Archive for Barack Augustus Obama

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I said good books.

And I said read:

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir “Hard Choices” experienced a 43% drop in sales in its second week on bookshelves, according to numbers from Nielsen BookScan.

After 85,721 copies of “Hard Choices” were purchased in the book’s first week, 48,227 copies of the memoir sold in the second week, according to Nielsen numbers, which make up roughly 85% of all retail book sales and were provided to CNN by a publishing source.

There is good and bad news in the numbers for Clinton and her allies.

The good news: While her first memoir, “Living History,” sold 438,000 copies in its first week, it experienced a 62% drop off in the second week. So comparatively, “Hard Choices” didn’t have as big a fall.

“Living History” would go on to sell 1.1 million copies, according to Nielsen.

The bad news is that Clinton critics who have been closely watching how her 656-page tome to American diplomacy and her time at state will likely be given ammunition with this first to second week drop off.

Moi?

But Pinter said no matter how much Clinton sells the book, the “reviews were tepid enough to squelch interest from everyone but hardcore Hillary devotees.”

“Hardcore Hillary devotees”? That’s an image I didn’t need. But it’s hard for Hillary to compete with a better book:

On Wednesday, “Hard Choices” was No. 21 among Amazon’s best-sellers. (“Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” by Edward Klein is No. 3.)

When given a choice between fiction and nonfiction, most readers will choose nonfiction every time.

Blood Feud—in which we learn…

Valerie Jarrett runs the White House

While followers of the White House are aware of Jarrett’s sway as the president’s closest consigliere, the extent of this closeness is somewhat staggering…

Hillary attempted to physically intimidate Obama as Secretary of State

“Some of Hillary’s arguments with the president actually turned physical. Once, according to a source close to Valerie Jarrett, Hillary jabbed Obama’s chest with her finger to make a point. When Obama reported the finger-jabbing incident to Michelle, he said that he couldn’t believe Hillary had done that to the president of the United States. He was more amazed than angry about the impulsive attack.”

Bill Clinton commissioned (and threatened to leak) a poll prior to the 2012 election that would have shown Hillary Clinton to be more popular than the president, and potentially led to a challenge to his nomination

Obama stabbed the Clintons in the back for 2016

“‘Obama cut right to the chase,’ Clinton’s associate continued. ‘He said he wasn’t prepared to turn over his campaign’s digital operations, data mining, and social media juggernaut to the Clintons. Instead, he said he was going to fold that operation into Organization for Action, his second-term political pressure group. Hillary would have to build her own data and analytics system. Bill listened, said, ‘Okay,’ and let it go at that.

‘Then Obama said it was too early to make a decision about 2016 and who he was going to support of the Democratic Party nomination. He wasn’t prepared to back Hillary now. He was keeping his options open. He was reneging on his promise.

‘Bill’s blood began to boil. He was speechless with rage.

What really happened when Hillary initially postponed testifying on Benghazi

[A]s soon as Bill appeared on the scene and was able to assess Hillary’s condition for himself, he ordered that she be immediately flown to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in…Manhattan. When Reines subsequently released a statement confirming that Hillary was being treated…it naturally intensified speculation about the seriousness of her medical condition.

While she was at the hospital, doctors diagnosed Hillary with several problems.

She had a right transverse venous thrombosis, or a blood clot between her brain and skull…

To make matters worse, it turned out that Hillary had an intrinsic tendency to form clots and faint [Klein goes on to recount several other past fainting spells].

…According to a source close to Hillary, a thorough medical examination revealed that Hillary’s tendency to form clots was the least of her problems…Put into layman’s language, her heart valves were not pumping in a steady way.”

Who Obama is going to hand-select for 2016

“‘It’s going to be a dogfight,’ replied Bill [...] ‘They say he’s looking around for a candidate who’s just like him. Someone relatively unknown. Someone with a fresh face. He’s convinced himself that he’s been a brilliant president, and he wants to clone himself–to find his Mini-Me.

He thinks that your mother and I are what he calls ‘so twentieth century.’ He’s looking for another Barack Obama.’”

I skipped the part about Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett carrying on a permanent campaign after the administration. While Michelle isn’t as pretty as he (thinks he) is, she might do.

