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White House Watch: February 15, 2009 - February 21, 2009

Obama's Sense of Entitlements

A big question looming over the White House's "fiscal responsibility summit" on Monday is whether President Obama is willing to consider major cuts in future benefits for the poor and elderly to win bipartisan support for his long-term budget plans...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Washington vs. America, Continued

And here's yet more about the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country. (See my previous posts on the topic.) Inside the Beltway, President Obama's failed overtures to Republicans over the stimulus bill were widely seen as humiliating....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Beloved in Canada

Michael D. Shear writes in The Washington Post: "President Obama warned on Thursday against a 'strong impulse' toward protectionism while the world suffers a global economic recession and said his election-year promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Here Comes Climate Change

It sounds to me like we may start hearing more about climate change soon. Here's what President Obama had to say on the subject at yesterday's joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: "We have to complete our...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Truth Commission Watch

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy writes for Time about his proposal to appoint a "truth-finding panel" to look into the abuses of the Bush years. "People would be invited to come forward and share their knowledge and experiences, not...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Tahman Bradley writes for ABC: "Former President Bill Clinton gives President Barack Obama an 'A' grade for his first month in office, but tells ABC News that Obama needs to put on a more positive face when speaking to the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Jim Morin on how the GOP won't play ball, Canadians Guy Badeaux (Bado) and Grahame Arnould on Obama's visit to Ottawa and Bill Mitchell on Obama and Afghanistan. Slim pickings today. If I've missed anything, e-mail me at froomkin@washingtonpost.com and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 20, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Nine Million Lifelines

Obama greets the crowd after his speech in Arizona yesterday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) President Obama's financial rescue proposal is still very hypothetical. His stimulus package is almost too big to comprehend, and it has yet to bear fruit. But his...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Obama North of the Border

President Obama is spending seven hours in Canada today, making his first international visit to our neighbor to the north. Gone -- amid the donning of his executive authority and the convulsions of a global financial crisis -- is some...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Outside the Echo Chamber

I'm hearing an increasingly common refrain these days: That Washington's media and political elite just don't get it. See, for instance, my recent posts: Washington vs. the Rest of America and Obama: I Won't Play Washington Games. Along those lines,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bubble Watch , Obama v. D.C.  
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Afghanistan Watch

I wrote at length yesterday about Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. If you missed it, read it now: Putting Out Fire -- With Gasoline? Elisabeth Bumiller writes in the New York Times: "The top American commander in...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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Shoe Watch

Liz Sly writes for the Chicago Tribune: "The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush made an impassioned courtroom appeal for clemency on the first day of his trial today, saying he became enraged when...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone that she supports the formation of a commission to investigate Bush administration misdeeds and can even foresee a scenario in which senior members of the Bush administration are prosecuted. "I...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Bigger Than Jesus?

Harris Interactive reports: "When The Harris Poll asked a cross-section of adult Americans to say whom they admire enough to call their heroes, President Barack Obama was mentioned most often, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King.... "These heroes...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Froomkin in Second Life

Hey, who's that over there? It's me. Well, virtual me. That's my Second Life avatar, created for me by the fine folks at Virtually Speaking. Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where all sorts of interesting things...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Stuart Carlson on Obama's bipartisan overtures, Ann Telnaes, John Sherffius and John Branch on the GOP, Joel Pett on where Obama draws the line, Tom Toles on filling Obama's shoes and Jim Morin on the Burris sideshow....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Putting Out Fire -- With Gasoline?

U.S. soldiers in Kandahar on Sunday. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) Of all the foreign messes President Obama inherited, Afghanistan is the messiest. Faced with a longstanding demand from top military brass for more troops there, Obama might well have chosen to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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Obama's Ambitious Housing Plan

President Obama today unveiled the third leg of his economic recovery stool -- and it was a bit more substantial than had been anticipated. His plan could cut mortgage payments for as many as nine million homeowners. Alison Vekshin writes...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Stimulus Watch

Michael A. Fletcher writes in The Washington Post: "Warning that its passage into law 'does not mark the end of our economic troubles,' President Obama on Tuesday signed the $787 billion stimulus package, a measure he called the most sweeping...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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About Recovery.gov

In his speech yesterday before signing the huge stimulus bill, President Obama said he hopes the Internet will help keep everyone honest. "With a recovery package of this size comes a responsibility to assure every taxpayer that we are being...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Transparency , Whitehouse.gov  
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Obama Hasn't Entirely Abandoned the Bush Playbook

Is President Obama adopting some of his predecessor's signature anti-terror tactics? A New York Times story this morning says it looks that way. And there have, indeed, been a few instances lately in which Obama has gravely disappointed civil libertarians,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Bush Rollback , Looking Backward  
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Cheney Watch

Following up on Thomas M. DeFrank's story in the New York Daily News yesterday, Jim Rutenberg and Jo Becker write in the New York Times: "Dick Cheney spent his final days as vice president making a furious last-ditch effort to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Susan Milligan writes in the Boston Globe: "President Obama campaigned for the White House with some sweeping promises: He was going to keep lobbyists out of his administration, impose impeccably high ethical standards, and get rid of the partisanship he...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cartoon Watch

John Sherffius, Bob Lang, John Cole and John R. Rose on the bill signing; John Trever and Robert Ariail with two views on the basic problem; and Mike Luckovich, Chan Lowe, Adam Zyglis and Pat Bagley on the GOP....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Washington vs. the Rest of America

Obama waves as he leaves for Denver this morning. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) The Obama White House is increasingly calling attention to what it sees as a big difference between what fascinates the Washington political and media establishment -- and what...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Obama v. D.C.  
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Obama and the GOP

So is it smart for Congressional Republicans to be betting against the stimulus -- and the president? David Lightman writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "The Republican Party is taking a big risk by looking like the party of 'no' at a...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Investigating the Bush Years

Could the Bushies be getting scared of the Democratic push in Congress to establish some sort of truth commission to investigate Bush administration misdeeds? Ali Frick wrote for Thinkprogress.org last week about how former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen told Fox...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Cheney, Libby and Rove

Thomas M. DeFrank writes in the New York Daily News: "In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby - and was furious when...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Edmund L. Andrews writes in the New York Times: "President Obama's plan to reduce the flood of home foreclosures will include a mix of government inducements and new pressure on lenders to reduce monthly payments for borrowers at risk of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Obama: I Won't Play Washington Games

In a fascinating 50-minute interview with five opinion columnists on a Chicago-bound Air Force One early Friday evening, President Obama declared his independence from Washington punditry. "My bottom line was not how pretty the process was; my bottom line was...

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Obama v. D.C.  
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Cartoon Watch

Steve Sack, Ben Sargent, David Horsey, Jim Morin, Jeff Danziger, Bruce Plante, Pat Bagley, Dwane Powell, Matt Davies and Stuart Carlson on Obama, bipartisanship and the GOP; and David Horsey on a press conference after newspapers....

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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