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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

FAA officially seeking drone test sites

In a major step forward for domestic drones, the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday began to solicit proposals for six sites where the craft will be put through a battery of tests in preparation for their integration into U.S. airspace. Published February 14, 2013

President Obama speaks about education on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at the Decatur Community Recreation Center in Decatur, Ga. The president is traveling to promote the economic and educational plan he highlighted in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obama calls for nationwide expansion of preschool education

Taking his push for expanded early childhood education to a Republican-dominated state, President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to enact a sweeping program to extend preschool classes to every child in the United States. Published February 14, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, testifies before a state legislative committee on the legalization of growing hemp at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Ky., on Feb. 11, 2013. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul puts hold on Brennan nomination

Sen. Rand Paul will hold up the confirmation of John Brennan until the would-be CIA director sheds light on the extent of the administration's controversial policies on drone use. Published February 13, 2013

**FILE** A Predator B unmanned aircraft (Associated Press)

FAA official: No armed drones in U.S.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration reassured the public Wednesday that no armed drones will be permitted in U.S. airspace, but he acknowledged the agency can do little about privacy fears associated with the unmanned craft. Published February 13, 2013

**FILE** Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, demonstrate Jan. 30, 2013, in Albany, N.Y., as they sit in the audience as Dr. Nirav Shah, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, testifies before a joint budget hearing on health and Medicaid. (Associated Press)

N.Y. town sued for banning any talk of 'fracking'

A small town in upstate New York has been sued by one of the nation's most powerful environmental groups following a decision by its city officials last year to ban talk of fracking at local meetings. Published February 12, 2013

** FILE ** Seattle police Officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle during an informational meeting at which the police attempted answer questions about their drone program at the Garfield Community Center in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. The mayor of Seattle ended the police department's drone program in February after residents protested. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Colin Diltz)

Lots of buzz about domestic drones; concerns rise with possibilities

The drone industry isn't flying under the radar anymore. As industry leaders, government and military officials gather this week in Northern Virginia, the "unmanned vehicle systems" sector faces mounting questions on all sides, including privacy concerns, hostile state and local laws, and constitutional battles over the roles of drones in the modern U.S. military arsenal. Published February 11, 2013


Graham’s hold presses White House on Benghazi

Still searching for the full truth behind the Sept. 11 Benghazi, Libya, terrorism attacks, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he will block two key Obama administration appointments until he gets answers. Published February 10, 2013

Drone use raises a lot of doubts on the Hill

The Obama administration's use of drones, an increasingly important part of the arsenal to track and kill terror suspects, is being put under the microscope by members of Congress who fear the policy may soon cross a constitutional line -- or perhaps already has. Published February 10, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican (The Washington Times)

Graham: I'll block Hagel, Brennan nominations

Still searching for the truth behind the Sept. 11 Benghazi terror attacks, Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday said he'll block two key Obama administration appointments until he gets answers. Published February 10, 2013

"My understanding is that the waivers [for No Child Left Behind] become obsolete" if new federal education reforms go into effect, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a Senate panel Thursday. (Associated Press)

Education reform will trump waivers

Obama administration waivers granted to 34 states and the District of Columbia, which freed them from the constraints and mandates of the No Child Left Behind law, would be nullified if lawmakers move a major new education reform package this year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told lawmakers Thursday. Published February 7, 2013

** FILE ** Work has begun on the Keystone XL pipeline near Winona, Texas, but whether it will ever carry oil sands from central Canada to Gulf Coast refineries awaits a decision by President Obama. (Tyler [Texas] Morning Telegraph via Associated Press)

Nurses union joins Keystone XL pipeline fray

The pressure on President Obama and newly minted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline grows stronger each day, and this week saw the nation's leading nurses union jump into the debate. Published February 6, 2013

President Obama watches as his Interior Secretary nominee Sally Jewell, a former CEO of REI Inc., gets a kiss from outgoing Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar on Wednesday. The announcement was made in the White House State Dining Room. (Associated Press)

Obama picks REI executive for Interior post

President Obama's pick of Sally Jewell as his new interior secretary immediately drew praise from the environmental community and even some in the oil and gas sector. Published February 6, 2013

Garfield High School social studies teacher Jesse Hagopian (with his hand raised) and other Seattle teachers are refusing to administer to their students a standardized test they say is flawed. (Seattle Times via Associated Press)

More teachers won't administer standardized tests

The standardized-testing boycott that began with teachers in Chicago last year and reached new heights recently in Seattle may be exploding into a full-blown national movement. Published February 4, 2013

** FILE ** Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (The Washington Times)

Rhee wary of stressing on testing

As organized opposition to standardized testing grows, one of the nation's most outspoken and controversial education activists said Sunday that such assessments have a place in public schools but cautioned against an "overemphasis" on them. Published February 3, 2013


Greens bank on Kerry to quash Keystone pipeline

As the incoming secretary of state, John F. Kerry, a longtime vocal crusader against climate change in the Senate, is in a position to deliver one of the movement’s biggest victories in decades: drive a stake through the heart of the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project. Published January 30, 2013