One of President Barack Obama´s more under-reported achievements has been his ability to corral Democratic votes in Congress. When he has asked them to jump, Democratic senators and members of Congress have essentially answered, "How high?" -- on the stimulus, health care, immigration, the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, the 2012 fiscal-cliff deal to end them for the wealthy, and controversial nominations. Yes, Democrats griped about legislative imperfections (they wanted a public option for health care). Yes, many of them took tough votes (see the 2010 midterms). But always in the end, they supported their president and their party,
In one month, Obamacare’s “fumbled” rollout has undone the Democrats’ fiscal fight gains. For the White House, things have been even worse. These sudden reversals of fortune are unlike anything seen arising from US policy in some time, and they may be a long time away, from being reversed. Polling numbers show the shockingly swift change that has overtaken Washington’s political landscape. Using Rasmussen polling data, and looking at three dates from this fall — October 1, the start of the government shutdown; October 17, the reopening of the federal government; and November 17, a month after the government’s reopening —
Detroit’s July bankruptcy filing, prompted in part by its huge worker-retirement debts, has led to calls for a federal bailout of the beleaguered city—and also, by extension, of retirement debt in other fiscally squeezed municipalities. From the New York Times to blogs and union-issued position papers, bailout supporters argue that the citizens and workers of Detroit and other troubled places aren’t to blame for their retirement debts. Even if they were, the arguments go, the damage that insolvency will do to government services for average citizens and to the retirements of government workers demands federal intervention. “The 700,000 remaining residents
USA Today on Monday joined a growing list of news agencies boycotting the use of official White House photography over what it says is an unprecedented lack of access to the president. USA Today Deputy Director of Multimedia Andrew Scott said in a memo to staff the publication will not use “handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very extraordinary circumstances.” USA Today is now one of more than 35 news agencies refusing to use White House photography. Last Thursday, a coalition of major news organizations including the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, and CNN protested
KABUL — Efforts by the United States and Afghanistan to finalize a long-term security arrangement appeared on the brink of collapse Monday as Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a new set of demands, and the Obama administration said it would be forced to begin planning for a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces at the end of 2014. In a two-hour meeting here, Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s top national security adviser, told Karzai that if he failed to sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year, the United States would have “no choice” but to prepare for withdrawal,
WASHINGTON — BY all outward indications, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was a leader in the charitable community. Founded in 2002 to provide support to Navy veterans in need, the charity recorded astonishing financial success. In its first eight years, it raised around $100 million in charitable contributions, almost all of it through a direct marketing campaign. The organization, headed by Jack L. Nimitz, boasted of 41 state chapters and some 66,000 members. This would be a great story of charitable success, except for the fact that virtually everything about the association turned out to be false: no state chapters,
ATLANTA -- The Rev. Frank Colladay Jr. stood at the end of the gate waiting. On the arriving plane was a passenger whose husband had just died of a heart attack on another flight. Her name was Linda Gilbert. The two had never met before. Colladay´s parish happens to be the world´s busiest airport. His flock consists of people passing through who might need comfort, spiritual advice, or someone to pray with. On this day, a traumatized Gilbert needed even more. Colladay guided her through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, drove her in his silver Ford Fusion to the medical examiner to see her
BADGER, Minn.—The last thing President Barack Obama needs this Thanksgiving is a frantic turkey fouling up Wednesday´s White House pardon ceremony. It is John Burkel´s job to make sure that doesn´t happen. The problem is that turkeys aren´t used to being paraded in front of a crowd of noisy schoolchildren, posing for flash photography or encountering the Secret Service. In past years, the stress has led the ceremonial bird to flap about and try to escape after being spooked by everything from a shiny belt buckle to First Family pets. Mr. Burkel, the fourth-generation farmer selected to supply this year´s turkey, took
Since Oprah Winfrey was in London to promote "The Butler," a movie which depicts its subjects so dishonestly on the subject of race that Michael Reagan — who personally knew the film´s key protagonists — called it "The Butler from Another Planet," it´s not surprising that she would sputter more falsehoods about "racist" America in an attempt to stay in the public eye. In an interview with the BBC, the self-made billionaire and long-time Obama supporter said that “disrespect for the office (of the president)…occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because he is African American.” Oprah gave an
It´s the tweet that launched three days of interparty warfare. The National Republican Senatorial Committee´s suggestion Tuesday that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was an "Obama Girl" has provoked a flurry of apologies, outrage, and by Thursday, an erroneous report that the staffer responsible had been fired. The controversy looks like the kind of story that attracts interest from politics-obsessed Washington insiders but passes with hardly a notice in Kentucky. But strategists with Grimes´ and Mitch McConnell´s campaigns suggest the episode underscores three maxims of what it will take to win the marquee Senate race. Lundergan Grimes needs to win over
KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai will continue to defy U.S. threats to walk away from a security agreement between the two countries and plans to reiterate in a speech to a grand council Sunday that he will not sign it before spring, his spokesman said Saturday. “They have waited this long, they can certainly wait five more months,” spokesman Aimal Faizi said Saturday of the Americans. (Snip)“The core of the issue,” Faizi said, is a “lack of trust” between the two governments. As the elaborate game of diplomatic chicken neared a climax, the Obama administration was publicly silent Saturday,
It’s no secret that President Obama was behind the push to end the filibuster as a means of blocking nominees for U.S. appeals court judgeships. At a fundraiser earlier this month, he told liberal donors that he is “remaking the courts.” Recognizing that the filibuster stood in the way of a full radical makeover, Obama personally lobbied three Democratic Senators who were undecided about whether to eliminate it. Obama reportedly told them “how important this was to him and our ability to get anything done for the rest of the term.” The White House stressed the need to confirm three new judges
Well, who can blame him? Today’s competing radio addresses tell the meta-story, as CNN reports. Republicans focused on the meltdown at HHS over the ObamaCare rollout, while Barack Obama provided his 387th pivot to the economy: While Republicans continued on the anti-Obamacare offensive, President Barack Obama largely pivoted away from the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov, instead focusing his address on the economy. Actually, you can get a pretty good sense of the news value of each speech from its position in CNN’s report. The Republican speech by Rep. Michael Burgess gets quoted in the second and third paragraph: Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess,
Conservatives have for years attempted to put our finger upon precisely why Barack Obama strikes us as queer in precisely the way he does. There is an alienness about him, which in the fever swamps is expressed in all that ridiculous Kenyan-Muslim hokum, but his citizen-of-the-world shtick is strictly sophomore year — the great globalist does not even speak a foreign language. Obama has been called many things — radical, socialist — labels that may have him dead to rights at the phylum level but not down at his genus or species. His social circle includes an alarming number of
Everyone has a favorite recipe, find it in the back of a kitchen drawer, call your mom, see if you still have that dog-eared copy of the Joy of Cooking. It´s on the back of an old electric bill stuck inside the back cover. Find it and post it for all your LCom friends. If you have a special request let us know, someone can find it somewhere.
