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Posts tagged ‘Family of Barack Obama’

White House Year in Review: ‘Yes We Can’ Ignore the Scandals.


Image: White House Year in Review: 'Yes We Can' Ignore the Scandals

By Cynthia Fagen

It’s the White House spin on “Yes We Can.”

The White House’s yearly wrap-up appears to have ignored persistent media reports of the Obamacare fallout, the NSA spying scandal and the president’s plummeting popularity polls, preferring instead to spin a sunnier version of President Barack Obama’s political accomplishments while offering lighter feature fare.

“In 2013, our economy grew, and our deficit shrunk. For the first time in almost two decades, we said that we’re producing more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world,” the White House cooed in its website introduction.

“We honored our heroes. We bounced back from national tragedies and natural disasters. We strengthened our relationships with allies around the world and took action to promote the American dream at home. Take a look at our 2013 year in review.”

While this was the president’s worst year in office, you likely couldn’t tell from this round-up. Alongside a July video of Obama pushing for immigration reform was the Kids State Dinner. A photo of the president with a Photoshopped hairdo from the black-tie White House Correspondent’s Dinner highlights the month of April, and the president and Michelle Obama are seen watching a 3-D movie at the first-ever White House Student Film Festival in November. That comes one item after Obama touts how the deficit had been cut in half under his watch at the end of his October moments.

It could make you want to hug a puppy. That came in August, when the Obamas‘ new dog Sunny was introduced.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Obama Skips Out of Washington for Hawaii Vacation.


President Barack Obama has begun his annual winter vacation in Hawaii.

The president, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia landed in Honolulu shortly before midnight local time. Their two dogs, Sunny and Bo, joined them aboard Air Force One.

Obama has no public events scheduled while he’s in Hawaii. On previous trips, he’s enjoyed regular rounds of golf, visits to restaurants and family trips to get shave ice, a Hawaiian version of a snow cone.

Last year, gridlock in Congress forced Obama to return to Washington the day after Christmas. This year the Obamas are hoping their vacation will go uninterrupted.

The president, who was born in Hawaii, is scheduled to be in Honolulu through Jan. 5.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obamas to Attend Mandela Memorial.


President Barack Obama will travel to South Africa next week to participate in memorial events for Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died on Thursday.

Obama’s exact schedule was as yet unclear, the White House said. It was not yet known whether Obama would give public remarks while in South Africa.

“President Obama and the first lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events. We’ll have further updates on timing and logistics as they become available,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

Obama, speaking Thursday night shortly after Mandela’s death at age 95 was announced, said he was one of the “countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life.”

Obama, America‘s first black president, also said the first political action he ever took as a young man was attending a protest against apartheid.

Carney, at his daily news briefing, said Obama and Mandela last spoke in 2010 or 2011 and that they also spoke when Obama won his first election as president, in 2008.

He had no details on who might be in the U.S. delegation traveling with Obama, including whether former U.S. presidents might go with him.

© AFP 2013
Source: Newsmax.com

In Reversal, Obama Admits He Knew His Uncle.


President Barack Obama has admitted he lived with his Kenyan uncle in the 1980s — an embarrassing flip-flop from an earlier White House claim that the two had never met.

The commander-in-chief revealed on Thursday that he had stayed at the Cambridge, Mass., apartment of Onyango Obama as he prepared to attend Harvard Law School.

That contradicted a statement issued by the White House last year that there was no record of the two ever meeting, The Boston Globe reports.

The president’s relationship with his uncle came under scrutiny on Tuesday at a deportation hearing in Boston for Onyango Obama.

He has lived illegally in the United States for more than 40 years.

During the hearing Onyango testified that the future president had stayed with him for about three weeks before beginning his time at Harvard.

A White House official now says that the president’s relationship with his uncle had not been exhaustively researched, nor had he been asked directly.

“The President first met Omar [Onyango] Obama when he moved to Cambridge for law school. The President did stay with him for a brief period of time until his apartment was ready,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

“After that, they saw each other once every few months, but after law school they fell out of touch. The President has not seen him in 20 years, has not spoken with him in 10.”

The White House also says the president did not interfere with the immigration case.

Onyango is the second relative of Barack Obama’s father to face deportation. Zeituni Onyango won asylum after it was discovered she was living illegally in a Boston housing project.

Onyango, 69, who works as a liquor store manager in Framingham, was granted legal residency following the Tuesday hearing.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Bill Hoffmann

CNN Poll: Majority Believes Obama Dishonest, Can’t ‘Manage Effectively’.


A growing number of Americans doubt President Barack Obama’s ability to manage the nation, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday that reflects the possible larger impact of his administration’s fumbled rollout of its healthcare law.

