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Opinion | The Four Lessons of Impeachment - The New York Times
By Susan E. Rice
Ms. Rice, a former national security adviser, is a contributing opinion writer.

Nov. 22, 2019
Susan_Rice  Donald_Trump  White_House  impeachment  APNSA  values 
november 2019 by jerryking
The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained - The New York Times
The White House uses a web of computer systems to store delicate information.CreditCreditAl Drago for The New York Times
By Charlie Savage, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman
Oct. 1, 2019
classified_information  code_words  covert_operations  Donald_Trump  memorialization  NSC  secrets  security_&_intelligence  transcripts  Ukraine  White_House 
october 2019 by jerryking
Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House
Sept. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Julian E. Barnes.

Agents, officers and analysts from the military, intelligence and law enforcement communities routinely work at the White House. Often, they work on the National Security Council or help manage secure communications, like calls between the president and foreign leaders.

The C.I.A. officer did not work on the communications team that handles calls with foreign leaders, according to the people familiar with his identity. He learned about Mr. Trump’s conduct “in the course of official interagency business,” according to the complaint, which was dotted with footnotes about machinations in Kiev and reinforced with public comments by senior Ukrainian officials.

Officials regularly shared information to “inform policymaking and analysis,” the complaint said. The complaint raises the prospect that the whistle-blower was not detailed to the White House either during the events in question or when he learned about them......The call with Mr. Zelensky was originally thought to be a routine matter, the complaint said, and the White House did not restrict it, meaning a number of officials and note takers listened.

But the whistle-blower said that afterward, White House officials “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call,” putting them in a highly classified system meant for discussing covert actions. One White House official called that an abuse because the transcript contained no classified material.

Notes and rough transcripts of White House calls are typically stored on a computer system that allows senior officials in different departments and agencies to access them, to better coordinate policy.

Some White House colleagues told the whistle-blower that they were concerned they had witnessed “the president abuse his office for personal gain,” according to the complaint.

His complaint went beyond the call. During his time at the White House, the whistle-blower became deeply unnerved about how he believed Mr. Trump was broadly seeking to pressure the Ukrainian government to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically.

“Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the president’s 2020 re-election bid,” the complaint said of Mr. Trump.

After the call, multiple officials told the whistle-blower that future talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky would depend on whether the Ukranians would “play ball” on the investigations he sought.

The whistle-blower, who lodged his concerns with the inspector general for the intelligence community, has identified at least a half-dozen government officials — including several who work for the White House — who he believes can substantiate his claims. The inspector general has interviewed some of them and found the whistle-blower’s claims credible.
Campaign_2020  CIA  Donald_Trump  impeachment  intelligence_analysts  Joe_Biden  policymaking  security_&_intelligence  Ukraine  whistleblowing  White_House 
september 2019 by jerryking
Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
adversaries  chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
Globe editorial: Answering the bully in the White House - The Globe and Mail
Since reasoning with the President is off the table, the only options for Canada are to stand firm as long as possible in terms of retaliation, to continue to negotiate with state governors and Congress members whose economic interests align with ours, and to make hay of the fact that the U.S. is a less stable and safe place to invest when it is led by a President who changes the rules every week.
bullying  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  Donald_Trump  editorials  tariffs  White_House  aligned_interests 
june 2018 by jerryking
Trump, Kushner and the businessman fallacy
Simon Kuper MARCH 8, 2018
The “businessman fallacy” — the notion that a rich businessman (never a woman) can run government better than a mere politician — is Donald Trump’s basic promise. That’s why the combustion of his son-in-law, fellow real-estate heir and senior adviser Jared Kushner — whose business dealings in the White House scream conflict of interest — is so telling. Kushner incarnates the businessman fallacy.......The businessman-turned-politician is often blinded by hubris. This usually stems from the “money delusion”: the idea that life is a race to make money, and that rich people (“winners”) therefore possess special wisdom.

