Archives for White House

Even unions are upset with Barack Obama

Unions thought their ship came in when Barack Obama moved into the White House. They considered the new President the fruit of their efforts to put a pro-union stamp on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

That was then. This is now and now the unions join a growing list of other Americans who wonder just who they helped put into the Presidency.

Union bosses grumble that Obama's promised changes were more illusion than reality and he has forgot what he owes to organized labor.

Obama hasn't delivered, the complain, and it's time to stop talking about change and start changing.

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White House opens up visitor logs

President Obama has pledged that his administration will be "the most open and transparent administration in history." That remains to be seen but he took another significant step in that direction by agreeing to start releasing the names of visitors to the White House and incidentally settling four freedom-of-information lawsuits in the process.

Earlier, he had rescinded Bush administration restrictions on access to presidential archives, released the interrogation memos and ordered federal agencies to err on the side of openness in considering requests for information.

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Obama’s problems are our problems too

President Obama is in trouble. So are we.

When the president vows to keep a campaign promise by insisting on health care insurance for all and makes millions of people furious, including many Democrats, you know he has confused us.

When eight years after Sept. 11, 2001, the president is on the verge of putting thousands more soldiers in Afghanistan without having explained our mission there, you know parents will be upset.

When the government has gone trillions of dollars into debt to help the economy and the number of people without jobs is still rising, you know people are scared.

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Obama’s hail mary: Too little too late?

In a town where football stereotypes replace rational thought, the clockers and watchers are already calling President Barack Obama's plans to try and sell his faltering health care reform agenda to a joint session of Congress a "hail mary" pass in the closing seconds of a losing game.

Obama's record-setting freefall from sky-high public approval ratings to borderline support on his key issues leaves him little choice. Any political capital he had is gone, wiped out by compromise and capitulation.

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President will review Afghan options

President Barack Obama will likely take a key report on Afghan policy on vacation to Camp David Wednesday, the White House said, hitting back at claims it was moving too slowly to revamp war strategy.

The classified report by General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, is a long-awaited assessment of the war, which Obama has declared the most vital front in the US struggle against terrorism.

"I anticipate that the president will take some form of the McChrystal report with him to Camp David," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, referring to the presidential retreat in Maryland where Obama will resume his vacation.

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Obama may finally get specific on health care

President Barack Obama has talked a lot about health care lately, but some allies say he has been too vague. Now he's thinking of throwing more details and personal weight into the debate, which polls indicate Republicans have been winning in recent weeks.

Faced with falling approval ratings and increasingly impatient with Senate negotiations, Obama is considering a speech in the next week or so in which he would be "more prescriptive" about what he feels Congress must include in a health bill, top adviser David Axelrod said Tuesday in an interview.

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Obama goes to war…with himself

Regarding aggressive intelligence gathering, the Obama administration is now clearly at war -- with the Obama administration. Very soon after assuming office, President Obama opted not to pursue prosecution of intelligence professionals who may have gone beyond the law during the Bush administration.

Now, however, Attorney General Eric Holder has reversed that course, appointing a special counsel to investigate possible abuses by the CIA, especially in regard to use of torture, euphemistically described as "enhanced interrogation techniques." The CIA will no longer handle such interrogations. This is a major political victory for the anti-war left of the Democratic Party.

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Lobbyists thrive on Obama’s watch

President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to disclose their contacts with lobbyists trying to influence how the government doles out money to jump-start the economy. Yet few such communications have been reported even though lobbyists say they are busier than ever with the multibillion-dollar stimulus.

Since the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February, federal agencies have reported 197 contacts with lobbyists about stimulus grants.

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Self-serving deals by Obama aides

Sen. Ted Kennedy's death will overshadow and push out of the headlines a very important story of which Americans should take note. A stationary nimbus of self-dealing hangs over one of President Obama's key staffers, exposed this week by the Associated Press.

According to the AP, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod's former Chicago public relations firm is one of two that have profited mightily from the Obama administration's health care reform effort. I know, I know, Axelrod has sold his interest in the firm he created. He's gone to great lengths to distance himself from it, but his son works there and as a founding partner there are ties that no matter what he does, can ever be erased.

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Obama set to reappoint Bernanke

President Barack Obama plans to reappoint Ben Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a position from which he guided the economy away from its worst recession since the 1930s and, the White House hopes, toward an economic recovery critical to its legacy.

Widely credited with taking aggressive action to avert an economic catastrophe after the financial meltdown last year, Bernanke will be nominated for another term as the helm of the central bank on Tuesday. Obama plans to make the announcement on Martha's Vineyard, the Massachusetts island where he is vacationing for the week with his family.

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