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In the Loop: March, 2014

Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 03/31/2014

U.S. ambassador to India resigns

Nancy Powell, U.S. ambassador to India, announced her resignation Monday, amid ongoing tensions between India and the United States.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  03:27 PM ET, 03/31/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 03/31/2014

Bahrain official wants U.S. ambassador out ‘immediately’

The head of the national assembly called for “immediate” recall of Tom Krajeski, but the State Dept. is standing by him.

By Al Kamen  |  01:49 PM ET, 03/31/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 03/31/2014

Politicians fundraise to beat the buzzer

Campaign March Madness ends Monday with desperate pleas for last-minute funds.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:19 PM ET, 03/31/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 03/31/2014

In the Hot Seat: Holder and NSA

Attorney General Eric Holder is among the many cabinet secretaries and government officials testifying on Capitol Hill this week.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  10:20 AM ET, 03/31/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/29/2014

Imagine a world with no lines

A Clinton adviser dreamed of a new millennium without lines

By Colby Itkowitz  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 03/28/2014

Official Loop Quote of the Week winner: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill’s honest assessment of her relationship with Hillary Clinton wins Loop Quote of the Week

By Colby Itkowitz  |  09:00 AM ET, 03/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 03/27/2014

Making sure FBI can pay its (legal) bills?

A Democratic congressman faces the FBI director the same week his son sues the agency.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  04:28 PM ET, 03/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:33 PM ET, 03/27/2014

Call for permanent portrait ban revived

Official portrait reveal of former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spurs senator to renew her effort to ban federal funding for the oil paintings.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  02:33 PM ET, 03/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:14 PM ET, 03/27/2014

Obama Cabinet finally complete, SBA chief confirmed

The Senate Thursday unanimously confirmed Maria Contreras Sweet as head of the Small Business Administration, filling the last Cabinet vacancy.

By Al Kamen  |  01:14 PM ET, 03/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 03/27/2014

Don’t forget! Obamacare contest deadline!

How many will enroll in Obamacare insurance when open enrollment ends on the original March 31 open enrollment deadline?

By Al Kamen  |  12:06 PM ET, 03/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/27/2014

To get his ambassadors, Obama may need to travel to some rough places

“Post-nuclear” Senate approves ambassador nominees -- if Obama and Biden are going to those countries.

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/27/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:08 PM ET, 03/26/2014

A first? GOP majority vote on Obama judge nominee

Perhaps for the very first time, Republicans, not Democrats, shepherd an Obama nominee through confirmation.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  07:08 PM ET, 03/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 03/26/2014

Take your Obamacare delay and raise you another two weeks

Democratic congressman in Oregon introduced bill to extend open enrollment by “one bloody month,” two weeks before White House announced delay.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  03:27 PM ET, 03/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:07 PM ET, 03/26/2014

Obama heads to empty embassy in Saudi Arabia

By Al Kamen  |  03:07 PM ET, 03/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 03/26/2014

Franz Kafka meets the National Security Agency

NSA missives sometimes take a bit of deciphering

By Al Kamen  |  12:24 PM ET, 03/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/26/2014

Cabinet officials who beat the oil-portrait ban await their big reveal

Official taxpayer-funded oil portraits are banned for now, but Thursday former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has his unveiled.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/26/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 03/25/2014

Wanna host Obama? It’ll cost you.

Brussels incurs huge expense to have President Obama in town.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  01:03 PM ET, 03/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/25/2014

Victoria Nuland loves the EU, really, she does

Assistant Secretary of State’s profane slap at the European Union didn’t create hard feelings, it seems

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:02 PM ET, 03/24/2014

Quote of the Week Winner: Sen. Mark Kirk maybe

Republican senator from Illinois won’t practice “partisan jihad” against Democrat Durbin.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  06:02 PM ET, 03/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 03/24/2014

What should Hillary call her memoir?

Hillary Clinton’s still looking for a title for her new memoir. She liked the ones that won our contest last year, so we’re repeating the contest!

By Al Kamen  |  12:48 PM ET, 03/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 03/24/2014

In the Hot Seat: More budget hearings

Lawmakers will resume their round of Fiscal 2015 budget and appropriations hearings this week.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  11:25 AM ET, 03/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/24/2014

Spy chief James Clapper wins not-so-coveted Rosemary award

James Clapper receives an award named for Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods, whose spectacular stretch allegedly erased 18 1/2 minutes of a Watergate tape.

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 03/22/2014

A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House

White House commonly evades reporters’ questions, here’s a list of the most overused responses.

By Al Kamen  |  10:00 AM ET, 03/22/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:45 PM ET, 03/21/2014

Loop Quote of the Week winner: Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden wins Loop Quote of the Week with tangent about raising daughters.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  05:45 PM ET, 03/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:38 PM ET, 03/21/2014

As if it hasn’t been cold enough here

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) off to the Arctic for a not so cushy overseas trip.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  04:38 PM ET, 03/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:31 PM ET, 03/21/2014

Can’t I be sanctioned by Putin, too?

