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Politics

The White House Doesn’t Care How You Nerds Dress

Did you know that the U.S. Digital Service is a thing? It is now. The White House established it in order to create “a customer-focused government through stronger IT“, aka hiring the people who helped fix healthcare.gov after realizing that the most talented programmers around do not happen to double as public employees.

One of those people was Mikey Dickerson — current title Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer, current LinkedIn status “pursuing a number of schemes“. He plays a starring role in this new “Day One” video:

While the group’s ostensible purpose is to “ improve the delivery of federal services, information, and benefits”, Dickerson wants you to know that the most important issue is the dress code — or lack thereof.

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CSIS Wins This Week’s Edition of ‘The Intern Did It’

In what’s becoming a relatively common occurrence, the CSIS or Center for Strategic and International Studies posted a widely-seen tweet this week that just screamed “this did not go how it was supposed to go.”

We weren’t terribly surprised by this response; nor were we surprised to see an apology tweet later.

What did impress us, though, was the degree of detail in the organization’s official explanation.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: Even GOP Senators Dislike FOX News

tom coburn

Whenever America watches Jon Stewart uncork on President Obama, people immediately think “Damn! Obama must not be doing so well.”

It’s not breaking news, but his approval numbers are low because this is a subject upon which hardcore democrats and republicans can almost agree.

And now, the other side of that coin: the GOP is bashing FOX News.

Meet U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, FOX News Insider and now-former fan who may have just lost a paycheck.

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Why a Lack of Government Transparency in Media Relations Affects Us All

White-House-open

If only this were the case…

Last month, we brought something to our scrolled pages (and thank you, PRNewsers) about the Obama Administration reneging on its promises to be the most transparent in U.S. history. In that post, we shared the petition that various journalism wrote to the White House, advising the administration to cease its “political suppression of the news.”

A week later, the administration did it again, this time locking the press corps out of fundraising events.

All that ballyhoo caused this hack-turned-flack to wonder about the current state of affairs in network news and its relation to government transparency: aimless speculation from various and sundry “expert guests” left with only their opinions in the absence of more reliable sources.

That trend is affecting “We, the People” in very negative ways. Here’s how…

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Can the ISIS Strikes Become a #PRWin for the President?

Iraq-Jihadist-flag

No one in their right mind (or in a public forum) would ever equate a declaration of war as part of a PR strategy, but it could be one of the side effects of what took place in the Iraq recently.

Without getting into the nuance of military and political goings-on, the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) doesn’t play well with others. They almost certainly like American even less than they did after the U.S. military bombed ISIS’ ammunition stockpiles to help our “friends” in Iraq defend themselves.

To wit, ISIS released a video proclaiming that they will “raise the flag of Allah over the White House.

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How Little America Cares About War in Iraq as Seen on LIVE with Kelly & Michael

kelly michael uptonICYMI: Kate Upton is easy on the eyes. At least, that’s what the cool kids say. I’m married so my eyes were removed years ago (Hey baby).

Anyhow, Upton provides a ratings spike to most shows as you can imagine.

Such was the case for LIVE with Kelly & Michael. Kelly Ripa is one of her 18 annual vacations, so the ABC network show decided to have Upton co-host with the recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Michael Strahan.

There they are: chuckling about a trip to Starbucks and visions of Upton in “flip-flops and a robe” causing a local barista to “jack up” Strahan’s cup of joe. Suddenly, ABC News interrupts with news of a presidential approval for air strikes in Iraq…again.

Twitter then bombed ABC for that painfully awkward juxtaposition.

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White House, Pentagon Go Social with News of Military Strikes in Iraq

This is the way we live in the present day: tweets announcing the launch of bombing campaigns against increasingly powerful insurgents in Iraq.

Note this preceding message for clarity:

So it did happen and it will continue to happen. But a few reporters jumped the gun.

Maybe we don’t know the specific objective (though the President did elaborate a bit in a somewhat open-ended press conference).

But thanks to Instagram, we do know what the decision-making scene looked like…

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Uber’s Newest Brand Advocate Is the Republican Party

Uber GOP

Here’s a not-quite-surprising story that made its way around the web today: the Republican Party is one of taxi “disruptor” Uber‘s biggest supporters…or they’re using the hot brand to raise money and increase their appeal to Millennials. Or both.

We get the basic idea behind this distant partnership. The Uber guys and the GOP hate the same regulators or, as the fundraising petition puts it, “taxi unions and liberal government bureaucrats” (because the word “bureaucrat” could never apply to conservatives who double as public employees during the day).

Anyway, the real issue here is that both the GOP and the app company want Illinois governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, to refrain from passing a pending law that would place statewide restrictions on such “sharing economy” companies. Apparently the two parties share the Gary Gnu-ish opinion that all regulations are bad regulations.

They also both like free publicity — and the Republic National Committee’s annual meeting launched today in Chicago.

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Ann Coulter’s Publicist Accuses Author of Plagiarism

ann coulter

What, you’re surprised? Of course Ann Coulter has a publicist. She can’t make headlines with shockingly offensive comments on her own, now can she?

Given the recent firing of a BuzzFeed writer and public shaming of a New York Times columnist for real-life plagiarism, this Inside Politics PR story is worth a mention.

Craig Shirley, president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, is both a PR person for right-wing pundits/politicians and a writer of books about movement icons like Ronald Reagan. He now accuses Rick Perlstein, author of the recent Invisible Bridge: The Fall Of Richard Nixon And The Rise of Ronald Reagan, of plagiarism for “paraphrasing” his own earlier tome on the 40th president. He wants $25 million and demands that all existing copies of the book be “destroyed.”

This despite the fact that Perlstein cites Shirely 125 times in his own endnotes. Histrionics, anyone?

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STUDY: Government Approval Ratings Hit All-Time Lows

uncle-sam-gun-to-headIf you watch the news for any amount of time, you may notice that our government has a perception problem that transcends any intra-party squabbles: pretty much no one has a good thing to say about the U.S. government, the people running it, or even those most affected by it.

Now, the latest related poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, adds to the dogpile.

In the national poll, we discover that President Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to its lowest ever position at 41 percent. Even worse, 71 percent of Americans believe this country is headed in the wrong direction.

Good news though: the approval rating for Congress has increased from 11 to 14 percent, so there’s that.

Le sigh.

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