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US Open (to Failure)

Baghdad is about to fall to the Islamistest militants since Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last drew breath; the population of refugees in the world today has spiked to more than 50 million people, the most since WWII; all of teen Central America is holding a slumber party on our southern border; computer hard drives at IRS HQ are spontaneously combusting like Spinal Tap drummers—and what’s Obama doing?

It’s another Saturday golf outing, this time at Fort Belvoir. Obama is with a typical group of mid-level White House aides – Marvin Nicholson, Sam Kass and Joe Paulsen.

It’s the 21st time he had played this year and the 178th of his presidency.

Always the same few guys. Is Marvin Nicholson an expert on Middle East Affairs? Does Sam Kass have invaluable insight on spurring economic growth?

Why doesn’t Obama play golf with someone who might offer experienced advice?

Oh. Never mind:

“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign.

The feeling is mutual. Obama made ­excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.

On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.

Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.

“I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,” Clinton said.

“I really can’t stand the way Obama ­always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me,” Clinton added, according to someone who was present at the gathering and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.”

“Bill got into it right away,” said a Clinton family friend. “He told Obama, ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’ His reference to Hillary’s experience made Obama wince, since it was clearly a shot at his lack of experience when he ran for president.

“And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications .?.?. and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’

“Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s? Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.”

Listen, Bill, I hold Obama in the same contempt that you do (or I try). But if you want something from somebody, you have to butter him up. Treating him like a “coffee boy” is not the way.

It’s not like the little ball-and-chain is a shoo-in:

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We Should Be So Lucky

“Is Obama done with Washington?”

The 44th president has never been the capital’s biggest fan, but his frustration with life in D.C. is bubbling to the surface in ways both casual and substantive.

The president twice went for unscheduled walkabouts last week, taking a trip to a Starbucks near the White House with his chief of staff Denis McDonough on Monday and, the next day, turning up at a burger joint in Alexandria, Va.

“The bear is loose!” is the president’s favorite phrase at such moments, and he deployed it again last week.

And you know what bears do in the woods.

Yet there seems to be more to Obama’s frustration than cabin fever.

Last Tuesday, Obama was asked about gun control during a question-and-answer session hosted by the social networking website Tumblr. He didn’t try to assert that progress on legislation was realistically possible, instead launching into a personal broadside, permeated with a sense of resignation, against “this town.”

Never mind that no such gun control over-legislation would have prevented many or any of the gun crimes committed—or that gun sales only spike when this sort of talk gets going. Blame it on “this town” and be done with it.

But Obama’s been in Washington for less than a decade. Is he telling us that he misses in the Illinois State Senate, that he had a better time voting present in Springfield than being absent from Washington (in Palm Springs, Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, the 14th fairway at Andrews AFB, etc.)? Maybe he was happiest at Chicago Law School, where he rose to the lofty title of Senior Lecturer (a position he’s never outgrown).

He looks right at home, doesn’t he? Bashing corporations and banks and utilities (why utilities?), drawing insidious lines between loci of “power”. Look at him wield that chalk: he’s the Richard Feynman of liberal fascism. (If he had had higher cheekbones, he might have made Harvard.)

But if we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, why can he not wait to get out of town? We showed him the love—twice—well, not me, you—well, not most of you, them—and he’s already so over us (them), it’s not even funny. (It never was.) People have seriously discussed whether President was beneath his unique talents, but we already have a Pope (two, one retired). There’s already a Queen of England, with several Kings lined up to take her place. What’s he want?

Maybe he wants to be like Prince Charles. All the money and trappings of wealth one would ever need, and a soapbox from which to pontificate about global warming and modern architecture. I’m sure there’s something dreary about the job, but nothing so off-putting as President. Let’s create an American Prince of Wales, and get this guy out of the White House—it’s a win-win.

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Is “Golf” the Newest Dog Whistle?

Of course not. Golf has been a dog whistle for years.

The newest dog whistle is $2,952,278

The White House spent $2,952,278 in flight expenses this year for two trips President Barack Obama took on which he spent a large chunk of his time playing golf.

Obama billed both trips as official business, but he spent more time golfing than he did participating in government meetings, government oversight organization Judicial Watch reports.

The cost per flying hour includes fuel, food consumed on the flight and maintenance to the plane, the Department of the Air Force said in its response. It does not include the cost of the cargo plane that accompanies the president, as The White House Dossier points out.

