Federal Drive Show Blog - June 19, 2013

Wednesday - 6/19/2013, 10:37am EDT

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today's guests:

Peter Kasperowicz
staff writer
The Hill newspaper

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The National Security Agency's surveillance programs have disrupted more than 50 terrorist plots. That's what NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander told Congress yesterday. But some lawmakers say the spying still goes too far. They want to limit agencies' abilities to collect mass electronic records. Pete Kasperowicz has written about this for The Hill newspaper.

Jason Miller
executive editor
Federal News Radio

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If confirmed by the Senate, Dan Tangherlini would be the eighth administrator of the General Services Administration in eight years. Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee say he would bring stability to the agency.

Jared Serbu
DoD reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to dig out of a large backlog of disability claims. In recent months, it has mandated overtime for employees and deployed a new strategy to tackle the oldest claims first. But some on Capitol Hill say this effort comes at a price, other parts of the department's work are taking a back seat.

Jeff Ruch
executive director
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

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Park rangers, wildlife refuge workers and U.S. Park Police may be watching their backs a little closer these days. The number of incidents involving threats or violence against these workers increased by 38 percent from 2011 to 2012 according to agency reports.

Gillian Cohen-Boyer
program manager, Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program
Department of Education

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If you want to understand an issue, you have to see it for yourself. The next best thing? Bring the front-line people to you. The Education Department hopes to capitalize on school principals' experiences. In a new year-long program, department officials will share their insights about the federal process. In turn, the principals will help shape education policy that works in the classroom.

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Tom Wheeler Will Probably Be the Next FCC Chairman (Mashable)

Gov't report: Smooth launch unsure for health law (Federal News Radio)

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Treasury unveils Lew's improved signature (Federal News Radio)

Maryland National Guard, city partner to renovate Mount Washington fire station (The Baltimore Sun)

Navy strikes enterprise licensing deal with Oracle (Federal News Radio)

NSA Chief: Surveillance Stopped More Than 50 Terror Plots (DoD)

Google asks FISA court to lift gag order (Federal News Radio)

Users may remain vulnerable despite Oracle Java patch release (SearchSecurity)