April 29, 2015 |
DEESHA DYER has come a long way from her days of handing out free condoms at Fluid and other local nightclubs. These days, instead of trying to persuade partygoers to get themselves tested for HIV, she's in charge of all of the social functions at the White House. Yeah, you read that right. The White House as in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As the new White House social secretary, her job is to work closely with first lady Michelle Obama to compile guest lists for opulent dinners honoring visiting dignitaries such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, who's coming in September.
April 18, 2015 |
Deesha Dyer, a 37-year-old Philadelphia native, has been named the new White House social secretary, Michelle Obama announced Thursday. She replaces Jeremy Bernard, the first male social secretary, who recently announced that he would leave the post. Dyer, who was Bernard's deputy, started working at the White House in 2009 as an intern in the Office of Scheduling and Advance. The social secretary helps to coordinate state dinners and official visits to the White House, among many duties.
April 3, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - You can sit down and talk basketball with Brett Brown 24/7 without hesitation. But the 76ers coach doesn't prefer to do that. Though basketball is his livelihood, he is a well-traveled man who graduated from Boston University and is very informed about all sorts of subjects. He feels a real importance to interact with his young team on other things besides the game they play for a living. It's why the team organized a trip to the White House on Tuesday. Before last night's game against the Wizards in the nation's capital, players and others from the organization on the tour showed off cellphone pictures of what they saw the day before.
March 10, 2015 |
D AN AYKROYD ducked out from under the cover of his security detail Friday to literally stop and smell the roses at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, his handlers told me over the weekend. The 62-year-old actor and screenwriter was in town Friday for the Flower Show and to promote his Crystal Head vodka, which enjoyed a booth next to the PA Wine & Spirits table inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St.). It was no surprise that a seemingly endless line of people snaked around the perimeter of the grand ballroom inside the convention center - each guest waiting patiently to meet Aykroyd and for him to sign a vodka bottle.
March 5, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Philadelphia-area lawmakers gave a generally warm reception to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress Tuesday, though some Democrats were angered by the circumstances around it. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.) said he entered skeptical about international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, and found his view reinforced. "I'm deeply concerned with what I'm hearing," said Boyle, a freshman member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
March 2, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. Cory Booker has found a signature issue. The New Jersey Democrat has become one of the most vocal and visible advocates for reforming the way the criminal justice system hands out sentences and treats people after they leave prison. After keeping a low profile early in his Senate tenure, Booker has added his voice to a sprawling coalition that includes would-be presidential candidates on the right such as Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas); two of the most senior liberal voices, Sens.
February 20, 2015 |
Bibi Netanyahu wants to make sure President Obama doesn't ink a nuclear deal with Tehran. Any nuclear deal. In an effort to prevent such a deal, the Israeli prime minister (known at home as "Bibi," not Benjamin) has used unprecedented means to do an end run around the White House. His ambassador to Washington (and right-hand man), Ron Dermer, schemed with Republican House Speaker John Boehner to have Netanyahu address a joint session of Congress - on March 3 - without first informing the White House.
February 8, 2015 |
When it comes to Philadanco, the award-winning dance company she created back in 1970, Joan Myers Brown is all focus. Fervor for the company, she acknowledges, has been second only to her delight in family. "My home, well, it's a good place to kick off my shoes and relax. But it's nothing fancy. " What her University City home is, however, is a warm and welcoming place that has brought Brown back from her years of rearing children in the suburbs to a more urban existence.
January 22, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama and Vice President Biden are expected in Philadelphia next week, where they are scheduled to speak at the House Democrats' policy retreat in Society Hill. The two-day gathering will bring the entire caucus to the city for two days of huddling about their strategy for the next two years. Obama will speak next Thursday and Biden the following day, the White House said. Politico first reported their plans. Local congressmen hope the event will also give them a chance to show off the city as Philadelphia pushes to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
January 22, 2015 |
Privacy advocates say they welcome the Obama administration's renewed emphasis on enhancing data security and protecting identity-theft victims, consumers who shop online, and children whose schools sell their personal information. But they are worried by details emerging from the White House - especially by drafts of a proposed federal data-breach law that would preempt stronger state laws. Breach disclosures mandated by states such as California are a main reason why Americans know about major data-security lapses in the first place.