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Tag: White House

AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Dennis Cook

The Party of Choice

By acting on their convictions rather than their fears, the Democrats could ultimately find that the public option can be turned to their advantage for years to come.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Geithner’s Fed Made AIG Pay Banks to the Max

That Timothy Geithner must love the big banks he spends all day talking to. Back when he was in charge of things, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forced AIG to pay off Wall Street tycoons for all those toxic bets, even though the mega-insurer was busy trying to negotiate a better deal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE

Harry Reid

Senate Bill Will Include Public Option

Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate version of health care reform would include a public option with an opt-out, which would allow states to sidestep participation in the government insurance program. The White House reportedly favored a trigger instead, which is probably just a sneaky way to ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE

Robert Reich

Robert Reich: Make a Ruckus

Despite widespread public support and momentum in the House, the public option faces White House officials and conservative senators who looking to undermine it. In this plea for MoveOn, the always-insightful Robert Reich says to vote the bums out if they vote against you.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Spc. Tia P. Sokimson

The Country That Cries Wolf

European allies have tired of America’s cries of “wolf! wolf!” in Iraq (yesterday), Afghanistan (today), and (I fear) Pakistan or Somalia or Kashmir tomorrow.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

White House Lawyer in Trouble for Doing His Job

The gossipy schoolchildren who make up Washington’s power elite have sunk their claws into White House counsel Greg Craig. The president’s top lawyer has had one of the toughest jobs in the building—reversing George W. Bush’s torture policies, finding a Supreme Court justice and vetting some of the nation’s most complex legislation—and he has the scars to prove it.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrence Jackson

Nancy Pelosi Promises Public Option on the Cheap

The House speaker is thrilled to hear from the Congressional Budget Office that all three versions of the public option under consideration in the lower chamber would be cheaper than expected and would actually reduce the deficit over 10 years.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE


American Scientist Charged With Espionage

American scientist Stewart David Nozette, who has worked for NASA, the Pentagon and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and even did a stint at the White House, could spend the rest of his life in jail after being charged with passing secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrene Jackson

Karzai Gives In, Agrees to Runoff

Afghanistan will hold a runoff election on Nov. 7 after a U.N. commission stripped President Hamid Karzai of his victory, citing rampant fraud. Karzai, under heavy foreign pressure, accepted the commission’s findings Tuesday and agreed to the runoff.

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 READ MORE

Glenn Beck Goes to War

Fox News personalities are so sensitive. After White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said that “we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave,” Glenn Beck grabbed his toys and declared war.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE

Meltdown After the Meltdown

The fevered urgency with which the bailout was pushed by the Bush administration and enacted by the Democratic Congress last year has been followed by dithering in the midst of the employment crisis.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE

Stimulation Without the S-Word

So now we know: The economic stimulus plan passed by Congress at the beginning of the year was not big enough.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Put a Sock in it, Stan

How to proceed in Afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that President Obama ever makes. But he’s the one who has to decide, not his generals.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama Pressures Senate on Public Option

Like a reluctant Sisyphus, the president is still pushing the public option up Capitol Hill. According to a report in the L.A. Times, Obama has been trying to sell moderate Democrats on the idea. That’s no easy task, as many have taken gobs of money from the private health industry and coincidentally oppose meaningful reform.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

White House photo

The Torture Memos

Georgetown University law professor David Cole’s new book, “The Torture Memos,” investigates how key members of the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel rewrote the law to make torture legal.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE

Who’s in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?

The Washington Establishment clearly believes elected officials should defer to the military, no matter what that pesky Constitution says.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE

troops in Afghanistan
Flickr /

White House: No News (Yet) on Afghanistan Strategy

Although the Obama administration was well aware of the fact that, by Monday morning, everyone and his cousin knew about Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s warning about “mission failure” in Afghanistan, which the general had issued to the White House as part of a report that found its way into the clutches of Washington Post journalists, there will be no official call for more troops until an equally official request is submitted.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE

Selective Deficit Disorder

When President Bush vastly expanded the deficit with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy, where were the conservative organizations that recently marched on Washington?

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s White House Is Woman and Girl Crazy—in a Good Way

From the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls to the State Department’s global focus on women’s rights, President Obama is scoring points with feminists who worked against him in the primaries.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE

Is Rep. Joe Wilson Winning?

The White House was worried President Obama’s major health care address would get lost in the commemorations of 9/11. They didn’t know about Joe Wilson, the heretofore unknown South Carolina congressman who is now the national poster boy for the disaffected and ill-informed white people hurling tea bags and insults at the president.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE

Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE

Mike Ross

Don’t Take Blue Dog’s Word for It: It’s Worthless

Rep. Mike Ross, head of the House Blue Dogs, says he can no longer abide a deal he made with White House chief of staff (and Blue Dog patron saint?) Rahm Emanuel. Ross’ vision of the public option already made liberals queasy, but now the Arkansas Democrat says even that version is too much.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


White House Releases Obama’s School Speech

With some parents still reluctant to send their children to school Tuesday for fear that President Obama will indoctrinate them with his scary socialist ideals, the White House has attempted to ease the hysteria by releasing the full text of his speech a day early. Now doubters can do a close textual analysis for objectionable content.

