Comedian Bill Maher became the latest member of the seven-figure "super PAC" donors club Thursday night when he announced during a comedy special that he would donate $1 million to the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action.
An Obama administration Internet privacy initiative marks the best chance for setting U.S. standards to shield personal information in the absence of Congressional legislation, consumer groups and lawyers said.
The ability for women to obtain female contraception through their employer-sponsored health insurance is at the heart of a heated national health policy and religious debate. Just a few short months ago, the Obama administration mandated that all employers, religious and otherwise, pay for this important health insurance benefit.
President Obama will send Congress a 2013 spending plan that would raise taxes on the rich and pump nearly $500 billion into new transportation projects over the next decade, launching an election-year debate over the budget that promises starkly different visions for managing government debt and the sluggish economy.
The White House likes to describe them as "process" stories and is famously uncooperative with reporters trying to do them, so the tantalizing glimpse into President Barack Obama's decision-making that appears in The New Yorker this week - based on hundreds of pages of internal White House documents - is something of a milestone.
The specific charge sheet against Obama could run for several pages and then several more. On the economy, the president is blamed for a lack of ambition, for passing a stimulus package of $787bn that, say the critics, should have been nearly twice the size. Obama erred, too, by allowing Democrats in Congress to write the stimulus bill, packing it with pet schemes and pork that would do little to get the economy moving. In an attempt to win Republican support which never came he also weighed down the bill with too many tax cuts. The result was action that was simply incomplete, leaving unemployment hovering around the 9% mark for most of Obama's presidency. Former admirers say he was too weak on the banks, failing to declare war on those who had caused the 2008 crash.
The last two American presidents who pressured Israel (Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush) lost reelection. Though the reasons for their defeats varied, their strained relations with Israel surely didn t help, a dilemma now facing Barack Obama as Israel demands U.S. backing against Iran, as Marjorie Cohn describes
President Obama will ask Congress on Friday for greater power to shrink the federal government, starting with merging six sprawling trade and commerce agencies that have some overlapping programs, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama desecrated the Constitution that he and I swore to defend when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which includes language violating the Bill of Rights and other constitutionally protected liberties
President Obama will challenge Senate Republican foes of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by naming Richard Cordray as its director while Congress is out of town, according to a senior administration official.
President Obama signed a broad military spending bill into law on Saturday despite "serious reservations" about provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. The bill also applies penalties against Iran s central bank in an effort to hamper Tehran s ability to finance its nuclear enrichment program. The Obama administration is looking to soften the impact of the penalties because of concerns that they could lead to a spike in global oil prices or cause economic hardship on allies that import petroleum from Iran
Obama blocks the over the counter day after pill over ruling FDA - It's disappointing, a not altogether unfamiliar feeling when looking at the choices made by this administration. But moreover, in the face of the incredible GOP dumbing down and science skepticism, the one place you'd think you could count on embracing of intelligence and nuance is a Democratic administration.
President Obama sought to keep Congressional Republicans on the defensive Monday, calling an extension of the payroll tax cut necessary for middle-class Americans and questioning why Republicans who opposed paying for tax cuts in the past now say they won t continue the payroll tax break unless it is offset with other revenues.
The body language on TV looked different. When US President Barack Obama met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao for the East Asia summit in Bali, Obama was relaxed, smiling and almost smug. Wen was conversely trying to force the conversation and striving to look jovial and unconcerned. It was a very different setting from the summit of two years earlier when both Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao seemed to be on pins and needles. Back then, Obama was more worried while Hu was glacial.
US President Barack Obama has visited the key primary state of New Hampshire to challenge Congress to extend an expiring payroll tax cut. He made the trip one day after the failure of a deficit-cutting effort by a bipartisan congressional committee. The president offered Congress a "second chance" to renew the economic stimulus via a separate vote next week.
US President Barack Obama has announced a new security agreement with Australia that will strengthen military ties between the two countries through the updating of an existing 60-year-old alliance. About 250 US marines will arrive in northern Australia in 2012, eventually being built up to a full force of 2,500 military personnel over the next several years.
Embracing veterans, President Barack Obama on Monday urged Republicans in Congress to "put country before party" and support new ways of helping former members of the military find jobs in a sluggish economy
One unkind critic said that he seemed like a 50-year-old man who has just got his first proper job, that he has had no experience of running any organisation and it shows in his management of the White House. Republicans are of course the harshest critics. Ed Rogers, a veteran of the George H W Bush and Reagan White House told me: "I think Obama is not a very effective leader.
