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Posts tagged: Obama

Obama authorizes air strikes in Syria

WASHINGTON — In a major reversal, President Barack Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign Wednesday night to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants in two volatile Middle East nations authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.

In an address to the nation, Obama also announced he was dispatching nearly 500 more U.S. troops to Iraq to assist that country’s besieged security forces. And he called on Congress to authorize a program to train and arm rebels in Syria who are fighting both the Islamic State group and Syrian President Bashar Assad. Full Story.

Do you support the President's decision?

Obama action on immigration worries his party

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is facing potential rifts with members of his own party in tough re-election contests as he barrels toward a fall fight with Republicans over his ability to change immigration policies.

If Obama takes the broadest action under consideration – removing the threat of deportation for millions of people in this country illegally – the short-term risks appear greatest for Senate Democrats in conservative-leaning states. Weeks before the November vote, they could find themselves on the hot seat for their views not only on immigration but also on Obama’s use of his presidential powers.

Wary of what could be coming, some of those lawmakers have said Obama should act with caution. Full Story.


Kris Jenner takes on Obama

It's hard enough to believe that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are subjects that President Obama has to even think about in passing, let alone discuss during interviews, and yet they are.

Obama made a few disparaging remarks about the couple recently, and it should surprise no one to learn that it didn't sit well with the Kardashian empire matriarch Kris Jenner.

On Friday's episode of her talk show “Kris,” Jenner responded to Obama's critique of the over-the-top lives of West and Kardashian and the effect they have on today's youth, when he explained, “Kids weren't monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.”

And oh, boy, Jenner was not pleased.

“It's really great that people aspire to get a great job … but I wasn't aware that you could only set the bar so high and that we could only dream so big,” Jenner said after she read Obama's remarks aloud on her show. “I was taught: Dream big, work hard and you could have whatever you wanted.”

Jenner then went on to suggest that the president was a bit of a hypocrite for noting that Kim and Kanye live in a 10,000 square foot home. Huffington Post Full story.

What is the most disturbing thing about this story?


Pictured: Creamy Broccoli with Turkey Bacon

President Barack Obama made an unscheduled visit on Tuesday to the second annual Kids' State Dinner, a healthy lunch children's event hosted by first lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House. The president greeted the 54 kid guests and made a few brief remarks.

“Food can be fun, it can be healthy,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report. “You are setting up habits that are going to be great your entire life.”

As he left, Obama was asked what his favorite food is. His answer: “Broccoli.”

Not surprisingly, Twitter erupted in mock scorn over the commander-in-chief's purported vegetable enthusiasm. Broccoli was soon trending on Twitter, and a full-on faux “Broccoligate” began to boil.

“Obama tells kid journalist his favorite food is broccoli. And his favorite activity is lying to children,” Comedy Central's Indecision blog tweeted. Full story.

C'mon. Is anyone's favorite food really broccoli? How would you have answered that question?

Experts question Obama leak rule

WASHINGTON – In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented governmentwide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government-secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security. Full story.

Does this program seem like a good idea to you?

Judge: Only Obama can stop force feeding

WASHINGTON – A federal judge voiced sympathy Monday for Guantanamo Bay detainees but said she was powerless to stop force-feeding by U.S. authorities.

Ruling just before Ramadan, the monthlong holiday when pious Muslims fast during the day, Senior U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said she lacked the legal jurisdiction to stop the force-feeding program challenged by four detainees. At the same time, Kessler all but urged President Barack Obama to take action as she underscored the unpleasant feeding regime that’s being meted out to detainees who’ve gone on hunger strikes.

“It is perfectly clear … that forced-feeding is a painful, humiliating and degrading process,” Kessler wrote.

Forty-five Guantanamo Bay detainees are currently being force-fed, out of 106 who are known to be on hunger strikes. Full story.

Do you think the President should take action?

Otter takes on Obama

— Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has criticized President Barack Obama's administration for seeking to limit coal-fired power plant emissions while not allowing sufficient timber cutting to tame big western wildfires, another greenhouse gas source.

Otter told reporters at a Western Governors' Association meeting in Park City, Utah, on Sunday that Idaho wildfires release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than is released during the production of coal-generated electricity for Idaho's 1.5 million residents.