Many businessmen imagine they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in a free market, something that more people could do if only there was “less government in business”. This self-image usually omits context: the fact, say, that the businessman’s father built the company (before being jailed on a ridiculous technicality) or that government enforced his contracts and schooled his employees.....Rich Americans tend to feel contempt for politicians because they have learnt to treat them as lowly service providers who will sit up and beg for donations.
self-imagery  Simon_Kuper  Donald_Trump  Jared_Kushner  nepotism  White_House  conflicts_of_interest  oversimplification  privately_held_companies  family-owned_businesses  hubris  generalists  businessman_fallacy  heirs 
march 2018 by jerryking
[Report] | Legalize It All, by Dan Baum | Harper's Magazine
REPORT — From the April 2016 issue
Legalize It All
How to win the war on drugs
By Dan Baum
Richard_Nixon  White_House  '70s 
august 2017 by jerryking
Sage Advice From the ‘Gold Standard’ of White House Chiefs of Staff
JULY 30, 2017 | The New York Times | By PETER BAKER.

When a new White House chief of staff takes over, the smart ones check in with James A. Baker III, the only man to have occupied the office two different times for two different presidents and who is widely considered to be the gold standard.

Mr. Baker has plenty of advice from running the White House during Ronald Reagan’s first term and again at the end of George Bush’s presidency, but it usually boils down to this: “You can focus on the ‘chief,’ or you can focus on the ‘of staff.’ Those who have focused on the ‘of staff’ have done pretty well.”.....Mr. Kelly’s experience is in national security. “That’s a very different matter than someone who has to navigate all the crosscurrents of dealing with domestic politics, dealing with Capitol Hill and dealing with a president who just can’t throw his phone away and stop tweeting,”......Mr. Reagan’s selection of Mr. Baker may have been most surprising. No loyalist coming in, Mr. Baker had managed the campaigns of not one but two Republicans who had run against Mr. Reagan — Mr. Ford in 1976 and Mr. Bush in 1980. But Mr. Reagan believed he needed someone like Mr. Baker, a dealmaking pragmatist who could work both sides of the aisle, manage difficult personalities and assert his dominance among the staff while channeling the president.
White_House  politics  appointments  chief_of_staff  James_A._Baker_III 
july 2017 by jerryking
With Scaramucci, Trump is going to war – with the media, with the truth, with America - The Globe and Mail
SCOTT REID
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 22, 2017Donald Trump is going to the mattresses.

The hiring of the immodest, inexperienced and uncompromising Wall Street money man Anthony Scaramucci as White House director of communications means one thing, and one thing only: Donald Trump is going to war.

He’s going to war against special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.
Donald_Trump  firings  White_House  Robert_Mueller  Anthony_Scaramucci  Communicating_&_Connecting  public_relations 
july 2017 by jerryking
To Be Great, America Must Be Good
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By SUSAN E. RICE.

Four and a half months is not long, but President Trump has accomplished an extraordinary amount in a short time. With shocking speed, he has wreaked havoc: hobbling our core alliances, jettisoning American values and abdicating United States leadership of the world. That’s a whole lot of winning — for Russia and China......And now the president has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, putting us at odds with virtually the entire world. Europe and China stand together on the Paris accord, while the United States is isolated.

This last, disastrous decision is the coup de grâce for America’s postwar global leadership for the foreseeable future. It was not taken from us by any adversary, nor lost as a result of economic crisis or collapse of empire. America voluntarily gave up that leadership — because we quit the field....How consequential is this choice? The network of alliances that distinguishes America from other powers and has kept our nation safe and strong for decades is now in jeopardy. We will see the cost when next we need the world to rally to our side.....Congressional delegations, governors and mayors can reassure our key allies that the American people still value them and that we do not intend to cede our global leadership. We must make clear to our foreign partners that this present policy is an aberration, not the new normal.

