February 21, 2014
Re "Imperial, shrinking president," Opinion, Feb. 18 As Jonah Goldberg insinuates, what we all learned in fifth-grade civics class about the "three branches of government producing checks and balances" now appears doubtful. Something of an honor system must operate to keep President Obama and Congress on the constitutional level. Obama contends that Congress has granted him authority for his various executive orders, even where they purport to make unilateral changes to legislation.
February 21, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama will seek to right a historical wrong next month when he awards two dozen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam - including 17 Latinos - the Medal of Honor after a lengthy Pentagon review into racial and ethnic discrimination in the awarding of the nation's commendation for combat valor. Obama will present the medals to three Vietnam War veterans, and to family members of the 21 veterans who are receiving it posthumously, the White House said late Friday.
February 20, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Seeking to present a unified Democratic front in an election year, President Obama is backing away from a proposal to restrain spending on entitlement programs, focusing instead on economic priorities likely to please his party's base. Obama's next budget will not include a change that would have slowed cost-of-living increases for Social Security and other programs, the White House said Thursday. The proposal, which was included in last year's budget, was reviled by liberal Democrats but billed by Obama as a good-faith gesture intended to draw Republicans into deficit-reduction talks.
February 16, 2014 |
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. " But, like other rights enshrined in that declaration, religious freedom is widely violated around the world. Is that any of the business of the United States? President Obama thinks so, and he's right. Before the most receptive audience imaginable - a National Prayer Breakfast - Obama recently insisted that "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.
February 15, 2014 |
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - President Obama is weighing a "wide range of policy tools and options" for stepping up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end his government's attacks on civilians and rebel forces, a senior White House official said Saturday. Obama is also looking at ways to counter the rising threat of Islamist extremists in Syria, said the senior advisor, who asked not to be identified while discussing internal deliberations. In his last planned public remarks of the weekend, Obama told reporters Friday that he was looking at options other than military ones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 |
FIREBAUGH, Calif. - Standing Friday afternoon on cracked, parched earth where melons would usually grow, President Obama brought both a message of aid and an ominous warning to drought-stricken California as he outlined more than $160 million in federal assistance. The directives include aid for ranchers struggling to feed their livestock because of the drought, and for food banks serving families in hard-hit areas. Obama also called on U.S. government facilities in California to curb water use. "These actions will help.
February 14, 2014 |
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - President Obama flew across the country seeking to soothe the jangled nerves of allies Friday, meeting in the morning with House Democrats worried about reelection and at day's end with a key Middle Eastern leader who sits precariously close to regional conflicts. The day's tour took the president from the eastern shore of Maryland to the drought-stricken Central Valley to a desert compound in Rancho Mirage - an aberrant schedule for a White House usually regimented in its commitment to generating just one message a day. In his evening meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the Sunnylands retreat, Obama spoke about the civil war in Syria, the resurgent violence of Al Qaeda and a proposed framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
February 13, 2014 |
Obama administration officials met with a nationwide task force of state and local leaders in Los Angeles Thursday to hear what the federal government can do to help communities confront climate change. Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the governors, mayors and tribal leaders from across the country who joined federal officials for a closed-door meeting at Los Angeles City Hall. It was the second meeting since President Obama appointed the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last fall.
February 13, 2014 |
While you're sitting on the couch watching TV this weekend and feeling like you should be doing something more with your life, take comfort in the fact that the leader of the free world might be doing the exact same thing! President Obama is scheduled to be at Sunnylands, the Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for a three-day trip this weekend that includes a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan. But when he's not doing that, apparently he's going to be spending part of the time sitting on the couch, powering through his new favorite HBO shows, "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective.
February 13, 2014 |
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist crusade has a new objective: preventing “a corporate capture of the federal courts.” The Massachusetts Democrat and progressive heroine graciously concedes that “there are some really talented judges who came from the private sector.” But she insists that “it matters that someone has represented people other than corporate clients, that they've had real experience with people who can't afford lawyers, that...