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DC CTO Vivek Kundra Named To Top Federal IT Job

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the man-with-the-plan dept.

United States 105

DCTechCzar writes "The Obama administration plans to announce it has appointed Vivek Kundra, the District of Columbia's chief technology officer, to take the top information technology post in the federal government, according to a source. Kundra, who has deployed advanced applications to improve the performance of public services during his nearly two years as CTO for the District, will replace Karen Evans as administrator for e-government and information technology in the Office of Management and Budget. The position effectively serves as the federal government's chief information officer. The administration could announce Kundra's appointment as soon as Thursday."

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105 comments

Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735801)

Interesting that they're trying to open up the government more via the internet, however does he have any plans to do anything else?

It aint open (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735863)

They can only open government so much, as long as they keep a small cabal of leaders (i.e., President, Senate, House) in control of everything. Until we have true open source governance [metagovernment.org] , we sould not consider government to be really open. No matter how many pretty websites they throw at us.

Re:It aint open (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735977)

I don't know. The majority of people are stupid. Do you really want them in charge?

Re:It aint open (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737307)

The majority of people are stupid. Do you really want them in charge?

They are. They vote.

Re:It aint open (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740177)

I see what you're saying there. But as a counterpoint, they don't really set legislation do they? Voters have a once-every-few-years opportunity to voice their opinion. That's not a lot of scope for molding the direction of government.

Re:It aint open (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26743705)

Yeah...they vote. They vote for tweedle dee or tweedle dum. Give me a break. The fact that 90 percent are idiots are why we suffer under the two mafia system. They can't conceive of voting for anyone who is not part of one of the two parties. Thus they get a choice between the nut cases from the left or the nut cases from the right. Less and less moderates every day in government and more and more extremists.

Re:It aint open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744163)

Got a better idea? Are you advocating totalitarianism?

Which is better: rule by a big bunch of idiots or rule by a single, power-hungry, corrupt idiot?

Suggest you read the link above to "open source governance." Especially if you want to see a reduction in the fringe.

Re:It aint open (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26742947)

Treat the people like morons, and surprise: they act like morons.

Treat the people with respect and gradually [metagovernment.org] let them work into a position of responsibility, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the "wisdom of crowds [wikipedia.org] ."

Or do you really think that handful of corrupt politicians in charge of each government are really better than an open, carefully thought out, modern governance structure?

Re:It aint open (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744931)

If everyone has equal say, you get majority rule. People in large numbers are basically selfish or emotionally distanced from others anyway. Your average guy on the street finds it very hard to put himself in someone else's shows. So, you're going to be screwed if you find yourself in the minority in some debate where there is a polarisation between disparate interests. The outcome might not necessarily be the just or morally correct option.

Think about two groups pulling in opposite directions where there is clear line of divide across groups of age, race, sex, religion, disability, class, wealth, sexual orientation, polical views age and so on. I'm sure you can think of lots of examples where the will of the masses would infringe upon the rights of the individuals in the minority.

Think about your own life if you must. Is there any cause, interest, past-time or behaviour that is part of your life that would be squashed by this new consensus-state, just becuase it's different from what the masses see as right? You better hope the majority is as tolerant as you are in this new world order. Wisdom of the crowds indeed...

Re:It aint open (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745531)

Majority rule is not a necessary corollary of open governance. Especially if there are too many issues for everyone to participate in every decision. Please see the source site [metagovernment.org] .

Re:It aint open (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736085)

You do realize that the United States Government wasn't set up as a pure democracy, right? It was purposefully structured with a layer of abstraction specifically to keep the ignorant masses from having a direct say. The founding fathers were well aware of what they were doing.

Re:It aint open (2, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737167)

too bad this was subverted by direct election of senators and the rise to power of the opinion poll and focus group

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735887)

Yup, he's like all CTO's...

Takes credit for what his people did.

"He deployed" my ass he deployed. He did not do shit other than approve the research and work his people did.

