Jamie Dupree – news965 

Secret Service chief faces barrage on security breach

  • 2:46 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

Taking responsibility for a September 19 security breach that allowed a man to jump the fence and get deep into the White House, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a barrage of bipartisan criticism at a U.S. House hearing, as lawmakers denounced what they labeled a “stunning” and “outrageous” lapse by agents protection the Presidential mansion.

“It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly,” said Pierson.

“I take full responsibility; what happened is unacceptable and it will never happen again,” she added.

But Pierson’s assurances fell flat with members of both parties.

“This is disgraceful,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). “This [More]

5 weeks to Election Day – U.S. House

  • 2:06 am Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

With five weeks until the November elections, there is no doubt that Republicans are the heavy favorite to retain control of the U.S. House. The only question is whether they can expand their advantage in a small number of races that could go either way on Election Day.

Currently, Republicans enjoy an advantage in the House of 233 to 199 seats; of the three vacant seats, two trend to the Democrats and one to the GOP.

The various experts who track all 435 House races all agree on the same basic overview, which is that there are more Democratic seats in the [More]

Traficant just one piece of House history

  • 9:18 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

The news that Ex-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH) had died this weekend after a tractor accident brought back memories of both his time in Congress and the fact that he had been pushing the limits of the law well before he made it to Washington, D.C.

If you asked me to write something about my time covering the U.S. House and Senate, there would be no way to do that without bringing up Traficant.

(AP photo)

The hair.

The crazy sound bites.

The wacky behavior.

Traficant is still the only lawmaker to ever put me in a headlock in the Capitol Rotunda.

He is probably the only member [More]

Ex-GSA ‘hot tub’ official indicted for fraud

  • 10:00 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

Over two years after drawing the ire of Congress about conference spending by the General Services Administration, ex-GSA official Jeff Neely was indicted by a grand jury for fraud, accused by the feds of submitting false expense reports and making false statements to investigators about his travel.

It was in 2010 that Neely led a GSA conference in Las Vegas which cost the agency over $800,000, ultimately sparking investigations by Congress and the feds – and outrage over photos like this of Neely living the high life in a Vegas hotel room hot tub:

While the 2010 trip by Neely to the [More]

Two very different reactions on Eric Holder

  • 1:18 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

For over five and a half years, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been a political lightning rod in Washington, D.C., winning strong support among Democrats and bitter denunciations from Republicans.  So, when news of his resignation hit, the reaction of lawmakers was right along those party lines.

Holder has scrapped repeatedly with GOP lawmakers over Operation Fast and Furious, the investigation of whether the IRS targeted more conservative groups and much more, as Republicans were clearly pleased to hear the news of his departure.

As for Democrats, the news was relayed at a Washington, D.C. gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus [More]

IG faults use of Star Trek movie in team building

  • 8:54 pm Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

An internal investigation at the Commerce Department has faulted a ‘team building’ exercise for a group of government and contract employees involved in a major weather satellite program, where workers first went to lunch and then spent an afternoon watching a matinee showing of a Star Trek movie.

“Even if watching a Star Trek movie as a unit results in greater unity or cohesion, such an event should not be considered billable to the government,” the report concluded, noting that the workers didn’t use personal time off to watch the show.

Investigators at the Inspector General’s office in the Commerce Department said [More]

Strikes also hit Al Qaeda splinter group

  • 3:38 pm Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

As the Pentagon announced that the U.S. had not only attacked Islamic State targets inside of Syria, but also an Al Qaeda splinter group described by President Obama as “seasoned al Qaeda operatives,” officials said the attack was undertaken to thwart the possibility of a planned terror attack that might even be aimed at the United States.

“These strikes were undertaken to disrupt imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western targets,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.

If the name of the Al Qaeda cell – the “Khorasan Group” wasn’t familiar – you’re not alone.

It was just last week [More]

6 weeks to Election Day – Governors

  • 9:14 pm Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

From Jacksonville, Florida –

While the fight for control of the U.S. Senate has garnered most of the attention in recent months, there may actually be more races for Governor that could go to either party in the rush to Election Day, as the GOP tries to hold on to its 29-21 edge in statehouses nationwide.

Democrats already are pretty much assured of winning back the Governor’s chair in one state, as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) seems headed for a total drubbing by Tom Wolf (D). Some polls have Wolf ahead by over 20 points, which if true, would raise questions [More]

Obama stimulus law still chugging along

  • 2:00 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

It has been over five and a half years since President Obama signed an economic ‘stimulus’ plan into law, and even though it was intended to immediately spur new economic growth, money from the original $787 billion package is still being spent by federal agencies in 2014, long after it was originally designed to create new jobs.

Just last week for example, Social Security awarded two different contracts with 2009 stimulus funds – one was a $1.76 million IT contract, the other was for $639,935 in computer network traffic equipment, as the agency keeps using its remaining [More]

Obama health law enrollment shrinks

  • 12:06 pm Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree

After trumpeting “over eight million” enrollments just a few months ago in the exchanges for the Obama health law, a top Obama Administration official told Congress on Thursday that the latest report on the number of Americans signed up has shrunk by as much as 10 percent.

“As of August 15 of this year, we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage,” said Marilyn Tavenner, who heads up administration of the Obama health law.

At a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, Tavenner argued that smaller figure was not a disappointment.

“I think 7.3 (million) is a really strong [More]