The two trips in question occurred in February and March of this year when the President flew to Palm Springs, California, and Key Largo, Florida, respectively.

Why does the president never fly to Akron? Don’t they have golf courses there?


(Turkeyfoot: how appropriate.)

So, fly there in July. Im sure they’d be happy to see him.

Well, some of them would be. Anyhow…

The first trip took place over President’s Day weekend from February 17- 20. The total flight cost for this trip was $2,066,594.60, Judicial Watch reports.

On the first day of that trip, President Obama arrived in Fresno, California, at 2.30 pm local time. There he met with community leaders at a water facility before touring a local farm and making public remarks on the state’s water crisis.

‘It can’t just be a matter of there’s going to be less and less water so I’m going to grab more and more of a shrinking share of water,’ Obama said at the event. ‘Instead what we have to do is all come together and figure out how we all are going to make sure that agricultural needs, urban needs, industrial needs, environmental and conservation concerns are all addressed.’

Time Magazine reports that Obama spent those three days golfing with friends at two of the area’s exclusive golf clubs – Sunnylands and Porcupine Creek. Neither are open to the public.

Obama’s outings drew ire immediately afterward because the area’s golf clubs are a contributing factor to the region’s water crisis.

Each golf course Obama visited uses an average of one million gallons of water a day to keep the grass green. The courses use three to four times more water per day than the normal American golf courses because of the area’s hot, dry climate, Time reports.

How stupid does he think we are? I don’t know, how stupid are we? Pretty stupid, from the looks of it.

The second trip, which occurred less than a month later from March 7-9, cost $885,683.40 in flight expenses, the watchdog group said.

For that trip, the First Family joined the president. The Obama’s arrived in Homestead, Florida, on Friday at 1.40 pm eastern time. The President and the First Lady spoke at a high school at 2.25 pm. There are no public events on the President’s schedule after that until Monday morning, when he is listed as having received his daily briefing at the White House at 10 am.

The White House said Obama had ‘a bit of down time in the warm weather with his wife and daughters’ that weekend.

The Obama’s stayed at the Ocean Reef Club, where the president played two rounds of golf with friends.

Who are we to deny a man “down time in the warm weather with his wife and daughters”? What is this, Eight Years a Slave?

At least Sasha sinks a putt once in a while. Unlike her old man.

Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, sir.

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Dear Lois

Sounds like the collected correspondence of Lois Lerner could fill a library:

According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” about political activity.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.

“I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC….”

Not content to grill conservative groups for membership lists and “the content of their members’ prayers”, she wanted to throw the full weight of the federal government’s criminal shock troops at them too. And for what? 501(c)(4)s may:

…inform the public on controversial subjects and attempt to influence legislation relevant to its program and, unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as their primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.

A 501(c)(4) organization may directly or indirectly support or oppose a candidate for public office as long as such activities are not a substantial amount of its activities.

Remember, the worst thing the IRS did was to play keep-away with conservative organizations throughout the 2012 election cycle. Neither approving nor declining their tax statuses, the IRS kept the Tea Party and conservative Americans from organizing, denying them a fundamental freedom of assembly so enjoyed by the Obama camp. Nixon didn’t have the gonads Lois Lerner has.

Who else was writing to Lois?

Newly delivered internal IRS e-mails sent and received by former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner and other IRS employees show that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Minority staff, working for Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, began contacting the IRS in August 2012 about targeted non-profit applicant True the Vote. The IRS produced this e-mail on April 2, 2014 – only days after Oversight Committee Members had taken new IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to task for withholding relevant e-mails. The Chairman and five Subcommittee Chairmen on the Oversight Committee today sent a letter to Ranking Member Cummings demanding an explanation for his staff’s queries, why the Minority hid these efforts from the Majority, and why the Ranking Member denied such actions by his staff at a February Subcommittee hearing.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven: Democrat rank members (pun very much intended) conspiring with federal agencies, which were conspiring with other federal agencies, to nail to the wall anyone out of compliance with the directives of King Barack. I just spelled it out, but I can barely believe it. Prime Ministers, Presidents, and Kings have resigned, been impeached and deposed, even assassinated over lesser offenses.

