Circuit

Seen in the funnies

You know you have really made it when Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip features you or your activities in his famous column.

And that definitely was the case the week of Oct. 18 when Doonesbury highlighted the activities of Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Ward 57, where young men and women severely wounded in Iraq are undergoing rehabilitation.

Not only that, Doonesbury also paid a visit to and saluted Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse, where the Department of Veterans Affairs and others are helping give the returnees a night out with plenty of free steak and drinks.

"I'd like to toast Fran O'Brien's Steakhouse for having us," said one GI in the comic strip. "This is the closest to normal I've felt in months."

A work in progress

While TV executives were biting their nails over when to call the presidential election and the candidates' staffs were taking deep breaths, two reporters from the two government-run TV stations in Uzbekistan visited the nation's capital last week to study how America votes.

They spent time at the Office of Personnel Management to talk about how federal workers get time off if they need it to vote. They also visited the National Museum of American History to view an exhibit of voting machinery that including "hanging chads" from Florida's botched 2000 election efforts.

Here in the United States, we had plenty of reminders about 2000 and the pitfalls possible for 2004.

Tuning in

Turns out the Internet worked its magic for the political season. A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Information, found that more Americans went online for political news and commentary during this year's presidential campaign compared with past elections. It showed that Internet users have greater overall exposure to political arguments, including those that challenge their candidate preferences and their positions on some key issues.

Roll up your sleeves

On the heels of the 2004 Executive Leadership Conference in Hershey, Pa., the Industry Advisory Council named the government and industry chairmen to plan next year's ELC conference.

Ira Hobbs, CIO for the Treasury Department, will represent the government, and Wayne Davis, chief operating officer of M Squared Technology, will serve as his counterpart on the industry side.

Rumor du jour

We hear that the very qualified and accomplished Gloria Parker, who has been the chief information officer and the chief financial officer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is planning to head back to the private sector after 10 years in government.

Parker is now on assignment as the chief technology adviser to HUD, but the expectation is that she will be leaving government shortly. She knows the private sector well after spending 18 years at IBM Corp.

We wish her well and applaud her dedication and work in government.

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