Archives for White House

Michelle Obama to graduates: ‘Stay hungry’

A hunger for education should continue beyond graduation and should be used to guide and inspire “the next generation of geniuses,” first lady Michelle Obama said Saturday. In her commencement address at Dillard University, the first lady described the 226 graduates of the historically black college as a “sea of young geniuses” and told them they have opportunities and skills that their parents and grandparents never could have imagined. “Imagine the impact you will make,” she said. “You have no excuses to stand on the sidelines. Education is still the key to real and lasting freedom. It’s up to us
Read More

Obama pisses off big labor with Wal-Mart visit

President Barack Obama is showcasing Wal-Mart, often a target of labor groups and other Democratic constituencies, to promote advances in energy efficiency in his broader campaign to confront climate change. Obama on Friday was to announce commitments from more than 300 companies and local and state governments to use solar energy technology. He also was announcing executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency in buildings and appliances. The White House says the solar effort will power the equivalent of 130,000 homes and the administrative actions could reduce carbon pollution in an amount equal to taking 80 million cars off the
Read More

High tech help, campaign cash for Obama

They come from different worlds — the buttoned-down political culture of Washington and the entrepreneurial, socks-optional, let’s-do-this-faster ethos of Silicon Valley. But where those worlds overlap, that’s where you find President Barack Obama and a wealthy segment of his Democratic donor base. Obama was to attend two high-dollar Democratic Party fundraisers Thursday hosted by Silicon Valley executives, drawing attention to the complicated relationship between the president and the high-tech industry. The revelations of National Security Agency data collection made public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have created an outcry from tech companies whose data have been gathered by the
Read More

More Obama ‘insiders’ set to ‘tell all’ in books?

Over the next month, two of President Barack Obama’s closest first-term advisers will spill insider details on the administration’s handling of the early days of the Great Recession, the White House’s cautious response to the Syrian civil war and the genesis of clandestine talks with Iran. The back-to-back memoirs from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be the latest installments in what has become an often awkward Washington ritual: one-time confidants signing big book contracts to examine a presidency that is still ongoing and policy decisions that are still being implemented. Clinton and Geithner’s
Read More

Dire climate warnings coming from White House

The Obama administration will release an updated report on Tuesday showing how climate change touches every part of the country, as the administration seeks to convince the American public on the need for a crackdown on carbon pollution. Some environmental and public health groups expect the U.S. National Climate Assessment to be a “game changer” in the administration’s efforts to address climate change. The extensive report will update a January 2013 draft, which detailed how consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially more frequent severe weather. Since then, the report
Read More

President jokes about Obamacare, gridlock

From the bungled rollout of “Obamacare” to New Jersey gridlock to the hue of John Boehner’s tan, all was fair game for President Barack Obama and his spirited but pointed humor when he took center stage as comedian in chief. At the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday, Obama observed that the House speaker’s fellow Republicans have lately been as critical of Boehner as they’ve been of him. “Which proves that orange really is the new black,” Obama said to roars of laughter. “We rolled out healthcare.gov. That could have gone better,” Obama said, poking a little fun
Read More

Virginia Senator Kaine backing Hillary for President

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, an early supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, says he is backing Hillary Rodham Clinton for president if the former secretary of state seeks the Democratic nomination in 2016. The Associated Press obtained a copy of remarks that Kaine plans to deliver Saturday at a breakfast of Democratic activists in Columbia, South Carolina. In the remarks, Kaine says the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York is a “classic American optimist” who can lead the U.S. “in a very complicated world.” “She understands the challenges facing Americans from all walks of life
Read More

White House wants more data privacy laws

The White House is asking Congress to pass new privacy laws that would add more safeguards for Americans’ data and provide more protections for emails sought in the course of a law enforcement investigation. The recommendations are among six offered by President Barack Obama’s counselor John Podesta in a report released Thursday. While large sets of data make Americans’ lives easier and can help save lives, the report noted, they also could be used to discriminate against Americans in areas such as housing and employment. “Big data” is everywhere. It allows mapping apps to ping cellphones anonymously and determine, in
Read More

White House denies email concerned Benghazi attack

The White House on Wednesday denied that a staff member’s email three days after the deadly attack on the U.S. mission at Benghazi, Libya, was actually about the attack. Critics have branded the electronic missive as evidence that the Obama administration sought to deceive the public about the true circumstances surrounding the deaths of four Americans during the final months of the 2012 presidential campaign. “It was explicitly not about Benghazi,” press secretary Jay Carney told journalists during his daily briefing at the White House. “It was about the overall situation in the region, the Muslim world, where you saw
Read More

Obama scolds colleges for ‘turning blind eye’ to rape

The Obama administration admonished colleges and universities — “No more turning a blind eye” — as it released guidelines designed to stem sexual assaults on campuses and help the victims. A White House task force on sexual assault recommends in a report to be released Tuesday that schools identify trained, confidential victim’s advocates and conduct surveys to better gauge the frequency of sexual assault on their campuses, since these types of crimes are underreported. It says the Justice Department will help develop training programs in trauma care for school officers and assess different models for schools to use to adjudicate
Read More