Bass and myself on constructive, manageable ways the Obama administration can reduce influence peddling in government contracting right now.

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The False Sense of Balance of a Balanced Budget Amendment

With federal borrowing rapidly approaching its statutory limit, Washing politicians are falling all over themselves to figure out how to extract more budget concessions from President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in exchange for not throwing the world's financial markets into a panic.

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White House Announces Next Steps on Regulatory Review

White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein issued a memo April 25 instructing agencies to make public their preliminary plans for reviewing existing rules and to finalize those plans by August.

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FAPIIS is a Steaming Pile

On April 15, the government finally made the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) available to the public. Reviews of the previously secret database have been harsh – Tom Lee at the Sunlight Foundation said, "FAPIIS may be the worst government website [I've] ever seen" – and after perusing the site last week, this blogger sees no reason to question that assessment.

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Spending Caps: The House Budget Resolution by Another Name

As the date approaches when the Treasury will meet the debt ceiling, the demands of the hostage takers House and Senate conservatives who are playing hard-to-get for their vote to up the ceiling are becoming known. And naturally, rather than put forth ideas that would make a serious attempt at reducing the federal budget deficit, these MOCs are demanding budget mechanisms designed to only limit spending.

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Agencies Report Progress on Scientific Integrity – in Private

Thirty agencies have reported on their progress to strengthen scientific integrity, according to a blog post yesterday by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This week was the deadline to submit those reports, per OSTP director John Holdren's December 2010 memo.

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Justice Department to Revise its FOIA Regulations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has proposed to update its regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The regulations would apply to DOJ and its components, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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Administration Replacing Derided Terror Alert System

As transparency advocates, we often advocate for government to make more information available to the public. However, sometimes the problem comes when government does make information available – and the information is wrong, confusing, misleading, or manipulative.

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Issa Feigns Sympathy for Oil Spill’s Victims

Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is using the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster as an opportunity to criticize the Obama administration for exercising more caution when issuing offshore drilling permits. After the spill, “the Administration’s subsequent assault on off-shore drilling has [damaged] economically vulnerable communities,” Issa says.

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