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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


glass window
sheridangp.com

White House Adds to Faith-Based Advisory Group

The bad rap that “faith-based initiatives” got during the last administration hasn’t kept the new management at the White House from treating its Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships seriously. It has fleshed out the lineup of advisers to a total of 25 with two new recruits.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

Wall Street Showered Obama’s Top Economic Adviser With Riches

Lawrence Summers is the man President Obama turns to for insight into the economy, so it’s more than a little disturbing that the very financial institutions the taxpayers are now rescuing—to the tune of nearly $3 trillion—paid Summers almost $8 million last year. Goldman Sachs & Co., a major beneficiary of the government’s largesse, paid him $135,000 for one speech.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform at Last

Yes, this is the year Congress will finally give every American access to health insurance. For the first time since the passage of Medicare in the 1960s, the forces favoring action on health care reform are stronger than the forces of cynicism and obstruction.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Wants a Nuke-Free World

The U.S. led a round of chest-thumping following North Korea’s alleged missile test Sunday, but President Obama also acknowledged that the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons against others and, as such, has a “moral responsibility” to lead the world toward a nuclear stockpile of zero.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


The Nobelists vs. Obama and Geithner

The president’s plan to bail out the banks reveals a deference to the existing financial system that puts him at odds with Nobel Prize-winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


Cars, Banks and Confusion

The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obamas Hire Merrill Lynch Decorator

Although they’re allotted $100,000 to redecorate, Barack and Michelle Obama will spend their own money updating the White House. The first family has turned to Michael S. Smith for the task. The designer has worked for Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, whose decorating habits have come to epitomize corporate greed.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Obstruction of Justice

The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of Dr. Sami Al-Arian have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / richardefreeman

Obama Team Scraps Auto Bailout

The Obama administration auto task force has sent both GM and Chrysler back to the drawing board, turning down requests for additional loans until the companies come up with more realistic restructuring plans. The government will prop up GM for two months while the automaker tries again. Chrysler has 30 days.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE


In the Garden of Eatin’

There are now 1,100 square feet on the South Lawn of the White House being transformed into a kitchen garden. If Americans follow the first family’s lead, the seed pack will become the new stimulus package.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Takes Cheney to School

President Obama personally conducted a tour of the White House for “60 Minutes” and in the Sunday broadcast defended his embattled treasury secretary, said sending more troops to Afghanistan was his toughest decision yet, and refused to grant a look at his wife’s vegetable garden. The president also took the opportunity to unload on Dick Cheney, who recently suggested we are less safe without torture.

Posted on Mar 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Art Comments

Buffett Says ‘Muddled Messages’ Fuel Uncertainty

The world’s richest man—until recently, anyway—said the economy “has fallen off a cliff” and he blamed “muddled messages” for the public’s uncertainty. Warren Buffett, in remarks broadcast Monday on CNBC, criticized Republicans and the political process, but his barb has at least grazed the man he helped elect president.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Carter and Stewart

Jimmy Carter on Peace in the Middle East

What’s that you say, Jimmy Carter? Peace in the Middle East is possible? The former president paid a visit to “The Daily Show” Monday night to advance this bold thesis—and to describe what it was like to mingle with Bill Clinton, two Bushes and Obama at the White House. How ’bout that Oval Office rug, gents?

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



YouTube / WhiteHouse

Obama Takes Oath Again, Just to Be Safe

The second time was the charm for Chief Justice John Roberts, who flawlessly administered the oath of office to Barack Obama a day after botching the pledge. The White House counsel explained that they opted for a repeat “out of an abundance of caution.” Obama actually legally became the president even before taking the oath the first time.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
Flickr / No. Nein

Obama Announces New Ethics Rules, Freezes Aides’ Salaries

President Obama says “[t]ransparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones” of his administration. To that end, he will toughen lobbying restrictions and require all federal agencies to give high priority to Freedom of Information Act requests. The president also announced a pay freeze for about 100 of his highest-paid aides.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Ferrell

Ferrell Channels Bush in Farewell Spoof

With George W. Bush’s departure from the White House also comes a loss for the comedians who’ve enjoyed an eight-year field day at Bush’s expense, such as Will Ferrell here, who takes one last crack at W. while he’s still president in this mock(ing) farewell address.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Joe Plumbs the Middle East

So Joe the Plumber is off to report on the Gaza conflict for Pajamas Media. Is this one of the signs of the apocalypse? Jon Stewart breaks it down in this “Daily Show” clip after his in-depth analysis of a recent presidential huddle at the White House.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Gupta
reportercaps.com