He sat on his ass and took the credit, I did not see him pulling any cable, setting up the servers and working on the application deployment.

Posting Anon to keep from getting fired. A DC IT worker.

i grew up in DC (3, Informative)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738777)

hooray for me. however, it did give me the opportunity to see just how bassackwards DC is w.r.t. IT. They got federal money to improve IT in schools, so they spent much of it on a contractor to "study" the current state of IT in the schools. (Hint: 8086 PC XTs and PC Jrs if anything) It was a complete boondoggle.

And the leader of this farcical group is now one of our nation's fearless leaders. fandamntastic.

Re:i grew up in DC (2, Interesting)

insomniac8400 (590226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738999)

Still better than the CTO of cisco.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (5, Interesting)

borroff (267566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739737)

In a previous Slashdot posting, some DC residents commented that he was the real deal. He knows his stuff, and gets things done.

http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1097003&cid=26519833 [slashdot.org]

There's also a Washington Post article about Kundra linked to in the comments:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/04/AR2009010401235.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26747693)

Did you really think anyone was stupid enough to believe he went and plugged in all the cables by himself? and would you really want your CTO to spend his time doing that instead of organizing the project like he is supposed to be doing?

But congrats on posting the silliest complaint i have heard all week.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735925)

Well, I know this: the odds are pretty good that he cheated on his taxes.

Captcha: withdrew. How appropriate.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736039)

You must be a business person. The odds are that he did NOT cheat. Several reasons;
  1. After Richardson and Geither were caught with pant's down, Obama's ppl started hard core vetting EVERYONE. The other 2 were suggested before either Richardson or Geither debacles.
  2. Statistical average.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

Ark Ku Mon (1469567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736221)

1. After Richardson and Geither were caught with pant's down, Obama's ppl started hard core vetting EVERYONE. The other 2 were suggested before either Richardson or Geither debacles.

You said this before but it's false. See recent and speedy withdrawal of the appointment of Tom Daschle for not paying all of his taxes. That was only last week.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736259)

Don't forget about Hillary Clinton. The Clinton's might be "Untouchables" from an investigative standpoint, but that doesn't mean they didn't cheat on their taxes when they wrote off Whitewater as a huge capital loss.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736303)

Daschle was not appointed last week. Obama picked him in Dec. That would be BEFORE Geither's and richardson's debacle.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (2, Informative)

Ark Ku Mon (1469567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736417)

Daschle was not appointed last week.

Well of course not as his official nomination was only submitted to the Senate back on the 20th of January, but that was not what I was talking about when I said "last week".

Obama picked him in Dec. That would be BEFORE Geither's and richardson's debacle.

And his tax scandal just came out 6 days ago on the 30th of last month which would be LAST WEEK just as I said... I know you think you got some big gotcha on me, but you really didn't.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736705)

You're missing the point. Possibly on purpose. You're counter-arguments are invalid, they don't even apply to what he was saying. Read it again, he says Daschle was "nominated" in DEC before they really started scrutinizing people. As in Obama wanted Daschle before they found out other picks had tax issues and started checking on that.

Geither's deal was found out about on Jan 13. That Daschle's was nominated within a week of that leads me to suspect they didn't have time to find out right away about his issues, but when they DID they dropped him as a potential. So what is the problem?

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736483)

Why is it so hard to find Democrat appointees who pay their taxes? Didn't Joe Biden say that paying taxes was a form of patriotism?

I think the problem is that anyone who rises to national prominence in politics is very wealthy, and therefore has the means to hire tax attorneys to avail themselves of loopholes that they deliberately left for the wealthy in the 18,000-page tax code. Only a tax attorney could wade through that giant turd of a document without their head exploding. So when Congress douches speak of raising taxes on the wealthy, really they mean raising taxes on the upper-middle and middle-class, because everyone who can afford to do so has stashed their money in all sorts of tax havens not available to the common man (overseas accounts, personal charities (see Clinton Foundation), etc.)