A contentious battle between Catholic groups and the Obama administration has flared in recent days, fueled by the new health-care law and ongoing divisions over access to abortion and birth control.
According to The Washington Post, President Obama's Justice Department "wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting" of Awlaki. The Post reports that the memorandum "was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi."
Facing weakening support among Hispanics, President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration Wednesday over what he called an inaccurate and damaging perception that he can fix the nation s flawed immigration system on his own.
The most appalling aspect of the Obama administration's inept handling of the upcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood is the reason for the administration's bumbling. Its moves are dictated by fear of offending Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his lobby and, especially, the campaign donors who take direction from that lobby.
Libya was not a robust showing of liberal-internationalist conviction: The single greatest factor behind the West s armed intrusion was the surreality of Moammar Gaddafi. If the "colonel" had not been such a nut, if he had bothered to maintain the armed forces on which he squandered his country s oil wealth, Western concern for the Libyan people would probably have been much less muscular.
The deficit-reduction speech President Obama delivered from the Rose Garden on Monday underscores the sharp strategic pivot he and his administration have made in the wake of the debt ceiling negotiations
President Barack Obama used a boisterous Labor Day rally to put congressional Republicans on the spot, challenging them to place the country's interests above all else and vote to create jobs and put the economy back on a path toward growth. "Show us what you've got," he said.
The most common hallmark of the left s magical thinking is a failure to recognize that Congress is a separate, coequal branch of government consisting of members whose goals may differ from the president s.
The record shows impressive continuities between the two administrations, and nowhere more than in the policy of force projection in the Arab world. With one war half-ended in Iraq, but another doubled in size and stretching across borders in Afghanistan; with an expanded program of drone killings and black-ops assassinations, the latter glorified in special ceremonies of thanksgiving (as they never were under Bush); with the number of prisoners at Guantanamo having decreased, but some now slated for permanent detention; with the repeated invocation of "state secrets" to protect the government from charges of war crimes; with the Patriot Act renewed and its most dubious provisions left intact - the Bush-Obama presidency has sufficient self-coherence to be considered a historical entity with a life of its own.
For more than a year and a half - ever since President Obama chose to make deficits, not jobs, the central focus of the 2010 State of the Union address - we've had a public conversation that has been dominated by budget concerns, while almost ignoring unemployment. The supposedly urgent need to reduce deficits has so dominated the discourse that on Monday, in the midst of a market panic, Mr. Obama devoted most of his remarks to the deficit rather than to the clear and present danger of renewed recession.
Obama is a relative newcomer to the kind of tough negotiating with Republicans that will define the remainder of his term. It s not a role he faced as a legislator, and during his first two years in office, he scored victories in a Democratic-controlled Congress. In the past nine months, though, Obama has found himself engineering three major budget deals with Republicans.
It is clear that the once cocky Obama is feeling that same poignancy about his own presidency. Left in a giant pickle by the hot-dogging Bush the younger, the president who gloriously made history is now stuck in Sisyphus mode.
IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear - and needed to hear - but he didn t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.
However the debt limit showdown ends, one thing is clear: under pressure from Congressional Republicans, President Obama has moved rightward on budget policy, deepening a rift within his party heading into the next election.
President Barack Obama has raised $48.7 million for his re-election campaign and his GOP challengers have raised a combined $36.7 million. But where is that money coming from? A preliminary analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics has found that the top industry backers of several presidential candidates show similarities, while others show stark contrasts.
The House narrowly passed GOP debt-limit legislation Friday after Republican leaders revised it to gain the support of recalcitrant tea party conservatives, but Senate Democrats declared it dead on arrival in their chamber and moved to replace it with a bipartisan plan that would raise the federal debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default.
So why, as a condition for extending the Bush tax cuts, which President Obama repeatedly said he opposed, did he not require the Republicans to raise the debt ceiling then? Why didn't he make raising the debt ceiling part of the transaction that extended the Bush tax cuts? Why did he give the Republicans a second bite at the apple, cutting the revenue first, and then a chance to hold the government hostage again in the summer. Recall, extension of the Bush tax cuts added about $2 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years, about the same amount that many of the debt-ceiling agreements would save over the next 10 years.
President Barack Obama is playing double and quits. He has offered to double his package of cuts. From $2 trillion ( 1.25 trillion) to $4 trillion. His apparent offer to cut pensions (Social Security) and healthcare for the elderly (Medicare) will horrify many of his own supporters. If the Republicans quit, refuse to do a deal in the face of what looks like the president being so willing to compromise that he is damaging his reputation with his own party, they will look like ideological hotheads.
