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Articles filed under Barack Obama

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  • Obama pardons turkeys as part of annual rite Nov 27, 2013 9:30 PM
    President Barack Obama spared two turkeys from the brine and the oven Wednesday, fulfilling the annual tradition of a presidential pardon for a couple of lucky birds ahead of Thanksgiving Day.

     
  • Health law business insurance site delayed 1 year Nov 27, 2013 4:06 PM
    The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses.

     
  • Former Obama aide denies he weighed dropping Biden Nov 1, 2013 10:18 AM
    A new book asserts the idea of replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary Rodham Clinton was floated in President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, but the former White House chief of staff denies it. “Not for a moment was there a serious discussion” of dumping Biden for Clinton, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley said in a nationally broadcast interview, suggesting no one took this proposition directly to Obama.

     
  • Durbin: GOP leader told Obama 'I cannot even stand to look at you' Oct 24, 2013 9:17 AM
    Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said on his Facebook page this weekend that a top House Republican leader told President Barack Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you” during negotiations over the government shutdown. “Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans,” Durbin wrote. “What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?”

     
  • Out of the spotlight, Obama nurtures his faith Oct 19, 2013 4:37 PM
    President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith. But far away from the public eye, his longtime advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable. Every year on Aug. 4, the president’s birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the most challenging of times, prayer circles are organized with prominent religious figures such as megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights activist. And each morning for the past five years, before most of his aides even arrive at the White House, Obama has read a devotional written for him and sent to his BlackBerry, weaving together biblical scripture with reflections from literary figures like Maya Angelou and C.S. Lewis. “I’ve certainly seen the president’s faith grow in his time in office,” said Joshua DuBois, an informal spiritual adviser to Obama who writes the devotionals and ran Obama’s faith-based office until earlier this year. “When you cultivate your faith, it grows.” Obama is particularly moved by theories that draw connections between biblical themes and the personal journeys of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., DuBois said. He added that the president’s spiritual strength is his belief that God will carry him through to see another day — even amid crises like the debt-and-spending debacle that’s ensnared Washington for the last month. “Because of these grounding aspects of his life, he doesn’t let the day-to-day challenges really shake him,” said DuBois, a former associate pastor at a Pentecostal church. The image of Obama as someone who draws heavily on faith to guide his daily life contrasts with his public persona. An intensely private person, Obama has shied away from all but the most general descriptions of his spiritual life. After all, Obama had to distance himself from his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, when his anti-American rantings threatened Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. And persistent, false claims that Obama is secretly a Muslim have followed him even into his second term. “Sometimes I search scripture to determine how best to balance life as a president and as a husband and as a father,” Obama said in February at the National Prayer Breakfast. “I often search for scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better president.” The best clues to which texts fortify Obama’s spiritual consumption may come from the daily devotionals that DuBois started sending Obama, then a U.S. senator, in 2008. DuBois ran religious outreach for Obama’s presidential campaign that year, and his digital benedictions for Obama have been compiled in a forthcoming book, “The President’s Devotional.” “A snippet of scripture for me to reflect on,” Obama has said. “And it has meant the world to me.” At pivotal moments in Obama’s presidency, DuBois sometimes selects texts that offer lessons apropos of the challenges at hand. Before one State of the Union address, it was the words of Isaiah, in an appeal for clarity of speech: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.” Others are intended as an oasis from the worldly conflicts Obama has to weather on any given day. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not in despair,” reads a verse from 2 Corinthians that DuBois sent Obama one November, followed with his own meditation: “Dear God, give us a resilient spirit, a spirit that returns to face this day even in the shadow of yesterday’s challenges. Help us, today, to bounce back.” In his final years in office, Obama plans to continue with the morning meditations, the birthday call with pastors and ad hoc prayer circles, said a senior administration official, who wasn’t authorized to comment by name on Obama’s spiritual life and requested anonymity. Privately, Obama also speaks to staff of being mindful of his own spiritual responsibility to the nation, the official said. In times of crisis, from devastating hurricanes to tragic school shootings, many Americans look to their president as a source of strength and comfort. “This office tends to make a person pray more,” Obama said last year in an interview with Cathedral Age magazine. “And as President Lincoln once said, `I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”’

     
  • DHS selection suggests priority shift to security Oct 18, 2013 4:42 PM
    President Barack Obama’s selection of a former top Pentagon lawyer to head the Homeland Security Department suggests the agency will be stepping back from its preoccupation with immigration to focus more on protecting the nation from attack. Jeh C. Johnson, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who left the DHS last month to become president of the University of California system. Obama was expected to announce Johnson’s nomination Friday.

