Archive for the ‘ U.S. Government ’ Category

Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talks about efforts to end a standoff over funding for the Homeland Security Department. (Mandel Ngan / AFP-Getty Images)

By Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro
February 25, 2015

Senate leaders moved toward a deal Wednesday to avoid a shutdown of the Homeland Security Department, sidestepping a fight over immigration policy, as President Obama declared his administration would curtail deportations of immigrants in the country illegally despite losing a court fight on the issue this month.

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The Hill

By Mike Lillis
02/25/15 – 09:42 PM EST

Participating in a town hall-style immigration forum in Miami, the president said a recent ruling against his new immigration policies by a federal judge in Texas was wrongly decided and promised to use all his legal options to ensure the new programs are ultimately adopted.

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LATimes: Obama’s Keystone pipeline veto opens a new chapter in his presidency

Veto

By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
February 24, 2015

With the quick swipe of a pen on the way from one meeting to another, President Obama unceremoniously opened a fourth chapter of his presidency Tuesday — the veto era.

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Politico: Homeland Security fight goes into crunch time

U.S. Senate

Senate Democrats will mount their fourth filibuster on the bill Monday afternoon.

Politico

By John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett
2/22/15 – 6:17 PM EST

Late Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will force the fourth vote in three weeks on a bill to fund the massive agency that protects Americans from terrorists, floods and incursions across the borders. Senate Democrats will almost certainly block it again.

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LATimes: Former state Sen. Ronald Calderon preparing for corruption trial

U.S. ordered to answer Calderon's complaint

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) was indicted last year on 24 felony charges, including accepting $88,000 in bribes. He has pleaded not guilty. (Manny Crisostomo / Sacramento Bee)

By Patrick McGreevy
February 21, 2015

A year after his indictment on federal corruption charges, former state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon awaits his day in court, working as a manager at a real estate firm and helping his attorneys sift thousands of documents that include transcripts from undercover FBI wiretaps.

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InlandPolitics: Obamacare continues to steamroll Democrats

Democrat

Saturday, February 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

It just keeps getting worse for Democrats nationally. The Obamacare steamroller was operating at full speed this week.

Where do I start?

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The Hill

By Mike Lillis
02/20/15 – 01:45 PM EST

The Obama administration will seek an emergency court order to move forward with President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

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hour-glass

By Joseph Tanfani
February 20, 2015

In his fight to help millions of immigrants living in the country illegally, President Obama’s most implacable enemy may not be House Republicans or conservative governors, but the ticking clock.

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UTSanDiego: Utility agency taps $882-an-hour lawyer

CPUC

Regulator is responding to criminal investigations of improper contact

By Jeff McDonald
Feb. 19, 2015 – 4:56 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission has hired one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state to respond to investigations of improper contact between regulators and the utility companies they oversee.

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WashPost: Abolish the filibuster

charles-krauthammer

By Charles Krauthammer
Opinion Writer
February 19, 2015 at 8:12 PM

I’ve been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It’s time to go nuclear.

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IRS -1

The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department are postponing the enforcement of yet another rule tied to the president’s health care law. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

By J.D. Harrison
February 19, 2015 at 3:11 PM

One of these days, employers will experience the full effects of Obamacare — but not yet.

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Roll Call: Despite Court Injunction, DHS Shutdown Continues to Approach

Roll Call Logo

By Matt Fuller
Posted at 5:49 p.m. on Feb. 18

Two days after a Texas judge halted President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, nothing seems to have changed in the congressional showdown over funding the Department of Homeland Security.

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Politico: White House facing rocky legal road on immigration

Politico

By Josh Gerstein
2/17/15 – 8:55 PM EST

A carefully targeted lawsuit by states opposed to President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions hit a bulls-eye Tuesday, forcing postponement of a key element of the president’s plan hours before it was to get underway.

