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Rove Group Unveils GOP Version of WikiLeaks

Wikicountability will spotlight White House transparency

(Newser) - Inspired by WikiLeaks, a Karl Rove-linked conservative group has started its own online home for government dirt: . The site, which aims to gather Obama administration documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, allows its creators to “crowd-source both the information and analysis of the information,”... More »

Obama Gets Transparency Award ... in Secret Ceremony

Award is for openness, but meeting was definitely closed

(Newser) - Politico already seemed a little peeved that President Obama was to be presented with a “transparency” award (considering, as the site pointed out in a March 16 story , “his administration acted on fewer requests for information last year even as it was asked for more”), but... More »

Stewart's New Punching Bag: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook wants privacy?

(Newser) - Jon Stewart went after Mark Zuckerberg last night , arguing that Facebook is using its deal with Goldman Sachs to delay going public, since doing so would force the company to be more transparent (though that theory may not, in fact, be true ). What nerve. "Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want... More »

Obama Delaying Release of Secret Military Docs

Fighting among spy agencies is the cause, say officials

(Newser) - Obama may want to strike "be more transparent" from his list of New Year's resolutions: He's decided not to release millions of pages of military documents on Dec. 31, as was previously scheduled. Officials say the delay is due to problems between the administration and various spy agencies, who... More »

Obama Skirts Accountability With Policy Czars: Hutchison

Rules are being bent to expand executive power, senator writes

(Newser) - The Obama administration is using its many policy “czars” to skirt the accountability and transparency established by the founding fathers, writes Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Washington Post. The administration has an “unprecedented” 32 czar positions, and “unfortunately,” the senator from Texas writes, “virtually no... More »

Obama's Online Push Opens Debate ... to Lunatic Fringe

(Newser) - President Obama promised to use the Internet to give Americans a greater voice in government—but in keeping that promise, he’s given America’s fringe a chance to shout at him, the New York Times reports. When the administration asked for ideas on how to make the government more... More »

As With Bush, Obama Won't Release WH Visitors List

(Newser) - Despite President Obama’s promise of transparency, the administration is blocking requests for the White House visitors list, MSNBC reports, defying two federal court rulings that the lists are public record. In addition to denying MSNBC’s request for a list of all visitors since Jan. 20, the Secret Service... More »

House to Post Expenses Online

Pelosi orders info on lawmakers' spending be made easier to access

(Newser) - The House is planning to put lists of lawmakers' expenses online in an effort to share more information with the public, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, will give taxpayers easy access to details on lawmakers' expenses, which run up to $1.... More »

Banks Privately Chafe Against Derivatives Reform

Embrace change in public but quietly fight it

(Newser) - The Obama administration is pushing to reform the market for financial derivatives by requiring new reporting to make trades more transparent. In public, Wall Street is saying it's in favor of the changes, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, the banks are pushing hard against reforms behind the scenes.... More »

Obama Meets With Human- Rights Leaders

Under fire for recent moves, holds 'probing' pre-speech discussion

(Newser) - Dogged by criticism over recent decisions, President Obama invited a crew of human-rights and civil-liberties leaders and academics to discuss Guantanamo, tribunals, and transparency ahead of today’s speech on similar themes, the Huffington Post reports. Obama said he was unhappy with Congress’ denial of funds to close Gitmo and... More »

Gonzo Blogger Exposes SoCal Housing Market

Jim Klinge's unrestrained criticism of real estate practices brings him buyers

(Newser) - With “transparency” a political mantra and the housing market an unqualified mess, one real-estate broker is seeking unfettered truth, the Los Angeles Times reports. Armed with a video camera, blogger Jim Klinge is chronicling California’s real-estate crash, sparing no broker’s feelings with scathing appraisals not just of... More »

Obama's Econ Board Doesn't Look So Transparent

Transparency falling to expediency?

(Newser) - When Barack Obama announced his Paul Volcker-led economic advisory board, he said it would meet every 2 weeks. Six weeks later it still hasn’t met, and isn’t planning on doing so until “late spring”—at least not publicly. Board members hint that some are meeting in... More »

Liechtenstein to Open Tax Books; Pressure's on Swiss

International pressure bends EU nation, but Switzerland is the prize

(Newser) - Liechtenstein, bowing to international pressure, said today it would adopt international standards on transparency in tax matters, turning the screws on other tax havens like Switzerland, the New York Times reports. Yesterday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development added Switzerland, Luxembourg, and others to a list of tax havens... More »

Brown Tells US to 'Seize the Moment'

Now more than ever the rest of the world wants to work with you

(Newser) - Gordon Brown inspired applause breaks and a standing ovation in Congress today, urging America to team up with England in battling the financial crisis, the BBC reports. Brown urged lawmakers not to indulge impulses toward protectionism—which “protects no one,” the prime minister quipped—and called for new... More »

Clinton, Cornyn Share Words

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton and John Cornyn shared some spirited words today after the inauguration, Politico reports. Cornyn is blocking a Senate vote today on Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state over concerns about the transparency of Bill Clinton’s foundation. While the conversation seemed animated, a rep for Cornyn said... More »

Bush-Blitzed Mac Morphed Into Empty Suit

Mac's tactics have turned great brand into 'erratica'

(Newser) - John McCain has tried to paint Barack Obama as an unknown risk of a candidate—but these days, McCain is the unfamiliar one, Maureen Dowd writes. The Arizona senator used to be “one of the best brands in politics,” a “known and knowable quantity” that was transparent... More »

Sure, You Can See Palin Email ... for $15M

And after Alaska fees for search, they won't be ready until mid-Nov.

(Newser) - Sarah Palin ran on a platform of transparent government, but it seems that Alaskan transparency has a price: $15 million. That’s how much the governor’s office wants from news organizations for copies of official email, MSNBC reports. Even if organizations are willing to pay up, the email will... More »

Palin's 'Private' Emails Raise Accountability Flap

Two-account system undercuts public transparency, critics charge

(Newser) - Candidate Sarah Palin vowed to be an "open and transparent" governor, but as VP candidate she's drawing unwanted scrutiny with her use of private email to conduct state business, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Although the governor has a state email account, which is archived, she appears to use... More »

Obama Moves to Clean Up DNC Money Machine

Opens fundraisers to press; lobby groups barred from giving

(Newser) - Barack Obama moved today to make his campaign more transparent, in keeping with his theme of bringing change to Washington. Obama will open all his fundraisers to the press, Politico reports. He’s also cleaning up his party’s fundraising efforts; starting today, the Democratic National Committee, like Obama’s... More »

Banks Need to 'Fess Up on Risk: G7 Panel

Forum of regulators says transparency needed to end crisis

(Newser) - Top financial regulators today challenged banks to come clean about risks they face, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Financial Stability Forum, a worldwide team of financial honchos—including several central bank chiefs—concluded that “hording of liquidity” was leading to “severe strains” in the lending market. Only... More »

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