National Security Adviser Susan Rice attended White House briefing, fielding questions from reporters about Russia conflict.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  02:31 PM ET, 03/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 03/21/2014

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Gainer stepping down

Terry Gainer was the longest-serving sergeant-at-arms since World War II.

By Al Kamen  |  12:22 PM ET, 03/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:44 PM ET, 03/20/2014

Irony alert: First tweet from Putin account congratulated Obama?

Was Putin’s first ever tweet to congratulate Obama on his 2012 reelection? This Twitter account says so.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  05:44 PM ET, 03/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:11 PM ET, 03/20/2014

Sanctions envy on the Potomac?

The dueling Obama and Putin sanctions lists must leave some in Washington trying to figure out how to anger Putin enough to get on the list

By Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen  |  02:11 PM ET, 03/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/20/2014

Scott Brown campaigns in New Hampshire, raises cash in Mass.

Former Bay State Sen. Scott Brown (R), now running for the Senate from New Hampshire, is still helping pals raise money for their races back in Massachusetts.

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 03/19/2014

Hillary Clinton reads ‘In The Loop’

In a speech Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited an entry from a Loop reader contest to name her memoir title.

By Al Kamen  |  02:13 PM ET, 03/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:35 PM ET, 03/19/2014

Smooth sailing for Biden in Europe, save for a minor. . .

Vice President Joe Biden, on a quick trip to Eastern Europe to reassure NATO allies jittery over Russia’s “land-grab” in Crimea, made one slip-up.

By Al Kamen  |  01:35 PM ET, 03/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 03/19/2014

Iraqi ambassador to run Boston Marathon

Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, plans to run the Boston Marathon next month in part to show support against terrorism.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:58 PM ET, 03/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:32 PM ET, 03/18/2014

Loop contest: Guess Obamacare’s final first-year enrollment number

How many will enroll in Obamacare insurance when open enrollment ends on March 31?

By Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen  |  01:32 PM ET, 03/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:41 AM ET, 03/18/2014

Air Force budget hearing debates religious freedom

Debate over religious freedom in the Air Force is hashed out during a congressional hearing.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  11:41 AM ET, 03/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/18/2014

LBJ on Broadway is excellent. . . with one exception

In the Loop further refines its review of “All the Way,” the new Broadway hit about Lyndon Johnson

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/18/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:03 PM ET, 03/17/2014

If not Carney, then who will be nominated for Russia post?

Rumor had it that the White House press secretary was angling for the Moscow post, but he denied it.

By Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen  |  06:03 PM ET, 03/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:43 PM ET, 03/17/2014

Despite promises, Obama’s open government record found wanting

Despite promises to be the most transparent administration ever, a study finds that it refused a record number of times to quickly release newsworthy files.

By Al Kamen  |  04:43 PM ET, 03/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 03/17/2014

CIA spying on other U.S. officials — nothing new?

Accusations that the CIA spied on a Senate investigation into alleged agency torture of detainees echoed an earlier accusation of CIA surveillance of another department.

By Al Kamen  |  11:25 AM ET, 03/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/15/2014

Colin Powell: Original selfie taker

Colin Powell revealed himself as an original selfie taker. Also, Clinton adviser perceived Powell to be political threat.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/15/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:42 PM ET, 03/14/2014

Clinton adviser thought Russia ‘doctored’ JFK papers

New Clinton memos reveal advisers’ discussions on Russia’s release of JFK papers.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  04:42 PM ET, 03/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 03/14/2014

Filling seats: Netherlands and Morocco get U.S. ambassadors

Timothy Broas heads to the Netherlands, and Dwight L. Bush will be on the road to Morocco as U.S. ambassadors.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:07 PM ET, 03/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/14/2014

Loop Quote of the Week Winner: Michele Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) says people who criticize billionaire contributors to Republicans should be prosecuted under federal anti-racketeering laws.

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 03/13/2014

Disgruntled HHS official pens caustic government take down

Director at an HHS agency details grievances with federal government in a scathing resignation letter

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:24 PM ET, 03/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:17 AM ET, 03/13/2014

Senate confirms U.S. ambassador to Canada

The Senate confirms Obama bundler Bruce Heyman as U.S. ambassador to Canada

By Colby Itkowitz  |  10:17 AM ET, 03/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/13/2014

Not all Obama bundlers blunder at Senate hearings

While some Obama ambassadorial nominees fared poorly in Senate hearings, his pick for Switzerland turned in a smooth performance

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:56 PM ET, 03/12/2014

Feta up with imitations, Europeans start food fight

If it’s not produced in its native country, then the EU wants it called something else.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  04:56 PM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 03/12/2014

House Obamacare vote makes extra sure Treasury keeps its word

In rare bipartisan agreement, the House tries to protect firefighters from something that Treasury says won’t happen.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  01:42 PM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 03/12/2014

Vlad Putin craves Crimea, nephew Roman consults

Despite incursion and economic sanctions, Vladimir Putin’s nephew sees a great opportunity for international investment in Russia.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  11:55 AM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/12/2014

U.S. envoy’s residence in Moscow empty during Ukraine crisis

The U.S. has no ambassador to Russia during the Ukraine crisis -- though just-departed envoy Mike McFaul apparently told the administration last summer he was going to leave.