PS: Lois ultimately decided against prosecutions, and we condemn and abhor even talk of assassination. Just so that’s clear.

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Brussels on $3 Million a Day

But if you’re willing to rough it, you can get by on $2.9 million:

Mouths on Capitol Hill were agape Friday as MailOnline told congressional staffers that President Barack Obama’s recent one-night stay in Brussels cost taxpayers more than $2.9 million – and that’s just for hotel space and rental vehicles.

The amount covered Obama’s March 25-26 stay in Belgium’s capital, plus two weeks of work by his advance team before the president participated in a NATO and EU summit and a tour of the Flanders Field Cemetery.

The Weekly Standard first reported on a single requisition for lodging in Brussels at a hotel called ‘The Hotel,’ costing an estimated $1.52 million.

MailOnline has found two additional requisitions, covering more than $396,000 at a Crowne Plaza hotel and $1.05 million in expenses for ‘vehicle rentals.’

Relax, America. You got off cheap:

The Guardian reported that Belgium’s cost for providing security and planning surrounding the president’s 24 hours stay was at least $10.4 million.

Please, just go to Hawaii next time. Like last time. And the time before that. And the time before that.

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Selfie-Gate

On behalf of the entirety of Red Sox Nation, I apologize for this shameless publicity stunt that demeaned the integrity of the office of the President of the United States:

The selfie was taken during a visit to the White House this week by the 2013 World Series winners. Ortiz, who has an endorsement deal with Samsung, put the photo on Twitter, and the electronics company re-tweeted the post to its 5.2 million followers.

“I can say that as a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. “And we certainly object in this case.”

Understandable. The president’s likeness should never be exploited.

Ever.

Imagine using his likeness so crassly:

It’s unbecoming:

Besides, that’s their job:

Fortunately:

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Top Secret Video

I can show this to you, but then I’ll have to kill you, You won’t see it on the news that’s for sure. [Hat tip: reader Yerushalimey]

Not only was there one single golf-clap (which is infinitely worse than silence), but one YouTube commenter noted that at the 0:55 mark, two members of the audience “heiled” him as he passed.

Oh wait:

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Here’s a Line President Obama Never Hears:

“Chicken or pasta?”

Or: “Can I ask you to put up your tray table?”

The Obama family managed to rack up nearly $16 million in flight expenses for two trips last year.

According to Air Force documents obtained by the government accountability group Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama family vacations to Africa in June and July, and the family’s Christmas vacation to Honolulu, cost taxpayers big bucks.

The Obama’s Africa trip cost $8,104,224 to fly for a total of 35.5 hours to, from, and around Africa at a rate of $228,288 an hour. The family’s Christmas Honolulu trip flights were slightly less expensive costing about $7,781,361 — flying for 36.9 hours at a cost of $210,877 an hour.

The conservative watchdog notes that the Obama’s 2013-2014 vacation to was more than $3 million greater than their Honolulu vacation the year prior.

“The costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond the pale,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “And the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish.”

No way!

Of course, travel costs do add up when you take separate planes (Boeing 747s) back from Hawaii. A few extra days in Hawaii and a dedicated plane were our gift—sorry, Obama’s gift—to Michelle for her birthday. (If you believe the story, which the National Enquirer doesn’t.)

Do they tell Obama to turn off any electronic devices? Does he have to check his luggage? Do they lose his luggage? Do they tell him to stick the nuclear football under the seat in front of him or in an overhead bin? Do they shut him off from the drink cart? Does he stare at the flight attendant’s behind? Does he wipe down the lavatory for the next user? (I do, unless previous pigs have left it beyond my help.)

If we’re going to use FOIA, let’s find this stuff out!

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Are You Sitting Down?

You’ll never guess what Obama went and did. Never, ever, ever.

Go on, try.

How’d you guess?

The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm.

The extra time will not be restricted, though, to people who wait until the last minute to try to sign up. Although no one will be asked why they need an extension, the idea is to help people whose applications have been held up because of the Web site’s technical problems, or who haven’t been able to get the system to calculate subsidies to help them pay for coverage.

Wait, I thought the website was running as smoothly as a Rolls Royce engine. That’s what Nancy Pelosi said, and she spends more time on it than I do on cheerleadersofthesoutheasternconference.com!

