Archive for the ‘ U.S. Government ’ Category

Politico: GOP leaders uniting around plan to avoid shutdown

House Republican Leadership Address The Media After Conference Meeting

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner are pictured. | Getty

By Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
11/24/14 7:29 PM EST
Updated 11/25/14 8:39 AM EST

House Republican leaders are beginning to coalesce around a strategy to avoid a government shutdown in less than a month.

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WashPost: Obama: America wants ‘that new car smell’

New Car Scent magic tree

By Danielle Paquette
November 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM

If the presidency were a car, Barack Obama would be a highway-worn Toyota Prius … or something.

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Tribune: Obama’s political legacy fading fast

Barack Obama

 Barack Obama. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Tribune News Service
David Lightman
November 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Obama legacy wasn’t supposed to unfold this way.

Barack Obama was changing the political map, pushing the Democratic Party into the South and the Mountain West. He was building a new social network that would endure long after an Obama presidency. And he was building a new Democratic coalition for a new age, with greater turnout from young and minority voters.

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Reuters: House Republicans sue over Obama’s healthcare law

lawsuit

By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:27am EST

(Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday filed a long-anticipated lawsuit challenging the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law over employer-based coverage and payments to insurers, according to court documents.

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Politico: House Intel Committee dismisses some Benghazi myths

U.S. House of Representatives

By Lauren French
11/21/14 7:24 PM EST

The House Intelligence Committee dismissed on Friday a number of the most persistent myths about the 2012 terrorist attacks at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

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WashPost: Winners and losers in Obama’s immigration policy changes

Questions

Politics

By Ed O’Keefe and Max Ehrenfreund
November 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

President Obama unveiled a long-awaited series of changes to the nation’s immigration policies Thursday evening. While most of the details have yet to be announced, here’s a general overview of what to expect in the coming months, based on information provided by the White House:

Who’s in?

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The Hill: Networks won’t air Obama speech

The Hill

By Ben Kamisar, Jesse Byrnes and Justin Sink
11/19/14 – 06:19 PM EST

Three major networks will not air President Obama’s prime-time address Thursday outlining his executive actions on immigration.

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Politico: GOP mulls its own immigration plan

Politico

By Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer
11/18/14 – 1:08 PM EST

House and Senate Republican leaders have been privately discussing the potential of introducing targeted immigration reform bills in the coming months, according to multiple sources in both chambers.

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US-Mexico Border Fence

In this Monday, March 25, 2013 photo, Border Patrol agent Richard Gordon walks the border fence in the Boulevard area east of San Diego looking for signs that reveal movement of illegal immigrants in the rugged, mountainous terrain in Boulevard, Calif.

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
11/18/2014 1:03 PM

California still has, by far, the nation’s largest population of illegal immigrants, but it declined between 2009 and 2012, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

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WashPost: Obama’s potential immigration plan could enter uncharted territory

Barack Obama

By Karen Tumulty and Katie Zezima
November 17, 2014 at 9:47 PM

President Obama’s expected action lifting the threat of deportation from millions of undocumented immigrants, which could come as early as this week, will expand the authority of the executive branch into murky, uncharted territory.

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InlandPolitics: The gift that keeps on giving

ObamaCare

Monday, November 17, 2014 – 08:45 a.m.

Obamacare. The Gift that keeps on giving!

My last story on Obamacare isn’t even a week old and already there’s another controversy.

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InlandPolitics: Victorville SEC case has murky undercurrent

Victorville
Note: This is the first in a series of several related posts

Sunday, November 16, 2104 – 12:00 p.m.

Unsettling information pretaining to onging civil litigation involving the 2008 sale of bonds related to the construction of four large aircraft maintenance hangars at Victoville’s Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) has started to go public.

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Healthcare.gov

By Dan Keating and Jason Millman
November 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

People shopping on the HealthCare.gov marketplace that reopened Saturday have more options this year than they did last year, but the options usually will be costlier.

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Politico: President Obama on immigration: Why wait?

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama talks on a conference call from the Oval Office. | Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Politico

Post-election events help clarify internal White House debate on timing.
By Seung Min Kim and Carrie Budoff Brown
11/14/14 7:11 PM EST

An internal debate over the timing of President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration has raged for months, with White House officials gaming out options to minimize the collateral damage yet failing to reach consensus on the best moment to act before their year-end deadline.

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NationalJournal: Activists React Cautiously to Obama Immigration Plans

National Journal

Executive action, strongly opposed by the GOP, would help as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants
By Rachel Roubein
November 13, 2014

President Obama will reportedly launch an executive action plan in the coming days to help as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, granting them work authorization and temporary relief from deportation.

