The Criminal N.S.A.

An Op-Ed by Jennifer Granick and Christopher Sprigman, in The New York Times:

We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.

Joe Biden Goes Shopping At DC's New Costco

What's not to love about this guy?

Biden “engaged in an extended Costco shopping spree, to the delight of shoppers and employees at the store,” according to the pool report. The vice president flashed his Costco card as he walked through the doors to loud cheers. Employee Ivey Stewart handled a cart for Biden, who stopped frequently for hugs and photos.

Obama & daughters visit the Dairy God Mother for frozen custard

A chalk board at a custard shop in Alexandria, Va., announced the selections made by President Obama and his daughters during a visit on Saturday.Yesterday President Obama took his daughters to my local favorite custard shop here in Alexandria, the Dairy God Mother, a place that I make it a point to take any friends or family to when they come to visit (and I visit myself, more often than I should [last weekend]).

From the New York Times:


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Who wants ice cream if you can have a scoop of custard from the Dairy Godmother?

President Obama made another stop on his culinary tour of the Washington region on Saturday, dropping by the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria for a cool afternoon treat. He walked through the doors of The Dairy Godmother with daughters Sasha and Malia in an unannounced visit that startled those inside the bustling neighborhood custard shop.

At this boutique on Mount Vernon Avenue, the sign indicates that the line forms to the right. But Mr. Obama and his small entourage went to the left, bypassing the crowd. No one seemed to mind, store employees said later, as people strained their necks to see what the Obama family was ordering.

President Barack Obama stands with daughters Malia Obama, 10, left, and Sasha Obama, 8, and orders frozen custard at The Dairy Godmother in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, Va., Saturday, June 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)The president had a small vanilla custard with hot fudge and almonds. Malia asked for vanilla custard in a waffle cone. And Sasha ordered a brownie sundae with vanilla custard. Bo, the presidential dog, was not along for the ride on this pre-Father’s Day outing, but the store employees sent a bag of “puppy pops” home with the girls.

Mr. Obama paid for the items and offered to leave a tip, according to Elizabeth van Gestel, who rang up his order. Mr. Obama was told that tips aren’t allowed at the Dairy Godmother, so he stayed for about 15 minutes, taking photographs and eating his custard.

It’s the latest in a series of restaurant visits since Mr. Obama took office, which have included stopping for a hotdog at Ben’s Chili Bowl and hamburgers at Ray’s Hell Burgers and Five Guys. He has told his advisers that getting out of the White House – even for a quick trip – is important to him as he tries to remain connected with the outside world and give his daughters a semblance of normalcy.

Mr. Obama may not have known it at the time, but he stumbled on a taste of the Midwest on the East Coast. The Dairy Godmother, which Liz Davis opened eight years ago, is modeled after legendary custard shops that are found throughout her native Wisconsin.

Less than an hour after the First Family returned to the White House – when this reporter dropped by the store for a butter pecan custard for himself – a chalk board was hanging on the wall that announced what the Obamas ordered.President Barack Obama leaves with daughters Malia Obama, 10, left, and Sasha Obama, 8, not pictured, after having frozen custard at The Dairy Godmother in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, Va., Saturday, June 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)