American corporations and civil society groups can assist by demonstrating that the United States remains committed to its integration into the global economy and to our democratic principles. In the absence of White House leadership, the American people should act as informal ambassadors, via contacts through tourism, study-abroad programs and cultural exchanges.
Susan_Rice  Donald_Trump  White_House  alliances  post-WWII  NATO  TPP  leadership  APNSA  values  global_economy  new_normal 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Politics of Clan: The Adventures of Jared Kushner - The New York Times
David Brooks MAY 30, 2017

We tell young people to serve something beyond self, and Kushner seems to have been fiercely, almost selflessly, loyal to family. But the clannish mentality has often ill served him during his stay in government.

Working in government is about teamwork, majority-building and addition — adding more and more people to your coalition. It is about working within legal frameworks and bureaucratic institutions. It’s about having a short memory and not taking things personally.

Clannishness, by contrast is about tight and exclusive blood bonds. It’s a moral approach based on loyalty and vengeance against those who attack a member of the clan. It’s an intensely personal and feud-ridden way of being.

Working in government is about trusting the system, and trusting those who have been around and understand the craft. But the essence of clannishness is to build a barrier between family — inside the zone of trust — and others, outside that zone. .......Our forebears have spent centuries trying to build a government of laws, and not of hereditary bloodlines. It’s possible to thrive in this system as a member of a clan — the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and the Bushes — but it’s not possible to survive in this system if your mentality is entirely clannish.
clans  dynasties  David_Brooks  Donald_Trump  hereditary  Jared_Kushner  personal_connections  nepotism  tribes  White_House 
may 2017 by jerryking
Trump and the problem with the new normal
Twenty years ago, Nasa scientists asked the sociologist Diane Vaughan to study the causes of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. Vaughan responded by developing a concept she called "the norma...
Gillian_Tett  Donald_Trump  NASA  deviance  '80s  normality  White_House  complacency  normalization  tipping_points  normalization_of_deviance  new_normal 
may 2017 by jerryking
What Kal Penn, Actor and Obama White House Alumnus, Loves About Toronto - The New York Times
By JOHN L. DORMAN MAY 3, 2017

Actor Kal Penn is the former associate director of the Office of Public Engagement under President Barack Obama, and currently stars as the press secretary Seth Wright on the ABC drama “Designated Survivor.”........Is there an area in Toronto that you gravitate toward?

There’s a neighborhood called Parkdale that I really like, which has an interesting Tibetan population. There’s a lot of great food, and I don’t mean fancy places where you dress up and go to dinner, but really great hole in the wall, authentic places to grab food. It’s a really nice neighborhood, in the West End of the city. Little Portugal is another great neighborhood, with really nice shops and restaurants........Talking to people whom we disagree with is more important now than it has been before, and I don’t mean just ranting on your Facebook wall. A conversation tends to go very differently when you’re having a beer with someone that you disagree with, compared to sending a nasty tweet to someone because you want to make yourself feel better.
actors  White_House  Toronto  public_discourse  Parkdale  disagreements  neighbourhoods  Queen_Street 
may 2017 by jerryking
U.K. says White House spying claims are ‘ridiculous’ - The Globe and Mail
GCHQ, based in a futuristic building located in western England, is one of three main British spy agencies alongside the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service and the MI5 Security Service.

GCHQ has a close relationship with the NSA, as well as with the eavesdropping agencies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand in a consortium called “Five Eyes.”
GCHQ  Five_Eyes  security_&_intelligence  United_Kingdom  White_House  Donald_Trump  lying 
march 2017 by jerryking
White House Echoes Tech: ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ - The New York Times
Charles Duhigg
ADVENTURES IN CAPITALISM MARCH 8, 2017

It remains to be seen, however, whether Mr. Trump will successfully transition from a start-up to a mature commander in chief. Just as Uber and other young tech firms have stumbled while growing, so Mr. Trump seems, right now, in over his head at the White House.

