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05.08.2012 DorobekINSIDER: What the sale of GTSI means for IT contracting; Why video makes changes telework; and A Virtual Tour of the Newseum

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On Today’s Show for Tuesday May 8th, 2012

  • GTSI – the company has been a staple of government IT contracting… and it has now been bought. Insights and analysis about what happened and what it means from Nick Wakeman of Washington Technology.
  • Could video be the key to telework success? Maybe yes. Find out why.
  • The technology behind the Newseum’s new Media Gallery…could be used for government. You’ll learn how with HP.
Some big GovLoop news – Steve Ressler — Mr. GovLoop himself — is going to be a daddy. Of course, there are some great comments on Facebook… Ressler 2.0… many people saying how AWESOME it is. We are looking forward to the arrival in September. Congratulations to Team Ressler… and the player to be named later.Remember the bailouts? It appears that the government could actually turn a profit — $15 billion in profit — from the bailout of American International Group — AID. The Washington Post sites a report by the Government Accountability Office. GAO says the the Federal Reserve and the Treasury made available more than $180 billion in aid to the struggling financial giant in 2008 through a variety of mechanisms, including cash infusions. Since then, the Fed and Treasury have recouped all but $46.3 billion.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 8th of May,…

  1. We told you last week about how House Republicans were considering a bill that would  protect increased defense department spending. Politico says House Republicans have decided to push ahead with plans to protect increased defense spending without raising taxes, largely by cutting more from domestic programs, including aid to the poor. Politico says the bill won’t sit well with Senate Democrats, who are open to “buying down” a portion of the cuts but believe time, the law — and President Barack Obama — are on their side, unless Republicans show some movement on revenues.
  2. Feds will pay more for their pensions under a new House budget bill. The House Budget Committee approved a bill to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled for next year. Government Executive says the alternative budget plan heads to the full House for a vote later this week. Federal News Radio says the bill is designed to skip sequestration by overriding the Budget Control Act now in effect. The new bill includes a 5 percent hike in the amount federal employees contribute to their retirement costs. That raise would be phased in over five years. The White House has vowed to veto the bill should it come to the president’s desk.
  3. Merit Systems Protection Board’s [PDF] policies are getting a makeover. Federal News Radio says the board is looking at how the board is organized, how members make decisions and its practices and procedures for hearing and deciding cases. Chairman Susan Grundmann called the revision a “watershed event.” The agency has already gathered ideas from staff and outside stakeholders. It will publish a proposal in June to give the public time to comment.
  4. Former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warns that Facebook could be the end of conferences as we know it. Kundra, speaking at at the Excellence in Government conference sponsored by Government Executive, said the federal government needs to use social networks to bring people together from all around the world, not more conferences. He says agencies — many of which are “multi-national” with foreign offices — establish online communities where U.S.-based staff, overseas co-workers and their customers can informally connect anytime, anywhere
  5. The House wants to clear up any confusion with the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity role. NextGov reports, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard McKeon has called for legislative language to clarify that the Pentagon can launch secret cybersecurity operations to support military efforts and guard against network attacks. In a release of his draft bill of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, the Republican lawmaker pushed for a clause to confirm that the Pentagon has “the authority to conduct clandestine military activities in cyberspace.”
  6. Hackers for good? That’s the idea behind the new group of hackers called the Unknowns.Government Computer News says the group hacked into NASA and Air Force computers to help those agencies patch up security holes. In a blog post on Pastebin, the group said that unlike hacker group Anonymous, it is not against the U.S. government. The Unknowns posted the names and email addresses of government employees but then sent emails to those same employees telling them how they could protect themselves in the future.
  7. And on GovLoop, we’re asking you does your team resemble the Avengers? How many of you have been on a team with team members that resemble one of the Avengers? Take Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), for example. He’s a man who knows everything, has ego for days along with a complimenting sarcastic attitude; or Dr. Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) a guy who struggles hard to hide his demon under a veneer of cool, and is a recluse (and not much of a team player) because of it; or Thor — the demi god who comes down with a big hammer and acts without complete information most of the time. What do you think? Does your team resemble this group?
A Few Closing Items:
  • Why is austerity so unpopular in Europe? The Washington Post says because, at least so far, it hasn’t worked. Europeans are rebelling against austerity. That’s the read on Sunday’s elections in Greece and France. But why do voters loathe austerity? Perhaps because, as economists have found, efforts to rein in budget deficits can take a wrenching toll on living standards, especially in a recession. And the Washington Post highlights a recent paper for the International Monetary Fund that looked at 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years. These were countries that, for one reason or another, cut spending or raised taxes to shrink their budget deficits. And the results were typically painful: Austerity, the IMF paper found, “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment”.
  • Meanwhile, what can be done to put GSA back together again? Federal Computer Week has a column from former GSAer Bob Woods who says there is reason for hope. While it could get worse before it gets better, Woods says this is an opportunity to look at how business has been done — and do a real assessment about whether there is a better way. And he says, streamlining GSA’s regions is one obvious step.

