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Tag Archives: Obama news

The Obama Morning News || March 30, 2015

Iran backs away from key detail in nuclear deal . . . With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country. For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass. New York Times

Obama wants Netanyahu to “prove himself” . . . The White House doesn’t have a specific list of demands for Netanyahu, or a timeline to meet them. But after six years of doubting the sincerity of his commitment to a two-state solution and grumbling that he wasn’t doing enough to advance peace, now they say they’re looking for serious moves toward restarting the process. Politico

A third of Republican see Obama as imminent threat . . . A third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters

Growing questions about conflicts for Medicare deputy chief . . . When Andy Slavitt reported for work as deputy administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last June 10, he pocketed at least $4.8 million in tax-free income from major health-care companies. Daily Caller

Pentagon wants to spend billions on new Air Force One . . . They’ll create three planes out of Boeing 747s. It’s needed, the current planes are a quarter century old. CBS News

Clinton “fixer” ran rogue operation for Hillary . . . Longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account. Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. Breitbart

Senators: Spies could have gotten Hillary’s emails . . . There are growing concerns that Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server to conduct State Department business may have allowed foreign spies to access her correspondence, according to the chairmen of three major Senate national security oversight committees. Washington Free Beacon 

RNC Chairman Priebus: “Even Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes.”

GOP renews Human Abedin probe . . . Senate Republicans are renewing efforts to learn why Huma Abedin, a top assistant to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was allowed to keep working at the agency under a special, part-time status while also being employed at a politically-connected consulting firm. Fox News

The Obama Morning News || March 27, 2015

U.S. declassifies report detailing Israel’s nuclear program . . . The Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent. But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth. The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu’s March 3 address in Congress. Israel National News

U.S. caves to key Iranian demands . . . The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations. U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran. Washington Free Beacon

Centrifuges to spin at underground facility . . . The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.

White House bullying allies to agree to deal . . . Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program. Washington Free Beacon

House panel wants docs on Bergdahl swap . . . The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Obama administration Thursday to turn over all reports and documents, including intelligence information, related to last year’s exchange of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban. Fox News

Obama’s Mideast vacuum . . . An abiding goal of President Obama’s foreign policy has been to reduce America’s role in the Middle East, in the belief that it would lead to greater stability and serve U.S. interests. Has a policy ever been so thoroughly repudiated in so short a time? Mr. Obama has succeeded in his retreat, but the vacuum he’s left has produced a region on fire that is becoming a broad Sunni-Shiite war. Wall Street Journal

The Obama Morning News || March 26, 2015

White House still thinks Yemen is a success . . . It’s a counterintuitive claim that puzzles national security experts and enrages Republicans. In a testy exchange with an ABC reporter Wednesday, Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the United States continues to “enjoy the benefits of a sustained counterterrorism security relationship with the security infrastructure that remains in Yemen.” Washington Examiner

Allies down with “Islamist extremism” term . . . While President Obama and his aides insist that Muslim extremists have nothing to do with Islam the religion, other world leaders are leaving that approach behind. Washington Times

Five Taliban commanders for a deserter . . . Congressional Republicans continue to complain that Obama had paid too high a price for Bergdahl, that he’d effectively negotiated with terrorists and that he’d kept Congress in the dark about a decision in which it should have played a role. Some Afghanistan veterans charged that soldiers had been killed or hurt while searching for Bergdahl. Politico

White House readies campaign to defend Iran deal . . . Obama and his top national security and foreign policy aides will defend the deal forcefully to the public and in private talks with wavering senators and representatives. They will emphasize the deal’s intrusive monitoring and verification of Iranian nuclear facilities. Yahoo News

A new birth for Biden? . . . The vice president isn’t exactly running for president, but Clinton’s email missteps have focused new attention on the possibility that he might. Politico

The Obama Morning News || March 25, 2015

Veteran reporter to become Obama consigliere . . . President Obama will name Shailagh Murray, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter, to serve as his new senior adviser, and has tapped Jason Goldman, a Silicon Valley veteran, to become the White House’s first-ever chief digital officer. Murray replaces Dan Pfeiffer as a member of the president’s core team of advisers. Politico

Obama snubs NATO chief . . . President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won’t see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days.  Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House. Bloomberg

Obama goes to war against Redskins . . . The Washington Redskins’ name is commercial speech and isn’t the kind of freeexpression protected by the First Amendment, the Obama administration told a federal court this week in defending a ruling that has stripped the football team of trademark protections. Washington Times

House moves against White House secrecy habit . . . The White House’s reluctance to open itself up to any scrutiny has been a major source of frustration for Republicans. It’s getting on the nerves of some Democrats, too, as evidenced by the fact that a bill to expand the Freedom of Information of Act has generated a rare show of bipartisan support. Washington Examiner

A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday.

