Monday Afternoon Federal Newscast

How did they do it? And, more importantly, what other security issues exist at the White House? Those are just two of the questions being posed by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) in the wake of a couple ‘crashing’ the State Dinner on Nov. 24. The Congressman plans to hold a Full Committee Hearing on Dec. 3 to examine deficiencies in security planning leading up to the Dinner, actions taken to correct the vulnerabilities and identify any violations of Secret Service policy or management failures at the agency.

The Office of Management and Budget wants to know how your agency is meeting its green purchasing, recycling and chemical management goals. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive want information for fiscal 2009 to update the OMB Scorecard on Environmental Stewardship. OMB wants agencies to input the data into the MAX Federal Community online system by Jan. 15.

President Barack Obama has begun one of the toughest sales jobs of his presidency, launching the much-awaited rollout of his new Afghan war strategy by informing top military and civilian advisers in Washington and Kabul and telephoning key allies around the globe. Mr. Obama is outlining his decision to an increasingly skeptical U.S. public on Tuesday night in a nationally broadcast address from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. The strategy will include deploying thousands more American forces to Afghanistan, clarifying why the U.S. is fighting the war and laying out a path toward disengagement. The president plans to speak with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari before his speech, most likely Monday night.

The White House is open for Christmas. A day after celebrating Thanksgiving, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha received the official White House Christmas tree: an 18 1/2-foot Douglas fir delivered from a farm in Shepherdstown, W.Va., by traditional horse-drawn carriage. Growers Eric and Gloria Sundback officially presented the tree to the Obamas on Friday. It’s the fourth time one of their trees has become the official White House tree.