President Barack Obama
The text of the Inaugural speech will be posted after it's completed. Change.gov is closing up shop; Change has come to Whitehouse.gov.
C. Brian Smith gets invited to dinner
at a college friend's house. The father drinks "non beer" and scolds the dog for farting. Smith remembers that he has a joint in the cigarette box in his pocket. One of the sisters "severs the tension by asking her father how many words he screwed up" during a recent speech he gave. Just another family dinner at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
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]
The White House Museum’s website
offers a fascinating historical chronicle of the interior of the White House. Though the East
wings are interesting in their own right, it is the evolution of the President’s Residence
that offers the most intimate view of the tastes and lifestyles of the various first families. [more inside]
In a new article in the Washington Post
: "The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects". These documents were requested by then CIA director George Tenet, who told 60 Minutes last year (in conjuction with the publication of his book, In the Center of the Storm
), ""The image that's been portrayed is, we sat around the campfire and said, 'Oh, boy, now we go get to torture people.' Well, we don't torture people. Let me say that again to you. We don't torture people. Okay?
In his new book, 'The Way of the World
' "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims that, after the Iraq war began, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein, in an attempt to tie Hussein to the 9/11 attacks."*
: "'It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq' and that Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger with the help of al Qaeda. Suskind also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official "that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion." After the fake letter was released in late 2003, press outlets reported it as evidence of a Saddam/al Qaeda link. "Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam," said Bill O’Reilly at the time. [more inside]
According to Aviation Today
and Universe Week
, the US President has been briefed on the discovery of "something more compelling [than the confirmation of water], completing another piece of the puzzle in the search for the correct conditions for life as we know it to survive on Mars". It's not life, or evidence of past life, but it's something
Scott McClellan wrote a book.
The former Press Secretary
admits some of his answers to White House Press Corps questions were badly misguided
. One section of his book accuses George W. Bush of deluding himself about his alleged cocaine
Of course, part of the blame for the entire mess should fall on the liberal media
for being "too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war...".
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.
After recent promising results
demonstrating the ability to change mouse skin cells into stem cells, researchers have replicated this change in human skin cells in papers published in Science
(access to full articles requires subscription) . The White House, somehow, is trying to take credit
for this. The potential of all this: huge.
"I want those two minutes of my life back." Musique concrète Fred Thompson
-style -- a merciless videohack of the candidate's performance at the GOP debate on MSNBC, October 9, 2007. While almost anyone can be made to look foolish edited this way, not everyone
was impressed by Thompson's unedited presence at the debate, his TV debut as a presidential contender. Some believe, however, that the former Law and Order D.A.
is just the man to "restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings
Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text
, or if you prefer there is some audio
at the 51min mark from This American Life.
Drowned out by boos,
former White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card, receives an Honorary degree from UMass Amherst. (youtube)
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.
Speaking of the White House Egg Roll...
The GLBT organization Family Pride
plans to once again fill the annual event with hundreds of gay and lesbian families.
What many welcome as a rare opportunity to be included as legitimate American families
in a historic national tradition is seen by opponents as the crude politicizing of a children's event.
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
Blacked out text
in your newspaper. The White House has attempted to heavily censor
parts of a proposed op-ed about Iran. So tomorrow, the NYT will run the op-ed with black redaction marks, and provide a list of non-classified sources for the exact material the administration claims is sensitive.
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?
Pull out a US $20 bill.
Take a look at the picture of the White House. See that tree peeking in from the right, the 140 year old elm that's been there since Andrew Johnson? Well, it's gone
. Yup. Fallen over
, thanks to the soaker summer storms
which have been hammering the Mid-Atlantic in recent days. Cleanup has started
, but no word on whether the $20 bill will be needing another update.
The Case of the Disappearing Affirmative Action Letters
In August 2005, letters written by future Chief Justice John Roberts, dealing with the Reagan Administration's policies on affirmative action, disappeared from the Ronald Reagan Library
in Simi Valley, California. The National Archives and Record Administration was so concerned they conducted their own investigation
, but their report on the investigation
has so many redactions it raises more new questions than it answers about White House lawyers
who had unguarded access to the papers.
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.
Scott McClellan resigns; Karl Rove sidelined.
(NYT) The promised "shakeup" of the White House begins.
Inside the White House
.... brought to you by Something Awful. Elaborate SA put-on, or so insane it must
be true? I can't decide. DailyKos summary
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
A Peek Under the PR Mask
Once in a blue moon, we actually get a peek under the White House's public-relations mask, and this morning it comes courtesy of Peter Baker and Dan Balz , whose front-pager in The Washington Post suggests that Bush's unflagging public confidence about his Iraq policy reflects the work of public opinion researchers.
Bush teleconference with troops staged.
Nothing in the article says who
is responsible for organizing the staged question and answer session, The White House, military officials, or others in the defense department. Just that it infact was staged, and that the troops were coached for 45 minutes prior to the actual teleconference. When Bush, in an unscripted move, asked an officer if he had anything to say, he stammered through a sentence, in stark contrast to the well put together responses to all the other questions, thanking the President and saying, "I like you." More PR from the Bush administration.
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.
White House Tapes
has audio files and transcripts of presidental conversations between 1940 and 1973, including FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
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.
We were invited, we didn't invade.
Recent white house daily press release where Scott McClellan avoids answering direct questions. Is this history re-written before our eyes?
"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.
More juice on Jeff Gannon
(maybe NSFW). As you might have heard, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Gannon
a few days ago. The little rascal denied that any of his sexually explicit sites ever went live.
White House Considering Product Placement Deal
All I can say is, I really, really hope this is a spoof article.
It hasn't been a good day for the Bill of Rights. In addition to this
, it's now apparently a breach of security
to take pictures of the White House from a public street.
And to resell diaries of historical importance
. [reg may be required.]
"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
Joseph Wilson interviewed at Salon. They've also tried to portray you, and all the other whistle-blowers who have spoken out against the administration, as partisan democrats. Do you think that has been an effective technique?
It hasn't worked with me. People are touched by this story because it gives a human face to a whole host of lies and deceptions that only now are becoming apparent to the American public. Americans don't like this attitude. Americans don't like to see their women taken out and beaten up.
Designs on the White House
-- an online design contest, judged by designers, celebrities, and activists. Winning designs will be available for resale on T-shirts and other products, and all proceeds after expenses will benefit the John Kerry Presidential campaign.
Impressive list of judges, including (so far) Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd, Ed Schlossberg, Atrios, and Tom Tomorrow. Designs will be online throughout May, with your votes determining the finalists. (Kerry's official shirts are
lacking, imho) Maybe campaign memorabilia always has been?
9/11 Panel: Bush White House Withheld Papers
The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks announced yesterday that it has identified 69 documents from the Clinton era that the Bush White House withheld from investigators and which include references to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and other issues relevant to the panel's work.
Another voucher for Clarke
[...]And like Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, and myself, Mr. Kaplan thinks the allegations are true because the White House has focused its counter-battery fire on Mr. Clarke's credibility -- not the substance of his assertions[...]
Hamas said, "... Sharon has opened the gates of hell and nothing will stop us from cutting off his head.''
a. is assassination of political/spiritual leaders justified?
b. how much of setback to peace in israel/palestine, is this move?
c. did the whitehouse pre-approve this arguably major expansion in israel's war against palestinian "militants"? ny times link
President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter.
Also: A transcript subpoenaed in the CIA leak probe reveals the White House press operation began efforts to personally discredit former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV days before a columnist blew the cover of his CIA-officer wife
. From TPM