National Journal Online

Inspector General: Tax E-file System Is Not Error-Free

Security vulnerabilities in the Internal Revenue Service's electronic tax filing system persist, according to a new report from the inspector general, despite previous claims from the agency that those weaknesses had been fixed. The IRS reported in December 2008 that it resolved 10 of 13 previously identified security vulnerabilities in its Modernized e-File system, but the agency conducted routine system tests in January 2010 that showed only two of the problems were eliminated.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 4:27pm

Palin Backing Ayotte In NH SEN

Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has identified another "mama grizzly," and has thrown her support behind ex-AG Kelly Ayotte (R) in the race to succeed NH Sen. Judd Gregg (R).

In a post on her Facebook page earlier this afternoon, Palin praised Ayotte's work as AG. "It's my honor to endorse a Granite State 'mama grizzly' who has broken barriers, fought off and locked up criminals, and battled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court," wrote Palin. "Kelly is the strongest commonsense conservative who can win in the fall."

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 4:09pm

GA GOV Preview: Barnes May Avoid Runoff, But GOPers Won't

There are two dominant questions entering the 7/20 GA-GOV primary: which two GOPers will clinch a spot in the runoff, and will ex-Gov. Roy Barnes (D) avoid a runoff altogether?

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 3:41pm

Password Practices

Cybersecurity in government has been a punching bag for years. Most experts agree it's pretty bad -- scary bad. But when it comes to passwords, federal managers are more careful than their private sector counterparts. In a recent cybersecurity survey conducted by the Government Business Council, a Nextgov sister organization at Atlantic Media, about three-quarters of respondents said they always develop unique personal passwords. Continue reading.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 1:21pm

Obama Makes Obstructionism Case

Pres. Obama called on GOPers to end their obstruction of extended unemployment benefits in a Rose Garden statement on Monday, previewing a theme likely to become a central talking point for Dems this Nov.

"Over the past few weeks, a majority of senators have tried -- not once, not twice, but three times -- to extend emergency relief on a temporary basis," Obama said. "And each time, a partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief."

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:55am

Minerals Management Service's Replacement Still Has No Web Site

The homepage of the bureau that replaced the now-defunct Minerals Management Service seems to be as opaque as the former organization that has been blamed for lax oversight of the energy industry, open government advocates said. The Obama administration announced in May that MMS' energy development, enforcement and revenue collection functions would be separated into independent offices. A month later, shortly after the Interior Department began reorganizing MMS, its website went dark, except for a message stating the site would be redone in a few days ... Continued reading.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:00am

From This Week's CongressDaily Outlook

Public safety officials -- police, emergency communications professionals, and others -- plan to lobby Capitol Hill this week to convince lawmakers to reallocate the D-block of spectrum for the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network. This pits the public safety alliance against the FCC, which has proposed auctioning the D-block to commercial bidders and using the proceeds to support the public safety broadband network. According to the alliance, the FCC's proposal won't leave the public safety community with a sufficient amount of spectrum to meet their needs.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 10:56am

Where Pres. Obama Might Prove A Drag

Pres. Obama is going to be a drag on incumbent Dems, according to surveys and historical trends. But he'll hurt some in his own party much more than others, according to Gallup survey data compiled over the first half of the year.

Dems running for Senate in some of the most competitive races this year will have to decide whether to embrace Obama's agenda or run away as fast as possible. Those decisions are easier for some candidates than others, though GOPers will make the case in every state that a Dem is little more than a rubber stamp.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 10:49am

Dem Incumbents Have Fundraising Cushion

Dem members of Congress have been warned to stockpile money in advance of what is certain to be difficult re-election bids, and they're taking that advice. In key districts where the GOP hopes to steal back seats, second quarter fundraising reports show Dems have huge cash advantages over their GOP rivals.

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 9:36am

Monday's Starting Lineup

Good Monday morning. We're just back from a restful weekend in Bar Harbor, ME. Okay, maybe that was someone else. But congratulations to former Hotliner Mike Memoli, who headed travel pool coverage of Pres. Obama's quick weekend getaway.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who are going to make a difference in politics this week:

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 7:44am