Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Herb Strentz: Will there be Iowa Democratic Caucuses Also? Yes, Teeny Ones.

DES MOINES – A friend in California asked about the ballyhooed Iowa Republican caucuses: “What do Democrats do on Tuesday?” A reasonable question. My answer: At my precinct more than 300 Democrats showed up for voting in the 2008 caucuses. In 2010 as I remember it, about a dozen were there, including several kids getting [...]

Myra MacPherson: Remembering Bob Pierpoint

One of the last great radio and television correspondents, Bob Pierpoint, died Saturday. The following information isn’t all that matters, of course, in the scheme of who a person is or was, but his career statistics are impressive. As CBS White House correspondent Pierpoint covered six Presidents, from Eisenhower to Reagan, 12 national elections, President [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Boehner, Cantor and McConnell, Today’s Martin, Barton and Fish

On Oct. 28, 1940, when I was 15, my parents, brother and sister and I gathered by the radio, as was our custom, to listen to a speech delivered at Madison Square Garden by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The key part of the speech remains imprinted on my memory more than 70 years later. It [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Rick Perry, the Handsome Candidate

Looks matter. They matter particularly in electoral politics. Would Rick Perry be anywhere near the top in polls if he were bald, potbellied, stooped, shrimpy, acned and spoke with a lisp? A lot of people seem willing to forgive or overlook oddball views if the speaker looks good. The two women receiving the most attention [...]

Herb Strentz: If Bachmann loses Iowa after All This…

DES MOINES—Here in the heartland, much of the news coverage and commentary about the Iowa caucuses remains doggedly oblivious to the fact that their outcome will be determined by the religious right, which is at the controls of the Iowa Republican Party. Indeed, about the only ones who routinely acknowledge the dominance of the religious [...]

Dan Froomkin: Asking the Emperor About Everything Except His Clothes

Reporters covering the mad bipartisan scrum to reach some sort of agreement on federal deficit reduction have been painstakingly recording every detail of rhetorical posturing, noting every political up and down — and missing the real story. They’re not questioning the underlying assumptions, which make this whole exercise a counterproductive farce. Dean Baker, the co-director of [...]

Dan Froomkin: The 2-Year Anniversary of an Excellent Question

Two years ago last week, President Obama announced that he would send more, not fewer, troops to Afghanistan. He also raised an awfully good question. “Many people in the United States — and many in partner countries that have sacrificed so much — have a simple question: What is our purpose in Afghanistan? After so [...]

POGO: Open Government Advocates Meet with POTUS: A Firsthand Account

By Danielle Brian Cross-posted on POGO’s blog. Yesterday afternoon, POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian—along with OMB Watch Executive Director Gary Bass, Director Patrice McDermott, National Security Archive Executive Director Tom Blanton, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy Dalglish—met with President Obama about open government issues. The meeting was originally [...]

POGO: Are House GOP Freshmen Serious about Cutting the Defense Budget?

By Nick Schwellenbach, crossposted with POGO There is no shortage of headlines with a variation on a theme such as: “Tea Party Declares War on Military Spending,” “Tea Partiers Say Defense In Mix For Budget Cuts,” and “Veteran Republicans Fear Tea Party, Liberals Will Unite To Cut Defense.” Much of the media has fostered the [...]

POGO: Rolling Stone Psy-Ops Article Exposes Another Breakdown in Military Whistleblower Protections

By Nick Schwellenbach, crossposted with POGO Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings has written another article that’s gone viral. Here’s how it opens: The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned—and when an officer [...]