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Tag: White House

Max Baucus
senate.gov

Health Care Fail

By one estimate, Sen. Max Baucus gets about $1,500 a day from the health industry. Who put this man in charge of health care reform? The senator’s latest innovation in compromise is to slash proposed insurance subsidies in a bid to get Republicans on board. And forget about a government-run insurance program.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Deficit Could Be Obama’s Achilles’ Heel

President Obama once said the deficit “keeps me awake at night.” He’s not alone. Three recent polls show that while Obama’s approval ratings remain high, most Americans are preoccupied with the deficit and many question about whether the president is willing and able to rein in spending.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Financial Plan Fails to Impress

President Obama compares his “sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system” to FDR’s crackdown on Wall Street, but New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera isn’t buying it. “Everywhere you look in the plan, you see the same thing,” he writes. “Additional regulation on the margin, but nothing that amounts to a true overhaul.”

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


Max Baucus
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Bipartisanship of Fools

Where did we get the idea that the only good health care bill is a bipartisan bill? Is bipartisanship more important than whether a proposal is practical and effective?

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


Why Patch-and-Fill Won’t Do

At the moment, Republicans are gleeful and Democrats glum because of a Congressional Budget Office analysis—based on an incomplete and early draft of what is likely to be the most liberal-leaning health care proposal to emerge from the Senate—that shows the measure just won’t get the job done.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


Twitter Iran
bizzia.com

Meddle, No; Twitter, Yes

Twitter, the popular microblogging network, has played a significant role in connecting people interested in the popular protests happening in Iran. The service has been so important that the State Department asked Twitter to stay online—and delay its scheduled maintenance—so as to keep Iranian dissent open to the rest of the world.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Economic Misfits Finally Get It

On Monday, two men with considerable responsibility for enabling the banking meltdown confronted the error of their ways. Hopefully Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers’ sudden conversion to common sense indicates the seriousness of the banking regulation plan that their boss, President Obama, will present to Congress today.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Won’t ‘Meddle’ in Iran

President Obama says he is concerned about violence directed at protesters, but does not want “to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections.” He also warns that the “difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised.”

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer / Archive

CIA Chief Wonders Whether Cheney Wishes for Terrorist Attack

Leon Panetta responds to the former vice president’s constant sniping in the latest New Yorker: “I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. ... It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


All Politics, and Change, Is Still Local

The worship of the White House that led Colorado’s governor to renege on a health-care promise is one more pass-the-buck cop-out in a nation whose federalist system imagined states as “laboratories of democracy.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / +lyn

Flickr User Banished for Criticizing Obama

Shepherd Johnson’s Flickr account, along with an estimated 1,200 photos, vanished shortly after he started hassling the president via the White House’s official photostream. Yahoo, which owns the popular photo sharing site, won’t comment, but Johnson says he lost access after posting 20 or so negative comments, complete with links to images of torture.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Clean Coal or Dry Hole?

Obama should be applauded for taking climate change seriously, but one of his administration’s centerpiece initiatives may be digging a very expensive dry hole—literally.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


President Obama

Obama’s Cairo Speech

The president called his landmark address to the Muslim world “A New Beginning,” and for good reason.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Ronald Reagan
Reagan Library

Reagan Didn’t Do It

It would be nice to blame Ronald Reagan for the economic meltdown, as Paul Krugman did recently, but the facts don’t support it. Unfortunately, the real villains are closer at hand.

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform’s Pulse Is Fading

So it’s health care overhaul this year—or bust. If this is the bet, right now I’d put my money on bust.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper / Archive

Bush Defends Torture

George W. Bush took a break from the quiet life to defend his decision to torture detainees, saying his administration’s harsh methods were “within the law” and “saved lives.” Of course, the former president didn’t use the T word. “The first thing you do,” said Bush, “is ask what’s legal? What do the lawyers say is possible?”