President Obama tried on Sunday to revive the chances for a sweeping budget agreement to reduce the nation s deficit and repair its perilous finances, but Congressional Republicans continued to balk, insisting on a more modest deal to avert a default on the national debt.
Heading into crucial negotiations on a budget deal, President Obama has raised his sights and wants to strike a far-reaching agreement on cutting the federal deficit as Speaker John A. Boehner has signaled new willingness to bargain on revenues.
The president demands that Congress also eliminate tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires ... oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners. Without these modest increases in revenue, he says, the government will have to cut funding for medical research, food inspection and the National Weather Service. Also, presumably, whatever federal support goes to puppies and apple pie.
The rap on President Obama is that he s too professorial, too cool, too prone to dissecting a problem logically and then attempting to explain it to the public. If that s the case, then it wasn t Mr. Obama who stood in front of the news media on Wednesday.
The House on Friday resoundingly rejected a measure that would have authorized the United States mission in Libya, with 70 Democrats deserting President Obama on an issue that has divided their party and became a major Constitutional flash point between Congress and the White house.
President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will meet separately on Monday with the Democratic and Republican Senate leaders in an opening bid to restart budget talks on addressing long-term debt reduction and clear the way for a necessary vote on raising the nation s debt limit.
Those of us who opposed the Bush administration torture program have been demoralized by the lack of accountability for the numerous abuses committed as part of that program. President Obama decried torture, and said he would end it, but he also said he wanted to "look forward, not back," apparently precluding investigations of the abuses committed by the previous administration.
Barack Obama has put America and Europe unambiguously on the side of those fighting for freedom across the Middle East, saying the west can remain "the catalysts for global action", ending a decade of war, terrorism and terrible recession
President Obama struck back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday, defending his stance that talks over a Palestinian state should be focused on Israel s pre-1967 borders, along with negotiated land swaps, and challenging Israel to 'make the hard choices' necessary to bring about a stable peace.
Five days ago, during a closed-door meeting with a group of Middle East experts, administration officials, and journalists, King Abdullah II of Jordan gave his assessment of how Arabs view the debate within the Obama administration over how far to push Israel on concessions for peace with the Palestinians.
President Obama, seeking to capture a moment of epochal change in the Arab world, began a new effort on Thursday to break the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, setting out a new starting point for negotiations on the region s most intractable problem.
US president Barack Obama will announce economic aid for Egypt and Tunisia during a speech on the Middle East on Thursday, but White House officials are saying little about how he will address key policy issues after months of revolution and unrest in the region.
The US will seek to expand domestic oil production in an attempt to reduce dependence on imported oil and bring down fuel prices, President Obama says. New leases for exploration will be granted in non-protected areas of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico.
President Obama drew praise from unlikely quarters on Monday for pursuing a risky and clandestine mission to kill Osama bin Laden, a successful operation that interrupted the withering Republican criticism about his foreign policy, world view and his grasp of the office
The White House Correspondent's Dinner, an annual tradition where the media and political elite meet to roast/congratulate each other, with mixed results, just finished up. Seth Meyers of "Saturday Night Live" hosted the event, and you should be able to watch replays on C-SPAN if you're interested.
President Obama announced late Sunday that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, was killed in a firefight during an operation he ordered Sunday inside Pakistan, ending a 10-year manhunt for the world s most wanted terrorist. American officials were in possession of his body, he said.
President Barack Obama exercised his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden.
In a major national security reshuffle, President Barack Obama is sending CIA Director Leon Panetta to the Pentagon to replace Robert Gates, a widely praised Bush holdover, and replacing Panetta at the spy agency with Gen. David Petraeus, the high-profile commander of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
President Obama on Wednesday posted online a copy of his long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii, hoping to finally end a long-simmering conspiracy theory among some conservatives who asserted that he was not born in the United States and was not a legitimate president
America is mired in three wars. The past decade was the hottest on record. Unemployment remains stuck near 9 percent, and there s a small, albeit real, possibility that the U.S. government will default on its debt. So what s dominating the news? A reality-television star who can t persuade anyone that his hair is real is alleging that the president of the United States was born in Kenya.
Deepening economic pessimism has pushed down President Obama s approval rating to a near record low, but he holds an early advantage over prospective 2012 rivals in part because of widespread dissatisfaction with Republican candidates, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Mr. Obama insisted that the government must maintain what he called investment in programs that are necessary to compete globally. And he made clear that, despite his compromise with Congressional leaders in December, he would fight Republicans to end lowered tax rates for wealthy Americans that have been in place since President George W. Bush championed them in the last decade.
