“For those who believe in transparent government and fact-driven legislation, the power shift in the U.S. Congress represents a unique opportunity to open up one important Congressional institution — the Congressional Research Service — and bring back another one — the Office of Technology Assessment — twelve years after it was disbanded,” suggests Christian Beckner in Homeland Security Watch.
The Army Science Board has drastically reduced public disclosure of its unclassified advisory studies, Inside the Army reported. And by doing so, it may have undermined the impact of its own work. See “Citing Security, Army Tightens Reins On Science Board Research” by Fawzia Sheikh, Inside the Army, November 13.
The unprecedented prosecution of two former pro-Israel lobbyists who are charged with improperly receiving and disseminating classified information has unpleasant implications for reporters who cover national security, among others. The case was reviewed by civil libertarian Nat Hentoff in “Bush Revives Espionage Act,” Village Voice, November 10.
“The mainstream news media is too fond of articles in which it is said some flavor of demonical terror menace can be put together from cookbooks found on the Internet,” George Smith blasts on his Dick Destiny blog.
Federal Computer Week did a profile this week of, ahem, me. See “A career as a secrecy watchdog” by Aliya Sternstein, FCW, November 13.
A uniform software tool for inputting building permit data would make the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey (BPS) more reliable, and it would also facilitate more fine-grained geographical analysis of new housing development.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) should prioritize funding water projects for local governments that would expand the production of new housing in their service areas if given the water resources to do so.
Congress needs to amend the definition of a manufactured home to remove the phrase “on a permanent chassis.” By doing this, Congress can eliminate wasted construction materials, allow new multifamily design options under the HUD Code, and unleash competition from factory-built manufactured housing.
Satellite images show that the Navy has begun construction of a new nuclear weapons storage and handling facility at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.