Written by jarvisdorobek

May 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM

03.27.2012 DorobekINSIDER: A Yelp for government healthcare; Budget transparency; using virtual worlds at work

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Happy Tuesday…

And we have to start out with the historic debate at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday over the health care bill — the first of three days of talks. The Washington Post notes that Monday was just the warm-up — arguments about whether the Supreme Court should take up the health-care case at all. Today, the focus is on mandates: Essentially, can the federal government require that all people buy health care. And Slate says that the arguments Monday showed the Supreme Court at its best. Slate says that arguments Monday showed that court doing what it does best: Taking complex old statutes and asking practical qauestions. Dahlia Lithwick says that while protesters outside were hollering about religion and freedom, the justices were boring those inside almost senseless with statutory construction. And, she says, “sometimes, check that, most of the time, boring is what the justices do best.”

Resources:

And we go from talking about how benefits of being boring… Well, here is a reason to go online… You’ve probably heard of the Twitter feed… well, it is S my Dad Says… Yes, use your imagination. It is the Twitter feed that was a short-lived TV show. Well, now there is S that bureaucrats say… hat tip to GovLoop member Mike KujawskiWe have the link online… and my guess is this will go viral and be much discussed around government water coolers… and yes, it is safe for work.

On today’s program…

  • They’re debating health care at the Supreme Court. What if there was something like a Yelp of Government Healthcare… something that could help veterans navigate the confusing world of healthcare with dashboards.. and sharing information. We’ll talk about that…
  • Making budgets transparent. It has been the goal of the federal Web site, USAspending.gov. But state and local governments have been doing this for some time… and there are some new rankings out… grades, really… for how they are doing. We’ll talk to the people behind the budget transparency grades…
  • And yesterday we told you about the virtual worlds conference. And I heard some of you roll your eyes and say that this is just game playing. Today, we’ll talk about how these tools can actually be used — and, yes, how they can save you money.
  • And later in the program…  What do Conan O’Brien, Cory Booker, Sesame Street’s Grover, Suze Orman, Ted Leo, Neil Patrick Harris and NASA have in common? We will tell you about an award that NASA has won…

All that ahead…

But as we do each day, after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 27 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

03.26.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Cyberwar: hype or reality; the import of CISOs; and evolving virtual worlds

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Happy Monday… did you have a good weekend? Here in Washington, it was rainy and relatively cool… I say relatively because it was close to 80 on Friday.

Photo: Flickr member CrazyGeorge http://bit.ly/GRadZ2

On this date 20 years ago — 1982 — there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The design was controversial at the time — the names on slate layed into the ground between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument… but the site has become one of the most popular memorials in Washington. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was officially unveiled in November 1982.

Remember earlier this month, we introduced you to Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America. She is a remarkable person working to make government better. Code for America is a non-profit that provides fellowships for technology experts to work in city government. Well, CNN spoke to her over the weekend. And she told CNN that reforming city halls in America requires the talents of a new generation of technology and design experts. Remember she told us about Adopt-a-Hydrant — it’s one of the apps that a Code for America fellows wrote last year for Boston. And it allows Bostonians sign up to dig out a fire hydrant when they’re covered with snow. Good work.

A busy week ahead… Wednesday is Federal Computer Week’s annual Fed 100 Awards gala… some really remarkable winners this year. Read the full list of winners. It’s a great opportunity to remember some of the hard work that has gone on.

