Archives for White House

Obama’s talking heads: More jobs by spring

Senior White House economists on Sunday predicted the U.S. economy will start creating jobs by spring and said that boosting employment will be at the top of President Barack Obama's agenda next year.

Growing public frustration with the still-sluggish economy and double-digit unemployment has weighed on Obama's popularity and may put his fellow Democrats at risk in the 2010 congressional elections.

But Obama's aides and many private economists were encouraged by a better-than-expected employment report for November that showed that the jobless rate inched down to 10 percent from October's 10.2 percent.

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Obama’s self-imposed grade: a ‘solid B-plus’

President Barack Obama, in an interview that aired Sunday, gave himself "a good solid B-plus" grade for his first year in office.

Speaking with fellow Chicagoan Oprah Winfrey, the president claimed progress on economic and international fronts.

Obamasaid the only thing that stands in the way of giving himself a better grade is the fact that some elements of his agenda — health care reform and putting more Americans to work — remain undone.

"The biggest burden on me right now is that economic growth has happened, but job growth has not happened," Obama told Winfrey on the ABC special.

On the plus side, Obama said, "We are on our way out of Iraq." And, he added, "I think we've got the best possible plan for Afghanistan."

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White House moves to close health care loophole

In a victory for people with cancer and other serious medical problems, the White House agreed Friday to help close a loophole in the Senate health care bill allowing annual dollar limits on their care.

"The president has made it clear that health insurance reform legislation should prevent insurance companies from placing annual limits on health expenditures that can force families into financial ruin," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin. "We will continue to work with Congress on this policy."

"The bottom line is they are going to try to improve the Senate bill," said Stephen Finan, a policy expert with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, which first called attention to the problem.

Tucked in a clause of the Senate bill captioned "No lifetime or annual limits" is a provision that would in fact permit such caps.
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Obama declares war is necessary for peace

Barack Obama split the difference in his Nobel speech, laying down a doctrine that will likely define his presidency: a steadfast defense of warfare against evil, praise of nonviolence and exhortations for mankind to affirm the "spark of the divine" in everyone.

As he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, the world's highest honor for peacemaking, Obama voiced his starkest rejection yet of the pre-emptive war doctrine and unilateralism articulated by his predecessor.

At the same time, the young president carefully set forth and sought to explain what might appear to be contradictory principles that have guided his foreign policy decisions during his first year in the White House:

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Obama defends war while accepting prize for peace

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama entered the pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize winners Thursday with humble words, acknowledging his own few accomplishments while delivering a robust defense of war and promising to use the prestigious award to "reach for the world that ought to be."

A wartime president honored for peace, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president in 90 years and the third ever to win the prize — some say prematurely. In this damp, chilly Nordic capital to pick it up, he and his wife, Michelle, whirled through a day filled with Nobel pomp and ceremony.

And yet Obama was staying here only about 24 hours and skipping the traditional second day of festivities. This miffed some in Norway but reflects a White House that sees little value in extra pictures of the president, his poll numbers dropping at home, taking an overseas victory lap while thousands of U.S. troops prepare to go off to war and millions of Americans remain jobless.
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Full Text of Obama’s Nobel Prize speech

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:

I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations - that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

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Obama: Others ‘more deserving’ of Peace Prize

President Barack Obama, who just last week approved sending 30,000 more soldiers to war, admitted today that others deserve the Nobel Peace Prize more than he.

But he is the first sitting American President in 90 years (and the third in history) to who show up at the ceremoies to receive the award after the Nobel Committee's controversial decision to award him a prize based on what they expect him to accomplish in the future.

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Obama’s job approval continues slide into the crapper

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama's job approval rating from the American public continues to slide, hitting a new low of 47 percent in a new Gallup daily tracking poll.

The new low erases a slight increase in public job approval following the President's announcement of his Afghan war "surge" and shows the new President's honeymoon is over with an increasingly skeptical American public.

With employment still in double digits and Americans going into a Christmas season with little money for basic necessities, let along gifts, Obama's approval ratings will most likely continue to drop.

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Obama set to promote highways, small business

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama is promoting help for highways and small businesses, bridges and energy-efficient homes in a broad pitch to get Americans back to work and roll back the double-digit unemployment that's approaching a quarter-century high, an administration official said Tuesday.

In a speech prepared for delivery Tuesday, Obama plans to talk about what he wants to see in the coming weeks and months — chiefly, more Americans in the workplace and fewer on unemployment, which now stands at 10 percent. The White House worked around the clock in recent days to pull together the president's speech.
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