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Joe Biden update: He meets on transparency today. But the meeting is closed


Everybody should just relax and take it easy.

Unsubstantiated rumors that Vice President Joe Biden had suddenly gone a little loopy and ordered some of his official meetings opened to at least cursory public or media attention were just that -- unsubstantiated rumors.

After a recent public sighting, fears had mounted that the one-time, long-term senator might rebel against traditional White House strictures and start acting on all the administration's oft-promised promises of government transparency and official openness running back into 2008.

But the VP's public schedule today puts all those fears to rest.

In fact, loyal Ticket readers will recall that one day last summer with no advance warning whatsoever Biden's official White House schedule changed from listing frequent "private meetings" to listing frequent meetings that are "closed press." Was this dramatic and....

...little-noticed vocabulary change a sign of internal administration turmoil? What did it really mean?

No, of course not. And, nothing.

Announcing everyone the VP meets with, including sessions with unidentified senior staff, which consume much of the vice president's listed time, and what subjects they talk about would have been a stark contrast to George W. Bush's administration, whose notoriously secretive ways drew such criticism from Democrats in Congress during eight long years of really failed policies.

Instead, in the apparent interests of bipartisanship, the Delaware Democrat has adopted much the same sort of undetailed schedule as his Republican predecessor, Dick Cheney, who was not in the Senate when Obama was only 11 years old.

In fact, today's Biden schedule highlight is a meeting with the chief of transparency for economic recovery. But, unfortunately, the transparency meeting is non-transparent, closed to the press. (See his full schedule below.) Which makes it -- what? -- secret openness? Open secrecy?

In a joint report issued early this week a league of nonprofit groups including Common Cause gave the Democratic administration high marks for its openness, although it said the work was incomplete and didn't really go into the lack of open healthcare legislative hearings televised by C-SPAN, as promised by candidate Obama.

Under the category of good but not good enough, here's another viewpoint from Tommy Christopher, including the Obama C-SPAN promise video.

Biden once described Cheney as the most dangerous VP in American history. But since Biden will only turn 68 this year, he was probably overstating in his well-known, jolly way the dangerous vice presidents that he's known whose devious backroom skills and ways earned them fame over the decades --men with household names like William King, Henry Wilson and T.A. Hendricks.

Someday, who knows, Biden's too may join them.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Here is the vice president's official schedule for today. Boldface was added in the interests of emphasis. Note especially that the vice president's meeting with the chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board is closed, meaning non-transparent.

The "pool spray" mentioned has nothing to do with aquatics. It's a coded message to media that a few select members will be allowed in to take pictures briefly -- possibly for only a few seconds -- as Biden and his guest pretend to continue their previously private conversation as if the meeting was open.


In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. These briefings are closed press.

At 11:30 AM, the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This meeting is closed press.

Afterwards, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

 At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will meet with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting; gather time is 1:45 PM in the Brady Briefing Room.

(UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: The White House issued its own report on this closed meeting. Both paragraphs are added below at the end of the VP's schedule.)

Then, at 2:15 PM, the Vice President will meet with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. This meeting is closed press.    ###

White House report on one of Biden's closed meetings:

Today, Vice President Biden met with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi at the White House. President Obama joined part of the discussion. The leaders discussed preparations for the March parliamentary elections and ongoing efforts to resolve outstanding national unity issues.

Today’s meeting was the latest in an ongoing series of high-level engagements between U.S. and Iraqi officials. The U.S. government remains committed to a long-term partnership with the Iraqi government and people.    ###

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (198)

The comments to this entry are closed.

The accumultion of knowledge that defines the politically correct interpretation of the word change as applied to the troika of todays Washington Adminstration might best be described as, " Diversified Truth "

Who would have thunk this? I have no sympathy for the American people they did this to themselves.
What were you thinking of?

These bunch of wack-o's need to be kicked out of office ASAP

More change I can't believe in!

All well and good, but being loyal Democratic sycophants y'all would vote for him all over again.

A closed meeting on openness. Brilliant. Only a clown like Biden could think of that.

This is hope and change you can believe in. No, this is politics as usual. Nothing has changed in Washington DC. Nothing will change until we the people boot the whole lot out. It is high time the government feared the people - not the other way around.

They certainly duped the American people. Why would trust anybody in Washington? They tell you what you want to hear so you elect them. This guy was never vetted by anybody. Shame on the people who voted him in just because he has a D next to his name.

This is the hoax and chains administration. Did anyone really expect this administration to be transparent? If you did you are a fool.

Administration full of crooks and liars.