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


Fessing Up Has Lost Its Shock Value

It seems government and investors are now engaging in damning honesty. With these outbursts of candor so brazen and self-explanatory, the press is being bypassed.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


A Wise Person for the Court

Forget Rush Limbaugh. In Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination, we face the riddle of the wise old man, the wise old woman, and the wise old person.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Why Obama’s Court Pick Is Already a Winner

The same impulses that have long driven the Republican Party toward ethnic polarization and immigrant-bashing seem certain to infect its opposition to Judge Sonia Sotomayor—in ways that can only benefit the Democrats and Mr. Obama in elections to come.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


A Justice for Us All

President Obama’s nominee said she hopes Americans “will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” Ordinary people have had a difficult time of it before the current Supreme Court.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sotomayor Is No Leftist

Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Richard Nixon
White House / Archives

The New York Times’ Watergate Blunder

Back in 1972 the FBI’s acting director gave a New York Times reporter the impression that the president was personally involved in Watergate, but the tip died a quick and historic death in the Times’ Washington Bureau, according to the reporter and editor involved. One went on to law school, the other took a long vacation and no one bothered to follow up.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Sends Rebs a Wreath

President Obama decided not to break with White House custom this Memorial Day and sent a wreath to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers who wanted nothing to do with the Union. But he also started a new and long-overdue tradition by honoring the hundreds of thousands of black Americans who fought against the South.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Sterno?

Share
Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE    


Running Scared

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Posted on May 2, 2009 READ MORE


White House Twitter
Twitter.com / WhiteHouse

White House All Atwitter

It’s not entirely clear how the White House joining the cyber-ranks of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter will serve to make the American government more “transparent” and “efficient,” but perhaps micro-blogging will save our democracy ... or maybe we’ll get to hear about what Joe Biden had for lunch.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sebelius at Last

Just in time for swine flu, the Senate has confirmed Barack Obama’s pick to head the massive Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. Democrats were able to use the health scare to shake the upper chamber out of abortion-obsessed confirmation gridlock.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Missed His Moment

The president had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Stuck Between a Turk and an Armenian, So to Speak

President Obama over the weekend commemorated the 1915 murder of over a million Armenians without using the word genocide, a term he had used during the presidential campaign in speaking of the slaughter. The word from the lips of the U.S. president would have angered Turkey at a time when relations between Washington and Ankara are going so well. In the end, Obama’s rhetorical gifts were not enough to keep outraged Armenian-Americans from taking to the streets.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

John McCain for Anti-Torture Czar?

If the president is so worried that prosecutions of America’s torturers and torture-enablers could feel like a partisan witch hunt, why not turn to a Republican with firsthand experience in being tortured?

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

There’s Gold in Them Waves

President Obama outlined a plan on Earth Day to lease federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf for wind and tidal power projects. Speaking at a turbine factory, Obama said wind could generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Committee OKs Sebelius Over Republican Objections

President Obama presided over his first formal Cabinet meeting Monday with a rather important chair left empty. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s pick to head the $750 billion Health and Human Services Department and spearhead his ambitious health care reform initiatives, has finally made it out of hearings and should be approved by the end of the week.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Underestimate the Tea-Baggers

The cool, cerebral White House might logically conclude that Wednesday’s decidedly uncool, uncerebral “tea bag” protests were intellectually and politically incoherent, and therefore not worth a second thought. That would be a dangerous mistake.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Armey’s Tea Party Army

At the apex of the tea party movement is FreedomWorks, headed by former Rep. Dick Armey. His past career should be instructive to any starry-eyed citizens who believe that they have at last found the true right-wing revolutionary path.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.
 

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Press Corps Scrambles to Keep Up With First Dog

The first family showed off new puppy Bo on Tuesday. He’s a Portuguese water dog, which appears to be a kind of mutant poodle with webbed feet. President Obama claims they are used to herd fish, though we’ll believe that when we see it.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Role in the Pirate Affair

Jimmy Carter was ultimately undone by a hostage crisis and the word Somalia still haunts Bill Clinton’s legacy. While the weekend rescue of a hostage held by Somali pirates was of a much smaller scale and under totally different circumstances than those events, President Obama must be relieved that it is behind him, a success. And now that it’s over, it seems the president was more involved than he initially let on.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Lee Craker

Obama Shows the Troops Some Love

The president on Tuesday made a surprise visit to Baghdad, where he expressed his gratitude to a raucous group of troops: “We have not forgotten what you have already done, we are grateful for what you will do, and as long as I am in the White House, you are going to get the support that you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation.”

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


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