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Names & Faces: Kal Penn returns to White House

By The Reliable Source

Kalpen Modi, also known as Kal Penn, 2010. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Back in town: Kal Penn, the actor-turned-Obama-staffer. This summer, Penn -- who goes by his birth name, Kalpen Modi, outside of Hollywood -- quit a job in the White House's office of public engagement in order to shoot the third installment in his stoner-flick franchise, "Harold & Kumar." As of this week, he's been rehired there as an associate director, the White House said Monday. He'll start work next Monday.

Reliable Source is out on vacation until Wednesday. Until then, we'll be running Names & Faces.

By The Reliable Source  | November 16, 2010; 1:00 AM ET
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He's back for good now. He has the look. Just like Al Frankin, way before he was officially elected. Al Frankin probably lost the election but he had to be in office because he already had the appearance of a senator.
You know this is a country governed by propaganda when movie stars get such prominent positions in government.

Posted by: glenmayne | November 16, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Sure, Glen. And his "prominence" has nothing to do with his intelligence. After all, he only has a degree from UCLA and teaches a class at Penn. I'm sure your resume has much more esteemed institutions of higher learning on it, no?

Sometimes, famous people are people too.

Posted by: Elnok | November 16, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

You know this is a country governed by propaganda when movie stars get such prominent positions in government.

As opposed to former athletes like Jim Bunning, Steve Largent, J,C, Watts, Bill Bradley, Jack Kemp, John Runyon, or Heath Shuler? Right, those movie stars like Arnold Swarzenegger and Ronald Reagan should never be allowed in positions of power.

Posted by: kguy1 | November 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The public is so grateful this "stoner-flick franchise" owner will be facilitating engagement.

Because the public, like, so wants to engage with the messiah.

Posted by: thebump | November 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Office of Public Engagement? Is that the outfit obama set up so that people could turn in folks who disagree with him?

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Don'tcha love conservatives, whose hero is ronnie reagan, and more recently fred thompson, bemoaning the influence of Hollywood and actors on government?

Posted by: John1263 | November 16, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Kumar was right, "the Klan is slow"

Posted by: johng1 | November 16, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: CultureClub | November 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Who's next on Barry's staff, Tim and Eric?

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 16, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So long White Castle. Harold and Kumar go to White House.

Posted by: foxtrot1 | November 16, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a pretty good day job for a so-so actor. A steady 150K paycheck pays for a lot of facials and personal trainers.

Posted by: spado | November 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Here come Bill and Ted to the rescue....BOGUS, just like the clown in the WH....the jig is almost up!

Posted by: mjandrews8 | November 16, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

This is just a fill in gig for him. Instead of what most actors do between jobs, collect unemployment compensation, he gets White House welfare.

Posted by: mortified469 | November 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Elnok and kguy1

Youse guys don't know much about propaganda do youse?
Of course not, we depend on it. Baaaaaaaaaaa

Posted by: glenmayne | November 17, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

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