“Overall, the reaction’s been mostly positive,” said Tom Mulhall, the AANR’s public relations chairman and the owner of the Terra Cotta Inn, a clothing-optional resort in Palm Springs.
The AANR’s release lists American presidents purported to have enjoyed a nude splash: John Quincy Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush. (Bush’s supposed bare romp was technically in a sauna, not a body of water, but we’re not quibbling.)
“President Johnson even went skinny-dipping while in office with evangelist Billy Graham,” the group reports. Sadly, we have no photos.
Desperate for that post-election call from President Obama or President Romney offering you a senior administration job?
Are you ready to spend countless hours filling out multiple questionnaires — not to mention thousands of dollars on an accountant to help with your financial disclosure forms?
Don’t despair. There are signs that some rationality may prevail on the absurd and endless paperwork for nominees, a mindless one-size-fits-all formula — one form for the covert-ops chief at CIA, the same one for the assistant secretary of commerce for widget production.
A bipartisan bill that became law earlier this month streamlines or reduces confirmation requirements for about 30 percent of the positions now needing committee hearings and Senate floor votes.
That should ensure that incoming department heads no longer have that “home alone” problem for weeks or often months waiting for their deputies.
The new law also establishes a “Working Group on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations.”
True, these “committees-to-study” most always amount to little more than can-kickers. Still, there’s a bipartisan Senate bloc — from the top leadership down — actually committed to improving the system. (That’s how the bill passed the Senate 79 to 20 in the first place.)
The working group includes folks from White House personnel, the Office of Personnel Management, the FBI and the Office of Government Ethics as well as officials from prior administrations and, one would presume, some people with strong ties to both parties in the Senate.
One goal is to develop a “smart form” that all nominees would fill out with basic data that would be used by both the Senate and the White House. (Nominees now have to provide duplicate information on different sets of forms.)
Another goal is to accelerate background investigations, which can take four months or more, by seeing whether “non-FBI personnel” can be used to conduct most checks.
The legislation asks the working group to explore ways to vary background checks “depending on the sensitivity of the position.” So a narrower check on the widget producer, a broader one for intelligence chiefs.