By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

White House blocks visitor logs

The Obama administration is continuing George W. Bush’s policy of arguing that logs of visitors to the White House — health-care executives, of all people — are not public, Bill Dedman reports for

David Kurtz has a withering take on the news at Talking Points Memo: “Cheney Obama refuses to release visitor logs showing which energy health care company executives visited the White House.”

OK, we get it that we’re not suffering through Barack Obama’s economy or his war in Iraq — at least not yet. But governmental openness is not only something the president promised, but it’s also under his direct control. Enough already.

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  1. O-FISH-L

    Change we can believe in!

  2. io saturnalia!

    Meet the new boss …

  3. Peter Porcupine

    DK – don't worry. Obama will deliver on his promises…just look how Deval has taken on property taxes!

  4. Dan Kennedy

    PP: Why are you comparing Obama to Patrick? Explain.

  5. Nial Liszt

    But… but he won all those debates and he is so youthful and energetic and he's the greatest orator since Demosthenes and he so skillfully mediated all of those silver-spoon-flung food fights in the law review dining room and…

  6. lkcape

    Wow… Ain't it amazin' when the shoe is on the other foot.Next, we'll be told that the health care plan is actually going to cost money…And Guantanamo may stay open.And the the Government runs surveillance programs.And the CIA interrogates prisoners harshly.Sho' is different when you're no longer campaigning and have to do something about it!

  7. Peter Porcupine

    DK – Sorry. This is a common comparison. The Patrick adminsitration is widely seen in some circles as the precursor of the Obama Administration. They ran the same vague campaign, based on a smile and a shoeshine,and gained votes based on optimistic good will. The followers of both have been widely disillusioned. Both have a heavy and ultimately dangerous reliance on the bonding 'credit card' to solve problems, leaving the tab to be picked up long after they are gone.Each was tabula rasa. I remember reading one person who couldn't understand the hesitation about DOMA and DADT, as it was OBVIOUS that Obama was on THEIR side…and yet he never said so, and even implied he wasn't. But the desire to believe made his (their) followers project their own ideas onto the glossy, smiling blankness.Mind you, I don't want Gitmo closed, or a retreat from Afghanistan or a premature abandonment of Iraq…I just thought I had to vote for McCain to get those things.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    PP: It's a common comparison for one reason. I think I can fairly summarize your response as hummina hummina hummina.

  9. Tony

    Can you feel the hope?

  10. MeTheSheeple

    This is a betrayal of his promises, yes. It's also against his basic premise of open government.And I fail to see either a legal or practical reason why the logs can be closed by any president. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.lkcape: The last major thing I read on Guantanamo was essentially suggesting "closure" meant moving everyone to Bagram, but doing everything else the same way.

  11. mike_b1

    Only reason Guantanamo isn't closed is because a bunch of GOP senators are screaming NIMBY. Which doesn't say much for the security of their prisons.

  12. lkcape

    Gee Sheeple, a distinction without a difference.And wow, Mr. B1, are you saying that Harry Reid is now a Republican? Not in his back yard, either!

  13. mike_b1

    Nice attempt to change the subject.Still waiting for that first GOP senator to show leadership here.

  14. Rick in Duxbury

    DK, You DO realize that you are emulating Prof. Gates, projecting your kneejerk (some might say "racist" )mindset onto others, right?(PP:As I remember, Ralph Kramden was a sympathetic everyman, beset by pompous, self-important folks who lost as often as they won. Not such a bad rap. Prof.Gates REAL problem is that when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Harmony is bad for business.)

  15. Michael Pahre

    In case you hadn't heard (I don't see an update), the Obama administration last night released the names of 14 health care people who met privately with the president in the White House.My understanding is that they did not release the visitor logs per se, but rather the names of individuals fitting the description under the FOIA request in front of them.I don't know the technical details of the FOIA request, but it is quite possible that the White House has now responded in compliance with the request. An NPR report this morning said that at least some people were unsatisfied, since they wanted additional information, but didn't clarify if this was due to the WH's inadequate response or their inadequate specifications in the FOIA request.Note that many (actually, most, I believe) FOIA requests end up returning no documents due to poor wording or specification of the desired information in the request itself.

  16. lkcape

    Mr.B1, Then own up to the fact that this is not a GOP vs Dem issue.When the Majority Leader of the Democratic Senate says NIMBY…well you get the drift.But, since it does not fit into a preconceived notion of national politics, then again, you may not.

  17. mike_b1

    Rick, that's a specious argument if I've ever seen one (and I see a lot of them around here — just look at the post above this). Gates is a Harvard professor. He has far more tools at his disposal than crying "racism."

  18. lkcape

    But what is of interest is that he chose to cry "racism" rather than using the other tools available to him.That is the point that his apologists keep missing.Mr. Gates shows himself as being grossly insecure in his own space.

  19. mike_b1

    No pun intended, but what is clear to everyone but racist whitey is that in this instance Gates is calling a spade a spade.

  20. lkcape

    The spade was in Gates' hand and he used it to dig a big hole for himself.

  21. mike_b1

    That's what the Texas cops like to say when they trump up evidence to put away blacks. "He was where he shouldn't have been." Damn the facts.

  22. lkcape

    Guffaw!You still can't believe that one of your treasured "elite" behaved like an flaming ass.Love to hear those open mike tapes that the Cambridge Police have.I'm sure there will be a claim that those are trumped up, too.Not even toilet paper is going to clean the mess that Gates has made for himself.

  23. mike_b1

    When you come back from bizarro world, give us a shout. In the meantime – the charges were dropped- lawyers are chomping at the bit to sue Cambridge- no one is defending Crowley.

  24. Steve Brown

    I thought this thread was about WH visitors logs? What does that have anything to do with the Gates arrest?

  25. lkcape

    Those who see the world through a darkened prism fail to see the rainbow spectrum.Theirs' is the "bizaorro" world.

  26. mike_b1

    Again with the race-baiting comments. Nice.

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