Opinion: Morning Examiner

Sunshine Week looking dark for Obama's 'most transparent administration in history'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Associated Press,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,FOIA

Sunshine Week has not been a good one for President Obama and his administration, which he promised would be "the most transparent" ever.

To the contrary, developments during the 2014 edition of Sunshine Week have confirmed the judgement earlier this year by The New York Times' Jill Abramson:

"The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It's on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with."

Damning AP report

As damaging as Abramson's verdict was, an AP analysis issued this week delivers an even sterner assessment of the state of government transparency under Obama:

"The administration cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. Most agencies also took longer to answer records requests, the analysis found.

"The government’s own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that half way through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records despite its promises from Day 1 to become the most transparent administration in history."

Bad news for Hillary, too

It's not just Obama taking body blows during Sunshine Week. Haymakers are being unleashed against the facade of inevitability being sown in some quarters about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid.

Two years ago, Gawker editor John Cook filed an Freedom of Information Act request with the State Department for emails between Clinton communications guru Philippe Reins and various journalists.

It took nearly a year for Cook to get a response and when it came, incredulity ruled. Reines talks frequently and not always kindly to Washington journalists. Even so, the State Department told Cook there were no such emails. Now State officials say they will do another search.

Just a small taste of what's ahead if the Clintons return to the White House in January 2017?

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Obama disses Israel, kowtows to Palestinians.

Watchdog: Washington Examiner files FOIA lawsuit against CFPB in federal court.

Columnist/Michael Barone: Having a venerable name can be a key to upward mobility.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: Vladimir Putin is just the latest bad character to enchant Western leaders.

Columnist/Jed Babbin: Not one SEAL's blood for oil if U.S. interests aren't at stake.

Columnist/David Freddoso: America can't regulate its way to clean elections.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Sen. Rand Paul hopes NSA spying will top gay marriage for young voters.

Legal Newsline/John O'Brien: Whistleblower to get $21 million in $85 million settlement between U.S. and hospital.

In other news

The Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court faces wave of conservative free speech cases.

USA Today: Obama says no military option on the table in Ukraine.

The New York Times: Newly detected objects draw Flight MH370 searchers to south Indian Ocean.

The Washington Post: Is teleworking productive or a distraction for federal workers?

Chicago Tribune: Dick Durbin, Jim Oberweis kick-off potentially lopsided Senate race.

Time Magazine: Tesla's war with the states shifts gears.

Righty Playbook

Washington Free Beacon: Chinese police university trains hackers.

The American Spectator: Scott Wagner beats the Pennsylvania GOP establishment.

The American Thinker: Same-sex marriage is thoroughly tiresome by design.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: This is how the Tea Party ends.

Lefty Playbook

Mother Jones: What I learned hanging out with Nigerian email scammers.

The Huffington Post: NATO worries Russia won't stop.

The Nation: Christie campaign donors won huge contracts.

Bonus must-read

The New Republic: Blame doctors for the heroin boom, not drug dealers.

Blog Right

Blue Collar Perspective: So which party is in the pocket of Big Business?

Kids Prefer Cheese: Embrace those Bs, ladies.

Marginal Revolution: Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post and his plan to take over the media world (speculative, of course).

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Birth control mandate heads to Supreme Court.

America Blog: Putin issues veiled threat against Estonia.

David Corn: Who's more honest about cheating, Newt Gingrich or Woody Allen?

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