White House

Daschle withdraws as nominee

Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination on Tuesday to be President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary, faced with problems over back taxes and potential conflicts of interest.

Obama’s broken promises

Barack Obama promised a "clean break from business as usual" in Washington. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

From the start, he made exceptions to his no-lobbyist rule. And now, embarrassing details about Cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle’s tax problems and big paychecks from special interest groups are raising new questions about the reach and sweep of the new president’s promised reforms.

Holder’s job: Rid nation of Bush’s abuses

Eric Holder has won confirmation as the first African-American attorney general, but he’ll have little time to consider his role in history as he decides which Bush administration counterterrorism policies to reverse.

Holder was confirmed 75-21 Monday, with all the opposition coming from Republicans. He will be sworn in Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden.

Rethinking the stimulus

President Obama’s economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, said that any stimulus bill should be targeted, timely and temporary.

The 647-page, $819 billion bill that passed the House — close to what the Congress spends to run the government in a normal year — sprawls all over the place, defers major spending to a time when we hope the recession has run its course, greatly expands the federal government’s role in health care, education and energy, and much of the bill is not likely to be temporary.

Obama’s agenda: Apologies, bigger government

The Obama administration, completing its first full week, wasted no time getting priorities in order. First, issue formal apologies to the world, and then begin advancing massive, intrusive government at home.

The president chose Arab television, Al Arabiya, to give his first sit down interview. He took the opportunity to confirm the long held Arab view that the real problem is America and President Obama apologized on our behalf.

Obama’s protectionism problem

Less than two weeks into office, President Barack Obama faces a dilemma over protectionist provisions in a massive economic stimulus bill: Backing the measures could set off a trade war, while opposing them could trigger a backlash from his supporters.

The choice involves "buy American" provisions attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress. They would require major public works projects to favor U.S. steel, iron and manufacturing over imports.

Another nominee has a tax problem

Another of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet nominees has run into tax problems.

This time it’s former Sen. Tom Daschle, chosen to lead the new president’s health reform efforts. Daschle recently filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest, according to a Senate document obtained by The Associated Press.

Obama caters to big labor: Reverses Bush orders

President Barack Obama is playing to one of the Democratic Party’s most reliable constituencies — organized labor — reversing a number of his predecessor’s executive orders that critics regard as anti-union.

Labor leaders were to visit the White House for a second consecutive day Friday, where, a union official said, Obama was to abolish four Bush-era directives that unions opposed and then reintroduce Vice President Joe Biden’s task force focused on the middle class.

The Obama-Limbaugh war: Good or bad?

Rush Limbaugh isn’t one of the most successful broadcasters in history because of his mild-mannered personality. The conservative talk-show host attracts 20 million listeners a week because he has a knack for stirring up controversy. And Limbaugh did just that within days of President Obama’s inauguration.

"I want him to fail," Limbaugh told Fox News. "If his agenda is a far-left collectivism, some people say socialism, as a conservative …, why would I want socialism to succeed?

Bill Clinton cashed in with millions from foreigners

Former President Bill Clinton earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, almost all of it from foreign companies, according to financial documents filed by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that $4.6 million of the former president’s reported $5.7 million in 2008 honoraria came from foreign sources, including Kuwait’s national bank, other firms and groups in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal and a Hong Kong-based company that spent $100,000 on federal lobbying last year.