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LATimes: FBI ranks Irvine as safest big city in U.S. for 10th year in a row

Irvine Seal

For the 10th straight year, Irvine was ranked by the FBI as the safest U.S. city with a population of more than 100,000.

By Jeremiah Dobruck
November 11, 2014

The lowest violent-crime rate in city history last year netted Irvine its 10th straight title as the safest big city in the nation, officials announced this week.

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InlandPolitics: Obamacare — Round Two!

ObamaCare

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.

Over a year ago we correctly said the Affordable care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, would single-handedly undermine Democrat chances in the 2014 midterm elections. The pocketbook issue was raised by every Republican candidate in every contested U.S. Senate race, and it worked. Democrats were routed at the polls.

Now brace for round number two!

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WSJ: Opinion: A Message Sent to a Grudging President

Barack Obama

At the post-election White House news conference, Nov. 5. Reuters

Peggy Noonan

By Peggy Noonan
Updated – Nov. 7, 2014 7:02 p.m. ET

The drubbin’, thumpin’, poundin’ was a two-part wave, a significant Republican rise in the U.S. Senate and a Democratic collapse in the governorships.

It was one of those nights neither party ever forgets.

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Obama Post Election Meeting

The House Majority Leader says it would be difficult for the GOP and President Obama to work together if he follows through with his plans to take executive action on immigration. (AP)

By Ed O’Keefe
November 7, 2014 at 7:28 PM

President Obama firmly rejected advice from top congressional Republicans on Friday that he delay his promised executive action on immigration reform, dismissing calls from critics inside and outside his party to allow Congress to debate the issue next year.

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ObamaCare

The court to rule on on whether low- and middle-income Americans may receive subsidies in two-thirds of the states to make insurance more affordable. (Associated Press)

Court ot rule on healthcare law again
By David G. Savage
November 7, 2014

The Supreme Court will decide the fate of President Obama’s healthcare law yet again, this time ruling on whether low- and middle-income Americans may receive subsidies in two-thirds of the states to make insurance more affordable.

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LATimes: Obama, McConnell speak of cooperation, but conflict is apparent

Barack Obama

At a news conference Wednesday, President Obama deflected suggestions that he bore personal responsibility for Democrats’ defeat in the midterm elections. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

By Christi Parsons and David Lauter
November 6, 2014

President Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell talked of cooperation Wednesday in the aftermath of the huge GOP election victory, but the two sides prepared for renewed conflict on issues that have dominated the campaign and national debate for the last two years.

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Politico: How the Democrats lost the Senate

Bush Meets With Senators On Immigration Bill

Harry Reid and Barack Obama are pictured. | Getty

Politico

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, MANU RAJU and JOHN BRESNAHAN
11/5/14 9:02 AM EST – Updated: 11/5/14 1:07 PM EST

At a late October lunch, President Barack Obama looked across the table at Sen. Chuck Schumer. Wasn’t there anywhere else he could go to campaign?

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GOP

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 08:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 09:55 a.m.

Note: Post was modified to reflect a GOP pickup in the state of Alaska.

It wasn’t just a wave. It was a tidal wave.

The country sent President Barack Obama and his Democrat Party a strong message on Tuesday.

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RollCall: Obama Approval Rating Drops Again in Gallup Poll (Updated)

Roll Call Logo

By Steven Dennis
Nov. 2, 2014

Updated 7:20 p.m. | With two days before election day, the Gallup poll has the President Barack Obama approval rating approaching the worst of his presidency.

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WashPost: Election Day looking like a referendum on competence

charles-krauthammer

By Charles Krauthammer, Opinion writer
October 30 at 7:29 PM

Is this election really about nothing? Democrats might like to think so, but it’s not.

First, like all U.S. elections, it’s about the economy. The effect of the weakest recovery in two generations is reflected in President Obama’s 13-point underwater ratings for his handling of the economy.

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LATimes: Federal Reserve votes to end bond-buying stimulus program

federal reserve

By Jim Puzzanghera
October 29, 2014

Federal Reserve policymakers voted Wednesday to end the central bank’s controversial bond-buying stimulus program, determining the economy is strong enough to remove the unprecedented support.

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NYTimes: Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S.

usps

By RON NIXON
OCT. 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.

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Politico: White House ponders life with a Republican Senate

Politico

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 10/27/14 5:02 AM EDT

Nervous that Democrats could lose control of the Senate, the White House is already discussing how to cut deals with a Republican majority.

