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Barack Obama

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NATIONAL
October 17, 2012 | By David Horsey
If the Barack Obama who showed up for the second presidential debate had shown up for the first debate, there is a good chance Republicans would now be sullenly turning their thoughts to 2016 and arguing over how they got tricked into nominating a loser two elections in a row. The Obama who did show up for that first debate breathed new life into Romney's candidacy by being lifeless himself. Tuesday night, though, the president was in command. He reinvigorated his own campaign by delivering the best debate performance of his political career.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Something historic happened in the early hours of Tuesday, March 11, 2014. The President of the United States was a guest on "Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis," a highly occasional semi-fake talk show that lives on the website Funny or Die. To say that Barack Obama has been no stranger to entertainment television is to put it mildly. He has done the late-night talk shows, guested on "MythBusters. " Sunday night he introduced the rebooted "Cosmos. " But this was a step beyond, straight into the maw of the Internet -- what some would still consider a disreputable backwater of the culture -- to go one on one with a star of "The Hangover.
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NATIONAL
March 8, 2013 | By David Horsey
President Obama's date with a dozen Republican senators has so caught my imagination that I cannot quite let it go. The idea of the president picking up the tab for dinner in a swanky Washington restaurant for 12 of his most staunch political foes sounds like an improbable plot twist straight out of “The West Wing.” But, as I learned long ago, political reality is almost always more weird and fascinating than political fiction. In my mind, it's easy to visualize the film version of the dinner.
OPINION
March 9, 2014 | Doyle McManus
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, one of his selling points was the promise of a more modest foreign policy than that of his predecessor. And when Obama won reelection 16 months ago, he renewed that pledge. Drone strikes against Al Qaeda would continue, and Navy visits to the South China Sea would increase, but the U.S. footprint around the world was being resolutely downsized. Mitt Romney warned at the time that Obama wasn't being tough enough on Vladimir Putin, but the president scoffed at the idea that Russia was a serious geopolitical threat.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2012 | By David Lauter, Los Angeles Times
Barack Obama The Story David Maraniss Simon & Schuster: 643 pp., $32.50 Abnormal men become presidents of the United States. The overweening self-confidence required to reach for the office, the preternatural discipline and effort of will needed to grasp it - in another setting, these traits might be called pathological. Tracing the roots of abnormality becomes a recurring motif in presidential biographies: polio's impact on Franklin D. Roosevelt, the death of John F. Kennedy's eldest brother, the absent or dysfunctional fathers of Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton.
NATIONAL
July 25, 2012 | By David Horsey
The charisma, sense of history and giddy hope that propelled Barack Obama's run in 2008 seem long gone, but even the faded memory of those days still has more dazzle than Mitt Romney's dull campaign of pandering and negativity. The fact that the president seems to be holding a narrow lead in the presidential race is testimony to the stilted shallowness of Romney's candidacy. Obama really should be in big trouble. The economy continues to limp along with more gloom than sunshine on the horizon.
NATIONAL
October 30, 2012 | By David Horsey
It is impossible to know if Mitt Romney would turn out to be a good, bad or a mediocre president, but one certain downside of a Romney victory is that it would reward the most venal forces in American politics. It only starts with the kind of campaign Romney has run. He and his "super PAC" allies used a mountain of dollars to produce unending waves of attack ads that swamped the messages of his Republican primary rivals, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In the general election, Romney cranked it up a notch.
NATIONAL
June 11, 2013 | By David Horsey
At dinner a couple of days ago, my friend Janey Ireson said how disappointed she is that Barack Obama has been hemmed in by congressional Republicans and blocked from fulfilling the high expectations of those who supported his rise to the presidency. The next day at lunch, another friend, Colin Gray, expressed precisely the same sentiment. One would expect to find such feelings of frustration among the half of Americans who cast ballots for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but Janey and Colin are not U.S. voters.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2013 | By David Horsey
On Wednesday, President Obama fired the head of the Internal Revenue Service, the first sacrificial lamb brought down after the alleged “targeting” of conservative political groups by the IRS. Obama declared, “Americans are right to be angry about it.” Call me out of step, but I am angrier that the president is joining the rush to judgment. All that is known for sure is that some IRS functionaries took a shorthand route to identify partisan political groups that might be pretending not to be political so that they could get the tax-exempt status available to social welfare organizations.
