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POTUS Notes Archive: April 2009


  • Going dark for a few days

    POTUS Notes will be dark for the rest of the week, but back in action on Monday, May 4. In the meantime, read this article. Published April 27 2009

  • Saudi prince says Taliban leader could be U.S. ally

    Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal on Sunday recommended that the Obama administration work with a top Taliban leader who is behind suicide attacks in Afghanistan and was the likely target of a U.S. missile strike just last fall. Published April 27 2009

  • Mideast peace depends on Obama, Saudi prince says

    Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said Sunday evening that if President Obama devotes himself to Middle East peace he will be able to overcome the obstacles presented by a new hardline Israeli government. Published April 27 2009

  • Larry Summers falls asleep while Obama talks

    The president's top financial adviser apparently has to catch some shut eye whenever he can, even if the president is talking and TV cameras are rolling. Published April 23 2009

  • Interrogators said they would do 'whatever it takes'

    One thing in those Justice Department memos that has so far escaped much notice is something that interrogators were allowed to tell detainees. Published April 23 2009

  • Is Robert Gibbs doing too much?

    Robert Gibbs is a unique White House creature, with more authority over messaging and more access to the president than perhaps anyone else who's ever held the position. Published April 22 2009

  • A new trend: The "BlackBerry break"

    The New America Foundation is now introducing "BlackBerry breaks" into its conference and seminars. Published April 22 2009

  • Gibbs: Pay no attention to what Rahm said

    The White House press secretary had a hard time Tuesday explaining an apparent about-face by President Obama on whether Bush administration lawyers should be prosecuted for writing legal memos authorizing "enhanced interrogation techniques" that some consider to have been torture. Published April 21 2009

  • Bush lawyers won't be targeted, Rahm says

    President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said Sunday that the attorneys who wrote the legal memos justifying the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques" should not be prosecuted. Published April 20 2009

  • Putting the 'torture memos' in context

    Not much attention has been paid so far to the role that the memos play in the broader legal landscape. Here's an attempt to explain it. Published April 17 2009

  • Obama's tax cut claim based on population growth

    President Obama today said he has cut taxes for more American workers than any U.S. president in history. A former spokesman for President Bush says this is probably true -- but only because the number of workers has grown. Published April 15 2009

  • Obama's cornucopia of tax credits

    While a tax protest goes on outside the White House, the Obama administration is aiming to avoid the "tax and spend" label on Tax Day with a long list of tax credits and refunds they've enacted. Take a look at the list. Published April 15 2009

  • Former staffer sees pre-Obama roots to DHS report

    "As much as I want to say it was politically fueled, I'm pretty certain that it wasn't," the former DHS staffer said. Published April 15 2009

  • Obama's refocusing moment

    President Obama has been home from Europe for nearly a week, but his speech Tuesday is his first major pivot back to the main issue of concern for most Americans: the economy. Published April 14 2009

  • Bo? Bo don't know Diddley

    The Obama's new dog reminds me of one of the best TV commercials of all time. Published April 12 2009

  • The 'nuclear minefield'

    The Economist's leader essay lays out the daunting challenges to reducing nuclear arsenals, after President Obama called for a world without nukes in Prague on Sunday.    Published April 10 2009

  • Obama's foreign policy experiment

    Yesterday was a traveling day, and I'm hanging with the family today, but I wanted to point out my wrapup piece in today's paper and also post the two videos I did in Europe. The wrapup, on President Obama's experiment in a more humble foreign policy than President Bush, and its potential pitfalls, can be read here.   Published April 9 2009

  • Obama will reap a 'harvest' from trip, advisers say

    The president's top advisers on Tuesday compared President Obama's trip through Europe to a farmer planting his crops, saying he is pleased with the progress he made but expects the real payoffs to come down the road. Published April 7 2009

  • Obama to Turkey: You've got game

    President Obama spoke to Turkey's Grand National Assembly Monday and had this message for them: their basketball players have got good basketball skills. Published April 6 2009

  • Turkish security nabs cell phones

    Turkish security took our BlackBerries and phones away from us as we entered the compound where President Obama is meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. They said it was for security reasons. Published April 6 2009