- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2011

GET THE PICTURE?

Can the White House continue to shield post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden? Maybe not. Judicial Watch has filed the inevitable Freedom of Information Act request with the Defense Department seeking “all photographs and/or video recordings of Osama bin Laden taken during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011.” An identical request was filed with the CIA.

“President Obama’s decision not to release the bin Laden photos is at odds with his promises to make his administration the most transparent in history,” the public interest watchdog group says, adding that they hope the requests prompt a release of the material “in an orderly fashion,” in compliance with the law. The agencies have 20 business days legally to respond

“Mr. Obama’s reluctance to ‘spike the football’ is not a lawful reason for withholding these historic public documents from the American people. We are prepared to go to court to obtain this information,” says Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.

MAMA’S STOCK OPTIONS

Mother’s Day is essentially 48 hours away. Flowers, card and brunch again? Jonathan Chen, a contributor to the online trading network Benzinga, recommends children and significant others buy mom reliable “Mother’s Day-related equities” instead. His recommendations? Try 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (listed on NASDAQ as FLAWS), American Greetings Corp. (NYSE: AM), Target (NYSE: TGT) or Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS). Oh, and don’t forget Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), whose shares have gained 41 percent over the past year.

CARNEYIZED

Some look askance at the White House press office. Daily Telegraph columnist Toby Young claims press secretary Jay Carney is “floundering under pressure,” calling White House media outreach after the death of Osama bin Laden “breathtakingly amateurish, planting seeds of doubt about the legality of the operation.” Mr. Carney took on the job at the end of January.

“The constantly changing narrative - or ‘fact pattern’, as one White House official described it - suggests that the president and his advisers have been caught on the hop and have no clear strategy for dealing with the fallout from bin Ladens death. This is epitomized by the halting, timid delivery of Jay - ‘How’m I doin’?’ - Carney, who must bear some of the responsibility for this communications failure,” Mr. Young says.

“President Obama is coming dangerously close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Somehow, he and his press secretary have created the impression that Operation Geronimo was carried out by the Keystone Kops rather than an elite unit of Navy SEALs. In fact, the only amateurs in this unfolding story are in the White House,” he adds.

WHERE’S NEWT?

As in Newt Gingrich? He’ll be spending considerable time in the 3100 block of Maple Drive in Atlanta, where he has opened presidential campaign headquarters, two floors above the offices of the Georgia Republican Party. Yes, Mr. Gingrich has yielded to the siren call of 2012, and is making a bid for the White House. He’ll make his public declaration by the time the state party begins its annual convention, to convene in Macon on May 13.

GAS RELIEF

Well, it’s a start. The Republican Study Commitee has introduced the “Consumer Relief for Pain at the Pump Act”, which would repeal restrictive energy development policies along with mandates and prohibitions that cause gas prices to be “artificially high.” The act calls for utilizing U.S. natural resources, including oil shale, and condemns frivolous litigation or bureaucratic delays that hinder development.

“More energy means lower prices and more jobs. It doesnt get any simpler than that,” says Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and the committee chairman.

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