One day after being sworn into office, President Barack Obama instructed federal agencies to ensure government transparency by complying with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act law.
One year later, Obama’s requests for transparency have apparently gone unheeded. In fact a provision in the Freedom of Information Act law that allows the government to hide records that detail its internal decision-making has been invoked by Obama agencies more often in the past year than during the final year of President George W. Bush.
Major agencies cited that exemption to refuse records at least 70,779 times during the 2009 budget year, compared with 47,395 times during President George W. Bush’s final full budget year, according to annual FOIA reports filed by federal agencies.
It’s been long enough to ease out Desiree Rogers and put in the person that the administration really wanted: a stone-cold moneymaker.
The promotion of Julianna Smoot to White House Social Secretary is good news for wealthy donors to President Obama’s campaign, for whom Smoot — the chief campaign fundraiser — is friend and point of contact.
Smoot, who had been working in the relative obscurity of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, will now be the key gatekeeper to the kind of social functions from which donors have complained that this administration, unlike President Clinton’s, has barred them.
(Via Hot Air Headlines) Ben Smith went on to write that this choice ‘cuts against’ existing administration rhetoric on access and accessibility; I would be interested to see the expression on his face as he wrote that bit of understatement. Of course, I imagine that Ben no more believes that the White House meant any of that agitprop than I did, so he might have even have written the line out with a straight face. At any rate: business is business, and the White House… is back in business.
PS: Administration response? The usual way that they handle any criticism of the administration: they blamed Bush. Except, of course, that Lea Berman was VP Cheney’s social secretary before she worked on the 2004 campaign. In contrast, Julianna Smoot’s resume says ‘finance director’ a lot.
Not to contradict Glenn Reynolds, but this report of the Democrats going ahead with plans to make it impossible for an upstart into do in 2012 what Senator Obama did to Senator Clinton in 2008 won’t offend President Obama at all. The President is the incumbent now, after all: he doesn’t want superdelegates and spaced-out primaries (and probably caucuses, soon enough) interfering with his inexorable progression through the nomination process. That’s what I concluded back in June, and I see nothing here that would encourage me to change my opinion.
Shorter Moe Lane: Hi, I’d like you to meet the new boss.
What happened to Obama’s massive network of grassroots activists?
They sold out, is what happened. They sold out and cashed in, which is why the representative of the faction that wanted to make OfA a fully-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party is enjoying a six-figure salary and the representative of the faction that wanted the group to actually take the President’s campaign promises seriously is enjoying the balmy tropical paradise of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Did you know that the average temperature for January in that location is just under 14 degrees? Fahrenheit, of course.
All of which TNR knows, of course – except maybe the average temperature of Sioux Falls – but then again, they need to keep telling themselves that the ongoing Democratic civil war over health care rationing represents ‘momentum,’ so I suppose that their ignoring this is a relatively minor act of goodthinking in comparison.
…Shea-Porter can be seen instructing security to remove a man for standing to ask a question without a ticket. Shea-Porter previously held a lottery to determine who could ask questions. She can also be heard taunting the man on his way out by saying, “I do hope the movie theater can be a little quieter for you.”
NowHampshire.com has learned that the gentlemen Shea-Porter removed, Carl Tomanelli from Londonderry, is a retired New York City patrolman.
(Video also here) Presumably Shea-Porter didn’t know that: then again, I’m assuming that because there’s no report of the Congresswoman making pig noises as they removed the retired cop.