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.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
U.S. Presidents have had an uneven relationship
with technology. The Clinton Presidential Library
has more than 40 million White House emails on record (but only two
are from the man himself). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, junked the Clinton archival process and replaced it with a comically inept alternative
that has lost more than five million messages, many concerning official government business
. (President Bush, for his part, gave up his longtime address -- G94b@aol.com
-- just before his inauguration). Even the Reagan White House had its share of problems
with the digital age. Now, as tech-savvy
Barack Obama prepares to implement his technology plans
, does he have a shot at dragging the Oval Office into the 21st century
? Or will he have to surrender his laptop
, his email account, and his beloved Blackberry?
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 15, 2008 -
"What kind of lawbreaking has happened on President Bush's watch, among his top and mid-level advisers? What hasn't? Who is implicated and who is not? Despite the lack of oral sex with an intern, the past seven years have yielded an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potentially prosecutable crimes. We have tried to sketch out a map
of who did what and when, with links to the evidence that is public and notes about what we may learn from investigations that are still pending." Via Slate
posted by infini
on Jul 29, 2008 -
Secrecy no more?
The first major overhaul of the Freedom of Information act in years is awaiting President Bush's signature.
It will finally create an "independent" government agency to handle to disputes between records holders and information requesters. The passage of the act comes after, ironically, after an Arizona senator used a "secret hold" to block the bill. He was ferreted out
by a group of journalists.
posted by nospecialfx
on Dec 20, 2007 -
Top Secret: We're Wiretapping You
It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil. Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked "top secret." And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls.
You read it and ponder it and wonder what it all means. Then, two months later, the FBI shows up at your door, demands the document back and orders you to forget you ever saw it.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 5, 2007 -
Bush has got a brand new bag
- In an executive order signed today Bush created a new oversight position at all regulatory agencies. This position, which will be staffed by someone appointed by the White House, will over see regulatory suggestions and reports to congress.
posted by sourbrew
on Jan 29, 2007 -
...Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone ... President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. ...
Long, eyeopening article laying out what laws have been ignored and why. ...Bush has cast a cloud over 'the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore.
'Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional," ...
posted by amberglow
on Apr 30, 2006 -
"These are just slush funds for conservative interest groups"
--The Compassion Capital Fund ($148 million of our money), and the Community-Based Abstinence Education grant program ($391.7 million of our money)--just 2 of many new programs. ...The distribution of new money to conservative organizations is a small part of an estimated flood of $2 billion a year in federal grants to religious and religiously affiliated organizations.
--except it's only to organizations who have policies that agree with Bush and the GOP agenda on social issues, and not about need.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 22, 2006 -
Meet 42 casualties of the current Administration
--they didn't die in Iraq, or New Orleans, but were beleaguered administrators, managers, and career civil servants who quit their posts in protest or were defamed, threatened, fired, forced out, demoted, or driven to retire by Bush administration strong-arming.
From Bunny Greenhouse to Richard Clarke to General Zinni to lesser-known folks like James Zahn, who was prohibited on no fewer than 11 occasions from publicizing his research on the potential hazards to human health posed by airborne bacteria resulting from farm wastes.
A very wide-ranging list, covering everything from Public Health to War to Terror and Torture to Education to...
posted by amberglow
on Oct 16, 2005 -
quietly up for debate before the Senate Committee
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and backed by the Whitehouse
, proposes to improve the performance of the Executive branch of the US Government by requiring that all Governmental agencies be given a 10 year shelf life at the end of which time they must be reinstated by a Presidentially appointed "Sunset Committee" or fade
into the history books
posted by Pollomacho
on Sep 26, 2005 -
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.
posted by amberglow
on Jun 3, 2005 -
Al Gore claims the Bush administration is not helping America, but hurting it by focusing on all the wrong things.
Gore:The administration is still not investing in local government training and infrastructures where they could make the biggest difference. The first responder community is still being shortchanged. In many cases, fire and police still don’t have the communications equipment to talk to each other. The CDC and local hospitals are still nowhere close to being ready for a biological weapons attack.
The administration has still failed to address the fundamental disorganization and rivalries of our law enforcement, intelligence and investigative agencies. In particular, the critical FBI-CIA coordination, while finally improved at the top, still remains dysfunctional in the trenches.
The constant violations of civil liberties promote the false impression that these violations are necessary in order to take every precaution against another terrorist attack. But the simple truth is that the vast majority of the violations have not benefited our security at all; to the contrary, they hurt our security.
posted by skallas
on Nov 10, 2003 -
Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures Karl Rove, President Bush (news - web sites)'s top political adviser, whose possible role in the case has raised questions, was a paid consultant to three of Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns in Missouri, twice for governor and for United States senator, in the 1980's and 1990's, an associate of Mr. Rove said on Wednesday. Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff.
No wonder 69% of Americans
think that an independent counsel
should conduct the investigation.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Oct 2, 2003 -
All text is verbatim from senior Bush Administration officials and advisers. In places, tenses have been changed for clarity.
posted by nofundy
on Sep 24, 2003 -
Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace The Bush administration planned well and won the war with minimal allied casualties. Now, according to interviews with dozens of administration officials, military leaders and independent analysts, missteps in the planning for the subsequent peace could threaten the lives of soldiers and drain U.S. resources indefinitely and cloud the victory itself. Lonely At The Top Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that he hoped to enlist as many as 30,000 troops from 49 nations. The problem, however, is that many of the recruits the Pentagon has tried to line up so far appear to fall into two categories: the not so willing and the not that able. Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty
- The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel. Turning and turning in the widening gyre...
posted by y2karl
on Jul 18, 2003 -
"One nationally renowned academic ... was recently called by an administration official to talk about serving on an HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] advisory committee.... To the candidate's surprise, the official asked for the professor's views on embryo cell research, cloning and physician-assisted suicide. After that, the candidate said, the interviewer told the candidate that the position would have to go to someone else because the candidate's views did not match those of the administration."
The overhaul of the U.S. public health advisory committee system begins with politics and ends with canning those who disagree with George W. Bush.
The public interest is somehow left out of the process.
posted by PrinceValium
on Sep 17, 2002 -
Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval
Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc
on Aug 26, 2002 -
"Granted, we're a long way from resembling the kind of authoritarian state Orwell depicted, but some of the similarities are starting to get a bit eerie
posted by jjg
on Jul 28, 2002 -
isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
posted by the_0ne
on Apr 9, 2002 -
George Bush: Union buster.
500 federal employees (including US Attorneys' offices, Interpol's U.S. branch, the Criminal Division, the National Drug Intelligence Center, and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review) fired because the presence of unionized workers would not be "consistent with national security requirements and considerations." [via bb
posted by mathowie
on Jan 24, 2002 -
The most sensible take I've seen
on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker
link, no registration required.
posted by jfuller
on Jan 23, 2002 -
It was now or not for 200 years,
and it was starting to look like it wouldn't be for another 200 years with the initial exploration funding cutbacks by Bush & Co. But reason has prevailed in the house and senate, and a Pluto mission is back in the plan. I never did find out why Bush opposed this mission. Maybe he thought that $30 million was too extravagent for a trip to Disneyland.
posted by holycola
on Nov 8, 2001 -
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?
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger
on Jul 10, 2001 -
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
posted by rcade
on Apr 17, 2001 -