The poll also found that 53 percent of those polled said Obama is not honest or trustworthy, marking the first time that the CNN/ORC polling found a clear majority questioning the president’s integrity, CNN said.

Forty percent of the 843 U.S. adults surveyed in the telephone poll early last week said Obama can manage the government effectively, down 12 percentage points from June.

The poll was conducted Nov. 18-20 amid ongoing problems plaguing the president’s signature domestic policy achievement, the healthcare law widely known as Obamacare.

HealthCare.gov, the administration’s web portal for offering private health coverage to uninsured Americans in 36 of the 50 U.S. states, has been at the center of a political firestorm over technical problems that overwhelmed its Oct. 1 launch and have dogged the system ever since.

In addition, insurance companies have canceled millions of existing insurance policies because of the law, raising questions about Obama’s promise that people would be able to keep their policies if they were happy with their coverage.

The pollsters said the survey, conducted by ORC International with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, recorded the worst scores for Obama during his five years in office in key categories.

It found that 56 percent of respondents said they did not admire Obama, disagreed with him on important issues and said he does not inspire confidence, while 53 percent said they do not see him as a strong and decisive leader, CNN said.

But the poll also found that the majority of those surveyed said the president still has a vision for the country’s future and cares about average people. Seventy percent said he is likable.

Another poll conducted by the Gallup organization put Obama’s overall job approval rating at 41 percent, according to the latest weekly findings for Nov. 11-17, down from 45 percent in September, before the healthcare law rollout.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

It’s All Down to Reid and McConnell as Default Talks Founder.


The focus of efforts to end the government shutdown and prevent a U.S. default shifted to the Senate on Saturday, where leaders were in talks aimed at resolving the twin stalemates.

Word of the negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the top Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, emerged as the Senate, as expected, rejected a Democratic effort to raise the government’s borrowing limit through next year.

“This bill would have taken the threat of default off the table and given our nation’s businesses and the economy the certainty we need,” the White House said in a statement.

Republicans objected because they want the extension to be accompanied by spending cuts.

The spotlight turned to the Senate as the partial shutdown reached its 12th day. It also came with the calendar edging closer to Oct. 17, when administration officials have said the government will deplete its ability to borrow money, risking a first-time federal default that could jolt the world economy.

House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans earlier Saturday that his talks with President Barack Obama had stalled.

“The Senate needs to hold tough,” Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon said Boehner told House GOP lawmakers. “The president now isn’t negotiating with us.”

GOP senators said the talks between Reid and McConnell had started Friday. That was confirmed by Senate Democratic aides.

“The only thing that’s happening right now is Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell are talking. And I view that as progress,” said the second-ranking Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas.

Saturday’s Senate vote derailing the Democrats’ debt-limit measure was a near party-line 53-45 in favor of the bill. That fell seven short of the 60 required to overcome Republican objections to considering the measure.

The White House said it was “unfortunate that the common-sense, clean debt limit increase proposed by Senate Democrats was refused a yes or no vote.”

House conservatives said Obama was to blame for the talks with their chamber running aground.

“Perhaps he sees this as the best opportunity for him to win the House in 2014,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La. “It’s very clear to us he does not now, and never had, any intentions of negotiating.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not supposed to be this way,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. “Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn’t how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation — not extortion.”

A bipartisan group of senators, closely watched by Senate leaders, is polishing a plan aimed at reaching compromise with Obama.

An emerging proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and others would pair a six-month plan to keep the government open with an increase in the government’s borrowing limit through January.

Obama has turned away a House plan to link the reopening of the government — and a companion measure to temporarily increase the government’s borrowing cap — to concessions on the budget.

In the face of disastrous opinion polls, GOP leaders have signaled they will make sure the debt limit is increased with minimal damage to the financial markets. But they’re still seeking concessions as a condition for reopening the government.

Obama met Senate Republicans on Friday and heard a pitch from Collins on raising the debt limit until the end of January, reopening the government and cutting the health care law at its periphery.

The plan also would strengthen income verification for people receiving subsidies through the health care law and set up a broader set of budget talks.

The Collins proposal would delay for two years a medical-device tax that helps finance the health care law, and it would subject millions of individuals eligible for subsidies to purchase health insurance under the program to stronger income verification.

Collins said Obama said the proposal “was constructive, but I don’t want to give the impression that he endorsed it.”

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McConnell to Newsmax: Reid’s Debt-Ceiling Proposal ‘Unacceptable’

Collins Plan Brings Hope That Shutdown Is Near End

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

AP Poll: Public Blames Obama, Both Parties for Shutdown.