NATIONAL
February 8, 2012 | By David Horsey
Karl Rove claims Clint Eastwood's Super Bowl ad for Chrysler was a devious pitch to promote the Obama reelection campaign. Apparently the bulb-headed Pillsbury Doughboy of the political right thinks he's man enough to pick a fight with America's most virile octogenarian. Go ahead, Karl, make his day. In the sweepstakes for most memorable advertisement from Sunday's Super Bowl game, the Eastwood halftime ad was the clear winner. Gritty, moody, yet uplifting, the ad interspersed images of beleaguered but resilient Americans with shots of Eastwood walking toward the camera along a shadowy passageway.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
In the wake of a federal judge striking down Texas' gay marriage ban and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoing an anti-gay bill, I feel compelled to confess something uncomfortable: I was totally wrong about gay marriage. I never opposed gay marriage on principle. I have always believed -- and continue to believe -- that a legal contract available to one pair of people should also be available to another pair of people. Because of equality.  But after seeing how the words “gay marriage” fired up conservative voters in 2004, I found myself arguing with friends both gay and straight that it was the wrong issue at the wrong time.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2014 | By Mark Z. Barabak
DAVENPORT, Iowa - Alta Price seems just the kind of person who could propel Hillary Rodham Clinton through the glass ceiling into the White House. A doctor and Democratic activist, she cited Clinton's matchless resume as a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State. Besides, Price allowed with a smile, "It would be very cool to have a woman president. " But Price, 61, won't necessarily support Clinton should she run again in 2016. "I would not vote for her or support her over some man if I thought the man was better on the issues," said Price, who preferred Barack Obama to Clinton the first time she ran. In 2008, Clinton was the overwhelming Democratic favorite, nationally and in Iowa, with an aura suggesting the actual tabulation of ballots was little more than a formality.
OPINION
February 27, 2014 | By Karen J. Greenberg
In Barack Obama's first weeks in office, in a series of executive orders and public statements, the new president and former professor of constitutional law promised to make sweeping changes in the way government operated in a number of specific areas. But has he kept his pledges? Let's consider four of them: Ending torture On his first day in office, Obama ordered an end to the practice of torture, or as the George W. Bush administration preferred to call it, "enhanced interrogation techniques.
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
In four months, I will observe a strange anniversary: 20 years since the day I almost died.  I was 11 years old and being treated for a severe case of Crohn's disease , an autoimmune digestive disorder. I could barely hold down food and was checking in and out of Johns Hopkins Hospital for stays of two to six weeks, my medication weakening my bones until my spine compressed and fractured. Eventually the doctors installed a catheter just above my heart that delivered nutrition intravenously, bypassing my digestive system.
WORLD
February 19, 2014 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY -- One thing that Presidents Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico share is they are hardly considered heroes in their homeland. Both have low domestic approval ratings that sometimes stand in sharp contrast to their images abroad. Obama flew to Mexico on Wednesday for a daylong summit with Peña Nieto and their Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, the almost-annual meeting of North America's three leaders that has been taking place since 2005. This year's meeting is being held in Toluca, the rather nondescript capital of Mexico State just west of Mexico City,  where Peña Nieto served as governor until his run for the presidency in 2012.
OPINION
February 18, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg
Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents - by "we" I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum - two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it's one or the other. When the president is unpopular or when he's lost control of his agenda or when he just seems inadequate to the demands of the job, the headline "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" proliferates like kudzu. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, the Economist proclaimed "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" of George W. Bush on its cover.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
"Son of God" won't be giving the devil his due - or rather, his screen time. To avoid another controversy about the character of Satan bearing a physical resemblance to President Obama in the upcoming religious film, the filmmakers have gone out of their way to edit the devil's scenes out of "Son of God," which is based on the TV miniseries "The Bible. " "It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor," producer Roma Downey told the Hollywood Reporter . "This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.
OPINION
February 3, 2008
Democrats preparing to vote in Tuesday's California primary can mark their ballots with confidence, knowing that either candidate would make a strong nominee and, if elected, a groundbreaking leader and capable president. But just because the ballot features two strong candidates does not mean that it is difficult to choose between them.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
"Son of God" won't be giving the devil his due - or rather, his screen time. To avoid another controversy about the character of Satan bearing a physical resemblance to President Obama in the upcoming religious film, the filmmakers have gone out of their way to edit the devil's scenes out of "Son of God," which is based on the TV miniseries "The Bible. " "It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor," producer Roma Downey told the Hollywood Reporter . "This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.
OPINION
February 16, 2014
Re "Obama's undiplomatic picks," Editorial, Feb. 13 It has been a crushing disappointment to this reader, who voted twice for Barack Obama, to follow instance after instance of our president's lack of insight, foresight or hindsight. But it isn't only his poor ambassador picks that trouble me. It started with the outrageous selection of two men - Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, who were instrumental in bringing about the changes that led to the financial meltdown - to manage our monetary policies.
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