A few items that caught our attention on Thursday:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (AP/Evan Vucci). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (AP/Evan Vucci).

Why Tom Vilsack fits better as agriculture secretary than presidential hopeful: Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, the first Democrat to announce his intentions to run for president back in 2008, said during an interview with ABC’s “The Fine Print” that he lacks the “sizzle” to win a national election and is unlikely to take another shot at his party’s nomination in 2016, according to a Yahoo! News article.

A timeline of Obama’s efforts to tame the bureaucracy: The White House has issued a long list of management memos and executive orders aimed at making the federal government more efficient and transparent, according to a Government Executive timeline of the efforts.

The federal-employee satisfaction survey is on its way: The Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said the government’s annual survey tracking federal workers’ job satisfaction, which hit its lowest level since 2010 last year, will arrive on employees’ desks later this month, according to a Federal News Radio article.

Career U.S. diplomat talks about gay rights in foreign service: Former U.S. ambassador Richard Hoagland spoke at a gay-pride conference this week about the difficulties gay diplomats faced in the past, recalling a time in the 1990s when his security clearance took a long time to be renewed, and he suspected it had to do with concerns about his sexuality, according to an In the Loop post.

U.S. may loosen restrictions on commercial satellite imagery:  Intelligence officials have endorsed relaxed restrictions on the resolution of commercial satellite images after reviewing the relevant laws, and U.S. companies operating in that field say the move could help them compete with their foreign competitors, according to a Federal Times report.

Veterans group seeks Medal of Honor for Civil War colonel depicted in “Glory”: A veterans group plans to petition lawmakers next week to award the Medal of Honor posthumously to Union Army Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the first regiment of free African Americans and later became one of the subjects of the film “Glory,” according to a Military Times article.

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.