What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn t seem to stand for anything in particular?
This has been a season of leadership tests for President Obama. From Egypt to Libya and now the budget, the president has been called upon to deal with rapidly unfolding events, and the questions about his leadership style have followed a consistent pattern.
Military leaders and President Obama s civilian advisers are girding for battle over the size and pace of the planned pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this summer, with the military seeking to limit a reduction in combat forces and the White House pressing for a withdrawal substantial enough to placate a war-weary electorate.
President Obama made the right, albeit belated, decision to join with allies and try to stop Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi from slaughtering thousands of Libyans. But he has been far too slow to explain that decision, or his long-term strategy, to Congress and the American people.
The policy Obama outlined was a cost-benefit analysis between the burdens of war and the need to defend American values across the globe. In the Obama doctrine, there is a tension between bear-any-burden aspirations and the constraints of an overstretched superpower.
When Rahm Emanuel was White House chief of staff, the decision about what President Obama would say in the short address he delivers via radio and the Internet each Saturday changed so often that speechwriters would wait until Friday to write.
President Obama on Tuesday defended his budget as a difficult step toward stabilizing the nation s finances, urging for bipartisan cooperation in Washington to address the risks from the nation s growing long-term debt.
President Obama drew fire Sunday from congressional Republicans and independent budget experts for his reluctance to advance a plan that would tackle the nation's biggest budget problems in the spending blueprint he will submit to Congress on Monday.
President Obama announced a plan today to free up 500 MHz worth of spectrum for wireless Internet and mobile network use over the next 10 years. Alleged crowding of the spectrum has been a concern for some time, but Obama hopes to incentivize current users to give up the chunks of spectrum they occupy by giving them a cut of the spectrum's sale at auction, and then using some of that money to reimburse the rollout of wireless and 4G to 98 percent of the country.
Topics discussed in the segment encompassed a wide range. From the ongoing unrest in Egypt, to health care reform and of course the football game, the pair covered a lot of ground in the exchange.
It was the eloquent, post-partisan, uniter-not-a-divider President Obama who appeared in the House chamber tonight. It was his second State of the Union address, but the first with the lift and vision of his best campaign speeches.
President Obama challenged Americans on Tuesday night to unleash their creative spirit, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of outcompeting other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy
U.S. President Barack Obama has reached the halfway point in his four-year term. As he prepares to deliver the annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, a tally of Obama campaign promises finds that he has managed to keep many more of these vows than he has broken.
President Obama, sending another strong signal that he intends to make his White House more business-friendly, traveled to this industrial city on Friday to appoint a prominent corporate executive as his chief outside economic adviser, and to spotlight his efforts on job creation, in advance of next week s State of the Union address.
President Obama and President Hu Jintao of China both pledged on Wednesday to nurture what they called their two nations growing common interests, but they also acknowledged differences in the areas of trade and human rights as they held their eighth meeting in two years.
President Obama pressed hard on Chinese president Hu and his country's unwillingness to revalue its currency at the White House Wednesday. While Obama openly told Hu the U.S. welcomes the increasing flexibility of China's currency, the Yuan or Remimbi (RMB), he also specifically addressed the fact that the currency remains undervalued and that it could be a tool for China to dampen down their inflationary pressures
Declaring that China and the United States have an enormous stake in each other s success, President Obama welcomed President Hu Jintao of China to the White House on Wednesday with an elaborate color-guard ceremony that included a colonial fife and drum band and a 21-gun salute.
The Obama administration plans to intensify a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants with the establishment of an audit office designed to bolster verification of company hiring records.
Barack Obama has eased America's long-standing embargo on Cuba, allowing many Americans to travel there for the first time and increasing the amounts that they can invest in the island
The United States is not bent on containing China, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday, but the Obama administration is cultivating other allies across Asia to help it manage Beijing s increasingly bold projection of military and economic power.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a scalding critique of Arab leaders here on Thursday, saying they badly needed reforms to jump-start their economies and overcome dwindling natural resources, or risk having extremists take root in their societies.
JUST a few weeks ago, the fate of the New Start nuclear arms treaty seemed to hang by a thread. But since last week, when the United States Senate ratified the treaty, which reduces the size of the American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, we can speak of a serious step forward for both countries. I hope this will energize efforts to take the next step to a world free of nuclear weapons: a ban on all nuclear testing.