December 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Sunday it had met its deadline to fix the major problems that have hobbled the federal healthcare website since its disastrous debut two months ago, but officials acknowledged that further repairs were necessary. Reporting on its attempts to improve the HealthCare.gov portal, officials said that Web pages on the site now loaded in less than one second, down from eight seconds in late October. The system now operates more than 90% of the time, up from 40% during some weeks in October.
November 29, 2013 |
After more than a decade of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan - and almost 2,300 American deaths - many Americans would be content if this country reduced its troop presence there from the current 47,000 to zero by the end of next year. That's the point at which Afghan forces are supposed to take responsibility for internal security. But the Obama administration makes a persuasive case that some residual force is necessary to ensure that country's stability. After months of painstaking negotiations, U.S. and Afghan officials recently reached a bilateral security agreement designed, in President Obama's words, "to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force, which ensures that Al Qaeda can never again establish a safe haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.
November 26, 2013 |
Nearly 40 news organizations have accused the Obama administration of improperly controlling images of the president by limiting the access granted to independent photojournalists while allowing free rein by the White House's own photographers. In a letter and a meeting last week, the news outlets and journalism groups complained to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the practice, saying the White House has prevented an unvarnished view of government business, while encouraging officially sanctioned competition for private news organizations.
November 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, struggling to survive its botched rollout, now depends more than ever on insurance companies, doctor groups and hospitals - major forces in the industry that are committed to the law's success despite persistent tensions with the White House. Many healthcare industry leaders are increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration's clumsy implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nearly all harbor reservations about parts of the sweeping law. Some played key roles in killing previous Democratic efforts to widen healthcare coverage.
November 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As American warplanes dropped bombs on Libya in June 2011, lawmakers accused the Obama administration of usurping Congress and violating the War Powers Resolution. From his office in the Pentagon's E-Ring, Jeh Johnson, then general counsel at the Defense Department, penned advice to the president: Go to Congress for approval. The president didn't agree, siding with aides who argued that without boots on the ground, the strikes did not constitute "hostilities" under the law, two former government officials familiar with the deliberations recalled.
November 5, 2013 |
In a move sure to please religious conservatives, President Obama's Justice Department filed a brief in the Supreme Court in favor of allowing overtly Christian prayers before city council meetings. It's an inexplicable move, and it's one more befitting a Republican administration than one headed by a Democrat and a constitutional scholar. The case is Town of Greece vs. Galloway, and it's set to be argued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Greece is a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. Until 1999, its Town Board opened meetings with a moment of silence - a practice that excludes no one. But then Town Supervisor John Auberger initiated a policy change, and the town began inviting clergy to open meetings with a prayer.