But understanding these early missteps — and how start-up thinking vaulted Mr. Trump into power — is important, because it gives us a lens into the strengths and weaknesses of management techniques that are increasingly being imitated by other industries around the world.

Put differently, the president’s success has demonstrated the strength of the start-up philosophy. But is it a good or a bad thing if Mr. Trump becomes the first political unicorn?....The Trump team’s embrace of Silicon Valley philosophy goes much deeper. As Mr. Trump’s campaign gained steam, for instance, top officials began a dedicated effort to study the tactics of successful digital advocacy groups, particularly the left-leaning Moveon.org, as well as #BlackLivesMatter, to reverse engineer methods for rapidly mobilizing voters.....The influence of start-up philosophy on Mr. Trump’s team extends to day-to-day management. The campaign and the White House have looked to tech industry management techniques to empower staff members to start policy initiatives, to conduct rapid digital tests, and to push fund-raising and advertising campaigns without seeking authorization from senior officials.....
White_House  Campaign_2016  disruption  Silicon_Valley  Donald_Trump  Sam_Altman  reverse_engineering  Y_Combinator  digital_advocacy  Black_Lives_Matter  missteps 
march 2017 by jerryking
Trump Looks to Ex-Intelligence Officer, Putin Critic for National Security Council - WSJ
By FELICIA SCHWARTZ and PAUL SONNE
March 2, 2017

Ms. Hill is known in Washington policy circles for her clear-eyed view of Mr. Putin, viewing his background in the Soviet security services as critical to the way he approaches power politics and foreign policy. Ms. Hill’s selection was first reported by Foreign Policy.

“In the KGB, Putin learned how to probe people’s vulnerabilities, uncover their secrets, and use compromising information against them,” Ms. Hill wrote in a piece that appeared on Vox.com last summer. “In his view, other world leaders are essentially targets.”

Ms. Hill, currently at the Brookings Institution, previously served as an officer for the National Intelligence Council focusing on Russia and Eurasia. She co-wrote a book about Mr. Putin and his world view, and formerly worked at the Eurasia Foundation.
White_House  appointments  Europe  Russia  NSC  security_&_intelligence  women  U.S.foreign_policy  Brookings  think_tanks  Vladimir_Putin 
march 2017 by jerryking
Russia Looks to Exploit White House ‘Turbulence,’ Analysts Say - The New York Times
FEB. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By NEIL MacFARQUHAR.

The Kremlin, increasingly convinced that President Trump will not fundamentally change relations with Russia, is instead seeking to bolster its global influence by exploiting what it considers weakness in Washington, according to political advisers, diplomats, journalists and other analysts.

Russia has continued to test the United States on the military front, with fighter jets flying close to an American warship in the Black Sea this month and a Russian naval vessel steaming conspicuously in the Atlantic off the coast of Delaware.....“They are all telling each other that this is great, he created this turbulence inside, as we wanted, and now he is focused on his domestic problems and we have more freedom to maneuver,” Mr. Venediktov said. “Let them deal with their own problems. There, not in Ukraine. There, not in the Middle East. There, not in NATO. This is the state of mind right now.”...“The main hope is that the U.S. will be preoccupied with itself and will stop pressuring Russia.”....Any turbulence that Russia foments also gives the Kremlin leverage that it can try to trade in the global arena at a time when it does not have much that others want....Analysts say the Kremlin is keenly aware that the tactic of creating and exploiting disarray can become self-defeating, in that prolonged instability in the world order could allow threats like the extremist group Islamic State to flourish.....The Middle East provides examples of both vectors, analysts say, a moment of chaos to exploit and concerns about achieving stability for the long-term future.
Russia  White_House  Kremlin  Vladimir_Putin  chaos  power  influence  statecraft  rogue_actors  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation 
february 2017 by jerryking
What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER JAN. 30, 2017

The council is no place for political creatures, many have argued. It is the place where the nation’s deepest intelligence secrets, its fluctuating hierarchy of national interests and its jockeying-for-power cabinet members combine as policy differences are hashed out. It is the forum where decisions about war, from Vietnam to Iraq; drone strikes in Pakistan; and conflicts in cyberspace have unfolded over endless hours of meetings.

