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3:51 am, December 18, 2014

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Todd Harrison, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

U.S. surveillance flights are buzzed by Chinese fighter jets armed to the teeth. The Air Force conducts more than 150 bombing raids on the ISIS army in Iraq. President Barack Obama sends 1,000 troops to protect the embassy in Baghdad. NATO leaders wonder if they'll have to mobilize to defend against Russian aggression. Everywhere you look, there's military activity or the potential for more of it. How does all this play out when the U.S. defense budget is flat or shrinking? And the military's technical leadership eroding? Todd Harrison, senior fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with answers. Read the related story.

Tags: Todd Harrison , Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments , Federal Drive ,

Friday - 09/05/2014, 09:15am EDT
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Tom Berger, Vietnam Veterans of America

The Pentagon says it will consider upgrading discharges to Vietnam-era veterans who received other than honorable discharges, and can show proof of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Proving their cases could get tricky though. PTSD wasn't an official medical diagnosis until the 1980s and many records have been destroyed. But the Pentagon has promised liberal consideration. The guidance comes after a lawsuit earlier this year from a group of veterans who claim their applications for discharge upgrade were wrongfully denied. Tom Berger is executive director of the Veterans Health Council at the Vietnam Veterans of America. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the new effort.

Tags: Tom Berger , Vietnam Veterans of America , Federal Drive ,

Monday - 09/08/2014, 09:45am EDT
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Julia Ziegler, Web Manager, Federal News Radio

A 1 percent pay raise is in the works for federal employees and military members. But are people happy about it? The answer is yes and no, depending on who you ask. We asked, and you answered at Federal News Radio.com. Federal News Radio's Web Manager Julia Ziegler joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details.

Tags: Julia Ziegler , Federal Drive

Friday - 09/05/2014, 07:18am EDT
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Capt. Jim Loper, Navy Warfare Development Command

The Navy has built an unmanned undersea vehicle that mimics the motions of the fish it resembles. The robotic fish is packed with acoustic sensors and cameras. Navy developers hope it will carry out a range full of missions like undersea mine detection or prolonged surveillance of ships, ports and submarines. Capt. Jim Loper is the concepts and innovation department head at the Navy Warfare Development Command in Norfolk, Virginia. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details on Robo Tuna.

Tags: Jim Loper , Navy , Federal Drive ,

Thursday - 09/04/2014, 09:19am EDT
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Debra Roth, Partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth

A former special agent in charge of the FBI's Milwaukee field office used extremely poor judgment in a disability lawsuit. That's according to the Justice Department's inspector general. It looked into the case of Justin Slaby, a service-disabled Iraq veteran who was kicked out of the FBI training academy. The IG found that Teresa Carlson improperly tried to influence the deposition of the agent responsible for training Slaby. You might call it a lesson learned the hard way. In this week's legal loop, Attorney Debra Roth tells Tom Temin on the Federal Drive how supervisors should treat employees who are being deposed.

Tags: Debra Roth , Shaw Bransford & Roth , Federal Drive ,

Thursday - 09/04/2014, 09:08am EDT
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Meghan Ferriter, Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian wants to unlock the detailed stories behind many of its exhibits, and it needs the public to make this feat possible. Smithsonian's Transcription Center website features more than 39,000 digitized documents that it wants to use the power of the crowd to transcribe. Meghan Ferriter, project coordinator for the Smithsonian's Transcription Center, explained her group's crowdsourcing goals when she joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Tags: Meghan Ferriter , Smithsonian Institution , Federal Drive ,

Wednesday - 09/03/2014, 08:52am EDT
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Michael Smallberg, Investigator, Project on Government Oversight

A number of federal agencies are missing the mark on their treatment of whistleblowers, not publicizing their whistleblower ombudsmen or adequately telling employees about their whistleblower rights. That assessment is from the Project on Government Oversight. POGO reviewed the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Act and how well 72 agencies are complying with it. Michael Smallberg, investigator for POGO, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the review. Read a related article.

Tags: Michael Smallberg , Project on Government Oversight , Federal Drive ,

Friday - 08/29/2014, 09:46am EDT
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Pete Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Energy Department

The Energy Department is spending $67 million in research grants it hopes will lead to the nuclear technology of tomorrow. Research projects have been selected based on potential for big breakthroughs. Pete Lyons, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Energy Department, broke down the numbers with Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Tags: Pete Lyons , Federal Drive , Energy Department

Tuesday - 09/02/2014, 06:58am EDT
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Megan Crandall, Spokesperson, Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management wants to halt the practice of swinging from ropes at two popular Utah landmarks. Officials propose a two-year restriction on rope-swinging from the Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges near Moab. They've received complaints that the screaming swingers disturb other tourists. Megan Crandall, spokesperson for BLM in Utah, explained the proposed ban to Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Tags: Megan Crandall , Federal Drive , Bureau of Land Management

Tuesday - 09/02/2014, 07:15am EDT
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Scott Wong, Senior Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

While most of Washington returns to the traditional fall schedule, Congress won't return for another week. When members do get back, they won't have much time to get any budget work done before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. Senior Staff Writer for the Hill Newspaper Scott Wong spoke to Tom Temin on the Federal Drive about what Congress is likely to do.

Tags: Scott Wong , Federal Drive , The Hill Newspaper

Tuesday - 09/02/2014, 07:06am EDT
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