US government

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Uncle Sam Has a Plan for 11M Pounds of Excess Cheese

USDA to spend $20M to scoop up surplus, distribute to food banks and pantries

(Newser) - "Get rid of the gouda" isn't something you'd expect from a government directive, but that's the gist of what the Department of Agriculture is doing to ease the country's cheese crisis. By "crisis," we mean there's more cheese stockpiled and languishing in... More »

Seattle Couple Leaves Entire Fortune to 'America'

Perhaps they wanted to say 'thank you' with their $847K gift

(Newser) - The US government is $847,215.57 richer thanks to an extraordinary gift from an immigrant couple. Peter Petrasek escaped Czechoslovakia during World War II and met and married his wife Joan, an Irish immigrant, in Canada. The pair made Seattle their home in the late 1950s. Joan died in... More »

Congress' Most Endangered Incumbents

Unpopular President Obama could hurt Democrats

(Newser) - The congressional midterm elections are coming, meaning it's time to mine the tea leaves for potential losers. So, who might be facing the music come November? Of the Senate's 10 most vulnerable, nine are Democrats, according to Roll Call . A sampling from its list:
  • Mary Landrieu—An oddball
... More »

Government Doled Out $100B Improperly Last Year

2013 number below 2010's $121B peak

(Newser) - By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them—tax credits to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs, and medical payments for treatments that might not have been... More »

US Government Also Uses 'Password' for Password

Report slams lazy cybersecurity measures in place at federal agencies

(Newser) - Yes, ordinary and lazy humans often use "password" as a computer password , but a new report complains that the same thing applies to sensitive government agencies, reports Mashable . The Senate cybersecurity report finds that agencies ranging from Homeland Security to the IRS use weak security measures that leave their... More »

US Government Sells GM Stake, Loses $10.5B

Treasury secretary says bailout saved a million jobs

(Newser) - The US government ended up losing $10.5 billion on its bailout of General Motors, but still says the alternative would have been much worse. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced today that the government sold its remaining shares in the Detroit automaker. The government received 912 million GM shares, or... More »

China Hackers Have Hit Majority of Washington: Experts

Rare to find 'network that hasn't been breached'

(Newser) - Just how widespread is Chinese hacking against the US? Well, it's hit pretty much every Washington institution, experts tell the Washington Post . "The dark secret is there is no such thing as a secure unclassified network," says one. "Law firms, think tanks, newspapers—if there’s... More »

New End-of-Life Planning: Social Media Wills

Feds want you to plan what happens to your online profile

(Newser) - Social networking has already changed our lives; now, officials want us to consider its implications after our death. On its blog, the US government is calling on Americans to create "social media wills," which detail our wishes for the future of the huge range of online accounts we... More »

Feds Plan 'Garage Sale' to Raise $22B

Sale of airwaves, unused properties eyed as deficit reduction measure

(Newser) - The federal government is going through its stuff looking for things it doesn't use much anymore and can sell off to raise some cash. A "garage sale" included in President Obama's deficit reduction plan could see the government selling off unused land, roads, vehicles, and even airwaves,... More »

Record 81% Unhappy With Way US Is Governed

And the record numbers don't stop there

(Newser) - We are not a very content bunch. Majorities of Democrats and Republicans alike are unhappy with the US government, leading to a record high of 81% who are dissatisfied with the way America is bring governed, the latest Gallup poll shows. A whopping 92% of Republicans are dissatisfied, as are... More »

Feds Can't Fix Economy: Poll

New survey shows many of us agree with S&P

(Newser) - Another day, another poll about how much we hate Congress . This latest poll shows, in particular, that just one in four of us believes the federal government can fix the economy. That's down 21 points from October, notes the Washington Post . And a whopping 71% of respondents believe S&... More »

Family Fights US Mint Over Rare Coins

1933 double-eagles were supposed to have been destroyed

(Newser) - A Philadelphia family is going head-to-head with the US government in a legal battle over ownership of 10 rare "double-eagle" coins worth $20 each when minted, and now valued in the millions. The coins were first produced by the US Mint in 1933 but never distributed. All but two... More »

US Faces Suit for Infecting Guatemalans With Syphilis

Lawyers representing some of 700 victims seeking settlement

(Newser) - A class action suit representing some of the 700 men deliberately infected with syphilis by the US government will be filed tomorrow unless the feds come up with an acceptable settlement, plaintiffs' lawyers warned. The US intentionally affected victims from 1946-48 to study the effects of the disease. The Obama... More »

Gawker Hack Puts 1.3M Users' Data at Risk

Fears for future attack on government agencies

(Newser) - Gawker's databases have been hacked, and the site is telling users to change their passwords on Gawker and any other site where they used the same password. The management says it's “deeply embarrassed” by the security failure, noting that it shouldn’t have to depend “on the... More »

US Grade for Bio-Terror Readiness: F

Feds 'failing to address several urgent threats,' commission says

(Newser) - The US is woefully unprepared for a biological attack—getting an “F” from a bipartisan commission on weapons of mass destruction. “While the government has made progress on preventing such attacks, it is simply not paying consistent and urgent attention to the means of responding quickly and effectively... More »

Race for Better Light Bulb Heats Up

Philips bids for US government's $10M 'L Prize'

(Newser) - Dutch electronics giant Philips has created an LED light bulb that, if it lives up to its billing, could claim the US government’s coveted “L Prize.” More important, the new bulb could inherit the 60-watt bulb’s throne. The Energy Department is offering $10 million—and a... More »

'Fun' Cities Forbidden for Federal Travel

(Newser) - Government agencies have been warned not to hold meetings in cities employees might actually enjoy visiting, the Wall Street Journal reports. Places like Reno, Orlando, and Las Vegas are all considered untouchable. “We do have guidance that says avoid locations … that give the appearance of being lavish,”... More »

North Korea Suspected in US Cyber Attack

(Newser) - North Korean hackers have been fingered for the July 4 cyberattack that took down the websites of the Treasury, Secret Service, and other US government agencies, reports the AP. Another cyberattack hit sites in South Korea, including the president's website, and intelligence officials there said today that the North was... More »

Buffett: US 'Doing the Right Things'

(Newser) - Warren Buffett said today the US government is taking the correct actions to help the economy recover. "The government is doing the right things," Buffett said before the opening of Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting. "They're acting in a countercyclical manner." But he said he can't... More »

Conservatives Must 'Obstruct and Delay' Obama: Kristol

GOP can check rush toward big government

(Newser) - The “day of reckoning” has come for Republicans, writes William Kristol in the Washington Post. On Tuesday, President Obama delivered “the most unabashedly liberal and big-government speech” since Lyndon Johnson, and seems poised to undo the whole Reagan agenda. “Conservatives can’t win politically right now,”... More »

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