bryan January 15th, 2010
“Well, the government of course is hiding the aliens.”
— Office of Government Information Services head Miriam Nisbet, responding to a question about how her office plans to address FOIA requests concerning the location of alien spacecraft. She quickly clarified that she was joking [from the .mp3 posted here, around the 5:55 mark].
bryan January 13th, 2010
“…I would like to focus on one problem that I consider a blind spot in the thinking of most defense hardliners, whether they call themselves conservatives or not. Proponents of a vigorous defense posture seem to think that the military should be exempted from fiscal discipline, even though they routinely decry expanding entitlements for disadvantaged members of society.”
– Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute
bryan January 12th, 2010
“They’ve forgotten what made us great,” a former Northrop executive told me Thursday. “If you really valued innovation, if you cared about quality and reliability and systems engineering, then you’d say: ‘Don’t come to Washington. Stay close to the people who are actually designing and producing. Challenge them, inspire them, lead them. The rest will take care of itself.’ “
– From Steven Pearlstein’s January 8 column in the Washington Post about Northrop Grumman moving its corporate headquarters to Washington, D.C.
bryan November 17th, 2009
“There are incentives, and then there are incentives”
– Jim McDermott, chief human capital officer of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, on one of the NRC’s recruitment strategies: offering a dating service to help single nuclear engineers meet one another (which “has so far resulted in about eight or nine weddings”).
bryan October 28th, 2009
“But I have always rejected the notion that we have to waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money to keep this nation secure. In fact, I think that wasting these dollars makes us less secure…There’s still more waste we need to cut. There is still more fights that we need to win. Changing the culture in Washington will take time and sustained effort.”
— President Barack Obama, upon signing the National Defense Authorization Act
bryan October 8th, 2009
“Yet the C-17’s excellence is one of those facts that is indisputably true but irrelevant to the issue at hand, like the assertion that Roman Polanski makes great movies.”
— Los Angeles Times columnist
bryan September 17th, 2009
“Usually, of course, you don’t need to dance around the fact that your policy change will save taxpayers giant sacks of cash. But you do on national security. Saving money there, after all, is pretty much like sending Osama bin Laden a great big check.”
— Ezra Klein at The Washington Post, on the difficulties of curtailing defense spending
bryan September 11th, 2009
“In a nutshell, the S.E.C. staff was not capable of finding ice cream at a Dairy Queen.”
– Harry Markopolos, a Boston-based fraud investigator, describing his opinion of the S.E.C.’s oversight abilities.
michael June 24th, 2009
“We’ve heard how the stealthy F-22 and F-35 are flying thermos bottles, struggling under the huge heat loads imposed by their powerful engines and systems. Well it seems the latest generation of vertical-lift aircraft is turning the flight decks of US Navy amphibious assault ships into frying pans.”
“In the last administration, the hack-to-wonk ratio was dangerously high. In this one, wonks have the upper hand.”
— Democratic Leadership Council CEO Bruce Reed, on the makeup of the Obama administration
michael June 8th, 2009
“A good IG allows an administrator to sleep at night, and I don’t want to diminish that role in any way.”
— GSA Administrator-designate Martha Johnson, on the relationship she hopes to build with IG Brian Miller
“In an effort to improve the system, we have made it almost unintelligibly complex.”
— Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, recommending simplification of the Pentagon’s contracting rules and processes.