And then on Thursday, I’ll be at the Acquisition Excellence conference sponsored by the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council. I’m moderating a morning panel that focuses on Acquisition Strategies in the age of austerity and how agencies can balance their needs with the reduced budgets. It should be a fascinating discussion.

But here today… we have a good program…

  • Cyberwar — hype or reality? We’ll have an assessment of a professor of war studies.
  • And then a very different perspective… as everybody looks to do more with less, some state and local governments are cutting their Chief Information Security Officers. We’ll look at that issue… and ramifications.
  • It sounds like something out of Star Trek — remember the halodeck… but the future of Virtual Worlds is serious business. The 5th annual Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds Conference is coming up in May. We’ll take a look at how these virtual worlds have changed and evolved over the past five years.

All that ahead…

But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Monday the 26 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

03.23.2012 GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER Issue of the Week: Battle of the budget, fiscal 2013

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Hey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — welcome to GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek… where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

This also closes out our third week that we’ve been daily show… and we had some good conversations this week…

Yesterday, in fact, was our producer Emily Jarvis’s favorite show so far… we spoke with one of the real thought leaders in the government space, Bill Eggers of Deloitte, about disruptive innovation and how you can be ready for it… even embrace it. And we also spoke to the man behind the federal Web site Ethics.gov, but also behind Virginia Decoded Web site — a site that was called the prettiest version of legal code… and who knew the laws of the land could be pretty… but we talked about how you can make all that data useful… usable

And earlier in the week, we spoke with Warren Suss, who has been watching the government market for decades… he joined us this week to talk about how the doing more with less is actually causing fundamental changes in the government market.

And there was some lighter stuff along the way… This week was the sixth birthday for Twitter — that ubiquitous social media platform. I started a discussion about how Twitter has changed government. It’s interesting because one person argued that Twitter is a waste of time and money — his words. I’m not sure how one can make that arguement these days. In fact, Alec Ross, who is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tech guru, has argued that Twitter and Facebook and these other sites have created a massive shift of power. He says that social media isn’t just about personal communication. It’s a collective network of users that brings great influence — and great power. We’d love to hear your thoughts about it

OH… an update on GSA’s March Madness brackets — no, not basketball. We told you earlier this week that GSA has brackets for your favorite federal architecture. We have the update… The final four starts today — and you can cast your vote… Vote on GSA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GSA.

And I can’t really start the program today without noting that it was on this date in 1775 that Patrick Henry made his “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, urging military action against the British Empire. The speech was made at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia and the speech spurred the the Virginia House of Burgesses to pass a resolution and add Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. There you go…

Our issue of the week… your money… the budget… and the battle of the budget: fiscal 2013 edition…

That is just ahead.

Also ahead on the program… We’ll also have your weekend reading list — the weekends are a good time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work to think outside of the box. Among our items this week… amid the talk of pay freezes and pay cuts, we’ll tell you how you can meet the hackers to sell spies the tools to crack into your computer… and we’ll also tell you about a really big paper airplane. What can I say — it’s just too awesome to pass up…
All of that just ahead…

Each day on the DorobekINSIDER, we bring you the news that matters to you. On Fridays, we like to take a step back and look at the stories from the week that rose to the top. So… your government world for the past seven days… in 120 seconds… after the break…

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Written by cdorobek

March 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Posted in budget, CFO, CIOs, security

03.22.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Disruptive innovation with Deloitte’s Bill Eggers; creating Ethics.gov and Virginia Decoded

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Happy Thursday.

We start off with a topic we come to so often… your money…

House GOP Fiscal Year 2013 Budget | Budget.House.GovThe House Budget Committee passed the Republican version of the fiscal 2013 budget yesterday — but just barely. Ezra Klein in the Washington Post’s WonkBlog notes that the House Budget Committee has 38 members — 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the man who has in many ways defined the conservative approach to the federal budget… and yet the Ryan budget passed by only one vote.

Some of that leads the Wall Street Journal to suggest we may be headed to… yes, you know it — a government shutdown… even in the weeks before the election. The Journal says the budget act passed last year has been coming apart in pieces and the disagreements between the White House and congressional Republicans over spending levels has heightened the chance of a government shutdown just weeks before the November election. The budget agreement signed into law last August was supposed to help avoid such a showdown, but today, it seems possible. And the Journal says the flashpoint came this week Congressman Ryan called for more than $1 trillion in discretionary spending for the year beginning Oct. 1. That represents $19 billion less than the level agreed to with the White House last year and put into law.

