In another business-as-usual Friday night document dump, the White House released logs on 110 White House visitors and trumpeted “transparency like you’ve never seen before.”
The self-congratulatory announcement conveniently omits that Obama originally blocked the logs’ release and only disclosed them under threat of lawsuit.
Also, this “unprecedented” disclosure is severely limited:
Most of the visitors from Inauguration Day to September will never be released by the White House under this voluntary disclosure — unless the public can guess their names. The White House policy doesn’t allow members of the public or press to ask for “everyone who visited health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle,” or everyone who visited on May 4, or everyone from the American Medical Association. Only individual names can be checked.
The list released at 4:30 p.m. Friday includes just about 110 names with 481 visits. Those names were among those requested by members of the public so far, for visits during the period from Inauguration Day through July. (That’s why we know of visits by the wrong Bill Ayers, the wrong Angela Davis, etc., but we don’t know of visits by countless unnamed lobbyists.) Members of the public who used the White House online form to check names did not receive a personal reply indicating whether or not the request was received, or whether the name appeared on the list, so the system provides no feedback…A request for the complete records of all visitors from the first months of the administration, filed by msnbc.com, was rejected by the White House, and an appeal is pending. The news organization requested the names of all visitors to the Obama White House beginning with Inauguration Day. Msnbc.com has filed an administrative appeal with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.
Let’s dive into the data dump.
*ANDY STERN. If you’ve been following my reporting and Culture of Corruption work on Obama’s special friends at the SEIU, you won’t be surprised to learn that one of the most frequent visitor knocking on Barry’s door over the past several months was…SEIU president Andy Stern.
They really just need to set up a cot for him at 1600 Pennsylvania. Stern clocked in with 22 visits, including seven with the president, one with the vice president, and meetings with Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, OMB director Peter Orszag, health czar aide Jennifer Cannistra, and Valerie Jarrett’s high-powered aide and Chicago fund-raiser Tina Tchen.
As I’ve noted from Day One, Big Labor’s investment in Obama has paid off mightily.
*GEORGE SOROS. And let there be no doubt that other far Left kingpins have easy access to this White House. Billionaire George Soros dropped in on David Lipton, Obama’s special assistant for international economic affairs and a longtime Treasury bureaucrat in past Democrat administrations whose contact with Soros goes back to at least 1998.
Soros visited Lipton on February 25, just a few days after he made international headlines for statements at Columbia University about the global financial collapse, and again on March 25, the day he was quoted around the world gloating about “having a very good crisis.”
Soros also met with National Economic Council director Larry Summers and Valerie Jarrett’s gal Tina Tchen.
Inquiring minds want to know: Did Petrobras come up?
*JEFFREY IMMELT. GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt popped in for meetings with OMB director Peter Orszag and economic adviser Austan Goolsbee. Immelt serves on Obama’s economic advisory board. He also promoted smart grid programs at the White House — and then turned around at touted them on GE’s broadcast subsidiaries at NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. The perks of a left-wing corporate “news” empire.
*RACE HUSTLERS. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson checked in for various events ranging from poetry readings to congressional luaus to education and SCOTUS meetings, but “Malik H. Shabazz” in the visitor log is not the same Malik Zulu Shabazz who heads up the thug racketeers at the New Black Panther Party.
*HEALTH CARE LOBBYISTS. While far Left groups harass and demonize evil health insurance lobbyists, they’re more than welcome at the White House. UnitedHealth lobbyist Steve Elmendorf is listed five times and Alston & Bird “resource” (the kinder, gentler euphemism for lobbyist) Tom Daschle is listed 11 times.
*PAUL KRUGMAN. The NYT columnist spent two hours with Obama on April 27. Gen. McChrystal got 30 minutes.
*PHILIP GARA LAMARCHE. Another far Leftist philanthropist with repeat access to the White House, he’s listed nine times (two under “Gara LaMarche” and seven under “Philip G LaMarche.” LaMarche is President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. As I reported in June, LaMarche is a George Soros acolyte whose charity pitched in $10 million to help fund the astroturf Health Care Action Now group. LaMarche met with Valerie Jarrett for hours-long meetings on two disclosed occasions. Last year, LaMarche’s group donated $18 million to a Chicago charity headed by Jarrett.
*SCOTT LEVENSON. Matthew Vadum notes the visit by ACORN spokesman Levenson with SEIU/ACORN operative-turned-White House political director Patrick Gaspard.
Membership in radical Left circles has its privileges.