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White House Watch: May 3, 2009 - May 9, 2009

Quick Takes

I wrote yesterday about Obama's underreaction to the latest deadly airstrikes in Afghanistan. Elisabeth Bumiller and Carlotta Gall write in the New York Times: "United States officials acknowledged Thursday for the first time that at least some of what might...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 8, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert is furious about Obama's decision not to observe the National Day of Prayer the way the religious right wanted him to. "He's praying in private? The only things a president should be doing in private is extraditing prisoners...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 8, 2009; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Chan Lowe on the Afghan airstrikes, Dan Wasserman on Obama's many sins, Charlie Daniel on the GOP stress test, John Trever on the taxpayer stress test, Nate Beeler, Matt Davies and Mark Streeter on Obama's budget cuts, and Michael Ramirez...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 8, 2009; 9:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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The Weakest Pillar

President Obama this morning served up the details of his extraordinarily ambitious budget, bringing it in at $3.4 trillion and 1374 pages. It may be, as Obama said in his remarks, that "[t]he question the American people are asking is...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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The Fire in Cheney's Belly

Former vice president Cheney says he's not going to shut up, no matter what some of his fellow Republicans -- and even his former boss -- think about it. Cheney hagiographer Stephen F. Hayes once again interviewed the former veep,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture  
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Where's the President?

My Live Online discussion yesterday started just moments after the news broke that Maine had become the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage. It made me realize how odd it was for a major civil-rights movement to be making huge...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Quick Takes

Karen DeYoung profiles Obama's national security adviser, James L. Jones, for The Washington Post: "In recent weeks, Jones has been portrayed in foreign policy articles and blogs as too measured and low-key to keep pace with the hard chargers working...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Any Remorse, Mr. President?

The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed yesterday that "dozens of people, including women and children," were killed in U.S. air strikes on villages in Western Afghanistan Monday night. You might think something like this would weigh heavily on...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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Cartoon Watch

Bob Gorrell and Peter Brookes on Obama's bloody choices, Pat Oliphant on the torture lawyers, Jim Morin on the stress tests, Tim Eagan on Obama's code, Stuart Carlson on Obama's big burger, and Eric Allie on Obama's press corps....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 7, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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What the 'Military Solution' Looks Like

An injured child from the Bala Baluk district of Afghanistan yesterday. (AP/Abdul Malek) There's a tremendous sense of urgency surrounding President Obama's meetings today with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And a sense of urgency often leads people to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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What Were The Torture Lawyers Thinking?

A long-awaited internal Justice Department report promises to shed some much-needed light on the relationship between the Justice Department lawyers who wrote the infamous "torture memos" and the White House. The central question, of course: Whether the lawyers were themselves...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Torture  
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Quick Takes

Bernie Becker blogs for the New York Times with more information about Obama's dinner with critics of his bank bailout plan. We already knew Nobel Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman (who is also a New York Times...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Let's Talk White House

I'm Live Online today at 1 p.m. ET, responding to your questions and comments about all things White House. Come join the conversation....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert argues that Bush administration officials should publicly explain their torture rationales -- to children. He proposes something like this: "Kids, Mr. Bunny was a bad, bad bunny. And he had information that President Raccoon needed. So the president...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Matt Wuerker on the torture bucket brigade, Dick Locher on Obama's Supreme Court pick, Eric Allie on Obama's formula for success, Tom Toles on the stress tests, and Nick Anderson, Tony Auth and Steve Kelley on tax dodgers....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 6, 2009; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Sporadic Populism

Obama announces his new tax plans yesterday (AP/Charles Dharapak). President Obama seems to have a love-hate relationship with fat cats. One day, he's a full-throated populist, calling for a wholesale rewriting of the economic rules that favor the wealthy. And...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 5, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Quick Takes

David Espo writes for the Associated Press: "After weeks of concentrating their attacks against President Barack Obama on the economy, Republicans are branching out. They're taking aim at his anti-terrorism policy. 'Just what is the administration's overarching plan to take...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 5, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Let's Talk White House

I'll be Live Online tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET, responding to your questions and comments about all things White House. You can send in your questions and comments anytime....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 5, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert tries to crack the code word Obama used when describing his criteria for picking a new Supreme Court Justice. "Now I was puzzled by the word 'empathy' -- because I'd never heard it before," Colbert says. He even...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 5, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Randy Bish, Ann Telnaes and Pat Bagley on Obama's Supreme Court pick, Dan Wasserman and Jeff Parker on Obama's tax plan, and Mike Lester on Obama and the press....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 5, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Complicity -- and Accountability -- on Torture

As torture chronicler extraordinaire Mark Danner has pointed out, one of the great paradoxes of the torture scandal "is that it is not about things we didn't know but about things we did know and did nothing about." It was,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 4, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
Categories:  Torture  
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Quick Takes

Ryan J. Donmoyer writes for Bloomberg: "President Barack Obama proposed to raise about $190 billion over the next decade by outlawing three offshore tax-avoidance techniques used by U.S. companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. He also...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 4, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Obama's Empathy Litmus Test

Who knew such an innocent-sounding word could get people so riled up? But conservatives are finding much to hate in President Obama's assertion on Friday that he considers "empathy" a prerequisite for a Supreme Court justice. In a surprise appearance...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 4, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Obama Lances the Bubble (at Least for a Night)

It's always worth celebrating when a president willingly pierces the White House bubble. Evan Thomas writes in Newsweek with this bit of news: "Mindful of his predecessor, Barack Obama seems to be trying harder to make sure he hears all...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 4, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Bubble Watch  
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Cartoon Watch

Tony Auth, John Cole, Steve Sack and Eric Allie on Biden's panic, David Horsey on Obama's torture torture, Nate Beeler on Super Obama and Michael Ramirez on Obama's press conference....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 4, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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