Elmo Talks Nosh in the White House Kitchen
by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer
Everybody’s favorite red Muppet took a tour of the White House kitchen this week, bantering with assistant chef Sam Kass about the virtues of eating melons and whole-wheat lasagna. This guest appearance happened on the heels of President Obama authorizing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (fact sheet, PDF), which includes $4.5 billion in new funds for schools whose nutrition standards meet updated guidelines and enables communities to create local farm to school networks and school gardens.
Dylan, Just as You Want Him
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Meaning. Bob Dylan’s songs and lyrics are timeless, transcendent for so many. From Jann Wenner’s interview in Rolling Stone, the president’s hilarious reflection on the musician’s February performance at the White House Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement:
"Here’s what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you’d expect he would be. He wouldn’t come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that. He came in and played "The Times They Are A-Changin’." A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage — I’m sitting right in the front row — comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves. And that was it — then he left. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought: That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that was a real treat."
—President Barack Obama
(h/t saving paper)
President Obama: “Working with Faith”
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
On Thursday, February 5, 2009, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He then signed an executive order establishing the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. President Obama named Joshua DuBois the executive director of this office.
Uploading the video of Krista’s public event with David Brooks and E.J. Dionne, I happened upon this White House video in which Mr. DuBois talks about the historical precedent of the office, how it will function, and the role of faith-based and community groups in the administration’s efforts. In recent staff meetings, DuBois name has come up a number of times as a potential guest for Speaking of Faith. Possibly for a public event at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul.
As an aside, a couple of people standing around President Obama in the video’s placeholder image above were immediately recognizable as former guests on the show. I wasn’t surprised to see Jim Wallis at his side, but it was nice to see Bishop Vashti McKenzie in the immediate foreground to his left.