moneyFor nearly four decades Congress has ensured that federal spending rises inexorably by guaranteeing that every budget item increases automatically each year. And woe to anyone who seeks merely to reduce these automatic increases, for he shall be labeled a heartless, slash-and-burn budget cutter!

Eric HolderAttorney General Eric Holder faced tough questions about the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal from outraged members of Congress during a Thursday hearing, but he continued to defiantly stonewall while refusing to hand over key documents subpoenaed in the congressional investigation. Republican lawmakers responded by telling the Justice Department boss to resign and saying that if the cover-up continues, he could be charged with contempt of Congress.

TSA screeningAnother day, another sticky-fingered Transportation Security Administration agent caught stealing from airline passengers: According to the Associated Press, 31-year-old Alexandra Schmid, a TSA screener at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, allegedly helped herself to a cool $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket as it passed along an X-ray conveyor belt on February 1. The passenger, a native of Bangladesh, noticed the money was missing as soon as he retrieved his jacket, at which point he reported the theft.

The Obama administration on Friday accelerated efforts to tame unemployment among U.S. veterans by calling for a new conservation program that would put service members — specifically those returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to work rebuilding roads, trails, and other projects on public lands.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, left) issued a five-page letter Wednesday demanding that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg disclose who authorized an effort to monitor email correspondence of a group of whistleblower scientists. In the letter, Grassley warned that FDA officials could be usurping their authority by retaliating against whistleblowers who have expressed concern with the agency’s procedures.

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