CNN: Team Obama Eyes Gupta for Surgeon General

Although the fact that his sponsoring network, CNN, reported this rumor makes it a tad suspect, it wouldn’t be the first time that the concept of self-promotion was associated with the name of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s resident brain surgeon and talking head, who has apparently been approached by the Obama squad to potentially fill the position of U.S. surgeon general.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Laura Bush
White House / Shealah Craighead

It’s ‘Laura’—‘Mrs. Bush’ if You’re Nasty

Americans have always preferred Laura Bush to her husband, and now Scribner, an imprint of a division of a subsidiary of Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, is hoping to capitalize on that appeal with an “intimate” new memoir set for 2010 release. There’s no telling how much the better Bush is getting paid, but “millions” is a safe bet. Update after the jump.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Streisand and Bush

Bush and Streisand Embrace, Both Survive

Having been one of President George W. Bush’s most vocal celebrity critics in recent years, it must have been strange for Barbra Streisand to find herself smiling and embracing the lame duck last Sunday at the White House.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Talking Points Celebrate Bush’s 8 Wonderful Years

Putting a positive spin on George W. Bush’s two terms in office is no easy feat, which is why the White House has sent out a two-page memo detailing the president’s numerous achievements, including his protection of “the honor and the dignity of his office,” whatever that means.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Richard Nixon
gmu.edu

Nixon Tapes Confirm Sour Personality

The National Archives released another 200 hours of Richard Nixon’s White House recordings on Tuesday, bringing the grand total of publicly available grousing, griping and racially insensitive grumbling to more than 2,200 hours.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Chevron in the White House

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his principal national security Cabinet selections to the world Monday and left no doubt that he intends to start his administration on a war footing. It is revealing that his choice for national security adviser is a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and Chevron, an oil giant.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Flashback: Obama Looks Forward to Clinton’s Advice

Barack Obama’s fondness for Clinton retreads and his choice of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state took many by surprise, but we might have seen it coming. This debate skirmish before last year’s Iowa caucuses has turned out to be remarkably prescient.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

Bill Clinton Jumps Through Hoops for Hillary

Bill Clinton will not stand in the way of his wife becoming Barack Obama’s secretary of state. The former president has agreed to nine conditions. Most notably, he will release the names of the 208,000 donors to his foundation and will submit future speeches and business deals to State Department and White House ethics reviews.

Posted on Nov 30, 2008 READ MORE


Last but Not Least: Obama Taps Volcker

After a series of depressing announcements, Barack Obama will finally turn to an economic adviser who wasn’t directly responsible for the current crisis or mentored by someone who was. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the president-elect wants former Fed Chair Paul Volcker to lead a new presidential advisory board focused on saving America from financial ruin. Update

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Newshour

Is Axelrod Walking in Rove’s Footsteps?

David Axelrod is not Karl Rove, so what’s he doing in his office? Barack Obama was elected to bring change to Washington, but like his predecessor, he’s bringing his top political strategist into the White House. The Boston Globe questions whether that’s the best idea.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


George W. Bush raises his glass
White House / Eric Draper

Howdy, Pardoner

It’s that time again. Felons seeking pardons and commutations had best get in line, as the president already has a backlog of applications, including convicted congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham and junk bonder Michael Milken. So far Ted Stevens and “Scooter” Libby haven’t asked.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


White House
Flickr/dcJohn

White House Butler’s Story Heads to Hollywood

Just after Barack Obama was elected president, The Washington Post published the affecting story of former White House butler Eugene Allen—and Hollywood was definitely paying attention.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Predicting President Obama’s Performance

Is it possible to foretell how a president will lead based on a set of indicators culled from past precedents? That’s a hard call—but John Dean is willing to take his chances in his latest column about the future of America’s highest office.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


Barack and Michelle Obama on the Next Four Years

Barack Obama covered a lot of ground during his first post-election interview Sunday. The president-elect said he will close Guantanamo, re-regulate the economy and wait until he’s settled before getting his daughters that puppy. Michelle Obama, joining her husband, said she will become an active first lady once her children make the adjustment to their new home.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


YouTube and the White House
Composite: whitehouse.gov/youtube.com

YouTube Goes to the White House

President-elect Barack Obama is bringing the fireside chat to the Web, using the technology at his disposal to address Americans online in a new twist on the check-in pioneered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


‘Daily Show’ Goes to Town on Obama’s Handshake

Jon Stewart one-ups CNN’s “best political team on television” with “the best f—-ing roundtable on the planet” in this send-up of TV punditry.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


President Obama Can Redeem the White House

The first African-American elected president of the United States recently visited his soon-to-be residence, a house built by slaves. Alice Walker told me: “Even when they were building it, you know, in chains or in desperation and in sadness, they were building it for him.”

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


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