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Sheriff

By Greg Cappis, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/22/14, 8:46 PM PDT |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Four sheriff’s deputies who work at West Valley Detention Center have been placed on paid leave as part of an internal investigation into potential mistreatment of inmates at the county jail, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

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WashPost: Ebola presents health, political challenges for Obama

Barack Obama

By Juliet Eilperin
October 16, 2014 – at 10:46 PM

President Obama has canceled campaign trips, convened high-level meetings with his top security and health advisers, and consulted with seven heads of state around the globe in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola. All in the past two days.

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RollCall: Record Disapproval for Obama in Gallup Poll

Barack Obama

Obama hasn’t had a Gallup approval rating over 50 percent since before his State of the Union address in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roll Call Logo

By Steven Dennis
Posted at 8:57 p.m. on Oct. 11

Updated 10:15 p.m. | President Barack Obama lodged his worst-ever disapproval Saturday in the Gallup tracking poll — another ominous sign for Democrats scrambling on defense ahead of the midterm elections less than a month away.

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InlandPolitics: Why are people so shocked over “Inbred Inland Empire” label ?

question-mark

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 05:30 p.m.

I had to roll my eyes over all the outrage arising from the revelation that an official for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) referred to the Inland Empire as the “Inbred Inland Empire”.

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WashPost: A campaign about nothing is still about Obama

Dan Balz

By Dan Balz, Chief correspondent
October 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

It has become commonplace to describe the midterm political contests as the Seinfeld election — a campaign about nothing. In fact, that’s not correct. This is an election that is still very much about how people view President Obama.

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Ontario-Airport

Published: Oct. 2, 2014 – Updated: 3:45 p.m.

Rep. Ken Calvert has appealed to Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta’s Inland roots in a complaint letter about a Los Angeles airport official’s comment about the “inbred Inland Empire.”

To read story by Richard K. De Atley in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

By David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau
October 2, 2014

WASHINGTON — Most Americans view the country moving in the wrong direction and don’t see their financial futures getting better anytime soon, attitudes likely to make it harder for Democrats to do well this fall, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

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By Kevin Drawbaugh and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON Thu Oct 2, 2014 6:14pm EDT

(Reuters) – A new math for tax policy is attracting fresh attention in Washington as polls suggest that Republicans could capture full control of the U.S. Congress next month.

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The Hill: GOP casts Clinton as third term for Obama

Hillary Clinton

Getty Images

The Hill

By Amie Parnes – 09/30/14 06:00 AM EDT

Republicans are working hard to define a Hillary Clinton presidency as a third term for President Obama’s White House.

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Reuters: New documents show legal basis for NSA surveillance programs

Mobile phone simulating call to German Chancellor Merkel next to a tablet showing the logo of NSA is seen in picture illustration taken in Frankfurt

A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to a tablet computer showing the logo of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt October 28, 2013. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

By Nate Raymond and Aruna Viswanatha
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:38pm EDT

(Reuters) – Documents released by the U.S. government show it views an executive order issued in 1981 as the basis of most of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday.

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The White House

The Secret Service is under scrutiny after a man scaled the White House fence and made it all the way into the East Room.

Sept. 22, 2014 Security is heightened around the White House following Friday’s breach. Omar Jose Gonzalez, 42, appeared before a judge on one charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

Politics

By Carol D. Leonnig
September 29 at 4:22 PM

The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

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NYTimes: Signaling Post-Snowden Era, New iPhone Locks Out N.S.A.

Apple Inc.

By DAVID E. SANGER and BRIAN X. CHEN
SEPT. 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — Devoted customers of Apple products these days worry about whether the new iPhone 6 will bend in their jean pockets. The National Security Agency and the nation’s law enforcement agencies have a different concern: that the smartphone is the first of a post-Snowden generation of equipment that will disrupt their investigative abilities.

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Politico: Why Holder Quit

Eric Holder

Politics
The backstory of how Obama lost his ‘heat shield.’
By GLENN THRUSH
September 25, 2014

It’s oddly fitting that Attorney General Eric Holder – a stubbornly independent career prosecutor ridiculed by Barack Obama’s advisers for having lousy political instincts— would nail his dismount.

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Politico: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: It’s complicated

Politico

By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 9/23/14 7:12 PM EDT Updated: 9/24/14 12:32 AM EDT

Just over a year ago at the request of the White House, Hillary Clinton worked the phones with about a half-dozen senators, trying to sell Congress on authorizing military strikes against Syria. Weeks later, at the Clinton Global Initiative, the former secretary of state defended President Barack Obama against Republican efforts to defund his health care overhaul.