White House florist was escorted from the premises . . . Peremptorily fired, that is. Laura Dowling had a very specific look, pointedly French, which lent itself to loose garden-style arrangements that were still quite formal. “She wanted to create a look,” said the source, “and that’s the look she’s had for the past six years.” But recently the first lady has debuted a different aesthetic at the executive mansion. Washington Post 

Experts: Iran could cheat . . . Experts are saying that the reported outlines of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran aren’t sufficient to guarantee Tehran won’t be able to develop a weapon, posing a serious credibility problem for the Obama administration just days before the deadline for international negotiators to reach agreement. Washington Examiner

Arab media lash out at Obama over Iran . . . Unlike Israelis, who are focused on the danger of nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime calling for their country’s elimination, citizens of Arab states are concerned about Iran’s imperial ambitions. The nuclear threat is seen as a tool to further those ambitions rather than a direct threat. Washington Free Beacon

The Obama Morning News || March 24, 2015

White House Chief of Staff to Israel: Get out . . . White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made clear in a speech to a left-leaning Israel advocacy group that President Obama isn’t letting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu off the hook for his dismissal of a two-state solution. A one-state solution based on unilateral annexation and abandonment of democratic rights for Palestinians, he warned, “would only contribute to Israel’s further isolation.” In other words, he said, more divestment, boycotts and efforts to delegitimize Israel in the international community. “An occupation that has lasted more than 50 years must end,” McDonough said, one of several times he brought the crowd to its feet. Politico

Hillary meets with Obama at the White House . . . “President Obama and Secretary Clinton enjoy catching up in person when their schedules permit,” Earnest said. “This afternoon they met privately for about an hour at the White House and discussed a range of topics.” Politico

Dems increasingly playing the race card on Lynch . . . At a House news conference last Thursday, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) accused Republicans of failing to vote on confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general because “there is hidden racism rampant.” Brown’s comments came just a day after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) took to the Senate floor and claimed that Lynch is being “asked to sit in the back of the bus.” CNS News

Dems: Obamacare rule “harmful and disruptive . . . Six Democratic senators and one independent have asked the Department of Health and Human Services to a delay a new rule that would likely force small businesses to pay more for employee health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The senators warn that if the administration goes ahead with the change it would be “particularly harmful and disruptive” to small businesses. Washington Examiner

FEMA targets climate change “denier” governors . . . The Obama administration has issued new guidelines that could make it harder for governors who deny climate change to obtain federal disaster-preparedness funds. New rules put Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Pat McCrory, Greg Abbott in bind. Washington Times

Zimmerman blames Obama for racial tensions . . . George Zimmerman, acquitted of murder charges in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Florida, said in a videotaped interview that President Barack Obama stoked racial tensions in the case. Reuters

Afghan president wants U.S. troops to stay longer . . .  A request by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for “flexibility” in President Obama’s timetable for the departure of U.S. troops is under active consideration, and will be a focus of talks at the White House on Tuesday. CNS News

Iran deal deadline arrives – but still no deal . . . The March 24 deadline set by negotiators working on an Iranian nuclear agreement has arrived, and no “political framework agreement“ has yet been reached. A group of ten Senate Democrats stated in a Jan. 27 letter to President Obama that if no agreement is reached by the agreed upon deadline of March 24 they would support legislation that would impose additional sanctions on Iran. Washington Free Beacon

The Obama morning News || March 23, 2015

Obama: “By hook or crook,” I’ll expand government . . . President Barack Obama says he’s going to push the limits on presidential power as far as he can go during the last two years of his tenure. “Where [elected Republicans in Congress] are not willing to work with us, we will do it administratively or we will convene the private sector,” he said in a friendly interview with The Huffington Post. Daily Caller

Obama vows not to sign bills that keep caps . . . President Obama has vowed not to sign government funding bills that keep in place spending caps favored by Republicans, setting up a showdown as Congress works toward passing a budget. Washington Examiner

Obama: Obamacare opponents should “embrace reality” . . . The law, Obama said, “has been the subject of more scrutiny, more rumor, more attempts to dismantle and undermine it than just about any law in recent history. But five years later, it is succeeding — in fact, it’s working better than even many of its supporters expected.” Washington Examiner

Israeli ambassador: Netanyahu committed to Palestinian state . . . The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. on Sunday sought to downplay Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign-trail comments about Palestinian statehood that the White House objected to. Ron Dermer clarified that Netanyahu “is committed to a vision of peace — of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state of Israel.” Washington Examiner

