No monkey business around Ms. Goodall

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with senior officials in Jerusalem. We'd write more about it here, but frankly, the last shot at a feature story about the event was just not that interesting.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with senior officials in Jerusalem. We'd write more about it here, but frankly, the last shot at a feature story about the event was just not that interesting. (State Department)
By Al Kamen
Friday, November 13, 2009

Don't forget! Today's the day to see famous primate expert Jane Goodall, speaking at 3 p.m. at the Interior Department's headquarters auditorium.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar e-mailed all headquarters folks last week to invite them to hear Goodall talk about her new book: "Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued From the Brink."

"I strongly urge you to join me for this unprecedented event," he wrote. But Salazar seems a bit worried that some of his employees may become overly excited by her presence and "message of hope," as he put it, and start behaving badly. Maybe some Fish and Wildlife Service folks will get rowdy and complain the department is not doing enough about endangered species?

"This is not a First Amendment Forum," Salazar warned. "Employees should use this opportunity to share constructive ideas on how to manage the Department and its issues and should be civil in their communications." No catcalls or rushing the stage, okay? (Goodall, after hanging with primates all those years, can probably handle herself.)

"Employees with personnel issues or whistleblowing concerns are encouraged to use well-established Departmental procedures for pursuing those interests," the e-mail said.

If you want to "pursue" other interests, such as bowling or chess, there are employee recreation association events, or maybe area clubs. Unclear if additional security will be deployed.

Cryptic criticism

Some Obama administration job-seekers whose bids have stalled pending tax audits might take cold comfort in this year's Government Accountability Office audit of the IRS. The just-released audit concluded that the nation's tax collector had "serious internal control and financial management systems deficiencies" that "continued to make it necessary for the IRS to use resource-intensive compensating processes to prepare its balance sheet."

Not sure precisely what that means, but it doesn't sound good. The audit said the agency had made progress in "modernizing" its operations and in "addressing its financial management challenges," but the "IRS's financial management systems were not in substantial compliance with the requirements" of a 1996 federal law.

Condi Inc.

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and former National Security Council chief Stephen Hadley are teaming up as the latest big-time entrants in the endless battle of the groups -- as in the Kissinger Group, the Scowcroft Group, the Chertoff Group (with former CIA director Mike Hayden) and so many other strategery outfits.

The official launch of the RiceHadley Group, which styles itself as a "strategic advisory firm" for international companies, is to be in the next week or so. The firm registered its Web site domain name on Oct. 2.

It will be a bicoastal operation. Rice, who was Hadley's boss at the NSC during the Bush administration's first term, will be teaching at Stanford while Hadley remains here as a senior adviser for international affairs at the government-funded think-tank the U.S. Institute of Peace. A third founding partner, Washington lawyer Anja Manuel, now at WilmerHale, is moving out to teach in the international studies program at Stanford.

Manuel was an aide from 2005 to 2007 to former undersecretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns. Her firm bio said she "managed [Burns's] involvement in South and Central Asia policy, congressional outreach and legal matters. Among other projects, she negotiated the US-India civilian nuclear accord, and helped to secure passage . . . of the India civilian nuclear legislation." She was also "extensively involved in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, among other issues," the bio says.


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