Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Posts by Tim Starks

157 Posts

September 19, 2014

The Time a Computer Interrogated a Suspected CIA Agent

72224867 445x333 The Time a Computer Interrogated a Suspected CIA Agent

An Apple //e computer from 1983 is displayed at the Science Museum in 2006 in London. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

There’s a treasure trove of declassified CIA documents that have hit the street, many of them entertaining, some of them illuminating. Journalists are plumbing their depths. One is an early experiment in artificial intelligence teaming up with, well, intelligence. Full story

Event Reminder: National Security, the Midterms and the 114th Congress

Screen Shot 2014 09 19 at 9.32.46 AM 413x600 Event Reminder: National Security, the Midterms and the 114th Congress

Don’t forget to RSVP for the joint Just Security/CQ Roll Call event Monday, Sept. 22, where a panel (including yours truly) will discuss what role national security is playing in the 2014 elections — then what happens in the next Congress. Also, there are drinks afterward, in celebration of the birthday of Just Security.

September 18, 2014

Scottish Independence: North Korean Annihilation of England Possibly Pending

 

North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened “annihilation” of “English hegemons” early Thursday if they interfered with Scottish independence, which is, of course, ironic, but also is about how much the North Koreans wants some of that delicious Scotch whisky. Not even kidding. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:33 p.m.
Foreign Policy, War

Missile Defense Test Was No “Softball Shot,” Says Boeing

That missile defense test from June, the first successful one in five years? It wasn’t “some softball shot,” as critics allege, according to Boeing officials managing the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense program. And in so far as it was “scripted,” they said, it was only because fully simulating a nuclear missile attack isn’t easy. Full story

Rocket Launch Race Taking Off: Jeff Bezos Vs. Elon Musk

485517059 445x295 Rocket Launch Race Taking Off: Jeff Bezos Vs. Elon Musk

Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in April. (Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)

The multibillion dollar battle pitting Elon Musk‘s SpaceX vs. defense industry giants Lockheed Martin/Boeing over Pentagon satellite launch contracts was already one of the most interesting in the national security world, if not all of the federal government. This week, it has gotten even hotter. Full story

September 16, 2014

Sens. Levin, McCain Offer Rejoinders for Code Pink at ISIS Hearing (Video)

The anti-war group Code Pink is a staple at national security hearings, good for a handful of disruptions per, but largely they are just part of the scenery now. At Tuesday’s Armed Services hearing on the Islamic State group (aka ISIS or ISIL), two senators went beyond the usual “escort them out of the room, please/we might close this hearing to the public if you don’t stop” approach.

Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:49 p.m.
Terrorism, War

Video: Jetpack Makes Guy Run Fast

Vroom vroom. Arizona State University has teamed with the Pentagon on a project to help soldiers run faster while carrying heavy loads — in the case of this jetpack, it adds 11 pounds but shaves off seconds — with the goal of running a four-minute mile. Full story

September 15, 2014

IG: Missile Defense Agency Could’ve Saved Millions on Contract, Didn’t

1474748 445x296 IG: Missile Defense Agency Couldve Saved Millions on Contract, Didnt

(FILE PHOTO) An unarmed Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (USAF/Getty Images)

[Updated Sept. 16, 11:03 a.m.] If only the Missile Defense Agency had taken a look at some audits, it could’ve saved millions of dollars on a $1 billion contract, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Monday. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:21 p.m.
Budget, Procurement

Presidential Politics and Defense, ISIS Hearings in the Week Ahead

rubio 157 070914 445x291 Presidential Politics and Defense, ISIS Hearings in the Week Ahead

Rubio, July 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The first order of business this week on the Hill is passing a stopgap spending bill, which is of course of interest to the defense and national security world. You could also throw a rock and hit any given Iran nuclear event in D.C., so we’ll mostly focus on other things… Full story

September 12, 2014

Event: National Security in the 2014 Elections, Then After

image001 445x148 Event: National Security in the 2014 Elections, Then After

There’s an event coming up here in Washington, D.C. that CQ Roll Call is co-hosting with Just Security, the excellent blog about national security law that Five By Five has been quoting almost literally since day one. The event is on Sept. 22 and it’s about the role national security is playing in the elections, then what the post-election picture looks like for Congress and national security.

Full story

September 11, 2014

9/11 Political Commercials

There is a fresh pair of 2014 election season ads up that are tied to Sept. 11.  One has already endured some backlash. Full story

Rhetoric Aside, Signs of Bipartisanship After Obama ISIS Speech

portman 273 042914 445x296 Rhetoric Aside, Signs of Bipartisanship After Obama ISIS Speech

Portman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you were just judging by the tone of the GOP response to Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night about the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State, you might get the impression that Republicans were on very opposite pages with the Democratic president.

Look a little closer and you’ll see some similarities. Full story

#ThrowbackThursday: the Red Baron

80442728 445x296 #ThrowbackThursday: the Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen, former President of the German Sport Federation and nephew of the Red Baron himself, attends the “Der Rote Baron” premiere in 2008 in Berlin. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Wired just had an interesting piece on the Red Baron and how the aircraft most famously associated with him is a ripoff of a British plane. It’s well worth reading, and a reminder about the power of stolen military technology — in the analog age, it enabled one of history’s most famous warriors, and in the digital age we’re only beginning to grasp what the effects of cyber theft might be.

It’s also an excuse to talk about the Red Baron, real name Manfred von Richthofen, on Throwback Thursday. Here are some random facts! Full story

September 10, 2014

Effective Middle East Coalition Against ISIS No Given for Obama

455154214 2 445x296 Effective Middle East Coalition Against ISIS No Given for Obama

President of Iraq Fuad Masum (R) greets U,S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) before a meeting in Wednesday in Baghdad. Kerry is visiting Iraq where he will meet with leaders, including new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to talk about the threat presented by ISIS and other issues. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of President Obama’s big speech Wednesday evening on his plans for combatting the terrorist group commonly known as ISIS, CQ Roll Call’s Jonathan Broder spoke with a number of experts about the United States teaming up with Middle Eastern countries. They told him: It’s complicated. Full story

Brain-Controlled Drone? Yes, Brain-Controlled Drone

Freaky: The Department of Defense has awarded a research contract to the University of Texas at San Antonio for brain-controlled drone research. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

Full story

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