Netanyahu pollster: Obama role in election larger than reported . . . “The State Department people in the end of January, early February, expedited visas for [Israeli] Arab leaders to come to the United States to learn how to vote . . . There were people in the United States that were organizing them to vote in one party so they would help the left-of-center candidate, Herzog, that the Obama administration favored,” said John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist and pollster who worked for Netanyahu. The Hill

Tikrit offensive stalls as Obama halts airstrikes . . . The lack of U.S. airstrikes in and around the city of Tikrit is slowing the Iraqi counteroffensive to retake the strategically situated city from the Islamic State’s terrorist army. The assault, carried out by the Iraqi Security Forces and Shiite militiamen trained, equipped and led by Iran, has encircled the Sunni-dominated city north of Baghdad after more than three weeks of fighting. The Pentagon now says the battle is “static.” Washington Times

Hillary ordered to turn over server . . . The committee investigating the Benghazi attacks formally requested Friday that Hillary Rodham Clinton turn her email server over to an independent third party so it can be scrutinized to determine whether she and the Obama administration complied with open records laws. Washington Times

The Obama Morning News || March 20, 2015

Despite Hillary promise, foundation did not disclose donors . . . In 2008, Hillary Clinton promised Barack Obama, the president-elect, there would be no mystery about who was giving money to her family’s globe-circling charities. She made a pledge to publish all the donors on an annual basis to ease concerns that as secretary of state she could be vulnerable to accusations of foreign influence.

At the outset, the Clinton Foundation did indeed publish what they said was a complete list of the names of more than 200,000 donors and has continued to update it. But in a breach of the pledge, the charity’s flagship health program, which spends more than all of the other foundation initiatives put together, stopped making the annual disclosure in 2010, Reuters has found.

GOP counters Obama rethink . . . President Obama’s angry reaction to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election has sparked outrage and fighting talk from Republican lawmakers who see it as sinking US-Israeli relations to a new low. Washington Examiner

Obama finally congratulates Netanyahu . . . Obama spoke by phone with Netanyahu on Thursday. The White House says Obama told Netanyahu the U.S. values its close security cooperation and longstanding partnership with Israel. Associated Press

Michelle racking up bills in Japan . . . First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to a Buddhist Temple in Kyoto is costing taxpayers nearly $80,000 for rental cars, according to a government contract. Washington Free Beacon

Iran has contemplated EMP attack against the United States . . . “Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States . . . one nuclear warhead detonated at high altitude over the United States would black out the national electrical grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years.” Newsmax

Petraeus: Iran the biggest threat in Iraq . . . “In fact, I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran,” Petraeus said in written comments to The Washington Post. Politico

That would be the very same Iran Obama is letting run freely through Iraq.

Democrats warns Obama not to end-run Congress on Iran . . . Republicans and Democrats alike will resist any attempts by the Obama administration to “sidestep Congress” in the pursuit of an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs committee warned a State Department official on Thursday. CNS News

Congress gives Obama an Iran-bill reprieve . . . After negotiating all week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Robert Menendez, the committee’s top Democrat, said they will wait until mid-April before voting on legislation that would allow Congress to weigh in on a nuclear deal with Iran. Politico

The Obama Morning News || March 18, 2015

Obama gets to keep Bibi . . . After six years of testy relations, U.S. President Barack Obama may have to resign himself to the likelihood that he has not seen the last of Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters Obama-linked nonprofit that interfered to revise tax status . . . The American nonprofit OneVoice Movement – under scrutiny by a U.S. SenateContinue Reading

The Obama Morning News || March 17, 2015

Obama moving to protect Hillary? . . . The administration today will issue new rules exempting a key administrative office that handles issues such as request for access to government email records from the Freedom of Information Act. That law is specifically designed to allow private parties to look at government documents that aren’t privileged or involveContinue Reading

The Obama Morning News || March 16, 2015

Top Obama official cashes in at company he steered funds to . . . For five years, Dan Poneman was the Energy Department’s No. 2 administrator during a time when the agency steered hundreds of millions of dollars to a struggling nuclear company that has won the backing of both the Obama administration and top Republicans and DemocratsContinue Reading

The Obama Morning News || March 13, 2015

Clinton aides did not actually read the emails they reviewed . . . Hillary Clinton commissioned a review of the 62,320 messages in her account only after the department—spurred by the congressional investigation—asked her to do so. And this review did not involve opening and reading each email; instead, Clinton’s lawyers created a list of namesContinue Reading

The Obama Morning News || March 12, 2015

Refunds to illegals to cost $2 billion over five years . . . Illegal immigrants will file 800,000 claims for Earned Income Tax Credit refunds under President Obama’s new deportation amnesty, costing the government $2 billion over the next five years, Congress’s scorekeeper predicted this week as key lawmakers proposed legislation to cancel what’s become known asContinue Reading