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Trump’s war on regulations is real. But is it working?

“In December, standing aside giant stacks of paper representing the morass of federal rules, President Donald Trump literally cut a line of red tape and declared victory in the war on government regulation” writes Ben Schreckinger for politico.com. The academic is Neomi Rao, who since July has headed the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which scrutinizes all significant regulations and implements Trump’s executive orders on regulatory reform.Ten days later, he signed an executive order directing agencies to take two so-called deregulatory actions for each new rule it…

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OMB tells federal agencies to prepare for shutdown

“In that case, a follow-up memo told agencies to start carrying out their shutdown contingency plans” reports washingtonpost.com. The White House’s budget office told federal agencies on Friday afternoon to prepare to carry out plans for a partial government shutdown, effectively telling them to put their hands on the switch to turn off the lights but not to flip it just yet.To that end, this guidance reminds agencies of their responsibilities to plan for agency operations under such a contingency.” The memo repeats almost word for word one the OMB…

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The Senate Just Voted to Expand the Warrantless Surveillance of US Citizens

“Prior to the Senate vote in favor of this bill, senators Paul and Wyden co-sponsored an alternative FISA reauthorization bill called the USA Rights Act” reports vice.com. This version would officially make about collection illegal, require a warrant for backdoor searches, and require strict oversight of intelligence agencies by an independent agency. Source: vice.com Share This:

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NASA: 2017 was the second hottest year ever

“NASA said 2017 was the second warmest ever by global average surface temperature, ranking only behind 2016” writes Josh Siegel for washingtonexaminer.com. The findings contradict the Trump administration’s doubts about climate science and most scientists’ belief that humans are the largest contributor of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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AP Exclusive: Law agencies split over selling seized guns

“Jeff Schneider of the Yakima Police Department, which sold guns until about a decade ago but now melts them down” reports foxbusiness.com. There is no master list of guns sold by police, so compiling one for Washington state involved dozens of public-records requests to individual agencies.The debate is playing out in Washington state, where the State Patrol is pushing back against a state law that requires the agency to auction off or trade most guns.Juhl’s gun was among nearly 6,000 firearms that were used in crimes and then sold by…

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The UK’s spy agencies need more analysts and minorities

“Where the U.S. intelligence community workforce averaged a 25 percent minority rate in 2016, the U.K. minority rates were as follows: Ultimately, though, the British intelligence community is in good shape” writes Tom Rogan for washingtonexaminer.com. A more serious takeaway from the report, however, is that Britain’s intelligence community continues to lack diversity in its workforce.This speaks to an organizational difference between the U.S. intelligence community and that of Britain.While its top three intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6, and GCHQ) have impressive intelligence gathering skills, a new report from Britain’s Intelligence…

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In first year, Trump starts delivering on vow to shrink government

“One possible casualty: a pay raise that federal employees historically have received when the economy is humming” reports washingtonpost.com. That’s the precarious state right now of the tiny Chemical Safety Board, one of 19 small agencies Trump has marked for elimination.Meanwhile, other federal workers are in limbo because their jobs could cease to exist.Telework — a popular Obama-era policy that expanded work from home — has come under scrutiny as Trump officials have questioned whether it is a license to goof off.The small Merit Systems Protection Board, which considers appeals…

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Whistleblowers: The FBI’s Fingerprint Analysis Software Contains Russian Code

“All parties agreed that the provenance of the fingerprint analysis software had to remain private, lest it jeopardize US contracts” writes Joel Hruska for extremetech.com. The two whistleblowers claim that their former employer knowingly sold the Federal Bureau of Investigation a fingerprint analysis software package that it knew contained code developed by Papillon Systems, a Russian firm with close ties to the Kremlin. Source: extremetech.com Share This:

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Russia will attack our next election. The Trump White House may not try to stop it.

“Trump already seems much more inclined to believe Vladimir Putin than his own intelligence agencies on these questions” reports washingtonpost.com. But one year after those instructions were given, the Trump White House remains divided over whether to act, intelligence officials said. Source: washingtonpost.com Share This:

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