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Politico: Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The party has lost confidence in her as a unifying leader and a party spokesperson.

Politico

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 9/17/14 5:46 PM EDT Updated: 9/20/14 3:59 PM EDT

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most.

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SacBee: Feds give green light to California immigrant licenses

By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Sep. 19, 2014 – 8:46 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 19, 2014 – 9:31 pm

Removing a stop sign for immigrants who live in California illegally but hope to become legal drivers, federal officials have signed off on the design of licenses for foreign-born residents.

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NYTimes: Republicans Switch Firm Handling Obama Suit

Legal

Politics
By ASHLEY PARKER
SEPT. 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Friday replaced the firm handling their lawsuit against President Obama after the lawyer representing them pulled out over what was said to be political backlash among his colleagues at the firm, Baker Hostetler.

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NYTimes: Obama Faulted in Terror Fight, New Poll Finds

Polls

Politics
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DALIA SUSSMAN
SEPT. 17, 2014

For the first time in his presidency, more Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of terrorism than approve of it, as discontent about his management of foreign affairs and the fight against Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria weighs on an anxious and conflicted public, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

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The Hill: House approves $1T spending bill

The Hill

By Rebecca Shabad – 09/17/14 05:35 PM EDT

The House on Wednesday approved a $1 trillion stopgap-spending bill to keep the government funded through December 11.

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NationalJournal: Obama Wants to Talk About the Economy. Is Anyone Listening?

Barack Obama

President Obama has found his economic message drowned out by events abroad. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The White House didn’t plan to spend the summer consumed by foreign policy.
By George E. Condon Jr.
September 14, 2014

White House hopes for the summer were sky-high as plans were made for a messaging blitz the administration hoped would buoy struggling Democratic candidates across the country. But now, after yet another week dominated by foreign policy messes, missiles, and mayhem, President Obama has been reduced to looking for new ways to slip his preferred message into any openings he can find—even if it doesn’t seem to fit.

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WashPost: Support for Obama plummets among younger Americans

Barack Obama

By Sebastian Payne
September 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Obama’s support among younger Americans has dropped again, matching his all-time low, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The president now has a 43 percent approval rating among adults 18-29, which is nearly half of what it was at the beginning of his presidency.

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Politico: House GOP offers stopgap funding

Politico

By DAVID ROGERS | 9/9/14 8:38 PM EDT Updated: 9/9/14 9:12 PM EDT

House Republicans rolled out a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 11 but also reshaping the budget landscape in a manner that tilts toward the GOP if it should win control of the Senate in November.

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The Hill: Dems do damage control on immigration

The Hill

By Mike Lillis – 09/08/14 05:29 PM EDT

Democrats are in damage-control mode in the wake of the White House decision to postpone executive action on immigration until after November’s elections.

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Barack Obama

By Aaron Blake
September 9, 2014 at 6:00 AM

A majority of Americans and even many Democrats consider President Obama’s tenure to be a “failure,” according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News.

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Barack Obama

Despite a promise to act on immigration policy by the end of summer, President Obama has decided to delay taking action on the issue until after the November congressional elections.

By David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe
September 6, 2014 at 8:07 PM

President Obama will postpone action on his promise to remake federal immigration policies through executive authority until after the midterm elections in November, the White House announced Saturday, acquiescing to Democrats’ fears that such a move would damage their prospects for maintaining control of the U.S. Senate.

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The PE: FIELD POLL: Obama’s rating among state voters hits new low

Field Poll

Published: Sept. 3, 2014 Updated: 9:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama has hit a new low in job performance rating among California voters, reflecting his falling popularity among some of his strongest constituencies, according to a new Field Poll.

To read story by Martin Wicksol in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Healthcare.gov

The hack is not expected to affect the start of the second enrollment period.

By BRETT NORMAN | 9/4/14 5:00 PM EDT Updated: 9/4/14 8:36 PM EDT

The HealthCare.gov insurance portal succumbed to a cyberattack this summer, the government said Thursday, prompting an eruption of GOP finger-pointing and demands for hearings into the administration’s security policies for the site, where millions of Americas have registered to purchase insurance.

Read the rest of this entry »

SacBee: Field Poll: Obama’s popularity dives to record low in California

Field Poll

By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 9:10 am

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to a record low in California, with nearly as many voters now disapproving of the job Obama is doing as approving.

