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October 17, 2009 | Suzanne Muchnic
In his early days, Ed Ruscha painted single words that packed a punch: "oof," "slam," "smash," "honk." In the '80s, he took a subtler approach, floating equivocal phrases in painted skies. Consider "I Think I'll . . .," a 1983 piece that has moved into the first family's living quarters at the White House, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The longer you look at the painting, the more words emerge from a streaky red sunset. The phrase "I think maybe I'll . . .," in large block letters, descends from the top left to lower right of the 53 3/4 -by-63 3/4 -inch canvas.
April 1, 2014 | By David Lauter and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act has passed its first big test, but the law's distribution of winners and losers all but guarantees the achievement will not quiet its political opposition. White House officials, who had a near-death experience with the law's rollout six months ago, were nearly giddy Tuesday as they celebrated an open-enrollment season that ended on a high note. Despite the early problems with the federal website, "7.1 million Americans have now signed up," President Obama declared in a Rose Garden speech to members of Congress, his staff and supporters in which he notably returned to referring to the law as "Obamacare.
January 21, 2013 | Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
In a swift and simple ceremony at the White House, President Obama was sworn in for a second term Sunday and embarked on another four years leading a nation hobbled by a weak economy and gripped by political division. With his family at his side and his hand on his wife's family Bible, the 44th president began the new term on an understated note, repeating the oath of office in a private ceremony the day before a more lavish, public reenactment. The intimate event was an adherence to tradition prompted by a quirk of the calendar.
March 31, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - When prominent Latino activists meet with President Obama, there's one White House staff member present whom many of them have known since she was a child. Julie Chavez Rodriguez grew up handing out leaflets and knocking on doors with her grandfather, Cesar Chavez, whose campaign to organize farmworkers still inspires today's Latino leaders. As deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement, Rodriguez runs Obama's organizing efforts in support of immigration reform and supervises Latino outreach.
May 25, 1989 | LOIS ROMANO, The Washington Post
The leader of the free world had been in office only two days when he personally rang up his press secretary to seek some crucial input. Perhaps a communications strategy for his first 100 days? Maybe some help ironing out his upcoming address to Congress? Well, no. Not exactly. President George Herbert Walker Bush needed assistance with something far more immediate: a guest list for a White House party top-heavy with men. The President said, " 'I'm putting together this group for dinner,' " Marlin Fitzwater recalls.
April 22, 2007 | By Nancy Smiler Levinson, Special to The Times
Wally Bean was invited to play with his new friend, Archibald. Archibald didn't live in a regular house like Wally, though. He lived in a great big one called the White House. Archibald's father, Theodore Roosevelt, was president of the United States. "You must look proper, Wally," Mama said. She straightened his collar and slicked down his hair. "Your shoes are scruffy," said Papa. He spit on his handkerchief, bent down and polished the toes. "Remember your manners," Mama reminded.
April 23, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details
WASHINGTON -- An internal review found no evidence that White House staff members engaged in "improper conduct" in Cartagena, Colombia, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Carney said the Office of White House Counsel conducted the review of White House staff members "out of due diligence" and not in response to a "specific credible allegation. " The Colombian prostitution scandal has consumed much of Washington for more than a week and led to rampant speculation, as reports of heavy drinking and hard partying among a Secret Service and military advance team have leaked out.   "There is no indication that the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior," Carney said.
January 10, 2013 | By Carla Hall
In the wake of President Obama's reelection, there was much clucking about the demise of the political power of white men and the inability of Mitt Romney -- the quintessential Republican white man -- to capture the support and votes of women and minorities and other Americans increasingly disenchanted with the conservative party's message. Yet, if you looked at the Dec. 29 photo of Obama meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, which made the front of the New York Times on Wednesday, you would rest assured that white men are still very much in power -- in the first black president's White House, as it turns out.  In the photo, 10 of his 11 advisors standing before him are men, and eight of them are white.  The one woman, who is black, in the photo is Valerie Jarrett, which you only know because it says so in the caption of the photo.