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AP: Federal judge stalls Obama’s executive action on immigration

U.S.-District-Court

Associated Press
By Juan A. Lozano
February 16, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.

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VVDailyBulletin: Federal grand jury investigating jail

Sheriff

Five lawsuits allege civil rights abuses at West Valley Detention Center

By SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Feb. 16, 2015 @ 3:02 pm
Updated Feb 16, 2015 at 5:05 PM

A federal grand jury is investigating claims of deputy misconduct at West Valley Detention Center nearly a year after the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and FBI launched separate probes into possible inmate civil rights violations at the jail.

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Politico

The president is losing ground as terrorist incidents mount.

By Jennifer Shutt
2/16/15 – 5:45 PM EST

A new poll from CNN/ORC shows 57 percent of Americans do not approve of the way President Barack Obama is handling the country’s military action against ISIL.

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InlandPolitics: Democrats complain about Obamacare penalties

ObamaCare

Monday, February 16, 2015 – 11:00 a.m.

It looks as if Congressional Democrats have figured out what we’ve been saying here for over a year.

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Michael Peevey

Michael Peevey, president of the state Public Utilities Commission listens to the speakers at the California Public Utilities Commission meeting, Thursday January 27, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif. (Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle / SFC)

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Monday, February 16, 2015 – Updated 9:07 am

A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive exploited former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey’s intense interest in a Kern County alternative-energy project in making a backroom deal to win favorable treatment for the company, newly released e-mails show.

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WashPost: McConnell, after his no-shutdowns pledge, quickly finds himself boxed in

Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, talks to the media on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By Paul Kane
February 13, 2015 at 3:00 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, less than six weeks into unified GOP rule on Capitol Hill, is on the verge of seeing his most adamant pledge go up in smoke.

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Politico: House sends Keystone bill to White House doom

Politico

The measure doesn’t appear to have enough votes to survive a presidential veto.

By Elana Schor
2/11/15 – 5:39 PM EST – Updated 2/11/15 – 9:14 PM EST

The House easily passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up President Barack Obama to issue the third veto of his presidency.

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Politico

Democrats would fold if Homeland Security shuts down, some House and Senate Republicans argue.

By Manu Raju and Jake Sherman
2/11/15 – 8:14 PM EST – Updated 2/12/15 8:17 AM EST

A faction of House and Senate conservatives is pushing Republican leaders to take the battle over the Homeland Security Department to the brink, arguing the party would win the public relations war with Democrats if a standoff over immigration led to a shutdown of the agency.

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InlandPolitics: Not a good week for San Bernardino County

SBCO

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 – 03:00 p.m.

It’s safe to say last week wasn’t a good week for San Bernardino County Government.

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InlandPolitics: New Obamacare taxes just beginning

ObamaCare

Monday, February 9, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

First it was the “If you like your plan you can keep it” debacle.

Now everyone is just starting to get the second dose of Obamacare.

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InlandPolitics: Barack Obama and Terrosim

Barack Obama - Islamic Terrorism

Sunday, February 8, 2015 – 12:00 p.m.

A little humor, sent from a reader, that drives home a valid point.

How can you fight something when you won’t acknowledge what it is?

The Fiscal Times

The Fiscal Times
By Yuval Rosenberg
February 6, 2015 1:15 PM

The U.S. job market is, to use a technical term, really hot.

January saw non-farm payrolls jump by a better-than-expected 257,000, and data revisions lifted the totals for the prior two months by 147,000 more. Over the last three months, the economy added more than a million jobs, the strongest pace of labor market growth since 1997.

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Gallup

Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 – 11:04 PM
By Cathy Burke

The 5.6 percent unemployment rate being trumpeted by the White House, Wall Street and the media is a “big lie,” the head of the Gallup polling firm says.

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SFChronicle: Eric Holder’s sorry sense of justice

Debra J. Saunders

Opinion
By Debra J. Saunders
Saturday, February 7, 2015 – Updated 3:43 pm

Thursday morning’s “Building community trust” roundtable discussion in Oakland with Attorney General Eric Holder, local law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders was designed to “build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.” After brief remarks, Holder and company dismissed the press corps.

