Browsing: White House

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…

Stop Swag

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In opening my emails every morning I’m accustomed to a plethora of press releases. Today the release that caught my eye was the announcement of President Obama signing an executive order to cut federal agency travel, printing and IT costs. However it wasn’t the “news” in the release that has me blogging. It’s the use of the word swag. Sports reporters have been using the word for months now.  There is no doubt that you will hear swag used if you tune into ESPN’s SportsCenter. But I didn’t expect the White House to jump on the bandwagon. Is it just…

White House bends over backwards to apologize to Sherrod

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What a difference a day makes in the Shirley Sherrod fiasco. According to three sources who spoke to Politico’s Ben Smith, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina praised the speed at which the administration acted, and reportedly said Tuesday morning: We could have waited all day — we could have had a media circus — but we took decisive action, and it’s a good example of how to respond in this atmosphere. And here is White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, just a few minutes ago: Without a doubt, Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology. I will do so on behalf…

Kal Penn leaving White House for Harold & Kumar 3

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One of the Obama administration’s more … um … unusual appointments is rumored to be leaving the White House this summer. Kalpen Modi, AKA Kal Penn, AKA the perpetually high Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, will reportedly quit his job soon to start shooting the third in his series of stoner comedies: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. The White House and Penn are not confirming these rumors, but his co-star John Cho said the movie is pretty much a done deal. Kumar is currently the associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. He’s kept a low profile since…

WH talks government modernization

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The White House held a modernizing government forum earlier this year, inviting more than 50 private-sector chief executive officers to share best business practices with government officials. The White House recently released a report of its findings from the forum — to view the full report, click here. The results reported aren’t too surprising. The best practices shared by the CEOs were pretty clear — be more transparent, plan your IT projects better, and don’t let IT projects drag on for five years. Do things quickly and implement IT projects in stages to test whether they’ll work, the CEOs said.…

"Making government cool" is the Obama administration's Poochie

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If there’s one phrase I’m tired of hearing over and over from senior White House leaders, it’s their desire to “make government service cool.” An occasional quip would be one thing. But it’s become a mantra for the Obama administration, included in everything from official bios to speeches to interviews to strategic plans. And what’s worse, it’s a meaningless catch phrase.  If the government is having a hard time attracting and retaining talented young people, it’s probably because it takes five months to hire somebody and because hard workers don’t feel properly rewarded and think slackers aren’t dealt with — not because of…

WH declassifies cybersecurity parameters

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The White House has declassified much of a cybersecurity initiative developed during the George W. Bush administration. The release of Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative’s 12 key goals is part of the Obama administration’s quest for transparency, said Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt in a March 2 White House blog post announcing the declassification. Bush created the initiative in 2008 and few details were available about it before the March 2 release. Schmidt wrote: We will not defeat our cyber adversaries because they are weakening, we will defeat them by becoming collectively stronger, through stronger technology, a stronger cadre of security professionals,…

More about new WH dashboard

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My colleague Elise Castelli posted a blog earlier this week about the White House’s launch of a new open government dashboard, which you may have missed for all of the Snowpocalypse/Snowmaggedon/snOMG news. Not much information is posted yet on the dashboard’s Web site, which is part of the administration’s move to make government operations more transparent. President Obama signed an executive order Dec. 8 giving agencies until April 7 to detail how they will open up data to the public, and more will be added to the dashboard once agencies have released their transparency plans. But until then, the first…

Get the White House on your iPhone

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You don’t need C-SPAN to keep up with what’s going on at the White House, thanks to a new iPhone app launched by the White House last week. The White House posted a quick tutorial about the app on its blog today, with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs demonstrating the app’s handy little features. The tongue-in-cheek video won’t embed, unfortunately, but you can check it out here: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shows off the new White House iPhone app. The blog also praises all of the video you can watch by downloading the free app through iTunes,…

The Onion weighs in on WH forum

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The White House invited more than 50 private-sector chief executive officers to Washington last week to discuss how to modernize the government. Administration leaders said plenty of good ideas came from the summit, such as reducing the amount of time bringing information technology projects online. But now The Onion, that trusted source of fake online news, is weighing in with its take on the situation. See Monday’s “man on the street” interviews, where The Onion “asks” three “real people” what they think of the White House’s forum. Anyone who’s suffered through a tedious staff meeting will agree with this quote…

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