Browsing: White House

The petition to give feds the day after Christmas off has failed

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Well if you wanted to spend Dec. 26 relaxing at home or with family without having to use a vacation day then you are probably bitterly disappointed this chilly day in November. A petition asking President Obama to use his executive power to give feds the day after Christmas off failed to gain enough signatures to get a response from the administration. A petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures before the time limit in order to get a response. So how many did this petition get? Well, this reporter wasn’t up at midnight checking the website, but last time he…

Do you want the day after Christmas off? Well time is running out to sign that petition…

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You are looking at the calendar and see that Christmas falls on a Thursday, and were wondering why you even need to come to work that Friday. In all likelihood no one is going to be there. Well, there are tens of thousands of feds who are already asking that question via a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website. The petition asking President Obama to use his executive authority to give feds Dec. 26th off has hit more than 87,000 signatures, but the petition needs 100,000 signatures to get a response from the administration. So if you…

Memphis soul comes to the White House tonight

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The White House will host a who’s-who of legendary soul musicians and modern stars Tuesday night in its latest “In Performance” concert. This will be the tenth “In Performance at the White House” show, and will focus on Memphis Soul. Several artists from the classic Stax-Volt record label will be featured, most notably Mavis Staples, who sang classics such as “I’ll Take You There.” Guitarist Steve Cropper (who played for Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and pretty much everybody else on the Stax-Volt label), Sam Moore from Sam and Dave, “Knock on Wood” singer Eddie…

White House to release cyber executive order Wednesday

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President Barack Obama will issue an executive order Wednesday aimed at tightening the nation’s cybersecurity. Senior administration officials, including White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command, will provide details on cyber policy Wednesday morning at the Commerce Department. Officials will provide an update on cybersecurity priorities for 2013, including information sharing and reducing cyber risks, Commerce announced Tuesday. The executive order is said to include provisions that will establish voluntary cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure sectors, such as transportation and energy, where federal regulators have authority to enforce those standards. However, the order could not provide liability…

Senator pushes for cybersecurity via executive order

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A top Democratic senator is calling on the president to use executive branch authorities to better secure critical systems against cyber attacks. In a letter to President Obama on Monday, Sen. John Rockefellar, (D-W.Va.), urged the president to “explore and employ every lever of executive power that you possess to protect this country from the cyber threat.” Rockefeller co-sponsored the Cybersecurity Act, S. 3414, which failed passage in the Senate this month.  The bill would have set voluntary standards for companies operating critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid, water treatment facilities and transportation systems. Rockefeller said that many portions of the bill…

White House officials promote new digital strategy

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The best government would be one where citizens would “never have to visit a government website again,” according to Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel. VanRoekel and Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park attended an industry event Wednesday where they reiterated a strategy for connecting the public to federal data. “Part of our goal for inspiring this way of innovation is to bring government innovation and government technology to citizens where they are, where they play, where they act, anytime, anywhere on any device,” VanRoekel said. “Data that is public should be made public, to drive the social side, the civic participation…

Appearances notwithstanding, transparency board still at work

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Casual observers might be forgiven for thinking that things are a bit slow over at the Government Accountability and Transparency Board.  This is the 11-member panel, you may recall, created last summer by President Obama as “a critical next step” in White House efforts to cut costs, crack down on fraud and open up the government’s books to the public. Almost five months after the board’s chairman, Earl Devaney, retired, Obama hasn’t named a replacement. During the same time, the panel, made up mostly of inspectors general and financial management folk, has met just once, in April. But work on recommendations…

Watchdog group: Four IG offices now leaderless for years

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Hard to believe, but the State Department’s Office of Inspector General has been without a permanent head for more than four years. That fact, highlighted this week by the Project on Government Oversight, puts the office in an unlucky class of four IG agencies that have had vacancies at the top for at least 1,000 days. The others are the Interior and Labor departments and the Corporation for National and Community Service. While the Obama administration last fall nominated attorney Deborah Jeffrey for the inspector general’s job at the national service corporation, the Senate has yet to confirm her. But the…

White House names former HHS exec federal CTO

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President Obama last week appointed Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Todd Park to oversee technology innovation across the federal government. Park will fill the position of federal CTO, left vacant by Aneesh Chopra in January. In his new role, Park will work with federal Deputy CTO for Telecommunications Tom Power to ensure the adoption of innovative technologies that support job creation, access to affordable healthcare, open government and other administration priorities. “Todd Park has demonstrated a remarkable talent for enlisting innovative technologies to modernize government, reduce waste, and make government information more accessible to the public,” Obama said…

Obama, BB King sing 'Sweet Home Chicago' at White House blues night

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Barack Obama may be angling for a second career in rhythm and blues (if this whole “leader-of-the-free-world” thing doesn’t pan out). Last night, he took the mic at the White House’s all-star blues tribute night and sang a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago” with BB King. The AP said that during the finale, Mick Jagger held the mic out “almost by way of command,” and Obama evidently couldn’t resist. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy also pushed Obama by pointing out that he sang a line from “Let’s Stay Together” last month at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, and said, “You gotta keep…

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