White House

White House Keeping Record of @POTUS Tweeters

By on 5.21.15 | 11:19AM

If you want to register a complaint with the Obama Administration, it's probably best you air your grievances without directly tagging them in your Tweet.

Unless, of course, you'd like your Tweet logged, preserved and archived for posterity in a searchable database the White House will use to tag Twitter users who make routine comments that are "concerning" to the powers that be.

Case in point? After Barack Obama belatedly joined Twitter on Monday — in his official, presidential capacity — dozens of Twitter denizens began tweeting him sex jokes, threats and other unprintable inanities. (We counted nearly 500 tweets dropping f-bombs at POTUS in the past day.)

But the joke’s actually on them: Not only does the Secret Service already monitor Twitter for threats, but the White House is archiving each and every thing @POTUS tweeters say. Ashley Feinberg flagged this relevant piece of the White House Online Privacy Policy:

White House Says Hostages, Al Qaeda Killed in Drone Strike

By on 4.23.15 | 12:40PM

I can't be funny about this, because there's nothing funny about it.

Today, the White House released details of a drone mission that went horribly wrong. In an attempt to strike at an Al Qaeda base on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, to take out Ahmed Farouq, a notorious American-born Al Qaeda leader and Adam Gadhan, another US-born Al Qaeda member and radical Islamic preacher, the US also killed an American and an Italian hostage.

Two hostages held by Al Qaeda were killed during separate US drone strikes on terrorist compounds, the White House has revealed.

American aid worker Warren Weinstein, 73, and Italian humanitarian worker Giovanni Lo Porto were killed during counter-terrorism operations in a border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan in January.

President Obama has taken 'full responsibility' for the operations, admitting that US forces can sometimes make 'deadly mistakes'. 

We Need to Talk About the White House Easter Photo

By on 4.6.15 | 4:49PM

This is what the White House put on social media to celebrate Easter. Now, I know, every holiday, obituary and random event must, by law, be celebrated by this President with a photo of himself. 

But what on God's green Earth is happening here?

I feel like this is a poster for a depressingly dark independent "comedy" film I will never see, about a man and a giant imaginary bunny, sort of like Willard, but without the quality writing and with questionable casting choices. Does he see the bunny? Does he know its there? Is it really Joe Biden, performing the single most important duty of his Vice Presidency? Is this all a gloriously complicated scheme that will eventually be revealed to be the dawn of the New Order? 

My money's on Biden.

White House Knew About Clinton Emails in August

By on 3.6.15 | 12:41PM

You know you're in for a rough time when the White House, which responds to literally nothing that constitutes an actual scandal, is trying to tell you that something needs to be done. 

Last August, the White House found out that Hillary Clinton had been using a homebrew email server to handle all of her State Department communications and warned Clinton that the "oversight" could have a serious impact on her political future. The Clinton team was, of course, already aware of what was going on and didn't think it was a big deal. And so, defeated, the White House gave up and acquiesced to Clinton's wishes

The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.

White House To Tackle Extremism on Social Media, Just Not that Kind

By on 2.17.15 | 1:02PM

Today, the White House kicks off a three day journey, deep into the bowels of social media, to root out and discuss the origins and spread of extremism in places like Facebook and Twitter. The Social Media Summit will feature officials and experts from 60 countries, and will focus on how social media creates the perfect environment to foster rhetoric that leads to violence and how economically marginalized people are targeted through social media to join up with extremist groups.

Unfortunately, while there is plenty of evidence that terrorists, generally, and ISIS, specifically recruit and network on social media (a friend of mine even had an ISIS fighter comment on a very lovely photo of her dog just recently), the White House will turn the summits attention to more pressing issues in the social media sphere, like how to use celebrities to reach out to communities suffering from terribly high unemployment, and how to make "hastag activism" more effective

Drunken Government Employee Crashed the Drone Into the White House

By on 1.27.15 | 3:50PM

So our mystery Drink-and-Droner has been revealed. 

According to the New York Times, the guy who, yesterday morning, caused a huge ruckus by crash-landing a drone on White House lawn and testing the limits of the Secret Service's abilites at 3am, has been revealed to be an officer with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Apparently, he was enjoying some adult beverages on his apartment balcony and playing with a drone that "belonged to a friend" when it miiiiiiight have flown over the White House. He later admitted the dalliance to authorities - after  his friends told him about the news story - though it does not appear he asked for his drone back.

 It was 42 degrees, lightly raining and pitch black near the White House when an inebriated, off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency decided it was a good time to test-fly his friend’s quadcopter drone that sells for hundreds of dollars and is popular among hobbyists.

Lost a Drone? The Secret Service Might Have It

By on 1.26.15 | 11:38AM

If you were the lucky amateur pilot who landed a "Quadcopter" drone on the White House lawn late last night, the Secret Service has your unmanned robot aircraft and would probably like a word with you.

Apparently, a small, commercially-available drone flew over the White House fence on onto the hallowed grounds around 3:08 am, and like most commercially-available drones operated by people whose entire history of flight experience involves an XBox or a copy of SkyMall (RIP), immediately crashed. White House security responded somewhat immediately, cleared the object, and are now waiting for a hapless tourist or area resident who wanted an arial view of the landmark to please come collect both their toy and their criminal charges.

The Secret Service has identified the device that was found overnight on the White House grounds as a "quad copter."

North Korea Has Found Source of Hacks, Will Blow Up White House Now

By on 12.22.14 | 1:06PM

We all know that our government is taking the hacks on Sony Entertainment very seriously. We know this because President Obama held a Very Serious Press Conference on Friday, where he only called on Very Serious Reporters, who asked Very Serious Questions about his Very Serious Response to a corporate hacking.

According to President Obama, Sony tried to go it alone, found they were incapable of handling such an attack on their technology and now he'll be stepping in to handle their problems. Sony, on the other hand, quickly noted that they had asked the White House for help with the hack some time ago, and despite their regular contributions to Barack Obama's campaign coffers, no one picked up the phone in the Oval Office. But they're happy to have the help now, they guess. 

White House Ebola Czar Going Back to Real Job

By on 12.9.14 | 12:29PM

Ron Klain, America's newly-appointed "Ebola Czar" will return to his real day job next month after a stellar less-than-thirty days on the job. He may have done nothing, but nothing was, apparently, exactly what was desperately needed in the face of a terrifying foreign disease, which Ron swiftly defeated by never actually showing up for a single press conference, or, perhaps, for his entire job at all.

And now, Ron may retire back to his venture capital job, where his only chance of catching a communicable illness will come when he accidentally switches drinks with Leonardo DiCaprio at a Democratic fundraiser.

With the Ebola crisis seemingly in hand, Ron Klain, the veteran political operative the White House plucked from a venture capital gig to coordinate the government’s response, is planning a late-winter return to the private sector.

White House Not Totally Sure if Ash Carter is SecDef Nominee

By on 12.3.14 | 1:41PM

"Ash Carter" is far too close to "Ashton Kutcher" for my tastes, and I'm going to stand by that as the reason I'm not fully supporting his nomination. Well, that, and I'm pretty sure that he's the Obama Administration's only choice that would effectively rubber stamp any administration decision on handling foreign policy matters, even if the decision is blindingly stupid. He's certainly not my first choice, and I've only had 24 hours to review his record, which is scant, to say the least.

The good news for me, I guess, is that he's not the Obama Administration's first choice, either. According to a CNN story about Chuck Hagel's rather sudden departure as Secretary of Defense, even as the White House was drying the ink on Ash Carter's press release, the President's staff was still scouring the Internet for a slightly better defense secretary.  

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