     
  • No safe bets for Obama despite toned-down agenda Oct 18, 2013 10:34 AM
    Regrouping after a feud with Congress stalled his agenda, President Barack Obama is laying down a three-item to-do list for Congress that seems meager when compared with the bold, progressive agenda he envisioned at the start of his second term. But given the capital’s partisanship, even those items — immigration, farm legislation and a budget — amount to ambitious goals that will take political muscle.

     
  • Emerging Senate proposal focus in budget battle Oct 12, 2013 2:15 PM
    Second-ranking Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas: “The only thing that’s happening right now is Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell are talking. And I view that as progress.”

     
  • White House counsel leaving for private practice Sep 18, 2013 10:25 AM
    President Barack Obama’s White House attorney plans to leave for private practice by the end of the year. White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has worked for the Obama administration since the first day. She has told Obama she plans to leave government service and look for a job in New York.

     
  • Congress presses for details on Obama climate plan Sep 18, 2013 10:24 AM
    Republicans are pressing the Obama administration to fully disclose its plans to tackle climate change, including cost, as environmental officials ready one of the most significant pieces in President Barack Obama’s global warming strategy.

     
  • Obama takes economy message to corporate leaders Sep 18, 2013 10:23 AM
    President Barack Obama, facing a budget showdown with Congress, is pushing his economic agenda to some of the nation’s top corporate executives while cautioning Republicans not to precipitate a government shutdown or an unprecedented debt default.

     
  • Obama allies cite PR missteps in bid for Syria hit Sep 12, 2013 10:03 AM
    Some of President Barack Obama’s top allies say the president misread a few crucial political forces when he asked Congress to support his bid to strike Syria. Chief among Obama’s missteps, they say, was underestimating the nation’s profound weariness with military entanglements and overestimating lawmakers’ willingness to make risky votes.

     
  • Obama pays tribute to the fallen of Sept. 11, 2001 Sep 11, 2013 2:08 PM
    For President Barack Obama, the prospect of more U.S. military action in the Middle East hung over his observance Wednesday of the Sept. 11 attacks that occurred a dozen years ago. While Obama made no direct mention of the crisis in Syria, he vowed to “defend our nation” against the threats that endure, even though they may be different than the ones facing the country during the 2001 attacks.

     
  • Obama conditionally backs offer on Syria Sep 11, 2013 11:03 AM
    President Barack Obama conditionally endorsed a Russian offer for international inspectors to seize and destroy deadly chemical weapons in Syria as efforts to avert retaliatory U.S. missile strikes shift from Washington to the United Nations. In a nationally televised address Tuesday night, Obama offered a rationale for greater U.S. intervention in a sectarian civil war while acknowledging that winning the hearts and minds of Americans remains a struggle.

     
  • Survey: House shows 6 to 1 opposition to Syria attack Sep 6, 2013 7:03 PM
    By their statements or those of aides, only 31 members of the Republican-led House support intervention or are leaning in favor of authorizing the president to use force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in response to a chemical weapons attack last month. Some 185 House members outright oppose U.S. involvement or are leaning against authorization, according to the AP survey.

     
  • Obama lobbying lawmakers on Syria action from overseas Sep 5, 2013 12:34 PM
    A Senate panel’s deep divide over giving President Barack Obama the authority to use U.S. military force against Syria underscores the commander in chief’s challenge in persuading skeptical lawmakers and wary allies to back greater intervention in an intractable civil war.

     
  • Obama reassures Europeans over U.S. surveillance Sep 4, 2013 9:54 AM
    President Barack Obama is reassuring Europeans that the U.S. is not snooping through their emails or eavesdropping on their telephone calls. Obama says U.S. surveillance programs that became public knowledge after a government contractor leaked details about them are meant to help improve America’s understanding of what’s happening around the world.

     
  • In Sweden, Obama to showcase common global goals Sep 4, 2013 8:48 AM
    President Barack Obama is seeking to use a 24-hour visit to this Swedish capital to show a softer side of American diplomacy even as the world’s gaze remains fixed anxiously on Syria. He intends to focus in the Nordic nation on climate change, trade and technology in a marked departure from the thorny, pressing matters he’s facing back home on national security and the economy. He also plans to pay homage to a Holocaust-era hero.

     
  • Obama wins Senate panel’s backing on Syria strike Sep 4, 2013 7:15 PM
    President Barack Obama’s request for speedy congressional backing of a military strike in Syria advanced Wednesday toward a showdown Senate vote, hours after the commander in chief left open the possibility he would order retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack even if Congress withheld its approval.

     
  • Obama offers new gun control steps Aug 29, 2013 10:36 AM
    Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.

     
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