White House

Obama set to kick off health care reform effort

President Barack Obama takes on healthcare reform at a White House forum on Thursday, seeking to design an overhaul of a costly and inefficient system he believes is threatening the U.S. economy.

Obama, who has nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as his health secretary, will gather about 120 people representing everyone from doctors and patients to health insurers and lawmakers to discuss how to fix U.S. health care.

Memo to Obama: Learn to ‘brighten up’

President Obama continues to show his inexperience when discussing the economy in public. Americans need reassurance, not more depressing news from our President. Yet Mr. Obama did it again this week, according to Reuters:

"Obama joined leaders from the OECD group of developed countries and the International Monetary Fund in predicting a difficult way out of the (economic) crisis, which Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said required still more bold steps to prevent a costly, long-term catastrophe.

Obama set to order contracting overhaul

President Barack Obama plans to change how government contracts are awarded and who can earn them, a move his aides say would save taxpayers about $40 billion a year by making the process more competitive.

Obama is to sign a presidential memo Wednesday that changes government contracting procedures, an administration official said on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the decision before it was announced.

Another broken Obama campaign promise

President Barack Obama continues to compile a rapidly-growing list of broken campaign promises.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama promised he would not sign any spending or budget bill with "pork barrell" earmarks — the Congressional pet projects that bloat virtually every spending bill that emerges from the House and Senate.

Gates: Obama more analytical than Bush

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says President Barack Obama is more analytical than former President George W. Bush and wants to be sure he had heard opinions from everyone in the room.

Bush, Gates says, wouldn’t go out of his way to seek out opinions.

As one of the holdovers from the Bush administration, Gates is in a good position to compare the styles of the former President and the man who replaced him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Obama set to overturn Bush’s abortion rule

President Barack Obama plans to repeal a Bush administration rule that has become a flash point in the debate over a doctor’s right not to participate in abortions. The regulation, instituted in the last days of the Bush administration, strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse to provide a medical service because of moral qualms.

Commanders swayed Obama’s decision on Iraq

President Barack Obama leaned heavily toward field commanders’ preferences in settling a time frame for ending the war in Iraq, as he weighed the fervent desires of the anti-war community that propelled him into office and the equally strong worries of the generals commanding troops in the war zone.

Obama to lobbyists: Bring it on

President Barack Obama challenged the nation’s vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.

"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don’t. I work for the American people."

Obama sets firm date to end inherited Iraq war

President Barack Obama consigned the Iraq war to history Friday, declaring he will end combat operations within 18 months and open a new era of diplomacy in the Middle East.

"Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end," Obama told Marines who are about to deploy by the thousands to the other war front, Afghanistan.

Even so, Obama will leave the bulk of troops in place this year, contrary to hopes of Democratic leaders for a speedier pullout. And after combat forces withdraw, 35,000 to 50,000 will stay behind for an additional year and half of support and counterterrorism duties.

Obama’s budget: Blueprint for a changed America

President Barack Obama has launched a bid to transform the US political landscape, with a 3.55-trillion-dollar budget mapping out the sweeping scale of his administration’s ambitions.

The document handed to Congress bristled with spending on healthcare, climate change, the military and education, included a rosy prediction of a return to growth next year and raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans.