Archives for White House

Obama sounding more and more like Bush

It feels like 2007 all over again. Different war, different president, but "surge" is back in vogue.

President Barack Obama's revamped Afghanistan strategy involves rushing — faster than may prove possible — 30,000 more troops into the fight by next summer. The abrupt infusion of U.S. military might is aimed at jump-starting a war that has crawled along for more than eight years, yielding few lasting gains.

Obama wants to prevent terrorists from plotting fresh attacks and to set Afghanistan on a path to securing and governing itself.

"I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Obama told West Point cadets and a national TV audience Tuesday night.

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Both sides unhappy with Obama’s Afghan plan

Democrats are complaining about President Barack Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Republicans are unhappy with his promise to withdraw troops in 18 months, but Congress appears willing to approve the buildup's $30 billion price tag.

Lawmakers planned to use two days of high-profile hearings on the war, beginning Wednesday, to express their misgivings about the plan, which calls for a quick infusion of troops through July 2011, when the U.S. will begin to withdraw its forces.

Obama pledged Tuesday night to an audience of Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy that the shift from surge to exit strategy would depend on the military situation in Afghanistan.


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Despite promises, Obama plays old political tricks

President Barack Obama entered the White House promising a new era of openness in government, but when it comes to bad news, his administration often uses one of the oldest tricks in the public relations playbook: putting it out when the fewest people are likely to notice.

Former White House environmental adviser Van Jones' resignation over controversial comments hit the trifecta of below-the-radar timing: The White House announced the departure overnight on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, when few journalists were on duty and few Americans awake, much less paying attention to the news.

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Obama’s gamble: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama plans to announce on Tuesday that he will send about 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in a long-awaited war strategy shift that he hopes will defeat the Taliban and allow for a U.S. exit.

After three months of deliberations that some critics called dithering, Obama is to lay out his plan in a speech to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The high-stakes televised address will take place at 8 p.m. EDT.

The troop increase represents a major gamble by Obama. He came to office vowing a greater focus on Afghanistan but has faced skepticism from some key advisers about the wisdom of putting more American lives and money on the line for a government in Kabul widely seen as corrupt and inept.
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The seven things that scare the hell out of Obama

A month-and-a-half away from entering the second year of his Presidency, Barack Obama's carefully-crafted image is coming apart.

Media fascination has vanished, replaced with skepticisim. Public adolation is facing, replaced with impatience. Obama the President is a far cry from Obama the candidate and Obama the President is faced with realities that wipe out the image.

So Obama will soon enter the new year faced with at least seven stories he doesn't want told and seven realities that could destroy the myth.
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Obama plans new effort on foreclosures

The Obama administration, battling a foreclosure crisis that shows no signs of relenting, will step up pressure on mortgage companies to do more to help people remain in their homes, officials said Saturday.

The administration will announce its expanded program on Monday, Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said.

"We are taking additional steps to enhance servicer transparency and accountability," Reilly said. She said the goal was to increase the rate that troubled home loans were converted into new loans with lower monthly payments.

Industry officials said the new effort would include increased pressure on mortgage companies to accelerate loan modifications by highlighting firms that are lagging in that area.

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Obama will reveal new Afghan plan Tuesday

US President Barack Obama will announce his new Afghan strategy in an address to the nation Tuesday from the prestigious West Point military academy, the White House said.

In a defining moment for his young presidency, Obama is widely expected to order more than 30,000 additional American troops into battle against an emboldened Taliban-led insurgency.

But the president, who vowed Tuesday to "finish the job" in Afghanistan, will also lay out an exit strategy for withdrawing forces from the war begun eight years ago in response to the September 11 attacks on the United States.

"We are in year nine of our efforts in Afghanistan. We are not going to be there another eight or nine years," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

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Obama, GOP remain at odds over health care

President Barack Obama and a top House Republican acknowledged in holiday messages Thursday the economic struggles facing Americans this Thanksgiving but offered starkly different recipes for relief.

Obama and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., singled out U.S. service members at home and abroad for special thanks before saying what they think should be done to fix the economy.

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White House catered to lobbyists on health care

President Barack Obama's top aides met frequently with lobbyists and health care industry heavyweights as his administration pieced together a national health care overhaul, according to White House visitor records obtained by The Associated Press.

The records, obtained Wednesday, disclose visits by a broad cross-section of the people most involved in the health care debate, weighted heavily toward those who want to overhaul the system.

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