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DOJ

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 02/04/15, 6:05 PM PST

A federal grand jury has been convened and is hearing testimony related to an FBI investigation into the alleged Taser gun torture of inmates at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, an attorney said Wednesday.

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Campaigns

By Sean Sullivan
February 3, 2015 at 8:28 PM

Congressional Republicans on Tuesday continued their assault on President Obama’s signature accomplishments and his ambitious budget proposal. But they faced stiff resistance from Democrats.

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InlandPolitics: GOP needs to find right candidate in 2016

ObamaCare

Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 01:00 p.m.

We’ve said it here many times.

If there’s one group who can routinely shoot itself in the head, it’s the GOP.

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Politico: Barack Obama threatens to veto attacks on his immigration policy

Politico

He also took aim at Republican arguments that a lapse in DHS funding would not be ‘the end of the world.’

By Lauren French
1/29/15 8:50 PM EST

PHILADELPHIA — President Barack Obama vowed to House Democrats on Thursday night that he would “happily” veto any legislation that would “compound” the country’s immigration problems — posing yet another challenge to Republican efforts to pass a Homeland Security spending bill by next month’s deadline.

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LATimes: Fed keeps key rate near zero, will stay ‘patient’ on raising it

federal reserve

By Jim Puzzanghera
January 27, 2015

Federal Reserve policymakers kept their benchmark interest rate near zero and reiterated a plan to be patient about future hikes, even though they issued a more upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy.

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IEBusinessDaily: Technology Flusters Government’s Tax Obsession

Inland-Empire-Political-News-Political-Whispers

By IE Business Daily
Saturday January 24, 2015

Online and phone based applications are creating hysteria for local, state and federal government agencies and bureaucrats.

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SFChronicle: Obama croons: ‘I did it my way’

Debra J. Saunders

By Debra J. Saunders
Updated 5:41 pm, Wednesday, January 21, 2015

As President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I saw all of 2015 flash before my eyes. It was a smart speech that wisely stuck to “middle-class” values and was shrewdly short on details. I saw another year of the president not compromising. For Republicans, it was Ground Hog Day — an endless loop of the president talking up bipartisanship without practicing it.

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LADailyNews: Obama in State of the Union: Tax wealthy, help middle class

"President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address"

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: U.S. President Barack Obama waves before giving his State of the Union speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama was expected to lay out a broad agenda to address income inequality, making it easier for Americans to afford college education, and child care. (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

By Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent
Posted: 01/20/15, 7:28 PM PST | Updated: 28 secs ago

WASHINGTON >> Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP’s own plans.

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Barack Obama

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

Some, not all ears, will be tuned to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama.

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The Hill: Obama’s approval rating at 18-month high

The Hill

By Justin Sink – 01/19/15 08:45 AM EST

President Obama will head into Tuesday’s State of the Union with his highest job approval numbers in 18 months, according to a new poll released Monday by The Washington Post and ABC News.

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Reuters: Middle class decline looms over final years of Obama presidency

U.S. President Obama faces joint news conference at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama faces a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron (Not Pictured) following their meeting at the White House in Washington January 16, 2015. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Reuters
By Howard Schneider
DALTON, Georgia – Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:40pm EST

(Reuters) – Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.

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The PE: Charles Krauthammer: Obama: Charlie who?

charles-krauthammer

By Charles Krauthammer, Opinion writer
January 15, 2015

On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”

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LATimes: Is pot as bad as LSD? Heroin? Judge to rule on 1970 law

marijuana-leaf

By Maura Dolan
January 14, 2015

A Sacramento federal judge prepares to decide whether to downgrade marijuana, but ruling’s reach is limited

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Politico: Barack Obama’s French kiss-off

Barack Obama

The president’s decision to skip the Paris march raises eyebrows.

By Edward-Isaac Dovere
1/11/15 – 6:26 PM EST

Barack Obama n’est pas Charlie — or at least, he wasn’t this weekend.

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LATimes: Sheriff’s Dept. higher-ups now appear to be targets in jails inquiry

Lawman

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2011; a grand jury is now hearing testimony about the actions of Baca and Paul Tanaka, his top aide at the time, as they reacted to discovery of a cellphone provided to a county jail inmate by the FBI. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times)

By Cindy Chang
January 11, 2015

It seems that federal prosecutors are after the “big fish” in L.A. County Jail obstruction-of-justice inquiry

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NationalJournal: Obama Wants Free Community College. Where’s the Money?

question-mark

By Fawn Johnson
January 8, 2015

President Obama wants to provide free tuition at community colleges, a proposal that could benefit as many as 9 million students, according to a White House outline of the plan released Thursday.

There is one big caveat in the proposal — there is no plan to fund it, other than to ask Congress for the money.

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federal reserve

The Fed said it earned a record $98.7 billion in profit in 2014.

By Jim Puzzanghera
January 10, 2015

The Federal Reserve said Friday it made a record $98.7 billion in profits last year, mostly from interest on the more than $4 trillion in bonds it has purchased since 2008 to stimulate the economy.

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KQED: Why Obamacare Means One of the Most Complicated Tax Seasons Ever

Taxes

This is the first year people without health insurance could face big penalties. (Getty Images)

January 8, 2015 | 11:40 AM
By April Dembosky

Most days in early January, tax preparation offices are dead. Most people won’t get their W-2 or other tax documents until later this month.

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VVDailyPress: Depositions nearing in Victorville’s SEC case

Victorville

Long list of former, current officials expected to be called

SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jan. 7, 2015 @ 8:34 pm
Updated at 8:37 PM

VICTORVILLE — Depositions are expected to get underway next week, nearly two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the city of Victorville, its airport authority and others of dramatically inflating the combined valuation of four airport hangars in a 2008 municipal bond offering.

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Politico: House GOP plots immigration strategy

U.S. Capitol

Republicans could make their first moves as early as next week.

By Seung Min Kim
1/7/15 8:14 PM EST

House Republicans are ready to fire the opening salvo in the war over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

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Politico: Obama’s year of the veto

US President Barack Obama speaks after t

President Barack Obama is pictured. | Getty

President opposes first legislative move by GOP-controlled Congress.
By Edward-Isaac Dovere and Burgess Everett
1/6/15 8:51 PM EST

President Barack Obama’s Keystone veto threat Tuesday was the opening gambit in his fight with the new Republican majorities in Congress looking to derail his post-midterm momentum.

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WashPost: New Senate majority leader’s main goal for GOP: Don’t be scary

Mitch McConnell

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks about his agenda for a GOP-controlled Congress during an interview Dec. 17 in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Politics
By Paul Kane
January 4 at 7:26 PM

Mitch McConnell has an unusual admonition for the new Republican majority as it takes over the Senate this week: Don’t be “scary.”

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DailyBulletin: Southern California hospitals face federal cuts due to penalties

Pay Cut

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 01/03/15, 5:01 PM PST |

Dozens of hospitals across Southern California will see their federal reimbursements reduced this year for not meeting standards to keep Medicare patients safe and infection free.

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SFChronicle: Scalia’s Constitution revisited, with a nod to Jack Bauer

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia told an interviewer that harsh interrogation techniques were constitutional and might be justified in some cases.

By Bob Egelko
January 2, 2015 – 5:39 PM

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia prides himself on interpreting the Constitution as it was intended by those who drafted it. When it comes to torture of suspected terrorists, one of those drafters might be Jack Bauer.

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Politico: Chief congressional budget post gains new power

PoliticoPro

By Brian Faler
1/2/15 – 4:01 PM EST

The question of who will be Congress’ next chief number-cruncher has suddenly gotten a lot more important.