The real problem (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738629)

is that Taxes are un-real. We need to move to a simplified system. I would love to see us change to a flat or even progressive tax with NO tax breaks. NADA. THe only items that should be changed would be when the tax kicks in, and what percentage.

Kiri-kin-tha's First Law of Metaphysics (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738787)

Nothing unreal exists.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746517)

Why is it so hard to find Democrat appointees who pay their taxes? Didn't Joe Biden say that paying taxes was a form of patriotism?

No, he said that paying your taxes is a form of patriotism if you're one of the little people who isn't on welfare.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736339)

Yep they've done some bangup "hardcore" vetting.

On January 30, 2009, it was reported that Daschle's friendship and business partnership with businessman Leo Hindery could cause problems for Daschle's Senate confirmation. Daschle has been a paid consultant and advisor to Hindery's InterMedia Partners since 2005, during which time he received from Hindery access to a limousine and chauffeur. Daschle reportedly did not declare this service on his annual tax forms as required by law.

Daschle reportedly also did not pay taxes on an additional $83,333 that he earned as a consultant to InterMedia Partners in 2007; this was discovered by Senator Daschle's accountant in December 2008. According to ABC News, Daschle took tax deductions for $14,963 in charitable donations that he made between 2005 and 2007, even though the organizations that received the donations did not meet the requirements for being tax deductible.

The former Senator paid the three years of owed taxes and interest -- an amount totaling $140,167 -- in January 2009. He still reportedly owes "Medicare taxes equal to 2.9 percent" of the value of the car service he received, amounting to "thousands of dollars in additional unpaid taxes".

If that's what happens with a "hardcore" vetting process, I'd hate to see who'd they nominate if they were going at it willy nilly.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746531)

If that's what happens with a "hardcore" vetting process, I'd hate to see who'd they nominate if they were going at it willy nilly.

They'd nominate Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson, Usama Bin Laden, and Michael Vick.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (4, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735981)

Well, just playing the law of averages.. I'd be willing to guess this guy has some unpaid taxes!

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736087)

You realize that half of the people in the Senate are in the same boat, right? That the reason everyone in the Senate was so grateful to Daschle for pulling out is because he spared them the debacle of having their tax errors made public? And that the reason so many Obama appointments are seeing tax scandals is probably that a Republican in the IRS is leaking information about their taxes and the paper it's being leaked to is giving the Administration time to come clean?

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737427)

I thought it was an obvious joke.. no need to get bent out of shape. Of COURSE it's a Republican conspiracy.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0, Offtopic)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26743805)

Hell yeah...it's W's fault! We know he's the reason none of these poor Democrats can pay their taxes. I mean...Daschle was only making a paltry 2 million or so a year!!! How's a poor working class stiff supposed to pay those high taxes on such a measly salary?

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (2, Informative)

GovTechGuy (1267056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738341)

Try this link [nextgov.com] for more information.

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739289)

Thanks! That helps a lot

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26741819)

There was a pretty informative article on the Economist about his work at DC last year:
http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10638083

Re:Anyone know more info about this guy (1)

pagedarby (1470439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745955)

Yes, the city of dc did a lot to democratize data for citizens while Kundra was CTO. It was part of their Capstat project. You can see some of DC's data as part of that project here: http://www.tableausoftware.com/blog/Vivek-kundra-dc-cto-take-obama-CTO-post [tableausoftware.com]

So any guesses... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735803)

As to how many thousands of unpaid back taxes this appointment has?

Re:So any guesses... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735899)

Absolutely NONE. You can bet on it that after Geither showed up with issues that ALL APPOINTMENTS after that were VETTED HARD.

Re:So any guesses... (1)

Ark Ku Mon (1469567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735989)

You mean like Tom Daschle?

Re:So any guesses... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736347)

Re:So any guesses... (1)

Ark Ku Mon (1469567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736605)

But his nomination was submitted to the Senate on the 20th of last month which was AFTER both of those nominees had their scandals come up. Don't you think they would have been smart enough to do some double checking after that point so as to avoid another huge embarrassment? It would seem that if two tax cheats make it through the original vetting process, that I'd be mulling back over the ones I'm about to send out no matter how well I thought they were the first time around.

