Berry has had a long career in government, starting on Capitol Hill as legislative director for Rep.
Steny H. Hoyer
(D-Md.) from 1985 to 1994.
Berry is up to his eyeballs in sequesterland chaos, so it was not clear when any announcement might be made.
He has also been assistant interior secretary, head of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and director of the National Zoo before taking his current job.
In 2009, the Human Rights Campaign said that, as head of OPM (once called the U.S. Civil Service Commission), Berry was the “the highest-ranking openly gay official” ever to serve in the executive branch.
We’ve written that President Obama is also looking to name his 2012 campaign fundraising chairman, Rufus Gifford, who is also openly gay, to be ambassador to Denmark.
Australia is a key ally in the Pacific, of course, and Canberra’s temps this week look to be in the high 70s and sunny.
This sequestration thing is turning into a real bummer. In yet another example of how it’s been a giant fun-ruiner (in addition to all those furloughs and pink slips), the spending cuts mean no more of those festive flyovers by the Air Force at football games and air shows.
The Air Force announced that it’s halting all such flights at least through the end of the fiscal year in September. The Air Force’s Thunderbirds, the globe-traveling aerial demonstration team known for its dizzying tricks (a.k.a “America’s Ambassadors in Blue”), will be grounded, too.
What will be the next victim of that swinging budgetary axe? Military bands?
Even the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has to forgo the flyovers, which were a tradition during its football season. That leaves only the school’s lonely falcon mascot to entertain fans, The Denver Post reports.
Sequestered at the door
Congress has taken plenty of heat for the budget cuts. After all, the popular strain of outrage goes, they will still get their full paychecks while federal workers might not.
But hold on — lawmakers are going to feel some pain, too. A letter last week to members and their staffs announced that the sequester will mean that some entrances and checkpoints around the Capitol complex will be closed, meaning longer lines and (gasp!) wait times to enter buildings.
Members probably won’t find the lines too troublesome, as they tend to breeze by security with a flash of their coveted members’ pins. But they might find some of their favorite routes curtailed because of the door closures. And even top staffers have to go through security, so they’re likely to encounter some delays.
“While we regret inconveniences this may cause, please be assured that the safety and security of the U.S. Capitol Complex will not be compromised,” said the letter, from members of the Capitol Police Board.