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White House Watch: May 24, 2009 - May 30, 2009

Is Obama Getting Tough With Israel?

President Obama heads to the Middle East next week, where on Thursday he'll make a much-anticipated address in Cairo aimed at repairing American's ties with the Muslim world. He has a big advantage simply not being George W. Bush, of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 29, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Middle East  
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Quick Takes

Lolita C. Baldor writes for the Associated Press: "America has for too long failed to adequately protect the security of its computer networks, President Barack Obama said Friday, announcing he will name a new cyber czar to take on the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 29, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Unsympathetic Argument Against Empathy

The increasingly common conservative argument that empathy has no place in the judiciary is both blatantly disingenuous and utterly antithetical to the American judicial tradition. These conservative critics aren't really against empathy -- they're just against empathy with what they...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 29, 2009; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tony Auth on who fears Sotomayor, Bruce Beattie, John Cole and Steve Sack on the GOP's Sotomayor predicament, and John Sherffius and Rex Babin on the GOP and empathy....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 29, 2009; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Not-So-Open Government

The Obama administration has taken three significant steps toward greater openness in government in the past week. Last Thursday, the White House launched a major new initiative -- one that, appropriately enough, starts off with a request for public input...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Supreme Court Watch

Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes for the Associated Press: "Republicans see little chance of blocking Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, a key GOP senator conceded Wednesday. But senators and advocacy groups are still girding for this summer's battle — partly with...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Torture Watch

Josh Meyer writes in the Los Angeles Times: "The FBI and Justice Department plan to significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Torture  
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Middle East Watch

Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner write in the New York Times: "The Obama administration reiterated emphatically on Wednesday that it viewed a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank as a critical step toward a peace accord...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Middle East  
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Quick Takes

Mark Z. Barabak and Carla Rivera write in the Los Angeles Times: "President Obama offered a laudatory assessment Wednesday night of his early days in office, suggesting the worst of the economic crisis has passed and Americans have regained some...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cheney Warns of Obama Dangers -- Again

Newly loquacious former vice president Dick Cheney was on TV again yesterday, warning grimly of the enormous dangers the country faces from President Obama's plans. The new twist: He was talking about the economy, instead of national security. Chatting...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Cartoon Watch

Obama's Supreme Court nomination -- and the flailing Republican response -- continues to inspire the cartoonists. Here's Tom Toles on the culture war, Ann Telnaes on Karl Rove's critique, Steve Sack on the Hispanic vote, Dan Wasserman on bigotry, and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 28, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Sotomayor and the Diversity Argument

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotamayor, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, would bring needed diversity to a panel still very much dominated by white males. That's something to celebrate -- unless of course you're not a believer in the value...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 27, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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What If It's No Contest?

Here's an interesting question: What will we all do if Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination inspires a completely lopsided debate -- with only professional right-wing noisemakers and extremists actually arguing that she shouldn't be confirmed? It could be a cakewalk....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 27, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Quick Takes

Charles Babington writes for the Associated Press: "In a Western trip devoted mainly to raising political money, President Barack Obama is highlighting two favorite issues: clean energy and his economic stimulus plan. The president was scheduled to tour the 'photovoltaic...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 27, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Online Humor

The Economist's pseudononymous Lexington writes that President Obama baffles most comedians: "David Letterman, a talk-show host, describes him as 'cogent, eloquent, and in complete command of the issues' and sighs: 'What the hell am I supposed to do with that?'"...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 27, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Stuart Carlson on Obama's high ground, Tony Auth on Obama's common ground, Chuck Asay on Obama's middle ground, and Jim Morin, Pat Bagley, Bruce Plante, Walt Handelsman, Joel Pett, RJ Matson, Steve Kelley, Jimmy Margulies, Bob Gorrell and Kevin Siers...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 27, 2009; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Ignored Issues Won't Go Away

North Korea's nuclear test Monday is fresh evidence that President Obama's problem is not that he's taking on too many big issues at the same time -- it's that he can't leave even one on the back burner. Administration officials...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 26, 2009; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Quick Takes

Jim Rutenberg and Motoko Rich write in the New York Times: "With his sustained blitz of television appearances and speeches, former Vice President Dick Cheney has established himself as perhaps the leading Republican voice against President Obama." One possible reason:...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 26, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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On Photographs

Abu Ghraib chronicler Philip Gourevitch writes in a New York Times op-ed about photos of abuse. In April 2004, when the Abu Ghraib photos were leaked, "they shocked the world’s conscience," Gourevitch writes. "They also performed a great public service....

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 26, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Torture  
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Obama's Real-Life Justice

Obama and Sotomayor this morning. (AP) In nominating U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, President Obama is asserting his view that real justice is arrived at not through cold-hearted calculations made in a vacuum, but...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 26, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Jeff Danziger on Obama's court pick, Jim Morin, Mike Keefe and David Fitzsimmons on Obama's Guantanamo puzzle, Eric Allie on Obama's exceptions, Tom Toles on torture chambers, Jim Morin on what's on fire, Bruce Plante, John Trever and David Fitzsimmons...

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 26, 2009; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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