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White House Watch: April 12, 2009 - April 18, 2009

Human Beings Without Humanity

The profoundly disgusting memos made public yesterday -- in which government lawyers attempted to justify flatly unconscionable and illegal acts -- provide a depressing reminder of a time when the powerful and powerless alike were stripped of their humanity. These...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 17, 2009; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
Categories:  Torture  
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Quick Takes

Brian Knowlton writes in the New York Times: "President Obama on Thursday highlighted his ambition for the development of high-speed passenger rail lines in at least 10 regions, expressing confidence in the future of train travel even as he acknowledged...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 17, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Gary Markstein on the White House dog(s), Lee Judge on what Obama does in his spare time, Lisa Benson and Michael Ramirez on building the economy on sand or rock, and John Sherffius, David Horsey, Kevin Siers and Tom Toles...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 17, 2009; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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More Humility From Obama

The Obama world re-engagement tour heads south of the border today. In four days of meetings, first in Mexico City and then in Trinidad and Tobago, President Obama is picking up where he left off in Europe, reaching out to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 16, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Not to Be Trusted

Today's revelation in the New York Times that the National Security Agency engaged in "significant and systemic" violations of the nation's already highly relaxed surveillance laws manages to be both shocking and unsurprising at the same time. Shocking because of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 16, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Quick Takes

Leonard Pitts Jr. writes in his Miami Herald column that one of his columns from earlier this month about torture drew suggestions "from a handful of Bush dead-enders" that he should "move on." But, Pitts writes, "there is much more...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 16, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Tax Day

Nobody likes taxes, particularly on April 15. So President Obama used the occasion to issue a pledge to simplify the tax code. Obama haters used the day to express their opposition with tea bags. And the Obamas and Bidens released...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 16, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on Obama's numbers, Pat Oliphant on Obama's opener to Castro, Pat Bagley on animal training, and Dwane Powell, Nate Beeler, Jeff Danziger, Jeff Darkow, and Steve Sack on tea parties....

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 16, 2009; 9:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Power Grab

Obama in explanation mode yesterday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) President Obama yesterday showed the nation once again how good he is at explaining complicated things. Next up on his agenda should be an explanation -- or, rather, a clarification --...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 15, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Parsing Obama's Speech on the Economy

I wrote yesterday about how effective President Obama was in connecting most of the dots regarding his short-term and long-term economic agendas in his mid-day speech. Peter Baker writes in the New York Times: "Skeptics, including some in his own...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 15, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Quick Takes

The arrival of Bo the first dog turned into a full-fledged media frenzy yesterday. Manuel Roig-Franzia writes in The Washington Post about the "overflow crowd of reporters and photographers who swarmed onto the White House South Lawn for a...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 15, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on the transfer to Bagram, Pat Oliphant on the loyal opposition, David Horsey on the real piracy threat, Dana Summers on the new Cuban boatlift, David Fitzsimmons on what Obama really needs, Jim Morin on puppy protest and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 15, 2009; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Connects Most of the Dots

Obama at Georgetown today. (Brendan Smalowski/Bloomberg News) Aware that many Americans are wondering how all his different economic programs and policies fit together, President Obama today tried to connect the dots. He explained why he believes each of his...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 14, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Obama's Timid Cuban Move

Dan Restrepo, senior White House adviser on Latin America, announced changes in America's Cuba policy in Spanish yesterday. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) There's nothing the least bit bold about the baby steps toward engagement with Cuba that the White House...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 14, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Quick Takes

Andy Barr writes for Politico: "Three months into his presidency, Barack Obama stands out as perhaps the most trusted figure in American politics. In a new Public Strategies Inc./Politico national survey of 1,000 registered voters, Obama outdistances figures on both...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 14, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Where the Wild POTUS Was

Wanna watch President Obama howl? The Houston Chronicle's Hailey Branson writes in a pool report about Obama's visit to the storytime area of the White House Easter Egg Roll yesterday morning: "After greeting the group of a few dozen children...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 14, 2009; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Jimmy Margulies, Ann Telnaes, Tom Toles, John Darkow, Tim Goheen, Rob Rogers, and Daryl Cagle on the new White House dog, Nate Beeler and Steve Sack on the Easter Egg Roll, Scott Stantis on an Obama success, Jeff Danziger on...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 14, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Ducks a Cutlass

I see an emerging consensus about the political impact of the military operation that successfully freed an American ship captain held hostage off the coast of Somalia yesterday. At best, it's a small but significant victory for President Obama, who...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Quick Takes

Shailagh Murray writes in The Washington Post about all the outreach White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is doing with members of Congress. "The White House legislative strategy blends Obama's vision and salesmanship with Emanuel's granular political expertise and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Life After Defeat

Michael D. Shear's article in Saturday's Washington Post about Karl Rove's emergence as a leading critic of President Obama reminded me of how little Rove had changed. While his former boss, George W. Bush, is leading a simple and insular...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Watch the Easter Egg Roll

Can't make it to today's White House Easter Egg Roll? Well, you can watch it on four official video livestreams. Here are the events related to eggs, music, stories and food. Here's the schedule of events. It promises to be...

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Late Night Humor

Jason Sudeikis portrays a somewhat overeager Vice President Biden on Saturday Night Live....

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Mike Luckovich on the Obama bunny, Walt Handelsman on unintended consequences, Steve Sack on military contracts, Bob Gorrell on mixed feelings, Mike Keefe on nuclear disarmament, and Bob Engelhart and Jim Morin on looking back at the European tour....

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 13, 2009; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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