Monthly Archives: March 2009

Delivering On National Service Promise

March 31st, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

Big news out of Congress today:

Tens of thousands of Americans, from teenagers to baby boomers, soon will get a fresh chance to lend a helping hand in a time of need.

The House voted 275-149 Tuesday for a $5.7 billion bill that triples positions in the Clinton-era AmeriCorps program, its largest expansion since the agency’s creation in 1993, and establishes a fund to help nonprofit organizations recruit and manage more volunteers.

Congress was sending the bill to President Barack Obama, who often cites his years as a Chicago community organizer for giving him his political start. Obama has made national service programs a high priority. His budget proposal calls for more than $1.1 billion for the programs, an increase of more than $210 million.

The president, who began an eight-day European trip Tuesday, plans to sign the measure when he returns to Washington.

“I call on all Americans to stand up and do what they can to serve their communities, shape our history and enrich both their own lives and the lives of others across this country,” Obama said in a statement.

With the nation plunging deeper into a recession, Obama and backers of the effort see it as a way to channel a rising desire among Americans to help their neighbors.

“History has … shown that in time of crisis, Americans turn to service and volunteering for healing, for rebuilding and for hope. The spirit of generosity in the American people is one of the greatest assets of our nation,” Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said during debate on the bill.


VIDEO – Rep. George Miller (D-CA) discussing this legislation:

Pink Suede Shoes

March 31st, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

My sister, Carolyn Slutsky’s piece in The Morning News. Enjoy!


Sometimes it takes the right pair of shoes to kick you over the edge into adulthood. For writer CAROLYN SLUTSKY, it’s other people’s shoes that do the kicking.

It was the perfect ad for me, and when I checked the address I found it was just around the corner from my apartment: “Free Women’s Shoes, Size 10.” I felt my pulse quicken. My aimless, 4 a.m.-trolling of the ads on Craigslist, that cesspool-cum-treasure-trove, had finally turned up something useful amidst the ridiculous (“YOU HAVE A DATE WITH DESTINY! Too bad Destiny’s such a lousy kisser”), the futile (“Free Sawdust—On the Curb”), and the unfortunately spelled (“dinning table set and ottoman—$150”).

Had someone already snapped them up? Was the ad just a front to lure me into someone’s clutches? I shot an email into the dark and fell into a deep sleep.

When it comes to footwear, I always hear my mother’s plaints about the dearth of large shoes and her admonishment to pounce on any pair of size 10’s I see, regardless of style, color, or utility. A lesson hard-won from a woman with size 11-wide feet and I have not ignored it.

In addition to large sizes, my mother always pushed comfort over style. Even into my twenties I owned only clunky, durable shoes, with flat bottoms and traction, always traction. I justified this fashion-backward policy more strongly when I became a journalist, telling myself I couldn’t run around the city in much short of sneakers. I could never imagine buying girly gold sandals to match a dress, or the frivolous heels I saw women teeter on around Manhattan. When I saw those girls with their impossibly tall shoes I felt contempt. Contempt, but always with an underlying tinge of envy, of covetousness.

My Craigslist find was not my first foray into the world of free, used footwear. Years ago in graduate school, poor and not particularly caring what my feet looked like, I’d scoured the DSW store in Union Square searching for black snow boots. I turned up one pair in the elusive size 10, but when I brought them up to the register, the cashier informed me that the store did not sell this shoe.

“Well, I got them over there,” I said, pointing to the haphazard stacks.

“It’s not in the computer,” she said, moving to throw them in the trash behind the counter. Someone, I realized, had switched their old shoes for whatever new pair was supposed to reside in that box.

Read the rest of this entry »

The White House Live Stream

March 30th, 2009 by Joshua Skaroff

The White House Live Stream

MSNBC – March 30, 2009

March 30th, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

As promised, here is the video from my MSNBC appearance early this afternoon. I’m debating Amanda Carpenter on the Employee Free Choice.

(P.S. I’m getting over a bad cold – hence the scratchy voice and the pale looking face. If you click on “HQ” at the bottom of the video, you can see the spot a little clearer.)

Peter On Your TV

March 30th, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

If you’re near a television at 12:30pm EST today, make sure you tune that dial to MSNBC and watch me debate on the Employee Free Choice Act. I’ll post the clip later today or tomorrow, in case you miss it.

Obama’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting

March 26th, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

The White House is Open For Questions.

I just got done watching President Obama’s first Online Town Hall Meeting and I have to say…I’m impressed!

The format worked well, the technology held up and the forum was a huge success. I cannot say enough about how impressed I am with the White House new media team. They are changing the way the American people communicate with the POTUS and I can’t wait to see what’s next in terms of the new media and communication that will come out of the White House.

UPDATE (video):

Car Talk, The Video…

March 23rd, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

Okay, I had to do it…

Check out this video mash-up of my segment with Click & Clack on NPR’s Car Talk this past weekend.

“At a private risotto dinner last night with gay leaders…

March 23rd, 2009 by Joshua Skaroff

“At a private risotto dinner last night with gay leaders and elected officials at Gramercy Tavern last night, Sen. Chuck Schumer reversed himself on the issue of same-sex marriage, saying he not only now supports it but also backs a full reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Schumer’s office confirmed the meeting and also the senior senator’s change of heart, issuing the following statement from the Brooklyn Democrat (who is traveling upstate today):

“It’s time. Equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America and no group should be deprived of it. New York, which has always been at the forefront on issues of equality, is appropriately poised to take a lead on this issue.”

via The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

My Moment In The Sun: NPR’S Car Talk

March 23rd, 2009 by Peter Slutsky

Car Talk

This weekend was a real thrill – I fulfilled one of my life-long dreams and appeared on NPR’s Car Talk with Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. For those of you who know me, you may be scratching your heads wondering why I was on a radio call-in show about cars when I don’t actually own a car. Well, you’ll have to listen to the clip to get the full story. You can listen here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To hear the show via the Car Talk website, click here.

The debate about my question rages on in the Car Talk message boards. You can weigh in with your opinion here or in the comment section below on DoubleSpeak.

“On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable…”

March 20th, 2009 by Joshua Skaroff

On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn’t like them) but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.

In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden -