Job opening at White House
Political advisers, chiefs of staff, press secretaries and national security advisers have come and gone in the nearly six years Barack Obama has been president. Now, Obama’s personal chef is waving goodbye.
Sam Kass has been a fixture at the executive mansion, serving up nutrition policy alongside meals for Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. He was not only their personal chef but senior adviser for nutrition policy, giving him a seat at the table where administration officials hashed out everything from updated food labels to new requirements for healthier school lunches.
Kass, a newlywed, is leaving the White House at the end of the week. “I’m going to be with my wife,” he said.
“Once you’re married you kind of need to be together.”
DeGeneres on the move again
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, known for her love of fixing up and selling houses, has listed her adjacent units in a Westwood condo building for close to $16 million.
She bought the two Wilshire Corridor units for about that amount in July after selling her primary residence on the Westside to Napster co-founder Sean Parker for $55 million.
The smaller of the two condos, which are for sale separately or as a pair, has an elevator opening directly to the unit.
Together the units take up an entire floor with vistas taking in the cityscape and nearby golf course.
Egypt joins ‘Exodus’ ban
“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the $140 million Hollywood film about the biblical escape of the Jews from Egypt, will not be shown there because it asserts historical falsehoods and spreads a “Zionist view,” the Egyptian culture minister was quoted as saying on Friday.
If confirmed, a ban in Egypt would make it the second Arab country this week to disallow the film, after a reported decision by Morocco to bar its distribution in theaters on Christmas just as “Exodus” was about to premiere.
Egypt’s culture minister, Gaber Asfour, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying “Exodus” was offensive because of what he called its false portrayal of Moses, and of the Jews as the builders of Egypt’s pyramids.
President mixes it up
Before he whipped the White House press corps and its Twitter followers into a lather by only taking questions from female journalists, President Obama was doing his part to bust gender barriers for a distinctly younger set.
In a video making the rounds this week, the president joins first lady Michelle Obama to present gifts to the Marine’s Toys for Tots program at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. When it’s time to sort the toys into “boy” boxes and “girl” boxes, President Obama goes against the grain.
“You know what? I just want to make sure some girls play some ball,” he says as he places a basketball in the girls bin.
A few moments later, “T-ball? Girls like T-ball.” And into the girls bin goes the Little Tikes set.
— From News wire services