It's that simple.

It's so interesting to see how many paragraphs into any analysis of the current occupant of the Oval Office have to float by before a gratuitous slam at George Bush materializes. "Eight long years of really failed policies." Right, yeah, uh-huh. The LA Times never disappoints. BTW: Wasn't it the L.A. Times that sat on the controversial Obama-Rashid Khalidi tape in the days before the election? So much for honesty and accountability. It seems that your buyers remorse over the Obama administration only extends as far as your juvenile pique at not being allowed to attend a couple of meetings with uber-idiot and Toastmaster's dropout Joe Biden. Sorry you didn't get an invite to sit on Biden's lap and suck your thumb. In any event, what were you expecting to spill out of that jackass's mouth...something from Shakespeare or maybe a new Gettysburg Address? And you're scratching your pointy, little heads wondering why your circulation numbers are tanking as fast as Obama's approval numbers. Hey, you can always blame it on GWB.

And this is news?? Where have you been?

This administration is about as transparent as the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

This article nailed the lies of our Negro President and the white dunce he selected to be VP. Unfortunately the supporters of Obama don't care. Even if all the meetings were televised, most Obama supporters are too ignorant to understand what they were talking about or how it would affect them. Further more, if the meetings were held before noon, most of his supporters would not be awake yet.
All his supporters want to know is: Do da check bees in the mail?

Obama's main goal is full government control. yes COMMUNISM ! he has the banks, large corp, working on full government control of our medical. that's why it is called socialized medicine. we have people working in the white house that are self proclaimed communists ! van jones is just one communist czar. many others working along side our GOD DAM AMERICA ! HATE EVIL WHITE PRESIDENT ! 20 years of black panther hate church. he proclaims himself as black. but a white mother raised him fed bathed, cooked for the child, and never abandoned him, like the black side of the family. yet kicks his mother under the bus. in his book, he says that, if push comes to shove. he will always take the muslim side. all his i.d. is sealed. why ? what is he hiding ? AMERICA IS IN BIG TROUBLE ! OUR FREEDOM IS BEING TAKEN AWAY BY THE HOUR !

Joe who?

What would be more shocking than the White House having a closed door meeting on Transparency?.....The media actually holding the White House's feet to the fire to explain the continued contradiction between what the claim and reality.

While I'm not old, I remember back when the media would go after any liar, of any party, for any reason. This is what happens when the media picks sides on only reports to push an agenda.

Politicians with no regard for those the represent, corruption, lies, fraud, the destruction of our constitutional republic. Tranparcency? This White House is already Clear enough for me.

Interesting how the complicit, Obama lap-dog press is finally coming around and recognizing the secretive, deceitful nature of this administration only when it affects their access. They have done nothing to expose the corruption of the Democrat leaders, the marxist agenda of the administration, or the ineptitude of the president.

Over the last few years it has become apparent that Biden is in the early stages of Alzheimers. Sad, but indisputable.

Re: Bush's "eight long years of really failed policies". Nice going! You managed quite a few sentences before hammering Bush. You DO understand, I hope, that your bias is the reason your readership is in the tank. You are no more than a left wing blog, no longer a source of news. Good riddance.

Wow, ZERO comments.... apparently the L.A. Times is also "closed press" ---What? No positive things being said about your masters in the comments today that you can display them? A little scared of free speech are we?

Did you get what you expected? Did you Hope our government would Change?

You must know someone like him
He was tall and strong and lean
With a body like a greyhound
And a mind so sharp and keen

But his heart is like a laurel
Grew twisted round itself
'Til almost everything he did
Brought pain to someone else

It's not just what your born with
It's what you choose to bare
It's not how big your share is
It's how much you can share
It's not the fights you dreamed of
It's those you really fought
It's not what you've been given
It's what you do with what you've got

What's the use of two strong legs if you only run away?
And what's the use of the finest voice
If you've nothing good to say?
What's the use of strength and muscle
If you only push and shove?
And what's the use of two good ears
If you can't hear those you love?

Between those who use their neighbour
And those who use the cane
Between those in constant power
And those in constant pain
Between those who run to glory
And those who cannot run
Tell me, which ones are the cripples?
And which ones touch the sun?
And which ones touch the sun?

--Si Khan

guess the hair transplant roots went too deep and clogged the septic system

Government meetings are closed because Obama and his Man-Servant, Joe Friday Biden, have bankrupted America.

Of course, no one will notice the irony.

To be fair, Joe Biden literally doesn't know the meaning of "transparency".