I also thought it was “the law of the land”. Turns out not to be even the law of Capitol Hill. It’s the law of whatever Obamaes Caesar says it is on any given day.

PS: I also thought it was Constitutional (“bitches”), but even that seems to be in doubt.

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Russia on the March

Mr. President, Russian forces are massing on the Ukrainian border, seemingly ready to invade at the merest hint of provocation!

What are you going to do about it?

Indeed, sir, Putin is behaving like a fascist, but what else are you doing?

Why yes, sir, Wichita State is undefeated. But then they haven’t had to face the Red Army.

What is your plan?

Good thinking, sir, to pack in the junk food while the little ball and chain is in China.

But is that all?

The 2014 Obamal golf season in Washington is underway, with President Obama taking advantage of a break in the global warming-induced cold weather to head out to the links for the first time in the Washington area this year.

He’s playing today at Joint Base Andrews – Forecast: partly cloudy, 67 degrees – with some of his usual partners, White House trip director Marvin Nicholson, Marvin’s brother Walter, and White House advance man Luke Rosa.

It is not, of course, Obama’s first time on the greens this year. He’s already played six rounds in California and Hawaii, making this his seventh outing of the year. It’s also the 164th round of his presidency.

Andrews Air Base—doubtless to inspect our air fleet should they be called upon to project liberty or protect our nation. Very good, sir!

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FOIA? Phooey!

All your biases are belong to us:

It’s Sunshine Week, so perhaps some enterprising White House reporter will ask press secretary Jay Carney why President Obama rewrote the Freedom of Information Act without telling the rest of America.

The rewrite came in an April 15, 2009, memo from then-White House Counsel Greg Craig instructing the executive branch to let White House officials review any documents sought by FOIA requestors that involved “White House equities.”

That phrase is nowhere to be found in the FOIA, yet the Obama White House effectively amended the law to create a new exception to justify keeping public documents locked away from the public.

“FOIA is designed to inform the public on government behavior; White House equities allow the government to withhold information from the media, and therefore the public, by having media requests forwarded for review. This not only politicizes federal agencies, it impairs fundamental First Amendment liberties,” Cause of Action explains in its report.

The FOIA requires federal agencies to respond within 20 days of receiving a request, but the White House equities exception can make it impossible for an agency to meet that deadline.

In one case cited by Cause of Action, the response to a request from a Los Angeles Times reporter to the Department of the Interior for “communications between the White House and high-ranking Interior officials on various politically sensitive topics” was delayed at least two years by the equities review.

While we’re trying to peer into the most transparent administration ever:

The Associated Press has stepped up its attack on White House efforts to block coverage of events involving President Obama, warning that once access is cut, “we’ll never get it back.”

In the latest media charge that the White House has reneged on promises to be “transparent,” two of AP’s White House staff told a convention in Denver this week that the president’s team often bars coverage of Obama events because they are “hypersensitive” about his Image.

At the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange convention in Denver, AP White House photographer Charles Dharapak said that instead of letting reporters and photographers in at major news events, like the president’s recent meeting with the Dalai Lama, it is issuing “visual press releases” on social media.

He suggested that in cutting reporters from events that have historically received coverage, the White House is limiting access to independent news organizations. “Once we lose access, we’ll never get it back,” he told convention participants.

His comments were the buzz in the crowd, eventually hitting Twitter.

“@Dharapak: We don’t fault @WhiteHouse for managing President’s Image but its no sub for independent journalism,” tweeted Maggie Murphy, editor of Parade magazine.

“@CharlesDharapak: It’s important for the public to understand that official White House photos are public relations,” tweeted Amanda Knowles, web and social media manager for the Newspaper Association of America. “@CharlesDharapak: How White House manages their message: Handout photos from closed events become visual press releases,” she added.

Are they implying that Official While House Photographer, Pete Souza, glamorizes his sole subject, Barack Obama?

Untitled

Final word about FOIA:

“Cause of Action is still waiting for documents from 16 federal agencies, with the Department of Treasury having the longest pending request of 202 business days.

“The Department of Energy is a close second at 169 business days. The requests to the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services have been pending for 138 business days,” the report said.

With so little regard for the rule of law, I don’t expect these people to leave the White House on January 20, 2017. Why would they? And with such a mewling press corps, why should they?

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