Archives for White House

Obama screws the pooch with tariff

It had begun to look like the worst of the recession was over, but here comes Barack Obama with a Herbert Hoover trick, a tariff increase that could help ignite a widespread trade war, cost us jobs, increase some prices, defeat recovery and keep us in economic misery for a long, long time. Why would he do such a thing? Because there was a special interest to appease, a powerful, rich, vote-producing, hugely helpful friend of Democrats, a union known as the United Steelworkers, and when it filed a grievance about China tire imports, the Obama crowd said sure, that's the ticket.
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Obama gets America’s attention

President Obama has managed the unimaginable. He got tens of thousands of ordinary American citizens to leave the comfort of their homes, spend travel money they've been trying to watch very carefully and show up in Washington for a protest of a kind they hadn't even dreamed of in years past. How did he accomplish this feat?
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Memo to Barack: Take what you can get

There are times in any legislative endeavor when you should take what you can get and hope to win the rest later. That's the point President Obama is fast approaching in regard to health care reform. His constant, full-campaign-mode jawboning has probably run its course in effectiveness. He apparently understands that the public insurance option is a non-starter despite paying it some lip service to appease the Democratic ultra liberal base that favors it as the first step toward a single payer system leading ultimately to the real goal -- socialized medicine. Majority Democrats in Congress are divided over it, and the Republican minority and an increasing majority of Americans want none of it, if the polls are correct.
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Obama hedges on Afghan war

The Obama administration is holding off major decisions that could put its military forces on a firmer war footing in Afghanistan even as doubts grow about whether the United States can win there. Many military and diplomatic leaders have urged President Barack Obama to send thousands more Marines, soldiers and pilots to try to reverse Afghanistan's crumbling security situation. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said no decision about adding troops is expected for "weeks and weeks," following what he described as intensive evaluation. The troop decision will be a first indicator of whether Obama intends to double down in Afghanistan, becoming a wartime president in earnest.
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Can Obama back up his threats?

The Associated Press account of the president's lecture to Wall Street begins:" "President Barack Obama sternly warned against returning to reckless and unchecked behavior that had threatened the nation with a second Great Depression." Or else what? A year ago was the nadir of the financial meltdown. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. So did Washington Mutual. There was the fire sale of Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. The massive bailout of AIG. The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As Obama noted, $5 trillion of American household wealth evaporated in just three months. The outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration vowed never again. We had learned our lesson.
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Obama caves to big labor

This didn't take long. Late Friday President Obama imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese-made lower price tires and by Sunday China had announced it was considering tit-for-tat tariffs on imports of U.S. chicken and auto products. It's hard to see this as anything other than Obama currying favor with organized labor and Rust Belt Democrats at a critical point in his drive for health-care reform. The United Steel Workers had sought the tariff, saying 5,000 jobs had been lost in the industry since 2005. But U.S. tire makers had opposed it. They had largely gotten out of the low-end market and both Goodyear and Cooper make tires in China for sale in the United States.
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Joe Wilson: One apology is enough

One apology is enough, a digging-in-his-heels Rep. Joe Wilson said Sunday, challenging Democratic leaders who want him to say on the House floor that he's sorry for yelling "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's health care speech to Congress. The leadership plans to propose a resolution of disapproval this week if the South Carolina Republican doesn't publicly apologize to Congress. Such a measure would put lawmakers on the record as condemning those two words, uttered during last Wednesday's prime-time speech, that have become a fundraising boon for the defiant Wilson and his Democratic challenger. Wilson said a resolution would show that Democrats simply wanted to play politics and divert attention from a health care overhaul that is lagging in Congress.
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Obama heads for Wall Street

Pushing Congress to act on proposed financial regulations, President Barack Obama is going to the heart of Wall Street on the first anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse to outline changes needed to prevent a future crisis like the one that sent the global economy into a tailspin last year. Obama has called on Congress to pass a sweeping overhaul of how financial institutions behave but has seen slower-than-sought action. Administration officials said the president will use Lehman Brothers as a starting point to again decry a hands-off approach from Washington that enabled irresponsible lending that sent the nation's largest financial institutions to the brink of collapse and the larger economy to the edge.
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Bin Laden: Obama is ‘powerless’

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned President Barack Obama that he is "powerless" to halt the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and must rethink his policy on Israel, in his first message for three months. The message, which accused "neo-conservatives" of maintaining a grip on the White House, was released Sunday, two days after the United States marked the eighth anniversary of Al-Qaeda's September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Titled "Message to the American People," the video -- released by the As-Sahab media branch of Al-Qaeda -- features a still image of bin Laden and an audio statement, said the IntelCenter US monitoring group.
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Obama’s lobbying reform ain’t working

President Barack Obama's new special interest rules are having unexpected consequences with some lobbyists giving up their formal registrations and finding other ways to influence policy as they try to maintain access to key agencies or hope for future government jobs. Congressional aides, industry executives and watchdog groups say the rules have also slowed Obama's ability to fill key government jobs, eliminated some highly qualified candidates and kept away some others who worry tougher "revolving door" rules could tie their hands in the future. "The president's executive order isn't working the way they planned," said one top Washington industry lobbyist, who asked not to be identified, given the sensitivity of the subject.
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