Read the rest of this entry »

money

By Matea Gold
September 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Andrew Sabin gave Republicans so much money in 2012 that he accidentally went over a limit on how much individuals could donate to federal candidates and party committees.

Read the rest of this entry »

KQED: People Found Ineligible for Obamacare Coverage Must Repay Subsidies

Hand Out

August 29, 2014 | 12:03 PM | By state of health
By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News

Consumers getting government subsidies for health insurance who are later found ineligible for those payments will owe the government, but not necessarily the full amount, according to the Treasury Department.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters: Obama unloads on Republicans, sees ‘cynical genius’

NEWPORT R.I. Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:52pm EDT

(Reuters) – Obama, raising money for Democratic candidates as Republicans aim to take over the Senate in the fall, on Friday blamed some Republicans for a calculated effort to undermine faith in government by opposing policy compromises.

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WashPost: House plans to spend up to $350,000 on Obama suit

U.S. House of Representatives

Post Politics
By Sebastian Payne
August 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

House Republicans will pay up to $350,000 to sue President Obama, according to a contract Chair of the House Administration Committee Candice Miller (R-Mich.) signed Monday with Washington legal firm BakerHostetler.

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WashPost: Why so many Americans hate politics

I Hate Politics

By Dan Balz, Chief correspondent
August 23, 2014 at 11:00 PM

In a time of political polarization, one thing still unites left, right and center: the disdain people have for Washington, their elected leaders and the political system.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Hill: White House defends Obama on golf

The Hill

By Justin Sink – 08/22/14 03:44 PM EDT

Leisure activities like golf “are a good way for release and clearing of the mind,” the White House said Friday, amid criticism over the optics of President Obama hitting the links just minutes after delivering a speech on the death of journalist Jim Foley at the hands of Islamist militants.

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NYTimes: A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Obama Critics

Barack Obama

President Obama on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday. Republicans and Democrats have said his vacation is ill timed. (Credit Steven Senne/Associated Press)

By PETER BAKER and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
AUG. 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself “heartbroken” by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley, and vowed to “be relentless” against Islamic radicals threatening to kill another American.

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Politico: McConnell’s plan to shut down Obama

Politico

By MANU RAJU | 8/20/14 5:07 AM EDT Updated: 8/20/14 7:29 PM EDT

HENDERSON, Ky. — Mitch McConnell has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or veto them and risk a government shutdown.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Ebola breaks out of Africa, treatment surfaces

Mapp Bio

Monday, August 11, 2014 – 09:00 a.m.

One has to wonder.

The current scare over the Ebola virus is well taken. You know, that virus that causes out-of-control internal hemorraging and organ failure, and ultimately death in ninety-percent of those infected.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters: No optical illusion: Obama balances world crises with golf, time off

Barack Obama

By Jeff Mason
OAK BLUFFS Mass. Sat Aug 9, 2014 7:06pm EDT

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama gave Americans an update on U.S. military strikes in Iraq on Saturday from a podium on the White House lawn with Marine One, the presidential helicopter, parked in the background.

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LATimes: New charges filed against ex-CalPERS official in corruption case

Alfred Villalobos

Alfred Villalobos is accused of conspiring with and bribing a former CalPERS executive to close a $3-billion deal with a Wall Street private equity firm. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

By Marc Lifsher
August 7, 2014

SACRAMENTO — A federal grand jury Thursday handed down new and expanded corruption charges against investment deal “placement agent” Alfred J.R. Villalobos, a central figure in the 2009 influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s largest public pension fund.

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LATimes: Many Americans are still struggling financially

economy

By Don Lee
August 7, 2014

Four in 10 U.S. households are straining financially five years after the Great Recession — many struggling with tight credit, soaring education debt and profound issues related to savings and retirement, according to a new Federal Reserve survey.

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Bank of America

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2014, file photo, a Bank of America sign is photographed in Philadelphia. A person familiar with the matter says Bank of America has agreed to pay between $16 billion and $17 billion to settle an investigation into its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Posted: 08/06/14, 7:20 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

Bank of America has tentatively agreed to pay up to $17 billion to settle an investigation into its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities leading up to the nation’s financial crisis, an insider said Wednesday.

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AP: 5 things to know from the AP-GfK poll on politics

Elections

By JENNIFER AGIESTA
Associated Press
Aug 7, 2014 – 3:04 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest Associated Press-GfK poll finds the nation dissatisfied with what Congress and President Barack Obama have done lately, and few expect much more after the midterm elections. Here’s a look at five things to know from the poll.

