White House

Obama gets his stimulus package

President Barack Obama has the first major victory in Congress of his young administration, a $787 billion stimulus bill that includes tax cuts and federal spending aimed at easing the worst economic crisis in decades.

When in doubt, invoke Abe Lincoln

When Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign, he did it in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown. When he arrived in Washington, he followed the train route Lincoln used in 1861. When he needed a Bible for his swearing-in, Obama picked Lincoln’s.

Heck, even Obama’s lunch on Inauguration Day was modeled after Lincoln’s favorites, right down to the seafood stew.

Clearly, the 44th president wants Americans to know how much he admires the 16th.

Obama could learn from LBJ

A quick learner can soak up a lot in four years in the U.S. Senate, but to master the way games are played and won in the sandboxes beneath the Capitol Dome, President Obama could have learned a lot from Lyndon B. Johnson.

Bailout program due for overhaul

The Obama administration, seeking to deal with the political outrage over the handling of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue program, plans to impose tough new standards on future payments to banks. It is also greatly expanding an effort to unclog credit markets to provide loans to consumers and businesses.

Obama fed up with GOP

President Barack Obama looked comfortable enough at his first White House news conference, but he sounded like a man fed up with one thing: Republicans lecturing him about his $820 billion economic stimulus plan.

Obama repeatedly reminded a national television audience that federal spending and deficits soared under George W. Bush’s presidency. He used the point to undermine GOP lawmakers opposing his plan and calling it too costly and wasteful.

Fact-checking Obama’s claims

At least Route 31 is a road to somewhere. President Barack Obama had it both ways when he promoted his stimulus plan in Indiana and later at a prime-time news conference. He bragged in Indiana about getting Congress to produce a package with no pork, yet boasted it will do good things for a Hoosier highway and a downtown overpass, just the kind of local projects lawmakers lard into big spending bills.

Honeymoon? What honeymoon?

It is obvious that tens of millions of Americans thought naively that Barack Obama’s election would usher in a new era of civility and bipartisanship, a chance for a divided nation to come together in a spirit of political cooperation to deal with the nation’s pressing needs. They now know better.

Can Obama close the deal?

President Barack Obama faces a barrage of questions on his plans to reinvigorate the economy with a massive stimulus bill and additional billions in bailout money for the financial markets.

Time for action, not talk

A combination of the calendar and perhaps unwarranted optimism provides our only good economic news: If this quarter is, as many economists predict, the worst of the recession, at least we’re almost halfway through it.

Panetta faces a though job

So far, so good for Leon Panetta in confirmation hearings before the Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate.

In the film "Traffic" actor Michael Douglas portrays an esteemed judge nominated by the President to oversee expanded efforts to stem devastating drug flows from Mexico into the U.S. A White House political pro who briefs him stresses the Congressional hearing room is absolutely not the court room. Interrogators are not interested in securing facts but rather on securing face time for themselves on TV news and commentary programs.