Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Farewell to All That
An illuminating and depressing Oral History of the Bush White House from Vanity Fair
NYT: "The White House has turned down a request from the family of President-elect Barack Obama to move into Blair House in early January so that his daughters can start school on Jan. 5.
" [more inside]
Tim Goeglein, director of the White House office of public liaison, is a plagiarist.
... and he actually admits it.
“It is true,” Tim Goeglein wrote to The Journal Gazette in an e-mail. “I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."
Found by Blogger (and MeFi lurker) Nancy Nall.
Rich Little was selected (vid link on that page is dead)
to headline the White House Correspondents Dinner
this year, no doubt to avoid the kind of controversy created last year's headliner, Stephen Colbert.
Seems like it was also a way to avoid any type of humor as well! Although no video of the event is yet available online (as far as I can see), an earlier YouTube video
accurately predicted the result. An example: 5 minutes to set up this
ancient, unfunny, joke. I wish I was kidding.
The dismissals took place after President Bush told Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales in October that he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud investigations...
White House Said to Prompt Firing of Prosecutors
Sampson sent an e-mail to Miers in March 2005 that ranked all 93 U.S. attorneys. Strong performers "exhibited loyalty" to the administration; low performers were "weak U.S. attorneys who have been ineffectual managers and prosecutors, chafed against Administration initiatives, etc." A third group merited no opinion.
(NYTimes) - Firings Had Genesis in White House
Keep Bush away from the press
. Joe Scarborough (in the news
lately for asking rude questions about the President's intelligence) opines that "If George Bush has lost his ability to give a commanding presser, then stage manage him differently. Play to his strengths... Show him only in settings where he is in control." Curiously, while Bush's press conferences have become unsetllingly less coherent in recent days -- even for him -- the so-called liberal media and even the blogosphere have barely mentioned it (perhaps in the spirit of preserving the dignity of the office, like FDR's wheelchair
?) Example: watch this video
happens at 1:34 or so, right before the President abruptly terminates the questioning? Will Bush in his twilight years, as Foxborough advises, become like Ronald Reagan, protected from public humiliation by his faithful staff?
Media critic Jay Rosen rises above the McClellan/"shake-up" foofaraw to put several pieces of the puzzle together and show how the Bush administration has significantly altered the long-standing relationship of the press to the White House. (More from Rosen here
.) Another piece that fits: Donald Rumsfeld's bold, frequent, and rarely-challenged assertions
that the American press is being expertly "manipulated" by Al Qaeda "media committees"
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Intrigues at the White House: Andrew Card
, Bush's longtime chief of staff -- the guy who briefly interrupted the President's reading of The Pet Goat
one rough morning in 2001 and took heat for the Katrina and Dubai debacles -- is out
, replaced by budget director "Yosh" Bolten, the one-time founder of a club called "Bikers for Bush."
Meanwhile, is Rove rolling over for Patrick Fitzgerald
, and if so, what's the angle
Like top-10 lists? The fifteen most incompetent Bush administration appointments. Newsfilter, and reg. required. But this article is a thing of utter transcendent beauty. You have not heard of most of these people.
Flip-Flop faux-paux at the White House.
On a recent visit to the White House, the 2005 national champion Northwestern women's lacrosse teams choice of footwear is causing quite a stir. Let the Kerry jokes begin.....
No "beeper violations"
or loosened ties in this
White House, mister.
The Pimping of the President
--Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist Billing Clients for Face Time with G.W. Bush: ...He had just concluded his work on the Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior. He had sent his personal assistant Susan Ralston to the White House to work as Rove’s personal assistant. He was a close friend, advisor, and high-dollar fundraiser for the most powerful man in Congress, Tom DeLay. Abramoff was so closely tied to the Bush Administration that he could, and did, charge two of his clients $25,000 for a White House lunch date and a meeting with the President. ... Jack Abramoff,
in the news due to his shady dealings with DeLay, and Grover Norquist
, and the White House. Norquist has not responded to inquiries about using the White House as a fundraiser.
"The Bush administration intervened to argue that their claims should be dismissed"
I seriously can't believe it. This is Brechtian
. Something has to be missing. This can't be my government.
White House Considering Product Placement Deal
All I can say is, I really, really hope this is a spoof article.
"The most intriguing story in Washington these days
is a subterranean conflict that reporters cannot cover because some of them are involved. A potent guerrilla insurgency has formed in and around the Bush presidency - a revolt of old pros in government who strike from the shadows with devastating effect. They tell the truth. They explode big lies. They provide documentary evidence..." - William Greider, on what could prove to be one of the defining power struggles of our time. Through a lens darkly, yes. But deniable ? - not plausibly. As gossip
, growing louder now, the shadow-war advances. Unstoppably? No
This is frankly not one of the best films ever made.
"Realizing that sequels are often fraught with peril, the producers of Barney Cam secured starring roles from the President, the First Lady, many senior White House officials and a yet-to-be-named surprise cameo appearance."
Picture Hunt time!
How many women are in this picture? (more inside)
Pick your poison: highbrow
(virtual tour of 10 Downing Street), or lowbrow
(virtual tour of the White House). Hint: one of these is funny.
Iraq Estimates Were Too Low, U.S. AdmitsThe White House acknowledged Monday that it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and that even the additional $87 billion it was seeking from a wary Congress would fall far short of what is needed for postwar reconstruction. Administration officials said President Bush's emergency spending request - which would push the U.S. budget deficit above the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time - still left a reconstruction funding gap of as much as $55 billion. Reserve Tours Are Extended With U.S. forces stretched thin in Iraq and the Bush administration still searching for additional international peacekeepers, the Army has ordered thousands of National Guard and Army Reserve forces in Iraq to extend their tours in the country to a year, months longer than many of the troops had anticipated, Army officials said yesterday.
