Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

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October 31, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: CQ Roll Call’s Post Election Impact Conference Next Week

Want to know the impact of the elections on the 114th Congress? Check out CQ Roll Call’s Post Election Impact Conference on Nov. 6. It will be held at The Liason Capitol Hill. See below for more info and a code for 20 percent off your registration fee.

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CQ Roll Call’s Post Election Impact Conference is next week!  Here are 3 reasons you shouldn’t miss it:

  • Frontline perspective from our keynotes and sessions, including our newest keynote panel with Rob Collins, Executive Director, NRSC and Guy Cecil, Executive Director DSCC
  • Behind-the-scenes revelations into what happened, what’s next and what’s on the horizon for the 114th Congress
  • “You-won’t-hear-it-anywhere-else” insight from our panelists and speakers.  View our newest speakers - including Gov. John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable.

Don’t miss all the insight, perspective and networking next week at CQ Roll Call’s Post Election Impact Conference!

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Register today to secure your spot! Use code SUB2014 to receive 20% off!

Register now!
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October 21, 2014

Reading the Tea Leaves on North Korea After U.S. Prisoner Release

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday confirmed that North Korea has released one of the three U.S. citizens it has been holding prisoner.

Jeffrey Fowle, an American tourist and father of three, was arrested in May on accusations of leaving a Bible behind in a hotel. He was allowed to depart North Korea on a U.S. military transport plane, according to a department press release that did not say when he was released into U.S. custody. The department did not provide many details about how the prisoner release came to transpire other than thanking the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang for its “tireless efforts” as the United States’ “Protecting Power in the DPRK.”

The Kim Jong Un regime continues to hold two other Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller.

Since North Korea never makes a good-faith gesture without an ulterior motive, it can be an interesting exercise to try to predict what Pyongyang has up its sleeve this time.

“We know they grab people to trade them,” said Jeffrey Lewis, who directs the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They clearly think they’re going to get something in exchange for this release. It’s very doubtful that it is a purely humanitarian gesture.”

Lewis emphasized how difficult it is to accurately guess at the intentions of the famously closed-off Kim regime. Still, he said Pyongyang could have freed Fowle in order to give its chief benefactor, China, a “deliverable” ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Beijing next month. The North might also be seeking to build-up some goodwill ahead of its next potential provocation, Lewis said.

A number of arms control observers have speculated that the next provocation could involve the launch of another satellite. Earlier this month, 38 North, an expert website that uses satellite image analysis to track weapons development in North Korea, reported that the Stalinist state had evidently completed a key construction effort to expand its Sohae Satellite Launching Station, which was the site of a successful space launch in December 2012. Pyongyang’s development of a satellite launch program is a serious concern to the international community as rocket technology can also be used to build intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“North Korea is now ready to move forward with another rocket launch,” reads the analysis by 38 North image expert Nick Hansen. “Should a decision be made soon to do so in Pyongyang – and we have no evidence that one has – a rocket could be launched by the end of 2014.”

October 20, 2014

Transgender Military Service, Ebola, China’s Navy in the Week Ahead

It’s another slow-ish week in Washington, D.C., with elections nearing, but one House committee is back in town for a hearing, and some other hot topics — including the subjects in the headline and cybersecurity — are on the agenda.

Full story

September 19, 2014

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 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

July 25, 2014

Twitter Chat With Five By Five’s Tim Starks on Defense, National Security

Forgive the very, very brief lapse into first person: I’ll be doing a Twitter chat with Powell Tate for their series of conversations there with defense and national security writers and newsmakers, starting at 10:30 a.m. EST.

You can follow along on the exchange between @timstarks and @wsglobaldef via the hashtag #WSGlobalDef. Or just visit it later via the same method.

July 18, 2014

Energy Xtra, CQ Roll Call’s Latest Policy Blog

Another blog joins CQ Roll Call’s Policy Pulse roster: Energy Xtra, written by Randy Leonard, a longtime reporter on energy and environment issues. The blog will touch upon numerous topics of interest to Five by Five readers, especially where the two beats intersect on the energy supply and national security, like this post on former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen’s assessment of the role shale oil plays in U.S. energy independence.

Full story

July 14, 2014

New Health Policy Blog: Healthopolis

CQ Roll Call has launched Healthopolis, another Policy Pulse blog to join Five by Five, Technocrat and The Container. Written by Paul Jenks, it will be a platform for health policy news “from the capital and beyond,” including at least one topic of interest to Five by Five readers: veterans’ health care.

June 17, 2014

New Transportation Blog: The Container

This week CQ Roll Call launched the third of its Policy Pulse blogs, The Container. Written by veteran politics and policy reporter Tom Curry, the blog will cover all facets of transportation, from car-sharing to ports to aviation, as well as the continuing efforts of Congress to remake the Highway Trust Fund.

Tom has already written about a House Transportation Committee roundtable in New York on public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects, about a bottleneck for coal exports and about a transportation bill that’s really about bees. Check out The Container at blogs.rollcall.com/the-container/.

The Container joins Five by Five and Technocrat in the Policy Pulse ranks.

June 9, 2014

Welcome to Five By Five

starks011 052214 240x160 Welcome to Five By FiveWelcome to CQ Roll Call’s newest blog, Five By Five, where we’ll be we’ll be covering what’s going on from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill, from the physical world of industry and technology to the abstract world of think tanks. Our focus will be defense, but we’ll also delve into other aspects of national security. And we’ll draw on CQ Roll Call’s excellent defense and foreign policy team along the way. The goal is to produce a blog that is engaging, provocative and essential.

If the name “Five By Five” doesn’t ring a bell: It’s a phrase used in military communications and by other radio operators that means the signal is loud and clear. It just so happens as well that there are five sides to the Pentagon and we’ll be here a minimum of five days a week. (The Buffy the Vampire Slayer connection is purely coincidental, as is the fact that “CQ” is also a radio call.) Full story

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