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Keystone Pipeline Oklahoma

PoliticoPro

By Andrew Restuccia
1/2/15 – 2:48 PM EST

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set to vote on legislation approving the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline on Thursday.

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The Hill: Budget war looms for Obama, GOP

The Hill

By Rebecca Shabad – 01/01/15 – 06:00 AM EST

The federal budget is almost certain to be the central battleground between President Obama and the new Republican Congress in 2015.

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U.S. Capitol

By Jim Puzzanghera
December 31, 2014

The economy boomed through most of last year, a time when the nation’s capital was devoid of major budget fights and threats of government shutdown.

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NationalJournal: Barack Obama Had a Really Terrible Year

Barack Obama

ISIS, Ferguson, the Senate, Ukraine, Ebola, border kids. Really, this was a pretty awful sixth year for the president. Not that he’s acting like it.

By James Oliphant
December 30, 2014

You can make a compelling case that 2014 was the worst year for President Obama since, well, the year before. And, in fact, the president spent much of this year trying to recover from some body blows he took in the final months of 2013, when, in short order, Congress rebuffed him on Syria and the federal health care exchange imploded.

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Politico: Obama nominees in doubt

Politico

Democrats pushed through dozens in December, but Republicans have all the leverage now.
By Burgess Everett
12/29/14 9:02 PM EST

Democrats are still dancing in the end zone after running up the score on dozens of President Barack Obama’s nominees during the lame duck.

They should enjoy the moment, because Republicans are about to step up their goal-line defense.

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SacBee (AP): Yes-We-Can president faces twilight of maybes

Barack Obama

By JULIE PACE and NANCY BENAC Associated Press
12/24/2014 11:41 AM

WASHINGTON–

It was supposed to be a joke. “Are you still president?” comedian Stephen Colbert asked Barack Obama earlier this month.

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The PE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA: CRomnibus spending bill brings good news for advocates

Marijuana
Spending bill provision forbids federal government from cracking down on Inland medical marijuana

Published: December 25, 201
Updated: December 26, 2014 – 10:49 a.m.

Buried in the $1.1 trillion, 1,603-page federal spending bill approved by Congress earlier this month is a little relief for medical marijuana advocates such as Jim Camper.

The spending package contains language forbidding federal agencies from using their resources to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Politico: Obama’s next sales job: The economy

White House

WHITE HOUSE
Wage stagnation, long-term unemployment undermine rosy numbers.
By Edward-Isaac Dovere
12/23/14 6:58 PM EST

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address to roll out an agenda aimed at tackling stagnating wages and helping Americans who feel left out of the economy’s surge, and he’s planning to use the first few weeks of January to travel the country promoting a new economic message.

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SFChronicle: New law could affect criminal sentences in marijuana cases

Medical Marijuana

By Bob Egelko
Published: Monday, December 22, 2014

In a sharp reversal of federal drug policy, Congress has prohibited the Justice Department from interfering with laws in California and other states that allow the medical use of marijuana. And the turnabout caught the immediate attention of federal judges, who want to know its impact on some recent criminal convictions under the federal law that classifies pot as one of the most dangerous drugs.

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US-POLITICS-OBAMA

Politico

Politics
Operation Revenge
By GLENN THRUSH
December 19, 2014

Two senior White House staffers stumbled out of the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago into the boozy, early-morning aftermath of President Obama’s Nov. 6, 2012, reelection victory and ran smack into a sober reporter. “It’s over,” one of the wobbly, relieved aides said. “He never has to do this again.”

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Bloomberg: The 113th Congress Was the Second Least Productive in History

U.S. Capitol

By David Knowles
Dec 21, 2014 – 3:50 PM PST

If not for President Obama signing 61 bills into law late last week, a new heir to the title of “Do-Nothing Congress” would have been named.

