It’s trolling them so. Darn. Hard: “The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject all requests for records to that office… the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming as it did on National Freedom of Information Day.” And it’s Sunshine Week! Can’t forget that.
You get the feeling that USA Today is either scratching its head over the timing of it all, or at least trying to look like it’s scratching its head; while the change doesn’t actually make the White House’s emails permanently inaccessible*, the timing is odd. As the article notes, the court decision that this action is based on happened back in 2009, and they’re just getting around to formally noting it now. Then again, from 2009 to, oh, about two or so weeks ago the question was kind of obscure anyway for most people. Continue reading The White House trolls transparency advocates.
Nineteen people stood behind President Obama on stage in the Executive Office Building Tuesday as the president kicked off a new campaign to promote Obamacare.
[snip of biographical data about Monica Weeks, one of the nineteen people]
There were 18 other people standing with Weeks and the president on stage. Obama began his remarks by saying, “Thanks to Monica, thanks to everybody standing behind me.” A little later, criticizing Republicans who have pronounced Obamacare a failure, the president said, “I would advise them to check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.”
But Obama never said who those people were, and, unlike other events, the White House did not release their names or biographies. A spokesman later said the White House would not provide the information.
Just how bad is the Obama administration’s Cone of Silence? It’s not so much about this…
A slew of media organizations have petitioned the government to release ObamaCare data that the White House has refused to make public.
CNN, ABC, MSNBC and others have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking information on the beleaguered healthcare.gov website. They have also asked for government documents revealing how many people have enrolled in the new healthcare exchanges.
Other media organizations who have filed FOIA requests on ObamaCare include the Huffington Post, Reuters, Politico, National Journal and Time magazine.
The solution to this quandary about transparency in the Obama White House is pretty easy to resolve…
Whether it’s responding to Congress, media questions, or FOIA requests, this administration is no better than its predecessor. The big difference: Obama is a Democrat. And because he is a Democrat, he’s gotten a pass from many of the civil liberty and good-government groups who spent years watching President Bush’s every move like a hawk.
No one knows this better than John Kiriakou, the CIA agent who reported to federal prison two weeks ago for blowing the whistle on the agency’s use of torture[*]. During an interview at an Arlington, Va., coffee shop, Kiriakou said the time has come for Washington watchdog groups—organizations like Public Citizen, Project on Government Oversight, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and others—to admit that President Obama hasn’t come close to making good on his promise to make government more transparent and accountable.
It’s always almost unbearably cute when a journalist suddenly realizes that this administration could care less about media transparency, or in fact anything that the media says that’s more substantial than “Barack Obama, you’re so dreamy!” Case in point: this article by Salena Zeto, where the author complains mightily that the Democrats are routinely locking out local reporters* from fundraisers attended by Vice President Joe Biden (including one, not incidentally, in Zeto’s home journalistic turf). Also, John Adams’ Sedition Act makes an appearance, which is generally considered to be bringing out the heavy (if usually inaccurate) rhetorical guns in articles like this one; I must admit, there’s something fun about watching the Other Side get scattershot-targeted like this**…
We talked this afternoon on South Carolina’s Spending Accountability Act (which was formally signed into law today). To refresh people’s memories: Governor Haley had campaigned in part on a platform of transparency, with a specific focus on the South Carolinian legislature’s ability to vote on funding issues without their votes actually going on the record. The Governor has long been a proponent of reversing this, and the Spending Accountability Act is the result: it requires roll call votes on bills, particularly ones involving the budget. We spoke on this and some other matters:
Gov. Haley’s Facebook page (mentioned at the end of the interview) can be found here.
No, really. President Obama met with the transparency award givers in private; the award ceremony did not appear on his schedule, and had no press presence whatsoever. There wasn’t even a staff photographer there, much to the surprise of the transparency/open government people, who are all of them kind of confused that they had to give this award under the rose and in an undisclosed location.
I know that this is a short post, but literally: I got nothing, sorry. This one is weirder than the time the administration came out in favor of ending whaling bans.
Hi! This post is for the benefit of whomever, starting next January, is going to be in charge of soon-to-be Chairman Darrell Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform investigation team. I think that there’s a non-trivial chance that this New York Times report of the White House evading its own ethics rules by deliberately meeting with lobbyists off site (and thus, without having to to log in lobbyist visits) for ‘coffee’ may abruptly become not available after November, so I’m taking the time to reproduce the names of everybody in the article after the fold.
…it’s sad. The White House press pool is being given the mushroom treatment; and they know that they’re being given the mushroom treatment. But they don’t want to respond appropriately – which is to say, stop letting Robert Gibbs define what are or are not appropriate questions to ask. Until that happens – and the press corps internalizes the notion that Gibbs and the administration needs them a hell of a lot more than they need Gibbs and the administration – they’ll keep getting the mushroom treatment.
I’d be sympathetic, except that elections have consequences.