Barack Obama

Smokescreen: Ban on pork is anything but

Smokescreen: Ban on pork is anything but

Despite their claims, the Republicans’ ban on earmarks won’t stop lawmakers from steering taxpayers’ dollars to pet projects. And it will have little if any effect on Washington’s far graver problem — the gigantic budget deficit. Saying Election Day victories gave them a mandate to curb spending, Republicans formally agreed last week to a two-year […]

Obama’s gas-guzzling ride anything but green

Obama’s gas-guzzling ride anything but green

The Portuguese hosts of Friday’s NATO summit hoped to use the event to promote clean-energy and electric cars, but all eyes were on US President Barack Obama‘s diesel-guzzling “Beast” instead. As is usual when he travels, Obama’s eight-tonne armoured behemoth of a limousine was flown out to Lisbon before the US leader’s arrival, and it […]

Obama claims NATO supports missle defense system

Obama claims NATO supports missle defense system

President Barack Obama announced Friday that NATO has agreed to his plans for a new, expanded missile defense system for Europe that would cover all NATO member countries and the United states. The U.S. has a missile defense system based mainly in North America, and is planning one for its European allies. “For the first […]

The arms treaty: More hype than facts, more spin than truth

The arms treaty: More hype than facts, more spin than truth

In their showdown over the fate of a major arms-control treaty with Russia, Democrats and Republicans are charging each other with undermining national security. So who’s right? The Obama administration is pushing for a vote this year on the treaty, while Republicans are calling for a delay until a new Congress convenes in January. Here’s […]

Raising retirement age hurts the poor

Raising retirement age hurts the poor

Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress. The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security’s finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded. The […]

The election is over: So is the sense of urgency

The election is over: So is the sense of urgency

When Barack Obama tried — as much as his ego would allow — to accept some of the responsibility for the shellacking the Democrats took from voters in the mid-term elections it seemed the President might — after early two years of missteps — finally understand that there is a lot of difference between campaigning […]

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

The top Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday he was willing to consider a temporary tax cut extension for all income levels, a step that could pave the way for a possible deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts. “This is something we will take a look at,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told […]

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Now that Republicans have abandoned the you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours earmark process, Democrats who still hold a majority in the Senate have to decide whether they’ll try to prop up a system that seems to be collapsing all around them. With the incoming House GOP majority dead set against earmarks and President Barack Obama urging a crackdown, […]

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

A meeting planned on Thursday between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders following big Republican gains at the expense of Obama’s Democrats in the November 2 elections has been postponed until November 30. Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House […]

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

The Obama administration has pushed an ambitious education agenda in the last two years, sending $100 billion to states thorough the stimulus package and spurring reform in many locations through the Race to the Top competition. But none of the major initiatives pushed by President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been bipartisan. […]