Re:So any guesses... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737711)

No. He was sent to the senate on Dec 11th. More importantly, I doubt that he realized that the driver would be an issue.

Re:So any guesses... (1)

Ark Ku Mon (1469567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738817)

No. He was sent to the senate on Dec 11th.

No, it wasn't. December 11th was when Obama announced that he would be nominating Daschle, that wasn't when the nomination was submitted. It was submitted on the 20th of January and the official records back me up. From: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/nomis.html [loc.gov]

Nomination: PN64-03-111 Date Received: January 20, 2009 (111st Congress) Nominee: Thomas Andrew Daschle, of South Dakota, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Referred to: Senate Finance Legislative Actions Committee Action: January 08, 2009 - Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Hearings held prior to introduction and/or referral. Floor Action: January 20, 2009 - Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance. Organization: Department of Health and Human Services Control Number: 111PN0006403

Make sure to read the bolded sections.

Re:So any guesses... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26742183)

You need to realize that the Vetting process started way before his nomination was received in the Senate.
Also, if Tom Dashel didn't tell anyone, how would they know?

not just a driver issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738873)

No. He was sent to the senate on Dec 11th. More importantly, I doubt that he realized that the driver would be an issue.

Well, his laundry list seemed a bit longer than a "driver" issue...

It was also revealed that he earned about $200K from speaking fees and consulting services from companies that HHS would likely negociate and regulate: America's Health Insurance Plans, CSL Behring, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Principal Life Insurance Co, among others.

I don't think it was just the "driver" issue that did him in, although it must be nice to be able to rack up $250K in charges over 3 year for a driver service to be at your beckon call (paid for personally by one Leo Hindery, democratic bigwig and founder of a private equity firm InterMedia Advisors a company where Daschle earned $1M/year in consulting fees). In addition to the driver issue, apparently he also forgot one month's payment of $83K from IMA and didn't pay taxes on that either.

Basically, he'd have to read the paperwork every month and noticed that $83K was missing but not notice the car service fees, or not read the paperwork and paid tax on the $1M of income based on the year end summary and claim that he didn't know the car service needed to be considered as income. Basically, what he did was show that he was trying to finesse it based on fancy interpretation of the paperwork and he got caught. Too bad he has to go back to his $1M/year consulting job.

this is the guy with a psych degree? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735827)

Is qualification optional for chief * officer jobs these days?

Welcome to Niggerbuntu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735831)

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should "Just Work", even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. The OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD. It also features the packaging manager apeghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom to run, copy, steal, distribute, share, change the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer!

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world. The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way: "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that others species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie." We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

H1-B? (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735835)

Seems there's no job that can't be outsourced these days!

I wonder if that's the right message (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735879)

After all, the H1B are (allegedly) to import knowledge and skill that is not available locally. Is this to say that the US can't even make their own decisions anymore without foreign help?

Re:I wonder if that's the right message (3, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735921)

The man moved here when he was 11. He IS an American by upbringing. And watching my wife (a first generation American of Indian descent) it is obvious that they try hard to assimilate here while at home being a bit more Indian.

Re:I wonder if that's the right message (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735935)

The guy came to US at the age of 11. Is it so hard to be called an American these days?

Re:I wonder if that's the right message (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736001)

That fucking curry-slurper is no American. 50 years ago we'd have him upside with a fucking fork up his ass!

Re:I wonder if that's the right message (1)

zombie_monkey (1036404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736257)

I'm confused, shouldn't the GP post be the one modded troll?

Re:H1-B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739961)

Slashdot is full of Xenophobic ignorant foolish trolls, and you Sir, are a perfect example.

Re:H1-B? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740649)

And yet there still seems to be room for pompous, humourless prigs. Go figure.

Re:H1-B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26743119)

I assume you are referring to yourself?