The Republican governor's numbers may be technically correct, but some scientists say the link was misleading because it focused on a single, sparsely populated state with large swaths of range and timberland that burn annually. More here. John Miller, AP


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Obama Cites JP Morgan in defending regulation

WASHINGTON – Aiming squarely at Republican critics of Wall Street reform, President Barack Obama said Saturday that investment bank JPMorgan’s stunning $2 billion loss serves as a reminder of the importance of Washington’s role in preventing another financial crisis.

The 2010 financial overhaul law counts among Obama’s signature legislative achievements, but it continues to come under attack by Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail, including likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as an example of govenment overreach.

“It’s so important that members of Congress stand on the side of reform, not against it, because we can’t afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight, where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics.”

Is the 2010 Dodd-Frank law an example of the White House’s over-regulation of private markets?

Obama in Seattle

President Barack Obama greets former Washington Rep. Jay Inslee, who is currently a Democrat running for governor, after Obama arrived in Seattle, Thursday, May 10, 2012.

SEATTLE — Barack Obama acknowledged he hasn’t been a perfect president as he asked some , supporters to help him win another term and ask themselves a different question than the tradition standard an incument faces of “are you better off than you were four years ago?”

The question he wants to frame the election: “Will we be better off if we keep moving forward?” More here.

Are we moving forward under Obama and will we keep moving forward if he's re-elected?

Waiting On Waiver, Idaho Left Behind

Today, the Obama administration granted 10 states waivers from portions of the federal No Child Left Behind law. Idaho didn't make the list today — which is something of a surprise, given state school superintendent Tom Luna's criticism of the law. The explanation, however, is simple enough. Idaho still working on its application. The second round of waiver applications is due on Feb. 21/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Any thoughts on the No Child Left Behind law?

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Obama: Recession Unlikely

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama insisted the U.S. is not in danger of falling into another recession, but acknowledged in a televised interview aired Sunday that his re-election will hinge on the economy.

In the interview with CBS News taped last week – after a new Gallup poll found just 26 percent approve of the way he is handling the economy – Obama said, “I’m the president of the United States and when people aren’t happy with what’s happening in Washington … I’m going to be impacted just like Congress is. And you know, I completely understand that and we expected that.”

Another recession unlikely— agree or disagree?

Obama’s job package

President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting Wednesday in Alpha, Ill., during his three-day economic bus tour.

WASHINGTON – The jobs package that President Barack Obama plans to unveil shortly after Labor Day could include tens of billions of dollars to renovate thousands of dilapidated public schools and a tax break to encourage businesses to hire new workers, according to people familiar with White House deliberations.

As aides work to put together the proposal, they are also hammering out a companion plan to reduce federal budget deficits over the next decade, which Obama would share with the 12-member congressional super committee charged with finding long-term fixes for the growing national debt. Full story.

What's of greater concern to you, the jobs package or the federal budget deficit plan?

Obama on tour, blasts House

After posing for a photo, summer school kids help President Barack Obama to his feet, Monday in Chatfield, Minn.

DECORAH, Iowa – In the clearest expression yet of his 2012 re-election strategy, President Barack Obama said he will send a jobs package to Congress next month, ask lawmakers to pass it, and campaign against them if they refuse.

Obama made the declaration in a town hall-style meeting in Iowa on Monday night as he is facing criticism for not advancing a strategy bold enough to bolster job growth and his re-election prospects.

“I’ll be putting forward a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control the deficit,” Obama said on the first day of his three-day Midwest bus tour. “And my attitude will be, ‘Get it done.’ ”

If Congress fails to pass the legislation, Obama said, “The choice (in 2012) will be very stark and the choice will be very clear.”

During stops in rural hamlets in Minnesota and Iowa, the president blasted a Republican-led House “that doesn’t seem willing to make the tough choices to move America forward.”

Do you think the president's midwest tour will help or hurt his approval rating?

Obama pressed as approval rating falls

WASHINGTON – As he sets out on a three-day bus tour of the Midwest focused on the economy, President Barack Obama is coming under growing pressure from fellow Democrats to put forward a more aggressive strategy to create jobs than the one he has been touting for months.