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NationalJournal: If You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It’ll Cost You

Health Insurance Rates

Consumers could be hit with major price increases, without even knowing it, if they don’t switch their health care plans.

National Journal

By Sam Baker
August 5, 2014

If you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep it—but you might end up paying a whole lot more.

People who decide to stick with the coverage they’ve already gotten through Obamacare, rather than switching plans, are at risk for some of the biggest premium spikes anywhere in the system. And some people won’t even know their costs went up until they get a bill from the IRS.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Secret

By Evan Perez, CNN
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014

(CNN) — The federal government has concluded there’s a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.

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TIME: Obama’s Approval Rating at All-Time Low in New Poll

Thumbs-Up-Thumbs-Down

Denver Nicks @DenverNicks
Aug. 5, 2014

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have dipped to a new low—40%—according to a new poll released Tuesday.

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The Sun: SEC files complaint against Redlands broker for theft of accounts

U.S. SEC

By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 08/04/14, 11:44 PM PDT |

REDLANDS >> A Redlands broker has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with stealing $4.4 million from two trust brokerage accounts at his firm and diverting it to friends to spend on luxuries.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reid+Obama+McConnell

From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The outlook is grim for Obama nominees awaiting confirmation from the Senate, which went into recess Friday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

By Al Kamen and Colby Itkowitz
August 4, 2014 at 6:23 PM

High anxiety is gripping scores of Obama administration nominees who were left dangling above the Senate floor as that distinguished body took off for a five-week recess. (That’s vacation for most of the lawmakers and nonstop campaigning for a few facing tight races.)

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Politico: An unlikely survivor in the digital age: Direct mail

usps

Mail remains an indispensable tool for many campaigns.

Politico

By TARINI PARTI | 8/3/14 4:59 PM EDT Updated: 8/4/14 9:02 AM EDT

Its obituary has been written over and over, but the political direct mail industry isn’t just still alive; it’s thriving.

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Barack Obama

Post Politics
By Katie Zezima
August 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday that because of inaction by Congress on immigration, President Obama must act alone on the issue and will decide by the end of the summer exactly which steps he will take.

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NYTimes: Congress Off for the Exits, but Few Cheer

U.S. Capitol

By JONATHAN WEISMAN and ASHLEY PARKER
AUG. 1, 2014

WASHINGTON — House and Senate lawmakers scrambled to leave town on Friday night for a five-week recess, with a failure to address the refugee crisis at the southern border only the latest indignity in a year that may redefine congressional dysfunction.

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LATimes: CIA apologizes, admits it improperly searched Senate computers

CIA

By Kathleen Hennessey
July 31, 2014

The CIA acknowledged Thursday that its employees had secretly searched Senate computer files related to an investigation of the agency’s Bush-era harsh interrogation program, apologized to key senators and abandoned its previous insistence that it had done nothing wrong.

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LATimes: U.S. economy grows at 4% annual rate in second quarter

Economy

By Jim Puzzanghera, Don Lee
July 30, 2014

The economy’s strong second-quarter growth showed the recovery has regained momentum after a brutal winter and could signal a quicker end to the era of rock-bottom interest rates.

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McClatchyDC: Fed taper continues, on pace to end in October

The facade of the U.S. Federal Reserve building is reflected on wet marble during the early morning hours in Washington

By Kevin G. Hall
McClatchy Washington Bureau
July 30, 2014

WASHINGTON — Citing the improving economy and a firming jobs markets, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it was again trimming its monthly purchases of government and mortgage bonds by another $10 billion and is on pace to end the program this year.

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National Journal

By Billy House and Matt Berman

July 30, 2014 — The House of Representatives voted Wednesday night to do what became inevitable weeks ago: proceed with a lawsuit to sue President Obama over executive actions related to Obamacare. The vote was split along party lines, with nearly all Republicans voting in favor of pursuing the lawsuit and all Democrats opposed.

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Politico: House approves VA reform bill

Politico

By LAUREN FRENCH | 7/30/14 4:44 PM EDT Updated: 7/30/14 9:38 PM EDT

The House on Wednesday approved legislation 420-5 to drastically reform the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Social Security Card

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press
Posted: 07/28/14, 2:25 PM PDT | Updated: 17 secs ago

WASHINGTON >> Medicare’s financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.

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TheWeek: Americans really wish they had elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Romney+Obama

July 27, 2014

Mitt Romney 2014?

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

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