Week 3: "Et tu, Nancy?"- Barack Obama, June 2015

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Monday, June 15, 2015


Elias Kim

The weekend got off to a great start, as I met up with a few friends from school to watch my beloved F.C. Barcelona defeat Juventus to become the undisputed kings of Europe. The bar in Adams Morgan where we watched the game was filled with equal numbers of supporters from each side, creating an exciting and intense atmosphere. On Sunday, I accompanied some of the other SPS interns to Howard Community College for the 2015 “HoCo STEMfest.” To celebrate the International Year of Light, we set up a booth and demonstrated the properties of polarizing films to the many children who came by. There were several cool booths at the festival, including a company specializing in robotics and RC Helicopters.

Though the weekend was a welcomed break from the trials and tribulations of the U.S. Government, Monday ushered in the busiest week I’ve had yet. I immediately started working on a project regarding Medicaid bills, and worked with another intern to put together an event later in the month. I was also introduced to the Oversight subcommittee team. They talked to the other interns and me about an upcoming hearing on regulatory failures in the U.S. nuclear complex. I’m very interested in the world of nuclear energy, so this presented itself as a good opportunity to become more familiar with the bureaucratic mechanisms that govern it.

As the saying goes, there is no rest for the weary. I began working on a research project for an upcoming hearing on Vehicle to Vehicle communication (V2V in telecom jargon). I looked into the progress of two different proposals for spectrum sharing between wireless providers and car companies; I’m slowly becoming well acquainted with the complex negotiations that take place over the rights to certain spectrum frequencies. I also attended a Senate hearing about the ongoing efforts to install advanced systems in high speed trains as to improve safety. Given the impact of the recent Amtrak crash, it was a very serious affair.

Interns at Clyde's in Washington, DC

The week was not without its share of relaxation, as Thursday night provided an opportunity to have some fun at the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Rumors had percolated all week that Cedric Richmond, the star pitcher for the Democrats, was questionable to play as he recovered from a shoulder surgery. Luckily, Congressman Richmond prevailed and led the Democrats to a 5-2 win. In a stadium full of lawmakers, a rather high profile guest stole the show. The Commander in Chief emerged from the dugout mid game, and was welcomed warmly by both sides of the stadium. Much was made of this appearance the next day, as there was wide speculation around D.C. that the President was making a last ditch plea to get the controversial TPA and TAA acts through the House. It was to no avail, as the TAA was soundly defeated by POTUS’s own party. Ah, the world of politics never ceases to surprise.

Elias Kim