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 READ MORE

Obama and Weaver

Obama’s Back-to-School Speech Ruffles Feathers on the Right

So, President Obama wants to give our nation’s schoolchildren a personalized message Tuesday as they start a new year. One might imagine that the president plans to emphasize the importance of education, but some of Obama’s detractors are reading much more into the motives behind his speech.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE

Ted Kennedy in Pictures

There’s a lot missing in this hastily constructed array of Ted Kennedy’s life. His run for the presidency, for instance, and the scandal that never quite left him. We also leave out his many legislative accomplishments to focus on his family and the extraordinary swan song that might have been.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE

Who Is Obama Playing Ball With?

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with a top executive from UBS, a bank that sheltered wealthy tax dodgers while hardworking U.S. taxpayers were bailing it out.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE

Status Quo Is Not an Option

The summer of disinformation seems to have accomplished its goal: to preserve for the private insurance industry an effective monopoly over how much most Americans pay for health care, and on what terms they can buy it.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Elizabeth Washburn

Progressives Are the Key to Reform

Constituents’ pressure on a fractious Congress is likely to be the only thing that can win the day for an effective overhaul of the health care system.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE

New Credit Card Rules Activate

With the folksy charm of a timeshare salesman, Austan Goolsbee of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers outlines some of the new credit card rules, which began taking effect Thursday.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Enforcer: Not Really Tough Enough

Every mistake made by the Obama White House in the pursuit of health care reform can be traced to the political style and ideological prejudices of Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly sought to intimidate progressives and empower conservatives.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Gibbs Goes Before a Media Firing Squad

Although news wires buzzed Monday with reports that President Obama had changed his tune when it came to pushing for the government to make a public health care option available to give private insurance companies competition, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs begged to differ during a press conference Tuesday.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

‘Nothing Has Changed’ for Public Option

Press secretary Robert Gibbs called the media’s determination that the president had abandoned the public option “one of the more curious things I’ve ever seen in my life.” Is this a case of spin or spine? Read Gibbs’ entertaining back-and-forth with reporters (full text after the jump) and come to your own conclusion.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE

Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera

Red-faced people are now hurling the same falsehoods at the nonexistent Obama plan that they hurled at Clinton’s plan—and Harry Truman’s national health insurance proposal, and Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Playing Defense Isn’t Working

It’s true that politics is the art of the possible, but it’s also true that great leaders expand the scope of possibility.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Pulling the Plug on the Public Option

Obama, under political pressure, has softened his call for that element of health care reform, and a Congress awash in industry money is likely to be all too happy to bid it adieu.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Joe Biden and Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Feels Liberal Backlash on Public Option

We keep hearing that the president can’t get his health care reform without the support of conservative Democrats in the Senate, but he also can’t pass anything without progressives in the House, who are none too happy with the administration’s hints that a public option could be dead.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Obama and Rahmbo
White House / Pete Souza

Team Obama Ready to Surrender Public Option?

The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. ... ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Chuck Kennedy

What Do Billie Jean King and Bob Dole’s Running Mate Have in Common?

The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Ron Edmonds

New E-Mails Detail Rove’s Role in Attorney Firings

Internal e-mails released Tuesday show that Karl Rove and other senior Bush aides played an “earlier and more active role” in the 2006 U.S. attorney firing scandal than previously revealed. The messages detail a concerted, two-year effort by Rove and staff to dismiss attorneys for political reasons.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

White House archive / Oliver F. Atkins

35 Years After Nixon

President Richard Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the revelations of his “abuses of power” and obstruction of justice. For his involvement in criminal activities, Nixon earned his unique epitaph: an unindicted co-conspirator.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Markus Schreiber

Playing Politics With a Ghost

Now that the remains of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Speicher have been recovered from Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts and other politicians will have to stop shamelessly exploiting his disappearance to sell their war agenda. Update from the author

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE

A Coup for Lobbyists at the White House

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in the middle of the night just over a month ago, enjoys global support for his return, with the exception of the Obama White House.

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE

US Navy / MC1 Tiffini M. Jones

GI Bill Sends Vets Back to School

More than 100,000 veterans have already submitted claims under Sen. Jim Webb’s new GI Bill, which aims to pay for the college tuition, housing and books of students who served in the military after 9/10/2001. That number is expected to hit 500,000 in the program’s first year. (More after jump)

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Pen Pals

Every day the president reads 10 letters from the public that are handpicked by his staff. Lately, he says, a lot of them are about health care. Here’s a White House-produced look at the process.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Alex Brandon

White House: No Tax Hikes for Middle Class

On Monday, after two of President Obama’s economic sidekicks, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, made noises over the weekend about the possibility that middle-class Americans may pay higher taxes in the near future, the White House went into damage control mode.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE

Summit Up

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE    

New Light on Rove’s Role in U.S. Attorney Scandal

“Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to newly obtained e-mails that shed light on a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe,” reports the Washington Post.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE

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