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

Obama Tries to Harness the Outrage

Obama soaked up the love in Orange County yesterday. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) President Obama is attempting to redirect the public fury over the AIG bonuses into outrage over the way the whole economy's been tilted toward the super-rich over the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Obama Is Doing Too Much -- But That's OK

Back on Monday, I noted a Pew Research Center poll's finding that, contrary to the emerging consensus of the Washington punditocracy, only 35 percent of Americans think President Obama is trying to tackle too many issues in his first few...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Barack-et-ology Watch

President Obama takes his college basketball brackets very seriously. Check out his lengthy disquisition on his picks with ESPN's Andy Katz (below). Ryan Teague Beckwith writes for the Raleigh News and Observer that Obama "picked the Tar Heels of the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Quick Takes

Jonathan Cohn writes in the New Republic about how "health care reform, against what occasionally seemed like long odds, managed to find a sizeable place in Obama's budget....Particularly in Obama's absence, the voices of the skeptics often predominated....And health care,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Bush's Book of Excuses

Former president George W. Bush is already hard at work trying to explain himself. Bush first told a Canadian audience on Tuesday that he intends to write a book about his 12 "toughest" decisions. Yesterday, he told Hillel Italie of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Late Night Humor

Jon Stewart marvels at former vice president Dick Cheney's recent interview on CNN, and his "willful obliviousness to the impact of his policies, both economically and in the realm of foreign policy." He offers some possible titles for Cheney's upcoming...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Jim Morin on the real outrages, John Coles on Bush's outrage, Rex Babin and Ron Rogers on March madness, Bob Gorrell's brackets, Walt Handelsman's investment advice, Mike Lester on perspective, Dwane Powell on the shovel brigade, Stuart Carlson on job...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 19, 2009; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Hits a Bailout Iceberg

Does Obama have a Geithner problem? (Chip Somodevilla/Bloomberg News) The public furor over the outrageous bonuses granted to AIG executives isn't exactly misdirected. It's just that the bonuses are really only a minor symptom of a major problem that President...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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California, Here Obama Comes

President Obama kicks off his Southern California trip later today with a town hall meeting in Orange County -- kind of a gutsy move, considering that the county is widely considered one of the nation's great bastions of conservatism. Dena...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Torture Watch

By all rights, journalist Mark Danner's recent exposé -- based on a confidential report from the International Red Cross that definitively classified the CIA's treatment of terror suspects as torture -- should have spurred government officials into action. At the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture  
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Bush Takes a Higher Road

In his first speech as a former president, George W. Bush yesterday told a paying audience in Canada that he would not criticize President Obama -- a stark contrast with the actions of his former vice president. He also offered...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Krissah Thompson writes in The Washington Post: "The 'Obama women' -- as African American women who've taken big jobs in his administration have been nicknamed -- mark another step in the long journey of black women from outsiders to gatekeepers...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Obama Getting Tougher With Congress

After two months filled with deference to Congress, President Obama is finally playing a little hardball with the Republicans and right-leaning Democrats who are threatening to attenuate his ambitious budget proposals. He's both calling out his critics and raising the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles, Walt Handelsman, Jim Morin, Tony Auth, Mike Keefe, Jeff Danziger, RJ Matson, Rex Babin, Sage Stossel and Mike Luckovich on Obama, AIG, bonuses, and an angry public. Also: Joel Pett on Obama's brackets and John Sherffius on Bush's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 18, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Vindictiveness Gap

Obama speaking to small business owners yesterday. (Ron Edmonds - AP) Barack Obama, who rose to power based at least in part on his calm, cerebral and empathetic nature, now risks falling out of sync with the electorate because...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Cheney Makes an Easy Target

Former vice president Dick Cheney didn't hold back on Sunday when asked what he thought of President Obama. Among other things, he accused Obama (without providing any supporting evidence) of making Americans less safe. But did Cheney realize how much...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

The Washington Post editorial board writes: "Full disclosure is one way of undoing the damage done by the secret prisons and Guantanamo. It should not be left to the International Red Cross to document alleged instances of torture and other...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Obama Support Still Strong

The new poll getting the most attention this morning is the one from the Pew Research Center, which shows President Obama's job approval rating down to 59 percent, from 64 percent in February. But a look beneath the surface of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert embraces the angry populist outrage against AIG and breaks out his pitchfork: "Well, the government can't stop them, but we can, folks. Nation: Our founding fathers knew that when the rights of the people get trampled, we must...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Lee Judge on Obama's GOP critics, and Tom Toles, John Sherffius, Mike Luckovich, Stuart Carlson, Jeff Danziger ,Bruce Plante, J.D. Crowe and Jeff Darcy on AIG's bonuses....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 17, 2009; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Call It Torture

Here's another good reason to have some sort of authoritative public reckoning of the Bush administration's dark legacy: Until we deal with it once and for all, it will come back to haunt us time and time again. The latest...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 16, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture  
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The Battle Ahead

I've been arguing for a while now that establishment Washington -- complicit in so many of the irresponsible policies that President Obama is trying to reverse -- would inevitably put up resistance. And while I've been largely focusing on Obama's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 16, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Obama v. D.C.  
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Cheney to U.S.: 'Stuff Happens'

In case you thought former vice president Dick Cheney's unhinged interview with Politico six weeks ago was an aberration, along comes more of the same. CNN's John King did the honors, live, on Sunday. (Here's the video.) Cheney again accused...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 16, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (172)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Adam Nagourney writes in the New York Times: "The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 16, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on the GOP's brilliant strategy, Ann Telnaes on Cheney's "stuff happens" defense, Daryl Cagle on Obama's attempts to lift the economy, Jim Morin on Treasury's staffing problems and Lisa Benson on Obama pointing to the bleachers....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 16, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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