By  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/12/2014

LBJ staff raves about Cranston’s portrayal of their boss

The ex-”Breaking Bad” star goes from Walter White to the White House in his new role on Broadway.

By Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 03/11/2014

NSC a.k.a. White House beer distributor

National Security Council says White House beer bet with Canada was a “significant diplomatic commitment.“

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:19 PM ET, 03/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/11/2014

U.S.-Iran relations thawing somewhat glacially

Word in Tehran is that their designated ambassador to the United Nations is having some difficulty getting a visa.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:54 PM ET, 03/10/2014

President Obama makes good on Olympic beer bet with Canadian prime minister

After short delay, two cases of White House brew are sent to Canadian Embassy to make good on wager.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  05:54 PM ET, 03/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 03/10/2014

Brief history of Senate majority-led overnighters

The last overnight session by Senate majority was by Republicans in 2003 over judicial nominations.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  01:30 PM ET, 03/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 03/10/2014

Foreign Service leaders ask Senate to reject Obama nominees

They said their selection continued an “increasingly unsavory practice” of money over qualifications.

By Al Kamen  |  12:31 PM ET, 03/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/10/2014

In the Hot Seat: Cabinet members face Congress

It’s an especially busy week for scheduled Cabinet secretary appearances on Capitol Hill as every congressional committee angles to have its say on the White House’s fiscal 2015 budget request and next year’s spending.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/08/2014

Paul Ryan’s four Pinocchios yarn echoes an old Jack Kemp story

Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Four Pinocchio” story Thursday remind us of something his old boss, Rep. Jack Kemp, did in 1996.

By Al Kamen  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/08/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:18 PM ET, 03/07/2014

Filling seats: Campaign bundler nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Czech Republic

White House announces new nominations including campaign bundler to be U.S. ambassador to Czech Republic.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  05:18 PM ET, 03/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 03/07/2014

How the sequester affected federal agencies, in one chart

What did each agency cut under the sequester?

By Colby Itkowitz  |  12:28 PM ET, 03/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/07/2014

Loop Quote of the Week Winner: Donald Trump

By declaring President Carter dead, Donald Trump wins Loop Quote of the Week

By Colby Itkowitz  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:07 PM ET, 03/06/2014

Senate confirms seven Obama nominees

Ahead of Joe Biden trip to Chile, Senate confirms U.S. ambassador Michael Hammer

By Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen  |  05:07 PM ET, 03/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:34 PM ET, 03/06/2014

Sen. Roberts, there’s no place like home?

Sen. Pat Roberts tells Sec. Jack Lew he’s always asked about the IRS scandal when he’s home in Kansas. He’s not there very often.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  01:34 PM ET, 03/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 03/06/2014

When Reagan met Putin in Red Square?

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea has re-surfaced a 1988 photo of President Reagan in Red Square with a “tourist” who looks an awful like. . .

By Al Kamen  |  12:06 PM ET, 03/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/06/2014

Taking down Putin with Russian literature

The State Department in unusually bold terms takes down Putin using Russian literature

By Colby Itkowitz  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:32 PM ET, 03/05/2014

State Department employees union demands documents on embattled ambassador nominees

AFSA demands Obama justifications for three bundlers nominated for posts in Hungary, Norway and Argentina.

By Al Kamen  |  06:32 PM ET, 03/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:23 PM ET, 03/05/2014

“Let the Sunshine in?”

The government put out a guidance memo to push agencies to stop being so annoyingly secretive

By Colby Itkowitz  |  01:23 PM ET, 03/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 03/05/2014

The Shusters: All in the family

When a transportation company needs some help on the Hill, who better to turn to than Robert Shuster, whose brother Bill runs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

By Colby Itkowitz  |  06:00 AM ET, 03/05/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:54 PM ET, 03/04/2014

Rep. Lou Barletta, from small-town mayor to illegal-immigrant basher to

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) vows to continue anti-illegal immigrant push despite a setback Monday in the Supreme Court.

By Al Kamen  |  01:54 PM ET, 03/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 03/04/2014

McCain vs. Kerry, the nasty feud goes on

John McCain has hit his “friend” John Kerry over policy issues and butterflying all over the world. But McCain isn’t exactly averse to foreign travel.

By Al Kamen  |  10:42 AM ET, 03/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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