Of course, with stakes that large, it has always been about politics — from grand strategy to petty scorekeeping.....The formal instrument is the “principals committee,” made up of the president, the vice president and all those jockeying cabinet members. That is what Mr. Bannon joins, meaning he won the first week’s access-trust-influence sweepstakes. ...The NSC has a staff that numbers several hundred professionals — most borrowed from the State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and other government agencies for two years or so....Much of the day-to-day decision-making is done by the “deputies committee,” where sub-cabinet officers, and their designees, sit in seemingly endless meetings in the Situation Room to debate out differences, create policy and push the hardest issues to the president and his top advisers. Intelligence officials often open those meetings, providing assessments of what is happening around the world. (They are not supposed to delve into policy suggestions, but it has happened.)
NSC  White_House  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  Stephen_Bannon  Henry_Kissinger  Brent_Scowcroft  APNSA  David_Sanger 
january 2017 by jerryking
What Is the President’s Daily Brief? - The New York Times
By CHARLIE SAVAGEDEC. 12, 2016

The President’s Daily Brief is a summary of high-level intelligence and analysis about global hot spots and national security threats written by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. While the intelligence community produces many reports and assessments, the P.D.B. is written specifically for the president and his top advisers....The intelligence community tailors the P.D.B. to each president’s interests and style of absorbing information. At times, the briefing has included a “deep dive” into a specific question that a president may have asked or information that briefers believed he needed to know, such as the early August 2001 briefing Mr. Bush received at his Texas ranch reporting that Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mr. Bush received a supplement called the “threat matrix,” which listed more detailed intelligence about potential terrorist plans. Under Mr. Obama, the brief has taken on some new topics and different forms, including a periodic update on cyberthreats against the United States. ....getting the briefing every day is not strictly necessary, especially if Mr. Trump delegates substantial amounts of authority to his subordinates. But they stress that regular briefings are still important because it is helpful in a fast-moving crisis if a president already has a baseline of knowledge about topics, such as a foreign leader’s thinking and military abilities. Also, briefings permit a president to quiz briefers on inconsistencies and questions of fact or interpretation that form the basis for the most important national security decisions — those only the president can make.
cyberthreats  PDB  security_&_intelligence  CIA  memoranda  White_House  hotspots  threats  ODNI  baselines  inconsistencies  interpretation  decision_making 
december 2016 by jerryking
Yes, Slaves Did Help Build the White House - The New York Times
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVISJULY 26, 2016
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slavery  White_House  history  Michelle_Obama  DNC  Campaign_2016  African-Americans 
july 2016 by jerryking
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times
By DAVID SAMUELSMAY 5, 2016

Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”....As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. ...Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. ...Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. ....Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.....Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”...The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around.....
Ben_Rhodes  U.S.foreign_policy  Communicating_&_Connecting  policy_tools  White_House  writers  strategic_thinking  storytelling  narratives  speechwriters  Obama  PDB  messaging  Syria  Iraq  Middle_East  novelists 
may 2016 by jerryking
Jay Carney regrets ‘looking like a jerk’ at some White House press briefings - NY Daily News
BY LESLIE LARSON NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, June 20, 2014

“When somebody’s gettin’ riled up and filled with sometimes feigned righteous indignation, if they’re really obnoxious and you get a little rattled then you sort of engage.
Jay_Carney  White_House  media_relations  public_relations  regrets 
march 2015 by jerryking
Inside the D.C. bubble – stupid, slimy, savvy
Aug. 10 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by Konrad Yakabuski.

Mark Leibovich’s This Town betrays just about everything despicable about Washington’s political culture.