Though the Obama administration said that individuals making under $45,960 would get Obamacare subsidies, low-income young people in most of America´s big cities who relied on that promise are discovering they will be ineligible for them. According to a CNN report, though young people are now required to purchase insurance under Obamacare or pay a fine, "many low-income younger Americans won´t get any subsidy at all" because, as the Obama administration claims, the "cost of insurance is lower than the government initially expected." In April, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "told a
Noel Ignatiev, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art, has for years advocated the total elimination of Caucasians. During his final lecture before retirement last Monday, he told his white male students "you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease." NOEL IGNATIEV: If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a
Appearing on Arsenio Hall’s talk show over the weekend, ?Jesse Jackson defended both President Obama, who he said has faced heretofore unseen advsersity as president, as well as Jackson’s embattled son, who he said “had the best voting record in the Congress” before he was sentenced by unfair laws. On the president, Jackson praised him for “serving us well against the most hostility an American president has ever had” and “more attempts to derail his legislation then in the history of the country.” Between job creation and his efforts in Iraq, President Obama has “maintained a kind of dignity” without stooping
Normally, I don´t traffic much in gossip, but the case of Valerie Jarrett is different. She may well be the most powerful woman in America, and almost certainly is the most powerful member of the Obama administration. The adjective "shadowy" definitely applies to this woman who enjoys her power through her relationship to the President, having never been confirmed by Senate hearings. Her title as "Senior Adviser" to the President barely scratches the surface of her real power. President Obama has time for his 150+ rounds of golf, his extensive television watching, and his expertise on March Madness bracketology because ValJar,
The Obamacare rollout remains a debacle, but now enough time has passed that smart people are beginning to dissect what went wrong. So far, the best take I´ve seen comes from Internet pioneer Clay Shirky, who notes that the politicians weren´t listening to the people doing the actual work. I was talking about this to my Administrative Law class not long ago. I had told them that there are few real secrets in D.C. because everyone sleeps with everyone else. A student then asked why both the administration and the GOP seemed to have been blindsided by the Obamacare website problems. "I guess nobody was sleeping with the techies,"
Located just 50 miles off the U.S. coast, north of New York City, sits Petra, a heart-shaped island that now belongs to Brad Pitt, after Angelina reportedly shelled out £12.2million to buy it for his 50th birthday. Pitt is apparently an architect fanatic, so when Jolie discovered that the island´s only two homes were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, she was sold. Pitt once said,“When I discovered Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright, it changed my life.” A source revealed that “as soon as Angelina heard the island was on the market she arranged a viewing. She was really impressed.
Pure, sweet, schadenfreudean goodness from Politico. See now why I think there’s a chance that those new Iran sanctions pass with veto-proof majorities? Turns out, after three years and a half years of development plus two months of frantic triage to Healthcare.gov, Democrats are finally ready to hold the White House accountable for its giant O-Care fark-up. A little. “The president and his team have repeatedly assured us that the system will be working by Dec. 1. That’s when I start looking at what we have to do in our oversight function to hold the administration accountable for making it work.” Rep.
Maybe it was something about what they served in the White House mess in the 1990s. Or perhaps it´s what happens to baby boomer Democrats more than a decade after leaving office. For whatever the reason former vice president Al Gore has gone vegan, just like the president with whom he once served. Gore´s recent decision to forgo animal products surfaced as an offhand reference in a Forbes magazine piece about Hampton Creek Foods, an upscale vegan product line carried in Whole Foods. Ryan Mac´s article, which posted Saturday, chronicled how wealthy investors including Bill Gates, Tom Steyer and Vinod Khosla
ObamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it. "Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association´s Jennifer Singleterry said. The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers. "Charging tobacco users
"Trust is like virginity: once you lose it it´s hard to get it back." So spoke pollster John Zogby, commenting on his latest poll on President Obama´s handling of his office. Quoted by Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner: "Most ominous for Mr. Obama is that 57 percent now disapprove of his job. That is his worst number yet. This includes 57 percent of men and 55 percent of women; 51 percent of moderates, 24 percent of liberals and 24 percent of Democrats; 66 percent of independents and 40 percent of Hispanics. Meanwhile, a separate poll by CNN/ORC International found: 53%