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White House Watch: June 7, 2009 - June 13, 2009

Baking Transparency Into Government

I'll be off Friday, attending the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Baltimore. Blogging will resume Monday. Something extraordinary happened a few days ago: A White House official actually asked me what sorts of things I needed to know in...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Transparency  
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Quick Takes

Here is President Obama's statement in response to yesterday's shooting: "I am shocked and saddened by today's shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Good Questions From a Senator and an Activist

Over in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, a senator and an activist raised a series of important questions that deserve to be aggressively pursued. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) took to the Senate floor to talk about torture, the campaign of falsehood...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Torture  
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Stumping for His Health Care Overhaul

President Obama today launches the outside-the-Beltway part of his campaign to overhaul the American health-care system. Philip Elliott writes for the Associated Press: Administration officials said the president's speech in Green Bay would contain no new policies, but would instead...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Late Night Humor

Conan O'Brien, via U.S. News: "President Obama's in the news, of course. He's put healthcare back in the news. Yup. President Obama says he wants to create a national healthcare plan that's both affordable and easy to use. Yup. Yeah,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Stuart Carlson on Obama's cover-ups, Jim Morin on America's yellow streak, Mike Keefe and Joe Heller on Obama's health-care diagnosis, Tony Auth on bad medicine, Bruce Plante on clunkers, Eric Allie and Steve Kelley on "pay-as-you-go", Randy Bish on debt...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 11, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Bush's Red Ink, Obama's Problem

There's some much-needed straight talk about the deficit on the front page of today's New York Times: A reminder that it's mostly George W. Bush's fault -- but that it won't go away until the government raises taxes or cuts...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 10, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Quick Takes

David Cho writes for The Washington Post: "The Obama administration is set to announce two proposals today that would empower shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission to have more oversight over executive compensation at all publicly traded firms, government...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 10, 2009; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Incoming: More Torture Documents

Despite the Obama administration's best attempts to block the release of key documents and photographs -- and otherwise stymie investigations into the Bush torture legacy -- it looks like some more significant disclosures are coming down the pike. Scott Shane...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 10, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Torture  
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Obama Ready to Tax Benefits

Responding to demands that he further explain where the money would come from to pay for his dramatic health-care overhaul, President Obama is said to be on the brink of endorsing the limited taxation of employer-sponsored health benefits -- benefits...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 10, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Cartoon Watch

Jeff Parker on Obama's health-care strategy, Jimmy Margulies on Obama's health-care allies, John R. Rose and Gary Varbel on government spending, Eric Allie on saving or creating jobs, John Cole on Obama as GM's backseat driver, Jim Morin on Obama's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 10, 2009; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Wooing the Blue Dogs

When it comes to getting President Obama's health care overhaul through Congress, Republicans don't really matter. Even in the Senate, they can be circumvented, if it comes to that. Liberal Democrats certainly don't matter. They're not about to withhold their...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 9, 2009; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Quick Takes

Michael Slackman writes in the New York Times: "There were many domestic reasons voters handed an American-backed coalition a victory in Lebanese parliamentary elections on Sunday — but political analysts also attribute it in part to President Obama's campaign of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 9, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Too Embarrassing to Disclose?

President Obama's approach to government transparency is disturbingly opaque in places, particularly when it comes to disclosing information about the Bush administration's torture legacy. To his credit, Obama in mid-April released a handful of Justice Department memos that authorized and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 9, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Torture , Transparency  
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert, in Baghdad, declares that U.S. warriors have won the war in Iraq by turning chaos into triumph. He suggests that Obama now deploy them to General Motors. The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cThe Word - Why...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 9, 2009; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Mike Luckovich on Osama on Obama, Tim Goheen on fence-mending, Rob Rogers on treating the Middle East like GM, Ken Catalino and Michael Ramirez claim to speak for the D-Day dead, Stuart Carlson on Obama's health-care allies, John Sherffius on...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 9, 2009; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Crunch Time for Health Care

The future of health care will likely come into into much clearer focus in the next few weeks, which explains why President Obama is suddenly getting more involved. I wrote a week ago about how health care will be Obama's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 8, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Back to the Grind

Have all those inspiring words -- most recently in Cairo and Normandy -- set the bar too high for the Obama presidency? Jonathan Weisman and Laura Meckler write in the Wall Street Journal: "President Barack Obama returned home from abroad...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 8, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Quick Takes

Jackie Calmes writes in the New York Times about "the underlying tensions that have gripped Mr. Obama's economic advisers as they have struggled with the gravest financial crisis since the Depression, according to several dozen interviews with administration officials and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 8, 2009; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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How Cheney Bent DOJ to His Will

Three newly-disclosed Justice Department e-mails thoroughly vindicate the most cynical suspicions about how former vice president Dick Cheney bent ostensibly independent Justice Department lawyers to his will and forced them to manufacture legal cover for his torture policies. The e-mails,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 8, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Ann Telnaes on the Cheney brand, Adam Zyglis, John Sherffius and Michael Ramirez on Obama's Middle East message, John Trever on Obama's challenge, Jeff Danziger, Stuart Carlson and Joel Pett on the terrorists's Obama dilemma, Kevin Siers on the Sotomayor...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 8, 2009; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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