Archives for White House

Is Obama up to a new state of the union?

His poll numbers are on the rise after a tough year, he has recaptured some of his old oratorical magic and a few pundits are even debating whether he’s becoming the new “comeback kid.” But the stakes will be high on Tuesday when President Barack Obama tries to convince Americans he has a plan to tackle the economy, joblessness and deficits all at once — a daunting challenge crucial to his 2012 re-election chances. Obama’s State of the Union address will be a chance not only to set the tone for the second half of his term but also to
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White House needs to do more to prevent future oil spills

A presidential panel investigating the Gulf oil spill says that the oil industry, Congress and the Obama administration need to do more to reduce the chances of another large-scale disaster. That’s the primary conclusion of the independent panel assembled by President Barack Obama, which released its final report Tuesday. The commission recommends increasing budgets and training for the federal agency that regulates offshore drilling; increasing the liability cap for damages when companies drill offshore; dedicating 80 percent of fines and penalties from the BP spill to restoration of the Gulf; and lending more weight to scientific opinions by other federal
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Obama claims job growth as adminisration success

President Barack Obama is trumpeting private-sector job growth and lower unemployment, telling the public that “the trend is clear” on the economy — and it’s encouraging. The president used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to discuss the latest economic news and press for bipartisan action in the newly divided Congress on measures to spur growth. He presented the December jobs report in a positive light even though it fell short of what economists had been looking for and even though the drop in unemployment came partly because some people stopped looking for work. The private sector added 103,000
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Timing of firing of Navy captain over video raises questions

The Navy brusquely fired the captain of the USS Enterprise on Tuesday, more than three years after he made lewd videos to boost morale for his crew, timing that put the military under pressure to explain why it acted only after the videos became public. Senior military officials said they were trying to determine who among Navy leaders knew about the videos when they were shown repeatedly in 2006 and 2007 to thousands of crew members aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. An investigation by U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., also is seeking to determine whether Capt. Owen Honors
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Volcker ending term on Obama’s economic planel

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is ending his term as chairman of President Barack Obama‘s economic advisory panel next month, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. Volcker is a highly regarded voice on financial policy and has been an occasional outside counselor to the White House both as head of the recovery advisory board and as an advocate of tougher banking regulations. Obama gave the advisory board a two-year mission that expires next month and is considering whether to extend it. But Volcker has told colleagues that he will not stay on. The source told The Associated
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Gibbs out as White House spokesman

Robert Gibbs, the feisty press secretary whose job as President Barack Obama‘s chief spokesman and confidant has given him an outsized presence at the White House, announced Wednesday he was quitting for the less demanding, more lucrative role of giving paid speeches and advising the president from the outside world. In a rapidly unfolding makeover, Obama was also closing in on a decision whether to tap William Daley, a former commerce secretary, for the vital gatekeeping job of White House chief of staff. Obama and Daley met at the White House on Wednesday, and a presidential decision on that position
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Obama’s fantasy: Democrats & Rebulblicans will cooperate in new year

President Barack Obama says Democrats and Republicans must work together in the new year and share responsibility for moving the country forward. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said Saturday that lawmakers must return to Washington next week prepared to make serious decisions about how to grow the economy in the short run and stay competitive in the future. “I’m willing to work with anyone of either party who’s got a good idea and the commitment to see it through,” Obama said. “And we should all expect you to hold us accountable for our progress or our failure
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Obama still vague on Gitmo’s future

Basking in a series of end-of-the-year victories, President Barack Obama is showing no interest in discussing one of his biggest unmet promises: the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. The White House has acknowledged it is working on an executive order that would set up a legal process for detainees who are being held there indefinitely. It was a tacit acknowledgment that the U.S. naval prison in Cuba will be open for the foreseeable future. Though many in his liberal base adamantly oppose indefinite detention, Obama said Wednesday that his team is trying to figure out what to do with
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Obama’s economic pick: A sign of changes to come?

Change is soon coming to the White House economic team, with President Barack Obama set to announce a new top adviser who will have broad influence over the administration’s efforts to jumpstart the struggling economy. Obama is expected to announce a replacement for departing National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers early in the new year, soon after he returns to Washington from his Hawaiian vacation. The president’s choice is being closely watched for signs of where he wants to take his economic agenda in the second half of his term, and how he looks to bring down the almost double-digit
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Obama delays 2012 budget release

President Barack Obama, who has pledged to tackle long-term U.S. debt and deficit challenges, will delay the delivery of his fiscal year 2012 budget by about a week until after February 14. An administration official said on Monday the delay was due to the long time it took for the U.S. Senate to confirm Jack Lew as Obama’s new budget director, and because funding decisions for 2011 went so late into the year. The Democratic president nominated Lew in July but the appointment was held up in the Senate by Mary Landrieu, a member of Obama’s own party, to protest
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