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Eye Opener: April 6, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Monday! A bit later today as The Eye had to drop off his parents at the airport after a weekend visit.

This. Is. Just. Amazing: Virginia Saunders, 82, has worked at the Government Printing Office for 63 years.

"Virginia came to Washington from rural Pennsylvania during World War II, one of countless "government girls." She spent a year working for the FBI, typing fingerprint information onto 3-by-5 index cards. She can still tell a whorl from an arch, an arch from a loop."

"She had to leave that job to go home and care for her mother, and when she returned to Washington, it was harder to find work." But, "She started at the GPO in February 1946 as a Grade 2. Today, she's a GS-11. Her title is program operations and evaluation specialist."

Read John Kelly's full profile of her here.

Speaking of the bygone past, The Post's Al Kamen reports today that "Fully 42 percent of Team Obama's picks for Senate-confirmed positions so far worked in the Clinton administration."

"The administration ended last week with 58 confirmed appointees in various Cabinet and sub-Cabinet jobs, nearly equaling the record set by the Reagan administration. As of Friday, Obama had choices for 153, or 31 percent, of the 486 senior positions The Washington Post is tracking." More on the Obama administration's picks in The Post's Head Count.

In other news...

Documents In Stevens Case Requested: "A federal judge yesterday ordered the Justice Department to give him documents concerning allegations of misconduct by the team that prosecuted former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on corruption charges," reports The Post's Carrie Johnson.

Steven Rattner Profiled: The man who aspires to a cabinet post like Treasury secretary is serving as the Obama administration's "car czar lite, traveling to Detroit to visit plants, meeting with the automakers’ bankers, unions and bondholders, and advising the White House on which companies seem salvageable and how," reports Louise Story of the New York Times.

Diplomatic Efforts Get Tech Support: "Alec Ross arrives today at the State Department, armed with a new set of diplomatic tools including Facebook, text messaging and YouTube," reports The Post's Cecilia Kang. "Ross is a senior adviser on innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton -- a role created for the 37-year-old nonprofit leader, who quickly rose within the Obama campaign, helping to craft tech policy under top technology adviser Julius Genachowski."

The EPA's Most Wanted: The environmental agency tracks people who have been charged with violating environmental laws or regulations, reports Cornelia Dean of the New York Times.

Tanker Battle Still Raging: The AP reports that: "After more than 50 years as the military's gas station in the sky -- and a decade of attempts to replace it -- the KC-135 is showing its age. ... Both Boeing and Northrop Grumman propose a bigger plane that can carry more fuel. The plan is to phase out the KC-135 gradually once a new tanker is chosen, but the contractors and their allies in Congress disagree over which plane is better."

Ex-GSA Chief of Staff Returning: "President Obama named Martha Johnson, a former chief of staff of the General Services Administration, to serve as administrator of the agency late Friday. Gov Exec's Tom Shoop reports that "Johnson is currently the vice president of culture at Computer Sciences Corp., a position she has held since 2007. Prior to that, she was a vice president at SRA International, where she provided consulting services to such agencies as the Labor and Homeland Security departments."

SBA Administrator Approved: The Senate unanimously approved Karen Gordon Mills on Thursday to serve as chief of the Small Business Administration. Gov Exec's Elizabeth Newell reports that "Mills -- a venture capitalist, Harvard Business School graduate and member of the Council on Foreign Relations -- will lead more than 2,000 full-time employees at SBA and assume a prominent role in implementing elements of the economic recovery."

House and Senate Call for Pay Parity: Language in the House and Senate budget versions "does not set the actual amount of the 2010 pay raise for military and civilian employees. Those figures will be decided during the appropriations process," notes Gov Exec's Kellie Lunney.


By Ed O'Keefe  | April 5, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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