$87,000,000,000 + $55,000,000,000=$142,000,000,000
One year tours for National Guard and Army ReservistsHope you enjoyed your meal--here's your bill...
Support out troops?
The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.
The White House has a new system for email from the public.
Dashing off a rant, a rave or a question to email@example.com won't cut it anymore. Now it takes a maze of forms and clicks and filters. The first question:
is this a supportive message or a differing opinion? Then you have to pick your topic from various menu lists. And list a name and address and email. And reply to an automated message making sure it's really your email.
White House tech guy tells the NYTimes
: "When it comes to a Web site, it's a bit like a movie. Some will say it's a tour de force; some will say it fell flat."
all emails are saved and must be publicly disclosed in 12 years.
Ask the White House
who is this richard perle guy anyway?
is anyone else a little concerned with some of his views and associations
being one of the top advisors
to our current administration?
In a long letter to Esquire magazine,
the former head of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Programs blasts the White House as having practically no interest or expertise in making sound social policy: "[O]n social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking." DiIulio may have a bit of an ax to grind here, but it is still a fascinating look inside the Bush policy-making apparatus. (The letter was the basis for an article by Ron Suskind in Esquire which is not available online [press release here
]. The saga leading to the publication of the letter is recounted in today's Tapped
White House Wages Stealth War on Condoms
The government is waging a covert war on condoms. Fact sheets on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus have disappeared from government sites. Right wing activists have been appointed to the the presidential AIDS panel. Government audits of AIDS activist groups who protest these policies have begun. So, apparently only evil-doers have sex outside of marriage, and they deserve to die horrible deaths.
Bush Science: more lead for children and the healing power of Jesus.
How many obvious right-wing ideologues with strong industry ties purporting to be objective scientists will Americans tolerate?
The 'Gate-less Community
"But something changed when George W. Bush became president. The current administration has not lacked questionable behavior: Karl Rove met with Intel executives in the White House even as he held a significant amount of Intel stock; Deputy Interior Secretary J. Stephen Griles, a former coal-industry lobbyist, intervened in an energy-exploration dispute on behalf of former clients; Dick Cheney met repeatedly with energy company officials who appear to have had a strong hand in formulating the administration's energy policy; and, of course, there is White. Yet each retains his job. Eighteen months into Bush's term, his only appointee to resign under a cloud is Michael Parker, the former civilian chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, and not over allegations of corruption, but for what this administration views as the one true deadly sin: disloyalty. (Parker publicly criticized the president's budget.) By contrast, two years into the Clinton administration, 10 political appointees had resigned; under the elder Bush, eight; under Reagan, 13. What has changed isn't so much the conduct of officials, but the standards by which they're judged. The "new tone" that George W. Bush brought to Washington isn't one of integrity, but of permissiveness."
I had trouble sleeping Saturday night because of a CNN story
suggesting that "increased level of chatter and activity" indicated that "another al Qaeda terrorist operation could be in the works." The "warnings" have been coming ever since: Cheney said Sunday that future attacks were "almost a certainty"
and FBI director Robert Mueller stated "we will not be able to stop it"
, with Ridge
spinning similar tales today. Is there a new threat? Ridge hasn't changed the nation's security alert from "yellow," and
AP reported today
that "a top White House aide said last week's criticism prompted a two-pronged political response: Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue as his advisers reminded voters that America is still a target
The Bush White House spent up to $250,000 on a fireworks show last night without publicizing it beforehand to keep the public away, according to Matt Drudge
. (Check out the fireworks this is generating among a few surprisingly irate
members of FreeRepublic.Com.)
is at it again.
Is the fact that he is able to get away with things like this an indication of a backlash against the more open
years of Democrats in the White House?
Is this secretly what the American public wants?
This White House will Have a Long Memory.....
"To join the coalition, you must agree to support the Bush energy proposal in its entirety and not to
lobby for changes to the bill... Should the bill change, you must support the changes in the
legislation or drop out of the coalition. If you are caught attempting to lobby behind the back of the
White House, you will be expelled from the coalition. I have been advised that this White House
'will have a long memory.'" -- Fundraising memo for the Alliance for Energy and Economic
Growth, a month-old trade group consisting of representatives from the various energy
industries. The letter puts the admission to the group at "a very low price" of $5,000.
Affirmative action seems to be taking root in an unlikely place: the Bush White House. "There's been talk inside and outside the administration about having no more than half the 484 political positions in the cabinet and agencies go to white males and at least 30 percent to women," Fred Barnes writes in the conservative Weekly Standard
Bush to frisk toddlers at annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
High school massacres aside, isn't this going too far? I doubt that a 2 year old could fire off several rounds on an AK-47, much less load one. Even balloons are banned becaue they'll be mistaken for gunfire.
Bush budget whacks space station plans, modules
Apparently the White House feels that the current project will exceed budget by quite a bit, so NASA is 'scaling back' plans for Alpha.
at Bush's policy and cabinet. Scary.
The first step in setting up a parallel government?
"Republican vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney said if the General Services Administration will not assist George W. Bush's transition to the White House, the campaign is prepared to go ahead on its own. 'We will proceed drawing on other sources,' Cheney told reporters in Washington on Monday." Yeah, I just bet they will.