Please dig up some facts about this fella (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735909)

I know he's a very accomplished person, but would like to know whether the new appointee is friendly to Open Source Software and Linux in particular. I am optimistic though because he's been "more open" as compared to the typical government official.

Now get us the facts about this man.

Re:Please dig up some facts about this fella (2, Informative)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736419)

He's responsible for for shifting D.C. gov to use cloud computing. (Google Apps for instance)

I think it will be safe to say (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736545)

that this nominee paid his taxes on time.

Still, if you want, you can research through most papers using their online facilities.

for the most part he walked into a mess at the DC school system back in 2007 and worked to upgrade them to something respectable. That and investigating people using government systems to surf porn. Apparently before him most of the record keeping was still in paper form.

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=vivek+kundra&hl=en&um=1&sa=N&sugg=d&as_user_ldate=2008&as_user_hdate=2009&lnav=h0&ldrange=2003,2006 [google.com]

Re:Please dig up some facts about this fella (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736765)

DC is a poorly run place, but their web presence has been undergoing a quiet but noticeable change over the last few years. Tickets paid online and other simple things like that, but they also now have GPS tracking of snow plows plotted on a map during storms so you can tell how bad things are on your commute, and they have a pretty good crime map on the DC PD site. The web presence has definitely improved over say 5 years ago when it was basically nothing more than PDFs of government documents.

Re:Please dig up some facts about this fella (1)

GrigorPDX (513102) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740129)

I saw him deliver a keynote address at the Government Open Source Conference in October: http://goscon.org/node/150 [goscon.org]

He and his counterpart across the river in Virginia, Aneesh Chopra, are both very open source friendly. Both of them spoke at the conference advocating for open source and open standards, arguing that our government should be as open and transparent as possible.

Success! (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735969)

Since DC is running so efficiently now I can't wait for this guy to bring his success to the rest of the nation! Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough...

But what about... (1)

Stachybotris (936861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735991)

Almalexia and Sotha Sil? Don't they get positions too?

Re:But what about... (1)

visible.frylock (965768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740117)

Heretic!

The true Divines are Tiber Septim, Boethia, and Mara!

But seriously, I thought the corprus religions in the caves were the single most badass thing about that game. Well, that and being a legally sanctioned hitman.

Thats my boss! (2, Interesting)

thisisnotdave (820847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736167)

Well, I only started here (Office of the CTO) a few days ago, but around here he's very highly regarded and seen as man of vision. Either way congratulations to Vivek and I hope his replacement will be equally qualified.

Re:Thats my boss! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26742229)

If by 'vision' you mean jumps on the latest gimmick.

Piece of advice: Watch your ass and have an exit strategy.

I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (4, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736189)

Our non-American friends need to know that as far as cities go, Washington D.C., as a city, is probably the -worst- run city in the USA. Because it is the capitol, not only are they subject to their own local authority, but they are also subject to the whims of the US Congress. The existence of the whole thing is a joke because when the country was founded, the states squabbled even over who would have the honor of the national capitol, such that, eventually a few states kicked in a tiny plot of land, formed the "District of Columbia", and thus, the capitol is its own little piece of land under direct federal jurisdiction, whose habitants actually have no constitutional rights. Since that time, there's been a lot of talk about moving the capitol, or making DC a state, or doing something with it. But right now, we have a total screwed up mess of a city that has really no industry besides government, and the result is that, outside the museums, and government offices, the place is pretty much a big stinking ghetto whose most famous mayor was busted for smoking crack.

From this, comes our national CIO.

I'm like, not jumping for joy.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736391)

I happen to live in DC and have done consulting with Mr. Kundra. While you are correct that we have no real rights, DC has one of the highest standards of living. The city is divided into 4 quadrants and 2 of them are incredibly rich, one is lower and middle class, and yes, one is ghetto.

You are also incorrect that DC is made of several states. Originally, Maryland and Virginia gave land, but the current city is entirely from Maryland land. As such, becoming part of Maryland or at least being attached somehow to Maryland and its laws has been proposed before as alternatives to statehood.