Politico’s business model lies not in pursuing high-minded Watergate-style journalism or even beating the Post in circulation or unique Web visitors. Fewer than 40,000 copies of its free print edition are distributed on the streets of Washington. Its content is aimed squarely at “The Club.”

In a new insider account of Washington, Mark Leibovich explains how The Club consists of the “spinning cabal of people in politics and media and the supporting sectors that never get voted out or term-limited or, God forbid, decide on their own that it is time to return home to the farm.”

The journalists, lobbyists, political consultants, White House aides, Capitol Hill staffers, socialites and persons-of-no-fixed-profession Mr. Leibovich profiles in This Town embody just about everything despicable about the D.C. bubble.....Playbook is the daily D.C. cheat sheet. Compiled by Politico’s Mike Allen, it summarizes the top news stories, parties, lobbying and book deals, staff changes, birthdays and nuptials of interest to The Club. And no one solicits mentions in Playbook – whose main corporate sponsor of late has been Keystone XL pipeline proponent TransCanada – as covetously as Robert Barnett.
Washington_D.C.  WaPo  Konrad_Yakabuski  sophisticated  start_ups  newspapers  business_models  politics  journalists  lobbyists  political_consultants  political_culture  books  Inside_the_Beltway  White_House  market_intelligence  newsstand_circulation  playbooks 
august 2013 by jerryking
Chemistry In The War Cabinet
Jan 27, 2002 | Newsweek and The Daily Beast

Rice plays down her role as a mere "coordinator," but Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, a sometime participant in the war cabinet, says she is much more. "She's really talented at dealing with people who are not timid about voicing their opinions, at coaxing us in a way that isn't grating," says O'Neill, who is known for his outspokenness. "Strong personalities don't have to clash--they can reinforce each other," says Rice. "The hard thing is when you have people who won't say what they think." Rice does not always shoot for consensus. "She will know when we're not going to agree," says O'Neill. "She'll say, 'Let's sharpen the debate, put it on paper, and let the boss decide'.
Condeleeza_Rice  disagreements  cabinets  people_skills  APNSA  consensus  White_House 
july 2012 by jerryking
White House Renovation Calls for a Bridge Builder - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 16, 2010 / Wall Street Journal / By GERALD F. SEIB who argues for Kenneth Duberstein for the role.
Gerald_Seib  Obama  White_House  consensus  lobbying  chief_of_staff  bridge-builders 
november 2010 by jerryking
Why Less Brilliant Presidents Do Better - The Informed Reader - WSJ
Jun 18, 2007 | WSJ | Robin Moroney. Extreme intelligence might
undermine a person’s managerial capacity, he speculates. “What is
required at the top levels of govt. is not brilliance, but managerial
skill,” says Posner. That includes knowing “when to defer to the
superior knowledge of a more experienced but less mentally agile
subordinate.” Especially intelligent people also have difficulty
trusting the intuitions of less-articulate people who have more
experience than they do. That might be why many smart senior officials
in govt. have tried to reason their way through problems on their own,
assuming their civil servants’ inadequate explanations rendered their
judgments invalid. Furthermore, many of the situations that presidents
face are defined by uncertainty, rather than complexity. In cases e.g.
Vietnam, where presidents and their inner circle were dealing with an
ambiguous situation, “having great information-processing skills is not
worth a lot if you have no reliable info..”
ambiguities  civil_servants  complexity  execution  experience  Gary_Becker  gut_feelings  intuition  IQ  mental_dexterity  Richard_A._Posner  smart_people  uncertainty  White_House 
october 2010 by jerryking
Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason
March 2, 2010 | Washington Post | A01By Jason Horowitz, Staff Writer
Rahmn_Emanuel  White_House  chief_of_staff 
march 2010 by jerryking
Obama Is Changing the Art on the White House Walls - WSJ.com
MAY 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by AMY CHOZICK and KELLY CROW
Obama  White_House  artists 
may 2009 by jerryking

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