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White House Watch: February 8, 2009 - February 14, 2009

Next Stop: Help With Housing

I'm taking President's Day off. Posting will resume Tuesday morning. Remember what started this whole mess in the first place? Even as President Obama' s massive stimulus bill faces its final test in Congress today, the White House is looking...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Truth Commission Watch

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy writes on Huffingtonpost.com: "We have just emerged from a time when White House officials often acted as if they were above the law. That was wrong and must be fully exposed so it never...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Chris Soghoian writes for CNET that President Obama's vaunted BlackBerry could conceivably let enemies track the president's real-time physical location. Robert Burns writes for the Associated Press: "President Barack Obama's go-slow approach to missile defenses in Europe is stirring speculation...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Irreconcilable Differences

In happier times: Obama introduces Gregg as commerce secretary nominee on Feb. 3. (AP) The voters sent President Obama to Washington with a mandate to change the way this town works. But yesterday's decision by GOP Sen. Judd Gregg to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Axelrod Bristles at Bushies' Criticism

Youch! Here's a clip from Washington Post reporter Lois Romano's interview with senior White House adviser David Axelrod, who takes issue with former vice president Cheney's assertion that President Obama's policies are putting the nation at increased risk of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Bush Rollback  
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles, Dan Wasserman, John Sherffius, and Rob Rogers on bipartisanship, Jimmy Margulies on the daily embarrassment....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 13, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Victory

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announcing the agreement on the stimulus package yesterday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Obama is getting a stimulus bill that's more or less what he wanted, right when he wanted it. Sure, the bill is...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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More Obama Interviews

President Obama sat down with reporters from 16 regional newspapers yesterday. Thomas Fitzgerald writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Obama said yesterday that he was confident that his economic-recovery legislation, the subject of intense final negotiations yesterday on Capitol Hill, would...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Records Wanted

Marisa Taylor writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "The Obama administration, which vowed to usher in a 'new era of openness in our country,' either has delayed action on requests for access to government records or refused to disclose them in three...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Transparency  
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Quick Takes

Carrie Johnson writes in The Washington Post that the criminal investigation into the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration "appears to be intensifying." The prosecutor "will interview former White House political affairs deputy J. Scott Jennings as...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Want to Be an Obama Appointee?

The White House Web site this morning launched a new job application feature, which "enables people everywhere to apply to be considered for a political appointment in President Obama's Administration." All you have to do is "fill out your information,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Whitehouse.gov  
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Public Supports Investigations of Bush Misdeeds

Jill Lawrence writes for USA Today: "The Bush administration's anti-terror policies have generated controversies, lawsuits and indelible images such as those of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "They've also given rise to multiple opinions on whether to investigate,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Cartoon Watch

Jim Morin on high expectations, Rob Rogers on the state of the union, Stuart Carlson, Joel Pett, Mike Keefe, Adam Zyglis and Steve Sack on the GOP and bipartisanship, and David Cohen on Lincoln's happy birthday....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 12, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Defends His Bailout

President Obama finds himself at a disadvantage today when it comes to defending the bank-bailout plan announced by his Treasury secretary yesterday. At the very least, as Frank James blogs for Tribune, Obama oversold what Timothy Geithner ended up delivering....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Stimulus Talk

The presidential motorcade wended its way to suburban Virginia this morning, stopping at the construction site for the final segment of the Fairfax County Parkway so President Obama could make a pitch for infrastructure spending. "Look around us," Obama said....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Poll Watch

The Pew Research Center reports: "After weeks of intense debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a narrow majority of Americans (51%) who have heard about the $800 billion plan say it is a good idea, while 34% say it...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Quick Takes

Katharine Q. Seelye writes in the New York Times: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested today that he was open to allowing the media to photograph the flag-draped coffins of fallen soldiers as their bodies and remains are returned to the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Late Night Humor

.cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url('http://www.comedycentral.com/comedycentral/video/assets/syndicated-logo-over.png') !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;}The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10cClusterf#@k to the Poor House - The Stimulus Package Jon Stewart compares Bush and Obama's town-hall meetings and press conferences. Monday night, for...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Obama Says His Honeymoon's Not Over

In an interview with ABC News's Terry Moran yesterday, President Obama said that his honeymoon is still going strong, despite resistance from congressional Republicans. He also criticized Washington for its "narrow way of keeping score," said no one should underestimate...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Bubble Watch , Financial Crisis  
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Live Online

I'm Live Online today at 1 p.m. ET. Come join the conversation....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Kevin Siers, RJ Matson, and Nick Anderson on the GOP, Bob Gorrell and Mike Lane on Congress, Dan Wasserman and Robert Ariail on Geithner's gambit, and Tom Toles on the doping scandals....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 11, 2009; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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A More Visceral Appeal

After a somewhat fusty White House press conference last night (read my analysis from earlier today), President Obama traveled to economically devastated southwest Florida today to make a more emotionally-laden pitch for his economic stimulus package. As was the case...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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The Torture Cover-Up Continues

No change? On something this important? How is this possible? John Schwartz writes in the New York Times: "In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture , Transparency  
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Populism MIA in Bailout Plan

David Cho and Lori Montgomery write in The Washington Post: "Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner this morning announced a rescue program for the hard-hit U.S. financial system that may commit up to $1.5 trillion in public and private funds.... "Geithner...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Poll Watch

Paul Steinhauser writes for CNN: "A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, but the economic stimulus package he's trying to push through Congress is not nearly...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Quick Takes

Nazila Fathi writes in the New York Times: "After the icy mutual hostility of the Bush era, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on Tuesday made a conditional offer of dialogue to the Obama administration, saying Tehran was ready for 'talks...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A Missed Opportunity

Obama's news conference last night. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) The media coverage of Barack Obama's first presidential news conference last night has been generally positive, concluding that he was commanding and resolute as he pressed his argument for an economic stimulus...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Press Watch  
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on dealing with Congress, Ken Catalino on dealing with Democrats, Rob Rogers, Ben Sargent, Ed Stein, Jeff Danziger and David Horsey on dealing with Republicans, and Pat Oliphant on dealing with bankers....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 10, 2009; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Do-Something Argument

President Obama's appearance at a town-hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind., earlier today indicates that he has honed his argument for an economic stimulus package, boiling it down to a choice between doing something or doing nothing. "Let me be clear....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Questions for Tonight

When President Obama takes his argument for an economic stimulus to prime time tonight in his first White House press conference, I hope he delves beneath even his new-and-improved talking points and answers at least some of the following questions....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Who is Obama's Audience Today? Washington!

President Obama apparently didn't go to Northern Indiana today to sell his stimulus package to economically struggling Americans. No, according to his top aides, he went there to get Washington to understand what those Americans are going through. Senior adviser...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Quick Takes

The Washington Post editorial board writes that former Vice President Cheney "should be apologizing rather than defending the extreme Bush administration policies on detention and interrogation that he championed." Walter Pincus writes in The Post: "Leon E. Panetta, President Obama's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Honeymoon Watch

Carla Marinucci writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: "With the president preparing to go on his own public offensive -- with a campaign-style trip to job-strapped Indiana on Monday followed by his first prime-time news conference -- political observers say...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Froomkin Watch

I'm scheduled to be on MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue tonight in the 6 o'clock hour (Eastern) talking to David Shuster about Obama's town hall today....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Meet Elkhart, Ind.

President Obama heads into the belly of the beast today, leaving Washington for a depressed city in Northern Indiana with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Obama's first press conference as president is tonight at 8 p.m. ET, but...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Cartoon Watch

John Cole on the politics of fear, Tom Toles on Bush's last words, Walt Handelsman on Obama's heavy lift, Bruce Plante on Congress, John Riley on the Democrats, Tony Auth on the GOP, Mike Keefe and Brian Duffy on executive...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 9, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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