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Affordable Care Act

By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times
Monday, December 22, 2014

Republicans say they have the will to bring down Obamacare — and many are eyeing a little-known, little-used budget too called “reconciliation” to do so.

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SFChronicle: The opposite of intelligence: Spy versus DiFi

Debra J. Saunders

By Debra J. Saunders
Updated 10:11 am, Saturday, December 20, 2014

The needle already was in the haystack. That essentially is the message embedded in the Democrats’ Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA interrogations and detentions, approved without a single Republican vote and released by committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

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LATimes: Business groups cheer Obama’s move to normalize Cuba relations

Cuba

General Motors could eventually export vehicles to Cuba, a nation filled with aging relics. (Ernesto Mastrascusa, EPA)

By Andrew Khouri
December 17, 2014

President Obama’s decision to start normalizing relations with Cuba gives American business a fresh opportunity on an island once known as a travel hub for the U.S. jet set.

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Inflation

By Jim Puzzanghera
December 17, 2014

Plunging gasoline costs led to the largest drop in consumer prices in six years last month and added another complication for Federal Reserve policymakers as they try to determine when to start raising interest rates.

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federal reserve

By Jim Puzzanghera,
December 17, 2014

The American economic outlook, bolstered by robust job growth and a sharp drop in gasoline prices, was boosted a little more with the Federal Reserve’s signal that it would take as long as three years to raise interests to once-normal levels.

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U.S. Capitol

By Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan
December 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

The least-productive Congress in modern history drew to an abrupt close late Tuesday as the U.S. Senate extended dozens of expired tax breaks but failed to renew a federally backed terrorism insurance program supported by big businesses and major sports leagues.

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Medical Marijuana

Under a provision in the spending bill passed by Congress over the weekend, states where medical marijuana is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

By Evan Halper
December 16, 2014

‘The first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana’

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WashPost: Obama braces for immigration battle with GOP

Barack Obama

President Obama’s executive action to shield up to 4 million more immigrants from deportation could build up goodwill with Latinos ahead of an expected immigration battle with the GOP. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)

By David Nakamura
December 15, 2014 at 3:58 PM

President Obama is bracing for a political and legal battle with Republicans next year over his executive actions on immigration, but as he seeks to rally support against the anticipated assault, a lingering frustration among some Latinos could mean renewed pressure on him to do even more to protect illegal immigrants.

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WashPost: In Washington, political dysfunction and grim outlooks are the new normal

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol Building is reflected in the Senate reflecting pool while undergoing repairs in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

By Dan Balz
December 13, 2014 at 2:06 PM

The November elections brought significant changes to Washington and to many states. What they did not produce was any greater sense of optimism on the part of the public about the state of American politics. If anything, they produced the opposite.

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Bloomberg/Businessweek: Verizon’s New, Encrypted Calling App Plays Nice With the NSA

Cell Phone Encryption - NSA

Verizon’s New, Encrypted Calling App Plays Nice With the NSA

Bloomberg-Businessweek

By Joshua Brustein
December 11, 2014

Verizon is the latest big company to enter the post-Snowden market for secure communication, and it’s doing so with an encryption standard that comes with a way for law enforcement to access ostensibly secure phone conversations.

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SacBee: Opinion: Once again, water plan stalemated

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
12/11/2014 7:19 PM

As the most severe winter storm in at least a half-decade bore down on California on Tuesday, 3,000 miles away in Washington, the House voted, largely along party lines, for a California drought relief bill.

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marijuana-leaf

Some tribes see marijuana sales as a potential source of revenue, similar to cigarette sales and casino gambling, which have brought a financial boon to reservations across the country.

By Timothy M. Phelps
December 11, 2014

The Justice Department will generally not try to enforce federal marijuana laws on Native American reservations.

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U.S. Capitol

Congressional action could mean that more than 1 million Americans could see part of their monthly pension checks evaporate.