January 5, 2011 | Reuters
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is leaving his position to work as an outside adviser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, an administration official said Wednesday. Gibbs is to depart in early February. A successor is to be announced within the next two weeks, the official said. Gibbs, a close confidant of Obama's going back to his time as a U.S. senator from Illinois, has for many Americans been one of the most public faces of the White House staff while holding near-daily news briefings.
February 21, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
The White House apologized Tuesday for the apparent mishandling of Muslim holy books at a military base in Afghanistan, calling the episode a "deeply unfortunate incident. " "It does not represent the views of our military," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "And it certainly does not represent the conduct of our men and women in uniform or our general respect for the religious practices and beliefs of the Afghan people. " U.S. officials are trying to limit the fallout from news that the books, including Korans, were being burned inside the base.
March 29, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Michael Robertson put the bag of chemicals in an inside pocket of his sport coat, the pump in the other. He snaked the tubes between the buttons of his shirt to the port in his chest. He adjusted his tie to cover them. Then he sat down in a cavernous room in the White House complex and pulled his chair close to the table, hiding the bulges. Robertson, an aide to President Obama, was meeting with top officials from federal agencies working to implement the Affordable Care Act. He was also in treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer.
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - With the Monday deadline still a few days away, the White House announced Thursday that more than 6 million people have signed up for health insurance through online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. That number, though shy of the 7 million sign-ups the administration had once hoped for, marks a significant milestone because 6 million was the projection for this year's enrollment made last month by the nonpartisan Congressional...
March 27, 2014 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- Once again, there was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher breaking from most of his congressional colleagues, including fellow Orange County conservatives, to oppose an aid package for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. "We should not permit ourselves to reignite a Cold War," said Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), who was on the short end of the bipartisan 319-19 roll call Thursday. He was the lone Californian to oppose the measure, urging colleagues not to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin.
March 26, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - The head of the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday that it would take years to turn over all the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in its investigation of the IRS' alleged targeting of conservative groups. During a confrontational hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said he needed more time to comply with the committee's request for the email correspondence of Lois Lerner, a former IRS official in charge of the agency's nonprofit division.
March 20, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act. That's Obama's deal with popular media these days as the president enlists help to boost healthcare sign-up numbers before the March 31...
March 19, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- As part of its campaign to step up efforts to address climate change, the White House on Wednesday announced the creation of a new website to serve as a one-stop location for the enormous amount of climate data housed at different federal agencies. The initiative to make the information more accessible to communities, researchers and industries trying to adapt to global warming is the latest move by the White House to deliver on a pledge that President Obama made last June to use his executive authority to address the causes and effects of climate change in light of congressional inaction on the issue.
July 31, 2012
Re "Virginia caught in attack ad crossfire," July 26 I remember a time (I'm 68) when constant negative ads and such a truly disgusting elongated period of campaigning were unheard of. Why have party conventions anymore? What, now, is their purpose? Maybe for the delegates to indulge in food and drink in a city perhaps they've never been to before? The campaigns have become reality TV shows, except this is for real. Where will it all end? Maybe, to spare us, they will just have a wrestling match and the winner becomes president.
February 18, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Up at for Presidents' Day, a story called “ Red Wine, White House ” by Ben O'Donnell details how Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and their successors “helped propel American wine to the top of the world.” Nixon, remember, drank Château Margaux. “In those days,” O'Donnell reminds us, “you could afford first-growths on a president's salary.” But he didn't pour it for the whole table. Guests got the cheaper stuff while Nixon nursed his private bottle.
March 18, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a philanthropist, art patron and self-taught horticulturalist whose generous support of presidential candidate John Edwards drew her into the political scandal that ended his career, died Monday at her estate in Upperville, Va. She was 103. She died of natural causes, said her longtime friend and attorney, Alexander D. Forger. Mellon, a Listerine heiress who married banking scion Paul Mellon, lived quietly on a 2,000-acre Virginia farm, where her fabled guests included John and Jacqueline Kennedy and two generations of British royalty.
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