Sperling: Obama Wanted Sequester to Force Democrats to Accept Entitlement Cuts

By: Thursday February 28, 2013 8:50 am

The way Obama has handled basically every manufactured crisis from the debt ceiling, to the Bush tax cuts expiration, to the sequester has been about trying to force both Democrats and Republicans to embrace his version of a “grand bargain.” While it is clear this has been the driving force behind Obama’s decisions, if you pay close attention to his actions is is rare than an administration official will directly admit this. This is actually what I think it most interesting about the recently leaked email exchange between Bob Woodward and Gene Sperling up on Politico.

 

Leaked Woodward Memo Offers Road Map on Grand Bargain

By: Monday November 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Bob Woodward leaked the deal memo from the proposed 2011 grand bargain, which didn’t happen for a number of reasons, none of them being Barack Obama’s reticence to cut a deal.

No Plan B?

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 6:45 am

Bob Woodward’s releasing a new book, so we are now seeing articles based on it. A few days back, The Washington Post published the ”Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis.” This account is a pretty downbeat one of how our political leaders and President Obama handled the debt ceiling crisis of the summer of 2011. I want to comment on what for me was the most salient point: that during the crisis, the President had no “Plan B” to get around the debt ceiling beyond negotiating a deal with Congress.

Woodward and Bernstein Join Rich Tradition of Blaming the Internet for Everything

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 2:11 pm

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein sat for an interview at the American Society of News Editors yesterday, and they were asked about how a Watergate-type scandal would play out in the Internet age. They mocked a set of papers from a Yale journalism class, which they claimed said that the Watergate scandal would pop up on the Internet, and that Nixon would have had to resign much more quickly.

WH Stenographer: Obama Took Big Risk in Deciding to Go after Bin Laden

By: Saturday May 7, 2011 11:00 am

There’s not all that much in this Bob Woodward piece on the raid to get Osama bin Laden that hasn’t already been reported generally elsewhere: just some details about the surveillance leading up to the raid (which I’ll discuss below) and a cute anecdote about how they measured bin Laden’s corpse to make sure it was taller than six feet.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Julian Zelizer, The Presidency of George W. Bush: The First Historical Assessment

By: Sunday January 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Midway through his presidency, when Bob Woodward about how history would judge the War in Iraq, George W. Bush responded: “History. We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” Instead, in a 2006 essay in Rolling Stone, the prominent historian Sean Wilentz argued that a substantial majority of U.S. historians already considered the Bush administration to be a “failure” (81% in a poll conducted by the History News Network). Wilentz predicted that Bush would “be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.”

Obama Administration Arbitrarily Deciding Who Gets Prosecuted for Leaks

By: Monday October 18, 2010 6:56 am

In addition to reserving the decision for itself of who gets prosecuted or not for fraud on courts and torture, the Administration is also arbitrarily choosing who gets prosecuted for leaks.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bob Woodward, Obama’s Wars

By: Thursday October 7, 2010 12:00 pm

Bob Woodward’s inside-the-White-House books always provide scoops and provoke controversy and his new one, Obama’s Wars, is no different, but with one vital twist: It is less a look back than a look around. Readers don’t merely re-live or debate, say, a president’s decision to start a war – nothing much can change that – but how he is now conducting, even escalating, a conflict at a key moment. The book concludes with an Oval Office interview with President Obama less than three months ago.

Sunday Late Night: OmbudsAndy Takes Broder’s Word For It

By: Sunday October 3, 2010 8:01 pm

The Washington Post’s dwindling readership — and young journalists who look up to Broder — would do well to keep in mind that Broder’s views may not be his own. They may be purchased by a recent lobby shop, as a speaking fee.

Slapping David Shedd, or How I Learned to Love the CIA Interrogation Program

By: Sunday October 3, 2010 4:00 pm

Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, is full of the same insider tales of government gossip as his previous books. One reads Woodward to pick out the various gems strewn along the way, cognizant that even those are the products of spin manufactured by the various principals involved. A particularly interesting nugget concerns the way the intelligence agencies passed on information about their torture program to the incoming Obama administration. But did Mike Hayden really have to slap David Shedd in the face?

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