Instead of slamming a city you know nothing about, you should criticize the man himself. Having worked with him, I can tell you he creates a culture of fear in his office. None of his clients or employees I have met seem to enjoy him. He also is quite ignorant of IT and DC IT for important services is next to useless. The whole google apps thing is more or less a joke here and not useful in any meaningful way. Instead of focusing on critical services, this man has forced the adoption of gimmicks for the sake of things that "look cool."

As for people who think this man supports open source, I am sure he does, but know that he also supports Microsoft as well. I happen to be involved with several Microsoft projects with DC and I know a great deal of their systems are MS, so the whole open source thing is just fluff PR.

Our government here is run so poorly and Vivek is just another part of the problem. He should be working as a junior programmer or help desk at best and not as a CIO/CTO. The man has no charisma whatsoever and is no way qualified to the country. Certainly the scope of DC government far dwarfs many major cities as well and does not translate on the national level. Shame on Obama for such an ill advised appointment. I suppose I should take solace in the fact that like all Vivek's positions and experience, it is meaningless cruft and he can't do any real damage because no one likes him.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (1)

richsc (255920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747563)

Not entirely Maryland land: the boundaries which anyone can see are a square encompassing originally Arlington and Alexandria. You can still see the boundary markers in Alexandria near the train station.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738907)

>or making DC a state

Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators. Why should I have two senators split between 12 million people and they get two senators for so few? This leads to an unequal situation in the senate.

Just make it part of Virginia and call it a day, but its so poor and crime ridden, no one wants it.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (3, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739633)

There's this thing called the House of Representatives, you may want to look into it for your representation based on population needs.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739703)

>or making DC a state

Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators. Why should I have two senators split between 12 million people and they get two senators for so few? This leads to an unequal situation in the senate.

Just make it part of Virginia and call it a day, but its so poor and crime ridden, no one wants it.

God bless our insightful forefathers that made sure places like Wyoming would always have as many senators as everybody else.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739825)

It should go back to Maryland, not Virginia. Virginia already got their slice of the District back when the federal government decided they didn't need it.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (1)

JohnnyKrisma (593145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740281)

why should "you" have 2 Senators and someone in the District gets none? DC's population is actually higher than Wyoming's and didn't our last VP come from there? Ummm, well now that you mention it, I've changed my mind...

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26740337)

You obviously have no comprehension of our system of checks and balances. The senate was designed to give equal representation weight amongst all states while the house gives representation proportionate to their population.

Taxation without representation is the issue that led to our independence. Our nation's capital deserves some sort of voting representation.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744787)

Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators.

If there wasn't a bicameral Congress, or an electoral college, then, there would be no small states in the United States. The USA would basically look like New York, PA, Ohio, California, and Florida, populated but lacking farmland or natural resources and as a consequence, national wealth. In particular, until you build a lot of windmills, I wouldn't be ripping Wyoming too much, as, the vast majority of coal for American power plants comes from there.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739525)

Actually, Adrian Fenty has been doing a good job in DC. The responsibility for DC being a sh*thole rests almost entirely on that famous crack-smoking mayor and the horde of useless people hired by him. This actually makes me a little sad, since I'd hoped that Fenty would be able to hang on to good people for longer.

Re:I'd think "D.C." alone is a title of doom. (3, Informative)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740367)

whose most famous mayor was busted for smoking crack.

And, once he got out of jail, was promptly re-elected. Smoking crack is one thing, and can be attributed to a specific person or small group, but then you have a majority vote to put this person back in office; this is much more telling of the state of D.C.

I've not been to D.C., but I hear all the horror stories, and I hope that if I ever do have to go there it's as an elected official so I can avoid driving myself around. It mixes the country's elite with tons of urban poor, both fighting within the city for their own views. That, and it houses the majority of lobbyists in the country.