We’ll watch it carefully, of course… we always try to stay away from shutdown hype, but even the talk impacts how government operates, so we’ll keep an eye on it.

On today’s program…

All that ahead…

But after the break, as we do each day, we start with the stories that impact your life for Thursday the 22 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 22, 2012 at 1:48 PM

03.21.2012 DorobekINSIDER: At work bullying; making mobility work (at work); the first take of the New iPad

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Happy Wednesday… SO much to get to today.

On Tuesday, the House Republicans unveiled their version of the fiscal 2013 budget. There is a lot of stuff in there, as you might imagine. The budget wars are heating up again. Government Executive says the plan includes an extension of the federal pay freeze and a reduction in the federal workforce. We’ll get to some of those details in just a minute.

Let’s be honest… just as the Obama administration’s version of the fiscal 2013 budget is really just a vision document, this plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan isn’t going to get passed as is. But it is an important read because it gives you a real sense as to the issues in the debate.

Read the full Ryan fiscal 2013 budget plan… and read the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

And… Today marks the 6th birthday of Twitter — the now ubiquitous collaboration platform where people share 140 characters of information. It was on On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet.

And it’s GovLoop — we’re looking for your insights… How has Twitter changed government? how you do your job? how you get information?

On today’s program…

  • Bullying doesn’t stop in middle school. Tips for dealing with a workplace bully with the Partnership for Public Service.
  • Making mobility work…its not an easy 1,2,3…but you can do it, with some tips from our expert panel of federal CIOs and CTOs.
  • We’ll talk about the New iPad… my first impressions…
  • And how is your March Madness bracket doing? Not great? Well… we’ll tell you about the bracket that GSA has going on… it’s cool stuff…

All that ahead…

But as we do each day, after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 21 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 21, 2012 at 3:14 PM

03.20.2012 DorobekINSIDER: The changing government market; dealing with tech junk; opening up government legal documents

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Happy Tuesday.

Up front today… two interesting items that sure show how times are changing.

One… would would guess we would ever say Bon Jovi, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Urban Development together in one phrase? Well, welcome 2012. VA and HUD have unveiled a new federal app challenge designed to help homeless veterans quickly find shelter and other kinds of assistance. TechPresident reports that the mobile app will, essentially, act as a travel portal for homeless veterans. And Bon Jovi said that the idea for the project came to him after a volunteer at the JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey asked for help finding a bed for the night.

The other story that shows how times have changes — or are changing and will change… Imagine if the CIA could spy using your washing machine… or dryer. Wired says that those intelligent household devices may be able to be tapped. And CIA Director David Petraeus has said that the Internet of PCs is leading to the Internet of things — devices of all types. And that could be tapped. And it is a legally gray area.

Ah, times have changed…

On today’s program…

  • The changing face of federal IT and its acquisition process.
  • What happens to hardware in your office when it’s no longer fit for service? Hit the dumpster? You’ll learn what GSA wants you to do.
  • The challenges of making legal documents available online. We’ll talk to a professor who has studied the issue.

All that ahead…

But after the break, we start off, as we do each day, with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 20th of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 21, 2012 at 8:07 AM

03.06.2012: DorobekINSIDER: The TAG Challenge and helping government be entrepreneurial

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So… day two of GovLoop Insight’s DorobekINSIDER. Thanks so much for being here.

Here is what we have for you today…

* We all remember tag — we all played it as kids. But what if the technologies of the Internet and the networked world could be brought to the game of tag. The TAG Challenge is going to be testing that concept later this month. And this challenge is being made possible by a State Department grant. You’ll learn about this innovative new program.

** You face big problems. How would you like to be able to tap the best minds to help solve those problems — or at least move the ball down the field. We’ll tell you about Fuse Corps…. we’re going to talk to Peter Sims, the author of the DorobekINSIDER Book Club book, Little Bets… he’s the man behind this program and we’ll get details…

** AND… feds, you have a TSP account? We’re going to have the DorobekINSIDER exit interview with the man who has kept you informed about what was going on with your Thrift Savings Plan account… he has just retired. We’ll talk to Tom Trabucco.

