National Journal Online

A Study In Contrasts

Which of these members of Dem leadership is running for re-election in a libertarian-leaning Mountain West state, and which one isn't up for re-election in an overwhelmingly blue state until '14?

Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid, reacting to today's McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision:

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 4:42pm

Obama Administration Cracks Down On Late, Over Budget IT Projects

The White House announced today it will review all federal information technology projects that are behind schedule or over budget and halt those deemed too risky, starting with all plans by U.S. agencies to modernize their financial systems. One of two memos released by OMB says federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will have 30 days to issue guidance on the review process for the highest risk IT projects.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 4:07pm

Admin Aims For Mars By Mid-2030s

The U.S. will aim to begin manned missions beyond the moon by 2025, with a planned round-trip to Mars the following decade, the WH announced Monday.

"Our sights [are] set ultimately on Mars and beyond," said Jim Kohlenberger, chief of staff at the WH Office of Science and Technology Policy.

What's more, Pres. Obama's new space policy lays out plans to extend the the life of the International Space Station for another decade and beyond, rather than sticking with plans to scrap the orbiting outpost in 5 years.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 2:51pm

IL SEN: The Epitome Of "Nobody's Perfect"

IL voters will have their pick of 2 flawed candidates this fall, with each contender spending more time fleshing out the other's weaknesses than offering their own platform.

In recent weeks, Rep. Mark Kirk (R) has been beset by revelations that he has exaggerated several biographical details. Aspects of his military service -- whether he served in combat zones, whether he received an award and whether he ran a Pentagon intelligence center -- are under fire, while others say they don't recall the teaching experience he claims.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 1:42pm

BREAKING NOW: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Narrow Patent Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Bilski v. Kappos that the business method central to the case cannot be patented -- but the narrow decision did not address the wider issue of whether other abstract ideas can be patented. The litigation centers on efforts by inventors Bernie Bilski and Rand Warsaw, beginning in 1997, to patent a method for businesses to better manage their energy bills by factoring in weather-related price fluctuations. When the U.S.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 1:21pm

RNC Set To Make Calendar Recommendations

The RNC is set to put the brakes on its WH'12 calendar today by approving a draft resolution that would alter the way in which states allocate presidential delegates.

A temporary delegate selection committee will meet via teleconference today to approve the final draft. A proposal will then go to the full RNC, which will take up the alterations at its Summer meeting in Kansas City in Aug.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 12:21pm

White House To Move Slowly On Inherently Governmental IT Jobs

The Obama administration could move slowly to bring information technology jobs now performed by contractors back to agencies, say some federal spending analysts. But one industry group says it is less concerned with what the White House decides to do than about Congress mandating insourcing without clear guidelines.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 11:59am

Proof That Negative Ads Work

Never let it be said that the RGA is unsure of itself. A barrage of early ads slamming a third-party candidate has given the GOP a chance to win back an MA GOV seat that only a few months ago looked headed for another war between moderates and conservatives.

A new survey conducted for the Boston Globe by the UNH Survey Center shows Gov. Deval Patrick (D) leading health care corporation CEO Charlie Baker (D) by a 38%-31% margin. Treas. Tim Cahill (I) finishes a distant third, with 9%, while physician Jill Stein (G) takes 2% of the vote.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 11:26am

Obama Signs Wireless Broadband Proclamation, Affirms FCC Goal

The White House announced today that President Obama has signed a "presidential memorandum" affirming that the federal government will seek to make 500 megahertz of government and commercial spectrum available over the next decade for wireless broadband. The goal is consistent with one of the key recommendations outlined in the FCC's national broadband plan, released in March. In a media announcement, the White House repeated the FCC's concern that the nation faces a critical spectrum shortage.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 11:12am

Court Overturns Chicago Gun Ban

The Supreme Court has overturned Chicago's ban on handguns, ruling the prohibition violates the Second Amendment. It is the latest blow to gun control advocates before a Court that has issued more sweeping rulings on the Second Amendment than any other in U.S. history.

The 5-4 ruling, authored by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, overturns a 7th Circuit decision upholding gun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, a suburb. The 5 justices agreed the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, as well as to federal territory.

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 10:17am