Archives for White House

Obama sails clear of pirate crisis

The triumphant end to the Somali pirate crisis let President Barack Obama sail unscathed out of a tricky political squall and may have earned him early stripes as US commander-in-chief.

The seizure by heavily-armed pirates of US merchant Captain Richard Phillips was widely portrayed in the US media as a first test of nerve for the new president, at a time when political critics were ready to pounce.


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Finally, action instead of talk

Finally, there comes an end to negotiations with international thugs.

The surgical removal by snipers to take out three of the pirates holding Capt. Richard Phillips wasn't without future risk to those who venture into the Indian Ocean but it may be the only approach the kidnappers from Somalia understand. And if it leads to more violence as hand wringers warn, it may just be the price of securing some freedom on the high seas. Furthermore, a decision to continue to negotiate rather than respond firmly undoubtedly would prolong the overall threat to shipping that has emboldened the brigands and made them wealthy with ransom money.


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Gates makes news and policy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Bush Cabinet officer who agreed to remain in place in the Obama administration, is demonstrating considerable policy courage.

So far, at least, he has shown himself to be a man for all seasons, politically speaking. In a very partisan time, with particularly intense rancor between Democrats and Republicans, he has been quite adept at bridging the great divide. Indeed, Gates is the first Pentagon head in history to continue in the post after an election resulted in a change in party in the White House.


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Obama signals support for Mexico

President Barack Obama's visit to Mexico this week is a signal of support for President Felipe Calderon and his efforts to confront violent drug trafficking gangs, White House officials said on Monday.

The officials, briefing reporters on Obama's upcoming trip to Mexico and Trinidad, gave no indication the U.S. government was planning new initiatives on difficult issues like cross-border trucking or immigration before the visit.


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Obama will hedge on economic realities

President Barack Obama is trying to strike a careful balance between highlighting economic progress and underscoring continued challenges as he seeks to reverse the recession he inherited but now owns.

The president was slated to give an economic speech Tuesday at Georgetown University as his administration nears its symbolic 100-day mark. Aides billed the address as major but acknowledged that it was expected to contain no significant policy announcements.


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Obama passes first national security test

The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama's "no drama" handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.

Obama's quiet backstage decision to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips' life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.


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Obama abandons assault weapons ban

A new ban on assault-style weapons was part of Presidential candidate Barack Obama's platform.

Fear of such a ban sent gun sales skyrocketing and the propaganda machine of the giant National Rife Association went into overdrive flooding its membership is "legislative alerts" about such a ban.

That was then, this is now.


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Administration still has many jobs to fill

President Barack Obama doesn't have time for a victory lap now that his Cabinet is finally largely in place.

One level down, he faces gaping holes in the ranks he needs to fill if there is to be any hope of turning his ambitious agenda into action on health care, the environment and much more.


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Obama claims ‘glimmer of hope’ on economy

President Barack Obama said Friday he saw "glimmers of hope" that the US economy may be wrestling free of a paralyzing recession but warned of "a lot of work" ahead to nurse it back to health.

"We're starting to see progress, and if we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track," Obama said.


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Iraq troop withdrawal plan hits a snag

A dramatic increase in al-Qaeda violence in Masul and Baqubah may doom President Barack Obama's plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq.

The top American general this week told The Times of London that more troops may be needed to control violence in those two troubled cities.


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