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In the Loop: Even Obama Is Bashing the Bureaucrats

Hugs in the Cubicles

Contrary to the folks at Commerce, the Interior Department has taken a more Zen-like approach to improving the workplace -- and this one takes only an hour. The lunchtime session next Wednesday, for all D.C. area department employees, is a free "bring your lunch and learn" lecture titled "It's All About the People: How Compassionate Work Relationships Create Greater Productivity."

"Gone are the day when productivity was achieved in high tension environments driven by an autocratic leadership style," the invitation says. "Today, workplaces with the highest productivity have an upbeat and can-do spirit among people who get along well."

So "How do they achieve such a spirit? Come find out" from trainer Gregg Brannon, we're told. In one lunch hour, he'll "explore simple tools to build healthy relationships with co-workers so that individual and team productivity will soar."

Kind of a quickie Woodstock redux?

1 Down, 2 to Go

Time to update the Web site at the Treasury Department. Spokeswoman Nayyera Haq called Monday to say one of the three spots in the tax policy shop that we noted were listed as vacant on the site -- with an acting career employee minding the store -- was in fact filled. She said a deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis is in place. Get your résumés in for the other two posts, however.

Comings and Goings

Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has stalled, reportedly has gone back to Indiana University's law school to teach a class there while Senate Democrats count and recount noses to see if they might be able to muster 60 votes for cloture. Gonna be a tough vote next month, though.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Boyd M. Johnson III, the New York prosecutor who led the investigation into former governor Eliot Spitzer's connection to the Emperors Club call-girl operation, had been mentioned as a possible pick to be head of the Drug Enforcement Administration -- a post that's been vacant for some 20 months now. But Johnson's staying in the Big Apple, promoted this week to the No. 2 official in perhaps the highest-profile prosecution shop in the country.

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