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White House Watch: June 14, 2009 - June 20, 2009

Welcome Back, Congress

If you believe in the legislative process -- if you actually believe that members of Congress have a role in formulating the laws of this land, rather than just rubber-stamping whatever the president wants -- then you really can't get...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Quick Takes

Things weren't bad enough in Afghanistan -- former president George W. Bush actually had to make them worse? Rajiv Chandrasekaran's riveting story in today's Washington Post describes how, ignoring advice from experts, Bush adopted an impetuous approach to development that...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Obama's Bogus New Excuse for Secrecy

The Obama Justice Department yesterday put forth an new legal argument, one that even the Bush team might not have had the gall to employ. Call it the Daily Show disclosure exclusion. Yes, a Justice Department lawyer actually argued to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Froomkin Watch

As Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander and others reported yesterday, The Washington Post has terminated my contract. So sometime in late June or early July, I'll be writing my last blog post here. I'll have more to add later on,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (266)
Categories:  Press Watch  
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Late Night Humor

The White House blog today features a video of Stephen Colbert teeing up President Obama for his cameo appearance on Colbert's show last week, which Colbert filmed in Baghdad. In the taped cameo, after a little banter, Obama ordered Iraq...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Jeff Danziger on stolen elections, Walt Handelsman, Jeff Darcy, Nate Beeler, and Tim Goheen on pesky flies, Dan Wasserman on Obama's medical diagnosis, Bruce Beattie on the public response, Mike Thompson on cash for clunkers, John Trever on Obama's meddling...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 19, 2009; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Spending Jitters Don't Change the Fundamentals

According to the latest polls, the American public appears to be increasingly uncomfortable with all that money President Obama is spending -- and its effect on the deficit. But economists say massive government spending was essential to prevent a much...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (188)
 
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Quick Takes

Helene Cooper and Mark Landler write in the New York Times: "As tens of thousands of Iranian protesters take to the streets in defiance of the government in Tehran, officials in Washington are debating whether President Obama's response to Iran's...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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The Amazing Shrinking Regulatory Overhaul

I wrote yesterday that it looked to me like President Obama had undershot rather than overshot in his proposals for changes in the nation's financial regulatory system. David Cho and Zachary A. Goldfarb writes in The Washington Post: The plan...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Bush Mum on Obama as 'Socialist'

Breaking his earlier pledge, former president George W. Bush criticized several of his successor's policy choices yesterday -- and didn't distance himself from the extremist critique that Obama is pursuing a socialist agenda. Joseph Curl writes in the Washington Times...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Late Night Humor

Stephen Colbert finds it in himself to give Obama some favorable news coverage -- for his televised fly-killing. The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cStephen's Positive Obama Coveragewww.colbertnation.com But then he interviews the grieving family. The Colbert ReportMon -...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

Nick Anderson on when deficits matter, Jimmy Margulies, Joel Pett, Scott Stantis and Stuart Carlson on the health-care overhaul, Mike Keefe on Obama's gay equivocation, Mike Lester on Obama's Iranian equivocation, Nate Beeler on Obama's red tape, and MStreeter on...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 18, 2009; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's New Road Rules May Fall Short

Let's start with the basics: It's a good thing that President Obama is proposing new regulations for the financial industry. After five months spent untangling a massive pile-up in the financial industry and patching up the wounded, it's entirely appropriate...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Consolation Prize for Gays

Tossing a bone to a gay community that is increasingly frustrated by his failure to keep his key campaign promises to them, President Obama today will sign a presidential memo extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. The...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Quick Takes

Jeff Zeleny and Helene Cooper write in the New York Times: "President Obama said Tuesday that it would be counterproductive for the United States 'to be seen as meddling' in the disputed Iranian presidential election, dismissing criticism from several leading...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Push Back, Mr. President

Give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Now that President Obama has shown that he can be rolled when it comes to his commitment to transparency, the defenders of torture are shamelessly pressuring him to keep their secrets even...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Torture  
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Who's Reading Your E-Mail?

Talk about unknown unknowns. When it comes to torture, we have a pretty good idea of what it is we still don't know. But when it comes to that other massive abuse committed by the Bush administration in the name...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Let's Talk White House

I'm Live Online today at 1 p.m. ET. So much to talk about! So please come join the conversation....

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Ann Telnaes on Obama's secret visitor logs, Walt Handelsman, David Horsey, Larry Wright, John R. Rose and Ed Gamble on Obama's health-care plan, and Ron Rogers on the new GOP attack plan....

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama's Iranian Dilemna

President Obama's insistence on reaching out to Iranian leaders has always rubbed some people the wrong way. But mostly those people were neocons and others who believe -- despite the evidence to the contrary -- that the projection of raw...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Health Care Watch

In a nearly hour-long speech to the American Medical Association yesterday, President Obama tried to persuade doctors that elements of his plan that some doctors think of as bitter medicine will, indeed, be good for them. Robert Pear and Jackie...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Quick Takes

Laura Meckler writes in the Wall Street Journal: "A prominent gay-rights organization, long supportive of President Barack Obama, sent him a scathing letter Monday to protest the administration's recent legal backing of the Defense of Marriage Act. The frustration, expressed...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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The Foot-Dragging Continues

In the latest example of the extraordinarily and indefensible foot-dragging of the Obama administration when it comes to releasing information about the Bush torture legacy, the CIA yesterday -- under court order -- released a few tiny, additional fragments from...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Torture  
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Cartoon Watch

Bruce Plante on Dr. Obama's examination and Jeff Danziger on the blockage; Mike Luckovich on the Obama factor in Iran and Eric Allies on Obama's reaction....

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Political Advisers Sank Truth Commission

There's a lot of headline-worthy news in Jane Mayer's fascinating New Yorker profile of CIA director Leon Panetta. But what surprised me the most was that Panetta initially supported the establishment of a blue-ribbon commission to investigate the abuses of...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 15, 2009; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Torture  
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The Deficit-Attention Disorder

Given all the other crises President Obama is juggling right now, the federal deficit is -- as it should be -- among the least of his worries. What the economy needs at this point is more government spending, not less.To...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 15, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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The Health-Care Bargaining Chips

As the White House and Congress get to the horse-trading part of putting together a viable health-care plan, there will inevitably be some winners and some losers. For instance, when it comes to raising the money to pay for expanding...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 15, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Quick Takes

Michael Kranish writes in the Boston Globe: "The Obama administration will continue to seek talks with Iran's leaders despite an 'awful lot of questions' about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim of reelection, Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday. The effort...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 15, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Cartoon Watch

John Cole, Dan Wasserman, Jeff Danziger and Dwane Powell on the health care debate, Kevin Siers and Bruce Plante on executive pay, Rob Rogers on Obama's latest socialist plot, Steve Kelley on detainees, Walt Handelsman on the omnipresent Cheney, and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 15, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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