Obama has offered a jobs package crafted to win Republican support in a divided Congress. But he faces two distinct problems: Republicans say they won’t vote for several pieces of the plan. And Democrats contend the program, even if enacted in full, would fall short of what’s needed to boost job growth or revive Obama’s political prospects.

White House advisers said the president’s economic team is working on a new approach to jump-starting the sluggish economy.

Sunday, Gallup reported Obama’s overall approval rating had fallen to 39 percent in its daily tracking, the worst in his presidency.

Any advice you'd like to offer the president?

Marc: O’Bama Returns To Irish Roots

I love Ireland – the people, the landscape, the literature, the history, well some of the history, anyway. But most of all, as I have enjoyed the coverage of Obama and Michelle sipping a Guinness in a pub in Moneygall, I like the notion that everyone has some of the Irish in them. It can’t hurt the president’s standing with Irish-American and Catholic voters that he was welcomed like a rock star – the Kenyan Bono? – in the old sod. While the stout sipping photo op got most of the play, the best photo I saw was of Obama hoisting high a darling, red haired Irish lass of maybe three or four. She displayed classic smiling Irish eyes as the black/white/Irish/Indonesian/Kenyan/Christian/Muslim president beamed back at her/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP photo: Barack Obama drinks Guinness beer as they meet with local residents at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather Monday.)

Question: Marc says he likes the notion that everyone has some Irish blood in them. I don't. How about you?

In praise of dithering

Five years ago a young politician who seemed wise beyond his years was asked by Tim Russert what makes a great president. It was the kind of question that Russert, who could prompt more news in a single interview than entire cable operations do in a year, was so good at.

The politician took a thought breath before proceeding: “Obviously, most of the time it seems that the president has maybe 10 percent of his agenda set by himself, and 90 percent of it set by circumstance.”

Barack Obama: meet your 90 percent. The senator who so accurately predicted how events make the leader now finds himself a president trying to lead through those events.

In the process, despite a largely incoherent chorus of second-guessers, Obama has settled into a groove of reflective dithering before making his decisions. For the most part, it has served him well. Full story. Timothy Egan, NY Times

Do you dither?

Obama Quits

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has finally done what millions of fellow Americans are still struggling to achieve – he’s given up smoking.

“Yes, he has,” his wife, Michelle, said Tuesday at the White House when asked whether he had conquered a nicotine habit that began as a teenager. “It’s been almost a year,” she said, offering no details on exactly when or how he quit.

But is the breakup with tobacco final? One in five adults, about 46 million people, still smoke, and brain research shows that nicotine is powerfully addictive. Three out of four smokers who try to kick the habit relapse within six months. More. 

Have you ever quit smoking? How did you do it?

Obama’s high-speed rail plan

Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood walk to a train in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, heading to Philadelphia.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation.

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 mph, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

Obama’s push for high-speed rail spending is part of his broad goal of creating jobs in the short-term and increasing American competitiveness for the future through new funding for infrastructure, education and innovation. During last month’s State of the Union address, Obama said he wanted to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. Julie Pace, AP  Full story.


Obama’s not popular with Press readers

In this recent unscientific online poll conducted by the Cda Press, readers were asked: “Is the U.S. in good hands with President Obama in charge?”

More than 3,000 votes were cast. Here are the results:

• Yes, 1,029 votes (30 percent)

• No, 2,278 votes (67 percent)

• Not sure, 101 votes (3 percent)


Obama’s approval rating lower

LOS ANGELES – Despite a strong showing during the lame-duck session of Congress, President Barack Obama closes out his second year in office with a slightly lower approval rating than at the end of 2009, according to a Gallup tracking poll.

The poll released Thursday found that the president’s approval rating was 47 percent, down slightly from his post-midterm-election peak of 49 percent but close to his average of 46 percent during that period. During the week between Christmas 2009 and New Year’s Day, Obama’s approval rating ranged from 51 percent to 53 percent.

Obama’s standing is better than two recent presidents who went on to win re-election.

Do you think Obama will be a one term president?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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