Barak Hussein Obama + Joe Biden = Transparent Frauds

"...a stark contrast to George W. Bush's administration, whose notoriously secretive ways drew such criticism from Democrats in Congress during eight long years of really failed policies."

My God. Could you be any more biased and blind? Really? And what has Obama/Biden done in a year in office? More irreperable harm to this nation than any other administration in the last 50 years. It is not redistribution of wealth or apologizing to our friends and enemies that made the United States the most powerful, yet charitable and force for good the world has ever known. It is freedom and the grace of God that has supplied that.

Does any one see a pattern here? Citizens of Massachusetts: do your duty to America!!! Vote for Brown. Stop the madness!

Joe "the Gaffer" Biden still holds the title "The Dumbest Man in the Senate" but now holds the title "The Dumbest VP in History"! What a dope!!!

What's the matter, kiddies...didn't like the tone of my last post or was it too critical of you and your obsession with taking every opportunity to bash GWB?

What is more surprising to me than the "closed transparency" of the current administration is that the LA Times actually called them on it!

One has to wonder if his hair plugs attenuate the synapse intensity upstairs. Poor Joe.

Joe Biden looks like a Muppet character.

Don't the pols get it? How in the world can they expect us to trust them when they won't trust us? I understand and appreciate that "Good Old Joe" doesn't have the mental capacity to appreciate the irony of having a closed meeting about "transparency", but isn't it just this quality that makes him such a good pol? Heaven help this country.

In a joint report issued early this week a league of nonprofit groups including Common Cause gave the Democratic administration high marks for its openness, although it said the work was incomplete and didn't really go into the lack of open healthcare legislative hearings televised by C-SPAN, as promised by candidate Obama.

Does that take into account all the back room legislation that's being voted on before it's read, and later found to be full of earmarks slush and no over sight?
I don't blame Obama as much as I blame Pelosi, Reid, and the other corrupt far left socialists in office.

Who cares! Nobody wants to hear what that idiot has to say anyways.

To borrow a line from the movie Chicago -- "Are you gonna believe what you see or what I tell you?"


Is this the new "Soviet Union of Amerika?" Bush the Second, er, I mean Obama has assured you that, even though you've lost your home, your job (permanently), and any possible chance at a future, everything is okay and proceeding according to plan. Obiden quote: "Let them eat cake!"

When are the American people going to wake up to these fraudulent pieces of offal. My God, what a bunch of power-hungry, self-serving bottom feeders. Transparency - are you kidding me? There hasn't been transparency in government since the turn of the last century. I don't know how people like Biden can look in the mirror each day and not make themselves sick. We have a legion of socio- and psychopaths that have taken over our federal government and the so-called media is totally bought and sold by the same interests. Wow. What a country.

They finally found a way to shut up Biden and keep his moronic quips, misstatement of facts and vapid thoughts from being reported: keep him away from the press! Genius.

Joe Biden is a dope and his boss is a jug-eared lying weasel.'s all you'll have left.

More PROgress
Less CONgress

If you are embarrassed about what you are doing of course you would have a closed meeting! If joe Biden is nothing else, he is embarrassing!

I am not the only one that remembers the "annoited one" Barak promising to have an open, transparent administration. This just goes to show that you can't trust any democrat to be open and honest. Biden, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, they all keep secrets and deserve the SAME criticism that all the doves on left spewed about Bush and his secrets. But do you see it happening? Why democrats don't mind secrets if they're in power, so they can tax us heavily and not let us know what's in their bills. It makes me sick..

The Democrats are getting good at these transparent closed-door meetings. Let's see, the stimulus (or non-stimulus), healthcare and cap and trade. Is this surprising anyone?

Seems reasonable!

These guys should write comedy routines!

I still have hope for Biden. I don't think he will be able to maintain for very long this arrogant closed door attitude of the Obama crowd. It's against his nature.
He must be stunned at the corruption, deceit, and bribery which has characterized this Administration.

Have they no shame?

I don't think the President's Daily Briefing is ever a public event, nor should it be. That is supposed to be the condensed version of all the key issues and events happening within the past and next 24 hours, any security issues that have been raised, and other bits and pieces of information. I can only imagine the damage that a bunch of image hungry news reporters would do with little bits and pieces of that document every day. I'm sure the Iranian News Media and their broadcast brothers would demand equal access if it were granted, and Al Jazeera would do a wonderful job of presenting the fair and impartial content to their viewers. Yeah, and unicorn milk can be bought at Kroger's every 5th Thursday of alternating months beginning with the letter L.

Biden is a stooge and psycho. How can he really be sincere? LOSER!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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