Image: AP Poll: Public Blames Obama, Both Parties for Shutdown

Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown as public esteem sinks for all players in the impasse, President Barack Obama among them, according to a new poll. It’s a struggle with no heroes.

The Associated PressGfK survey, out Wednesday, affirms expectations by many in Washington — Republicans among them — that the GOP may end up taking the biggest hit in public opinion from the fiscal paralysis, just as that party did when much of the government closed 17 years ago. But the situation is fluid nine days into the shutdown and there’s plenty of disdain to go around.

Overall, 62 percent mainly blamed Republicans for the shutdown. About half said Obama or the Democrats in Congress bear much responsibility.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 
Asked if she blamed Obama, House Republicans, Senate Democrats or the tea party for the shutdown, Martha Blair, 71, of Kerrville, Texas, said, yes, you bet. All of them.

“Somebody needs to jerk those guys together to get a solution, instead of just saying ‘no,'” said Blair, an independent. “It’s just so frustrating.” It’s also costly: She’s paid to fly with a group to four national parks in Arizona and California next month and says she can’t get her money back or reschedule if the parks remain closed.

The poll found that the tea party is more than a gang of malcontents in the political landscape, as its supporters in Congress have been portrayed by Democrats. Rather, it’s a sizable — and divisive — force among Republicans. More than 4 in 10 Republicans identified with the tea party and were more apt than other Republicans to insist that their leaders hold firm in the standoff over reopening government and avoiding a default of the nation’s debt in coming weeks.

Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it. Congress is scraping rock bottom, with a ghastly approval rating of 5 percent.

Indeed, anyone making headlines in the dispute has earned poor marks for his or her trouble, whether it’s Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, or Republican John Boehner, the House speaker, both with a favorability rating of 18 percent.

And much of the country draws a blank on Republican Ted Cruz of Texas despite his 21-hour Senate speech before the shutdown. Only half in the poll were familiar enough with him to register an opinion. Among those who did, 32 percent viewed him unfavorably, 16 percent favorably.

Comparisons could not be drawn conclusively with how people viewed leaders before the shutdown because the poll was conducted online, while previous AP-GfK surveys were done by telephone. Some changes may be due to the new methodology, not shifts in opinion. The poll provides a snapshot of public opinion starting in the third day of the shutdown.

The poll comes with both sides dug in and trading blame incessantly. On Tuesday, a proposal by House Republicans to create a working group of 20 lawmakers to tackle deficit issues prompted a White House veto threat, and a plan by Senate Democrats to raise the debt limit by $1 trillion to avoid a default drew a frosty reception from the GOP. Obama is insisting Republicans reopen government and avert default before any negotiations on deficit reduction or his 2010 health care law are held.

Among the survey’s findings:

— Sixty-eight percent said the shutdown is a major problem for the country, including majorities of Republicans (58 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and independents (57 percent).

— Fifty-two percent said Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with Republicans to end the shutdown; 63 percent say Republicans aren’t doing enough to cooperate with him.

— Republicans are split on just how much cooperation they want. Among those who do not back the tea party, fully 48 percent say their party should be doing more with Obama to find a solution. But only 15 percent of tea-party Republicans want that outreach. The vast majority of them say GOP leaders are doing what they should with the president, or should do even less with him.

— People seem conflicted or confused about the showdown over the debt limit. Six in 10 predict an economic crisis if the government’s ability to borrow isn’t renewed later this month with an increase in the debt limit — an expectation widely shared by economists. Yet only 30 percent say they support raising the limit; 46 percent were neutral on the question.

— More than 4 in 5 respondents felt no personal impact from the shutdown. For those who did, thwarted vacations to national parks, difficulty getting work done without federal contacts at their desks and hitches in government benefits were among the complaints.

Blair’s nine-day trip to national parks with a tour group won’t happen if the parks are still closed next month. “I’m concerned,” she said, “but it seems kind of trivial to people who are being shut out of work.”

In Mount Prospect, Ill., Barbara Olpinski, 51, a Republican who blames Obama and both parties for the shutdown, said her family is already seeing an impact and that will worsen if the impasse goes on. She’s an in-home elderly care director, her daughter is a physician’s assistant at a rural clinic that treats patients who rely on government coverage, and her husband is a doctor who can’t get flu vaccines for patients on public assistance because deliveries have stopped.

“People don’t know how they are going to pay for things, and what will be covered,” she said. “Everybody is kind of like holding their wallets.”

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Oct. 3-7 and involved online interviews with 1,227 adults. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

The survey used GfK’s KnowledgePanel, a probability-based Internet panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and were later interviewed for this survey online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t have online access were given that access at no cost to them.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

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