In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Obama approves ‘elite’ interrogation team

President Barack Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Citing unnamed senior administration officials, the newspaper said the decision was part of a broader effort to revamp US policy on detention and interrogation.

Obama signed off on the unit, named the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) late last week, the report said.

It will be made up of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies and housed at the FBI, the paper noted.

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Nation’s problems haunt Obama’s vacation

His healthcare reform plan is stumbling, the economy is still sputtering and violence is up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who would not want a break?

President Barack Obama is officially taking one next week when he heads to Martha’s Vineyard. But a long "to do" list — two wars, worldwide recession and a host of legislative battles in store when he gets back, most notably the struggle over reforming the U.S. health system — will make it hard for him to relax and disconnect.

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Obama goes after health care ‘myths’

President Barack Obama hammered away at "outrageous myths" about his healthcare reform plans on Saturday, seeking again to take control of a debate that has tarnished support for his top domestic policy goal.

Obama has tried for weeks to clamp down on criticism and misinformation about his healthcare plans and used his weekly radio and Internet address to address them.

"Today, I want to spend a few minutes debunking some of the more outrageous myths circulating on the Internet, on cable TV, and repeated at some town halls across this country," he said in the address.

"Let’s start with the false claim that illegal immigrants will get health insurance under reform. That’s not true.

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Public losing confidence in Obama

As controversy continues to swirl around health care reform, the American public is losing confidence in President Brack Obama’s leadership.

A new Washington Post/ABC news poll shows confidence in Obama’s abilities have slipped 11 points, down to 49 percent from a high of 60 at the end of his first 100 days in office.

Even more troubling to the administration is the finding that a clear majority of Americans — 55 percent — now feel the nation is on the wrong track.

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Free cash: An idea that works

The government’s "Cash for Clunkers" program, often described as an experiment, proved one thing: The American people are no fools. Offer them free money — $3,500 to $4,500 to go out and buy a car — and they’ll take it.

The Obama administration plans to end the program Monday night, but it would have ended soon anyway because (a) the $3 billion set aside for it will soon run out and (b) dealers are dropping out of the program because the government hasn’t paid them.

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Obamacare’s real cost? Many, many jobs

If ObamaCare were a prescription drug, ads for it would say: "Use with extreme caution. Side effects include regulatory headaches, irritated taxpayers, and swollen unemployment."

That’s right. Serious studies indicate that ObamaCare would kill millions of jobs. With 9.4 percent unemployment, this is hardly the time to foul up the labor market even further.

The culprit is ObamaCare’s proposed tax burden on employers with payrolls exceeding $250,000.:

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White House will project lower deficit

The federal budget picture will look slightly better next week. Relatively speaking.

The White House plans to announce the federal deficit will still be a record breaker, at $1.58 trillion, for the current 2009 fiscal year. But the amount is about $262 billion less than officials predicted earlier this year.

That’s mostly because the administration erased a $250 billion contingency fund it had penciled into the budget in case Wall Street needed more government help in getting out of the financial crisis.

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Fact Check: Obama lied

President Barack Obama has indicated a willingness to drop a government-run health care plan from any overhaul. The White House says that’s not a shift. Actually, it is.

Fierce proponents of a government-run health plan for months, Obama and senior administration officials, bowing to pressure from Republicans and skeptical voters, suggested that such a public option is not do-or-die.

"All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," the president told a town hall-style audience in Grand Junction, Colo., on Saturday. "This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it."

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Obama: From one extreme to another

Critics are shouting extreme things about the Obama administration, it’s said, and there is some truth to the charge as well as a reason for it — the administration is doing extreme, off-the-wall things, hopelessly leftist things, such as appointing John Holdren director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

There they go again, say Obama supporters about the Holdren complaints, but the complainers have been right about a wasteful, politically shaped stimulus package, about overreaching health-care proposals, about an utterly pointless, economically dangerous global warming cap-and-trade bill, and it seems to me they have a strong case against Holdren, a professor of zany alarmism.

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White House passes buck on spam emails

The White House is blaming unnamed political groups for the unsolicited e-mails it had wrongly insisted no one was receiving from its online operation.

"We’re certainly not interested in anyone receiving e-mails from the White House who don’t want them," White House online director Macon Phillips said in a blog posting Monday night.

Phillips said groups outside the White House — he offered no specifics — had signed up their members to receive regular White House updates about President Barack Obama’s projects, priorities and speeches. Adding names from a commercial or political list to the White House list was not the practice there, he said.

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