That said, I won't apply the nastiness of D.C. to one guy I know nothing about. He may well be a proper individual for the job, and highly accomplished in his previous one.

Even crap has peanuts in it sometimes.

All I can say is... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736199)

For Obama's sake, this guy better be squeaky clean. God help Obama if Kundra has tax issues with the IRS. Obama has already had 3 appointees shot down over this, and Geithner is under attack by critics for the same issues. The last thing he needs is a fourth confirmed kill (technically a fifth confirmed kill if you consider his decision to drop his original candidate for the CIA chief over some comments vaguely in favor of torture in limited circumstances).

Re:All I can say is... (0, Flamebait)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736515)

God help us if the minority party in the Senate can not stop preoccupying themselves with focusing on things that have nothing to do with the appointees' ability to do their jobs. The entire Senate, for that matter, should just shut the fuck up about unpaid taxes until every last one of them has proven that they are as squeaky-clean as they'd like everyone else to be.

Re:All I can say is... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26742145)

well, if Obama doesn't know about the issues, I can't see how he is at fault.
Ass one who has an IRS issue in my past, I do give annyone the benefit of the doubt. My problem was complatly my responsibility, and completly accidental.
  I paid up and it was over. I fail to see why a mistake that was immediatly rectified matters.
Sure, if it was hiding donations or accepting gift repeatedly. But one time?
And it's till not the presidents fault if he wasn't told....no matter who is the president.

They're going to announce it! (2, Funny)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736437)

The administration could announce Kundra's appointment as soon as Thursday.

I'd better get ready to find out then!

Morrowind? (2, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736733)

Anyone else have a Morrowind flashback or 2?

Naming a god to the post of IT advisor is certainly a newsworthy move, at any rate. (For the unintiated, Vivek is a god in the Elder Scrolls universe, as well as a city that was named after him.)

Re:Morrowind? (1)

v1k (958019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738271)

Vivek means "discerning, discriminating", especially with wisdom and intelligence, in Sanskrit.

not US Government CTO (2, Informative)

rakerman (409507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736801)

The headline says "Top Federal IT Job", but won't that be the new CTO position? Kundra's (reportedly) being named as Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and information technology, not Chief Technology Officer.

Re:not US Government CTO (1)

GovTechGuy (1267056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738273)

Actually, the article points out that CTO seems to be less important than it was originally thought, which is why Kundra likely preferred to be at OMB, where he will oversee all federal IT projects.

maR+e (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736827)

GNNA and support 'Yes' to any the 'community' guest and never get

Indian CTO? (-1, Troll)

xot (663131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737337)

Hmm... I wonder if he's on a H1-B visa? lol

Re:Indian CTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738239)

stfu you racist cunt

Re:Indian CTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739207)

I don't know why a prejudiced comment such as this is being modded as "interesting." It's quite ignorant. Then again after seeing how Obama not participating in tit-for-tat arms race in space is seen as childish, it looks as though Slashdot has been overwhelmed with Republicans.

Re:Indian CTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26739773)

And I wonder if you are a total retard?

Great article about Kundra's work in DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26737829)

http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20081126_1117.php

New technology ain't the problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738405)

... so linux/Open Source/etc., ain't the solution.

The problem is huge, old, creaky applications processing millions of paychecks, bills, shipments, etc. day-in, day out. Written in languages no longer taught and with inner workings understood only by an already old workforce.

FBI, SSA, OPM, IRS are examples of where these truly nasty problems exist, dropping the latest buzzwords on them ain't no kind of solution, folks.

Vivek's work is great, very useful (1)

cnewmark (45916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26739273)

I saw this guy's work regarding customer service for local government, he's doing a great job.

It would be cool to find a way for slashdotters to help reproduce this, everywhere.

His name is Vivek (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26740933)

He will do just fine :)

Re:His name is Vivek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26742859)

Now everyone here on /. will pretend to not understand and you will promptly get modded down to -5 Offtopic - thus disproving the point you were trying to make, making you wish your name was Irony.

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