Archives for White House

Obama honors memory of Martin Luther King

President Barack Obama served plates of steaming hot lunches to the needy Monday, one of several ways the nation's first black president paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Obama held a discussion at the White House with black elders and their grandchildren about the push for racial equality that King led until he was assassinated in 1968. In the evening, the president spoke at the Kennedy Center during a musical celebration of King's legacy, urging the nation to recommit itself to fulfilling King's dream.

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Obama pushes bank tax to cover bailout costs

President Barack Obama on Saturday pitched his proposed tax on banks to recover the cost of bailing them out during the financial crisis, saying if they can afford billions more in bonuses, they can pay back the taxpayers, too.

The banks and Republican lawmakers oppose the tax, which Obama announced this week.

"We're going to pass this fee into law," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

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Obama’s ratings sink to new lows

President Barack ObamaAmericans are deeply divided on Barack Obama's first year in the White House, and the president's ratings on priority issues health care and the economy have hit new lows, polls showed Tuesday.

Polling also suggests independent voters are turning away from the president as he nears the anniversary of his inauguration on January 20 -- though in a sign of hope for his administration, he remains more popular than his policies.

A CBS News poll showed Obama's job approval rating at 46 percent, marking the first time he had polled below 50 percent in the survey.

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Obama’s long list of broken promises

President Barack Obama ends his first year in office with his to-do list still long and his unfulfilled campaign promises stacked high.

From winding down the war in Iraq to limiting lobbyists, Obama has made some progress. But the president has faced political reality and accepted — sometimes grudgingly — compromises that leave him exposed to criticism. Promises that have proven difficult include pledges not to raise taxes, to curb earmarks and to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba by the end of his first year.

"We are moving systematically to bring about change, but change is hard," Obama told a town hall crowd in California. "Change doesn't happen overnight."

That was in March.

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Obama to banks: ‘We want our money back’

President Barack Obama lashed out Thursday at "obscene" corporate bonuses and proposed a fee to raise 90 billion dollars in 10 years from top banks to recoup "every single dime" of a Wall Street bailout.

"We want our money back and we are going to get it," Obama said, terming a massive government bailout of the banking industry as "distasteful" though necessary, adding it left the sector with a heavy duty to taxpayers.

"My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people," Obama said.

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Gibbs on Limbaugh: ‘Really stupid’

The White House is firing back at Rush Limbaugh after the conservative talk radio host urged people not to donate to relief efforts in Haiti.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs says there are always people who say "really stupid things" during a crisis. He says it's sad that Limbaugh would use the power of his pulpit to convince people not to assist those in need.

Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday that he wouldn't trust that money donated to Haiti through the White House Web site would actually go to the relief efforts. He said Americans don't need to contribute to earthquake relief because they already donate to Haiti through their income taxes.


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Obama moves to close deal on health care

Striving to close the deal on health care, President Barack Obama planned a trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge rank-and-file House Democrats to yield on key issues still standing in the way of a historic legislative achievement.

Obama's late afternoon visit comes amid intense White House negotiations with Democratic leaders aimed at settling core differences between the House and Senate that must be resolved before the sweeping overhaul legislation can pass.

Public support for the health care remake continues to drop, perhaps in part because of the messy debate in Congress, and lawmakers are feeling the press of other issues, from unemployment to ballooning budget deficits.

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Obama admits failure to bring country together

President Barack Obama says he has not succeeded in bringing the country together, acknowledging an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.

"That's what's been lost this year ... that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said in an interview with People magazine.

The president said his second-year agenda will be refocused on uniting the country around common values, "whether we're Democrats or Republicans."

"We all want work that's satisfying, pays the bills and gives children a better future and security," Obama said in the interview, which the magazine conducted with the president and his wife, Michelle Obama, at the White House last Friday.

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White House claim: Obama made America stronger

The White House Tuesday argued President Barack Obama's "steady diplomacy" had made America stronger and renewed its moral authority despite "unprecedented challenges" in his first year in office.

But the assessment, posted on the White House website, did not dwell on the lack of success garnered by one of Obama's top priority foreign policy drives, peace moves in the Middle East, and reflected a tougher tone on Iran.

"A year later, America is stronger because of the president's leadership," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, in a White House blog post.

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White House claims stimulus helped 2 million jobs

President Barack Obama is trumpeting a new White House estimate that his top economist calls "stunning": His stimulus plan has already created or saved up to 2 million jobs.

The analysis is part of the administration's quarterly report to Congress on the controversial $787 billion package of spending and tax cuts he signed weeks after taking office.

Obama planned to highlight the report Wednesday during a visit to a Lanham, Md., training center for union electricians that specializes in "green" technology.

Republicans have denounced the stimulus plan as an expensive flop, pointing to a national unemployment rate stuck at 10 percent and December figures showing the economy shed 85,000 more jobs.

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