DorobekINSIDER: Scoring the president’s first term

On the DorobekINSIDER

  • Are big data’s potential solutions veering too far into far into a world of fiction? We look at the real future for big data. Click here for the full recap.
  • Thomas was opening up government before transparency was cool. But while the world has changed alot since 1995, Thomas hasn’t changed as much. So what’s next for the legislative transparency site?Click here for the full recap.

Your Democratic National Convention Roundup

Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times has unveiled Obama’s first-term report card. He says Obama has been disappointing in many ways. The economy gets a B; education, an A-; foreign policy, a B+.

But the real issue is not what he did but how he communicated it: He failed. “A president’s central job is not policy wonk but national team captain,” Kristof writes. “There Obama failed us.”

We want to know what you think. What grade would you give the president for his first term in office? Take our poll.

Bob Woodward’s new book chronicles Obama’s fiscal policy battle with congressional Republicans.

A combination of miscalculations, ideological rigidity and discord within the leadership of both political parties brought the U.S. government to the brink of a catastrophic default during the 2011 showdown over the federal debt ceiling, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward. “The Price of Politics,” Woodward’s 17th book, chronicles President Obama’s contentious and still unresolved fiscal policy battle with congressional Republicans that dominated the White House agenda for nearly all of 2011.

Onto the actual convention: Last night President Clinton broke the record for longest Democratic National Convention speech lasting more than 45 minutes.

The Washington Post said, “Former President Bill Clinton presented a lively defense of President Obama. His message: The country is “clearly better off” than it was before Obama took office and many of the country’s ills were “inherited” from Republicans.”

The Post says President Clinton’s speech also recorded almost a half million tweets.

And in some bipartisan action, both sides agree that the Electric grid security needs updated. “Both Republicans and Democrats are advocting for improved cybersecurity in their platforms, an Obama official. The administration has called on Congress to approve new federal authority to manage cybersecurity on the electric grid. The need for mitigating cybersecurity at the electric utility level is urgent, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said.” Zack Colman in The Hill.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  • The Defense Business Board wants to scrap the DoD’s buying rules and start over. AOL Government says the Board calls for a “zero-base.” The idea is to go through the rulebook with the “rebuttable presumption” that every regulation is guilty until proven innocent and should be revoked, unless someone can make a persuasive case for keeping it in the new system. For their full report, click here.
  • The Office of Personnel Managment says it’s making slow but steady progress on its retirement backlog. OPM says the backlog is down by 32%. Government Executive reports, the agency received 973 more applications in August than it expected, and processed 365 more files than its projected goal for the month. In August, OPM processed 11,865 claims and received 8,973 new claims.
  • Meanwhile, the number of feds applying for retirement is on the rise. Federal Times reports, nearly 9,000 federal employees applied for retirement in August — the most since January. So far this year, 74,725 federal employees have applied for retirement. That is nearly 2 percent more than the 73,585 employees who applied for retirement in the first eight months of 2011.
  • All of the Thrift Savings Plan funds were in positive territory last month. So far all TSP funds are in positive territory both for the year so far — the C Fund, which mirrors the S&P 500, is up by more than 13 percent. But they are also up over the past 12-months as well — the C-Fund is up by more than 18 percent.
  • A new report from the Department of Defense inspector general said the agency’s security policy is “fragmented, redundant and inconsistent. FedScoop says there are at least 43 distinct DOD security policies covering the functional areas of information security, industrial security, operations security, research and technology protection, personnel security, physical security, and special access programs.
  • For the first time the Health and Human Services department will allow the public to vote on the finalists for the HHSinnovates Program. HHSinnovates highlights innovative programs and processes developed by HHS staff. HHS hopes the new approach will help carry out the Department’s mission to: enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering strong, sustained advances in public health, biomedical research and social services.
  • t’s celebration time for Challenge.gov. The site which posts government challenges has just published its 200th listing. FedScoop says the milestone comes just days before the site’s second birthday. Launched on September 7, 2010, the site has hosted challenges posted by 45 departments and agencies. More than 16,000 citizen “solvers” have participated in these competitions directly on Challenge.gov, with additional entrants joining the competitions through other sources.

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