A bittersweet look back at Obama White House holiday decorations

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If the holidays don’t feel right this year, it might have something to do with the White House. 

A few weeks ago we were gifted with Melania Trump’s White House holiday decorations, but something was missing…

The Obamas.

Every year we anticipated how the first family, specifically Queen Michelle Obama, was going to top her decorations from last year.  Alas, now we’re only left with memories of the past. 

So let’s forget for a moment about 2017 by looking back all the holiday cheer the Obamas brought us.  Read more…

2009: The first holiday tradition begins with lots and lots of decorative trees.

More about Christmas, Obama, Culture, Web Culture, and Holidays 2017


How the White House press conference became 2017's must-see TV

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On Saturday, January 21, 2017, the Trump administration began not with a gentle dose of diplomacy but with a red-faced tirade delivered by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, lambasting the media over reports of low attendance at the previous day’s inauguration festivities.

At the time, Spicer’s tantrum felt unprecedented, a press secretary shoved out to defend the embattled new president against charges that people didn’t like him (never mind that he lost the popular vote).

It proved to be the rule, not the exception. The outburst revealed three key characteristics that would be a part of just about every interaction between the Trump administration and the press: 1. Denial of facts; 2. Anger at the mainstream media; 3. The presentation of an alternate reality.  Read more…

More about Donald Trump, White House, Press Conference, Sean Spicer, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders

The most insane White House presser moments of 2017

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Prior to 2017, my knowledge of White House press briefings came entirely from The West Wing. I thought fictional press secretary CJ Cregg’s collegial relationship with the White House press corps was typical. Oh how wrong I was — at least for the Trump administration. 

A hostile relationship between the press and the White House emerged as soon as Sean Spicer took the podium in January 2017 and continued after his July resignation and the appointment of the more restrained Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Throughout the year, the antagonistic briefings have ranged from absurd to infuriating. 

More about Sean Spicer, White House Press Briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Anthony Scaramucci, and End Of Year 2017

White House considers ban on use of personal cell phones by staff members

According to a report published on Monday by Bloomberg, the White House is so worried about leaks making their way to the media and foreign governments, that White House staffers may be disallowed from using their personal mobile phones to communicate. While President Trump hopes that this ban will put an end to the leaks that have infuriated him, it also will make it harder for White House staff to get in touch with family during the course of the day.

One anonymous official said that there are too many personal devices connected to the White House’s wireless network; unlike the phones …

'No updates': hackers may have 'compromised' White House staff chief's iPhone camera and mic

In the midst of the constant barrage of news from the White House in the last year or so, one might have missed the nugget that the personal handset of the new White House chief of staff John Kelly may have been “compromised”. That’s an euphemism for “someone is reading my emails and messages and I’m just noticing because my iPhone never applies software updates.”

After becoming chief of staff, Mr Kelly reportedly took his iPhone to the IT security staffers of the West Wing, and they found out that the handset may have been hacked for months (while John Kelly was …

Trump's White House feuds are even better reimagined as a pro-wrestling special

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We’re just weeks away from the WWE’s annual late-summer smörgåsbord of professional sports entertainment, SummerSlam. But for all the hype of the second-biggest pro wrestling show of the year (behind spring’s WrestleMania), the real feuds are simmering in Washington, D.C.

While stories about a White House at war with itself have been circulating for months, the situation hit a new level of surreal this week as new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci went nuclear on then-Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus.

More about Donald Trump, Wwe, Sean Spicer, Wrestlemania, and Anthony Scaramucci

Buy this house and you'll live in 2 countries at once

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Can’t decide whether to live in Canada or the United States? Even in the current political climate? Okay. Well, if you buy this house in Vermont, you’ll straddle the border between the two countries. In fact, there’s a border marker right outside the front door.

But right now, Brian and Joan DuMoulin, who own the property in the community of Beebe Plain, say they’re having trouble finding a buyer. For one thing, the house needs a lot of work. For another, heightened post-9/11 security restrictions have made it occasionally awkward to traverse the grounds. Brian explained to TIME, for example, that Joan and her sister once had to report to Canadian border patrol because a new agent didn’t recognize them. Read more…

More about Canada, Culture, Real Estate, Culture, and Other

Trump Twitter bot reminds us that all his tweets are coming from the White House

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The often flippant, emotional stream of tweets from President Trump never ceases to amaze, particularly since it is, for all intents and purposes, filled with official messages from the White House. 

Now, thanks to one clever Twitter user, we can view those often bombastic, poorly worded, and downright trivial tweets in their proper context: official White House statements. 

On Sunday, Twitter user Russel Neiss launched a new Twitter bot called Real Press Sec., which takes Trump’s tweets and presents them in the familiar form of an official White House press statement. The effect of seeing Trump’s social media bloviation as history-framed, official-looking statements from the nation’s highest office is devastatingly poignant.  Read more…

More about Twitter, Donald Trump, Trump, Tweet, and Tech

ChargeTech Plug is the 48,000mAh power bank you can probably run your house on for a tiny bit

Power banks are some of the most useful tools for electronics users on the go, but at best, the more popular and portable ones are good for a charge or two of one gadget before they die off. That’s why ChargeTech made the power bank to end all power banks – a 48,000mAh capacity monolith that can let you take almost all your essential electronics for a day out, and is still somewhat reasonably sized and portable.

Priced $330, the bank is fit with two AC outlets, two traditional USB ports, and a USB Type-C port. It’s solar-rechargeable with the optional solar charging …

The free iOS and Android apps of the week are both games; Blyss and Chameleon Run are on the house

Now that the Google Play Store is offering a free weekly app, we can tell you that both iOS and Android users each have a game that they can download on their respective devices for the low, low price of zero. Let’s start with the iOS freebie. Blyss is a simple and minimalist puzzle game that has proven to be addictive. There are three game modes with global leaderboards for each one. The game involves the use of white blocks, each covered with one or two dots. The dots reveal the number of times that each block must be swiped. The puzzle is completed when all of the blocks are removed from …