After the break… some updates on yesterday’s program… and the stories that impact your life for Tuesday 6 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

DorobekINSIDER: DOD doing more with less, and Cureton’s Leadership Muse

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Our first broadcast…

The Leadership MuseOne of the topics we will discuss often is leadership. And the way people talk about it, leadership has almost mystical qualities. How many conferences have we been to where people say that almost any problem can be solved with more leadership. And these days, leadership has nothing to do with a title. There are leaders at ever level of every organization. So leadership — and the challenges of leadership — will be a staple of our conversation. Later on, we’re going to talk about one person’s leadership quest. Linda Cureton is the chief information officer at NASA and she is the author of the book, The Leadership Muse. The book has very little to do with the challenges of being a tech leader at the world’s preeminent space agency. It is about leadership — and how you get there. We’ll talk to Linda Cureton just ahead.

And just head… doing more with less… the age of austerity. Everybody is having to deal with budget challenges. And that is true at the Defense Department too. We’re going to talk to an expert about the options facing DOD — and what sequestration means anyway. That’s just ahead…

But we’re going to start off with the stories that impact your life for Monday 5 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

* The Office of Personnel Management is in some hot water over its Presidential Management Fellows. The leadership development program is geared towards entry level feds who envision a long career in public service. The Washington Post says that California Congressman Darrell Issa and Florida’s Dennis Ross are calling on the Obama administration to explain recent mishaps with a prestigious program. They say the current mismanagement is threatening the prestige and the government’s ability recruit future fellows.

* The Air Force’s flight plans just got a little lighter. The Air Force Air Mobility Command has awarded Phoenix based Executive Technology a roughly 10 million dollar contract for 18-thousand iPads. NextGov says the tablets will replace paper flight charts and manuals that currently weigh as much as 40 pounds.

*These days, it seems like every agency is turning to challenges to solve problems and come up with innovative ideas. But successfully launching a challenge is easier said than done. That’s where the Office of Management and Budget comes in. They’ve come out with an F-A-Q — frequently asked questions [PDF] — to help agencies stay in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and navigate different platforms like challenge.gov.

* After tornados ripped through parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia over the weekend, FEMA is on high alert. But so far, the states have not asked for federal aide. FEMA does have teams on the ground helping to assess the damage.

* How effective is the SEC? Much better, if you listen to officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC officials have been citing a jump in the number of enforcement actions last year as proof that an overhaul of the agency’s investigative force is bearing fruit. But an analysis by Bloomberg finds that claim isn’t supported by a detailed examination of the statistics. SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami has said that the unit filed 735 actions in fiscal 2011, but 31% of those weren’t new – they were follow-on administrative proceedings. If you exclude those, “the SEC filed 499 original cases last year, fewer than the 520 in 2009, the year before the reorganization.”

* And on GovLoop we’re talking citizen engagement…. you’re on all these social media platforms. Now what? That was the subject of a GovLoop webinar with Digital Gov Group. A few tips: Review your social media policies — make sure you have one — and train your folks about how to use these tools.

On the program today:

* DOD doing more with less: Todd Harrison is the Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. His analysis: Strategy In a Year Of Fiscal Uncertainty

* Linda Cureton is the author of The Leadership Muse. She is also the chief information officer at NASA. Her GovLoop post: Hero-Leaders: The Oasis in Today’s Desert of Leadership – Thoughts from Chapter 37 of The Leadership Muse

 

Written by cdorobek

March 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Posted in budget, DOD, Management

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: What governance means to you

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GovLoop InsightsHey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome to the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek.

Each week, our goal is to where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

Transforming American GoveranceThis week, we’re going to talk about governing — and the relationship between governing and what you do. We’re going to talk to one of the editors of a new book — just out this week — titled Transforming American Governance: Rebooting the Public Square. We’ll also have some weekend reads — he weekends are a good time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work to think outside of the box. We’ll take a look at the impact drones have on the military… and on how you can actually do more with less. All of that just ahead…

But after the break… we will start off as we do every week with a look at the week that was for the third week of January 2012…

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Written by cdorobek

January 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

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