By Evan Halper
December 11, 2014

More than 1 million Americans who were promised secure, predictable retirement income probably will see part of their monthly benefit checks evaporate as Congress moves to stabilize some private pension systems veering toward insolvency.

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WashPost: What’s in the spending bill? We skim it so you don’t have to

Federal Omnibus Spending Bill 2014-15

A copy of the fiscal 2014 spending bill is arranged for a photograph in Washington Jan. 14. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

By Ed O’Keefe
December 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

{This item has been updated and revised.}

The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late Tuesday will keep most of the federal government funded through next September — and it’s packed with hundreds of policy instructions, known on Capitol Hill as “riders,” that will upset or excite Democrats, Republicans and various special interest groups.

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Political: Budget bill shows GOP’s new muscle

House Speaker John Boehner Holds Weekly News Conference

Speaker of the House John Boehner is pictured. | Getty

Politico

By David Rogers
12/9/14 8:41 PM EST
Updated 12/10/14 8:51 AM EST

Capping weeks of backroom talks, House Republicans filed a $1.1 trillion year-end spending bill Tuesday night — a giant package that’s both a last marker for this Congress and first step toward GOP control in the next.

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National Journal

By Billy House
December 8, 2014

As lawmakers pressed Monday to finalize the legislative language of a must-pass omnibus spending bill, labor unions and retiree groups were mobilizing to defeat what they are characterizing as a lame-duck sneak attack on the pensions of some already-retired workers.

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Politico: Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare gambit

Mitch McConnell

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell talks to local lawmakers behind closed doors during a news conference at the Warren County Courthouse in Bowling Green, Ky., Friday, June 17, 2011. McConnell is disputing the Justice Department’s defense of prosecuting terrorism suspects in Kentucky, saying the case is unique. McConnell wants the two Iraqis tried in Guantanamo Bay rather than in civilian court in Kentucky. (AP Photo/Daily News, Joe Imel)

Politico

Behind closed doors, Republicans are plotting one last tilt at the Affordable Care Act.
By Jennifer Haberkorn and Manu Raju
12/8/14 8:15 PM EST

In high-level strategy sessions on Capitol Hill, Republicans are going through reams of historical information and sitting through marathon slide show presentations, trying to figure out how to gut Obamacare through a complicated budget process that requires only a simple majority — a sign of how seriously they’re taking their best shot yet at dealing a long-term blow to the health care law.

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BloombergPolitics
An under-the-hood look at the best showing in Senate elections
by either party in 34 years.

Greg Giroux
Dec 7, 2014 3:17 PM PST

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy’s double-digit ousting of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday was, in the words of the senator-elect, an “exclamation mark” on a 2014 election that saw the Republicans win control of the Senate. With Landrieu’s departure, only half of the Senators who voted to pass the Affordable Care Act will still be in office in 2015, when the new members are sworn in.

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InlandPolitics: Make that 54! — GOP takes Louisiana Senate seat

GOP

Sunday, December 7, 2014 – 09:25 a.m.

As expected, voters kicked U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) out of office on Saturday.

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pensions

By Michael A. Fletcher
December 3, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress confronting some of the nation’s 1,400 multi-employer pension plans.

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LATimes: John Boehner suggests leaving immigration out of 2015 budget talks

By Lisa Mascaro, Michael A. Memoli and Joseph Tanfani
December 2, 2014

Hoping to prevent a government shutdown by opponents of President Obama’s immigration plan, House Speaker John A. Boehner floated a proposal Tuesday for funding most of the government — but not the immigration agencies — through the end of the 2015 fiscal year.

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Politico: John Boehner makes sales pitch to GOP

John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Votes on a year-end congressional deal hinge on Rep. Yoho.
By Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer
12/1/14 9:51 PM EST / Updated 12/2/14 10:09 AM EST

Top House Republicans agree on a two-part plan to keep the government from closing in nine days. Now comes the hard part: selling it.

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