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Tag Archives: Obama news

The Obama Morning News || April 2, 2015

Iran talks continue, may yield some kind of statement . . . Two days after busting through a March 31 deadline, the negotiators hope to leave the Swiss city of Lausanne with at least a text outlining general political commitments to resolve concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, and the pace of lifting sanctions. They are also trying to fashion more detailed documents on the steps they must take by June 30 to meet those goals. As he headed to his own meeting Thursday, Zarif said the talks had made “significant progress.” But he said drafts still had to be written. Reaching both agreement in Lausanne as well as a June final deal will be “a difficult job,” he said. Associated Press

Vast majority says Congress should vote on deal . . . Three-quarters of voters, 76 percent, say Obama “should be required” to get Congressional approval for any deal he makes with Iran about its nuclear program. That includes nearly two-thirds of Democrats (64 percent). Most think Iran can’t be trusted. Over half of voters, 55 percent, say the U.S. “can’t trust anything” Iran says on the issue of nuclear weapons, while another 28 percent thinks we can only trust “a little” of what Iran says. Fox News

GOP: Enough with the delays . . . Republican senators are voicing concerns that any nuclear deal with Iran will only get worse as negotiations drag on past the Obama administration’s self-imposed March 31 deadline for producing an agreement. Politico

Bolton: Sanctions won’t stop Iran bomb . . . There is no evidence that sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear activities slowed down the program, and the notion that future sanctions will curb its ambitions to become a nuclear weapons power is “fundamentally false,” former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Wednesday. CNS News

Lawsuit seeks to uncover EPA collusion with enviros . . . A nonprofit government watchdog is suing the Department of State seeking to force the agency to disclose email and text message records of its communications with environmental activist groups like the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wildlife Fund. Washington Examiner

Obama fails to head off China development bank . . . U.S. efforts to head off a new China-sponsored development bank for the booming Asia region ended in abject failure this week as organizers announced nearly four dozen countries — including some of America’s closest Asian and European allies — have applied to membership, amid growing criticism of how the Obama administration handled the entire episode. Washington Times

DOJ won’t prosecute Lerner for refusing to testify to Congress . . . “Once again, the Obama administration has tried to sweep IRS targeting of taxpayers for their political beliefs under the rug,” Speaker Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told FoxNews.

Indictment silences Obama foreign policy critic . . . Tuesday’s indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez on federal corruption charges silences a rare and vocal Democratic critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy stance as opposition mounts to an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. Washington Examiner

The Obama Morning News || April 1, 2015

Still no deal . . . Negotiators scrambling to chart Iran’s nuclear future said Wednesday that several “key issues” remain unresolved, casting doubt on earlier, more optimistic predictions that an agreement was ready to be drafted. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said progress has been made but characterized it as “slow going.” “I’m optimistic that we will make further progress this morning, but it does mean the Iranians being willing to meet us where there are still issues to deal with,” he told reporters. Washington Post

Federal website blots out transparency . . . A redesign of a transparency website that provides information on federal spending by the Obama administration now makes it much more difficult to see how taxpayer dollars are spent. Washington Free Beacon

Kerry’s Brian Williams problem . . . Kerry’s pattern of exaggeration about the congressional hearings is disturbing. On repeated occasions, he has said or suggested that he and Gore were responsible for the first congressional hearing on climate change–and that he was one of the Senators who participated in the pivotal 1988 Hansen hearing organized by Wirth. Kerry was not even a participant in the most important hearing of that time; he simply spoke at a hearing that took place the following year. Washington Post

Top Clinton aide at State was Foundation director . . . Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department was listed as a director at the Clinton Foundation in its corporate records for more than three years after joining the administration, highlighting concerns that Clinton’s aides were too close to the foundation during her tenure. Washington Free Beacon

Clinton ordered to testify by May 1 . . . Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, made the request after Clinton rejected his earlier demand that she turn over her private computer server, on which her emails were stored, to officials for a third-party review. Reuters

Clinton email mixed personal, business . . . Emails obtained by the AP show that Clinton occasionally mixed up personal correspondence with work-related matters. For example, Clinton once responded to an email about drone strikes in Pakistan from senior aide Huma Abedin with a series of questions about interior decorating. Washington Free Beacon

IRS chief learned not to use personal email in a minute . . . IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday that his agency’s policy is not to allow any use of personal email for work, and said he learned about that policy almost instantly when he sent a few work emails to his personal account in order to work from home. He said IT workers at the IRS talked to him about those emails “within a couple of days.” The Blaze

Republicans gaining on Clinton . . . A new poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University found Clinton trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the Sunshine State and enjoying only a 2 percentage point lead over Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). In February, she led both — with a 10-point lead on Rubio. The same poll found Clinton ahead of the GOP field in the must-win state of Pennsylvania but with only a 1-point lead over Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The Hill

The Obama Morning News || March 31, 2015

No deal . . . Wrapping up six days of marathon nuclear talks with mixed results, Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue talks in a new phase aimed at reaching a final agreement to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions by the end of June, officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Officials had set a deadline of March 31 for a framework agreement, and later softened that wording to a framework understanding, between Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

And after intense negotiations, obstacles remained on uranium enrichment, where stockpiles of enriched uranium should be stored, limits on Iran’s nuclear research and development and the timing and scope of sanctions relief among other issues. Associated Press

The deadline has been missed. Sanctions were promised. Now what will Republicans do?

Iran moves the goal posts again . . . What’s quite unusual is for a party, at eleventh hour, to insist on a position it hasn’t previously taken. When this occurs, it means one of two things: either the party pulling the switch doesn’t want a deal or it realizes that the other side is so desperate for a deal that it can act in blatant bad faith with impunity. Power Line

They know full well Obama will never attack them. For starters, it would be what Bibi wants . . . 

U.S. sacrificed leverage . . . U.S. and Iranian negotiators struggled to clinch a nuclear deal as Tuesday’s self-imposed deadline drew ever nearer, even as critics said the White House already had given up a key point of leverage by easing pressure on Iran’s economy in the months leading up to a prospective deal. Washington Times

Kennedy shrine cost taxpayers $38 million . . . The stated mission of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute is to teach the general public about how the U.S. Senate works, so it’s fitting that the shrine to the late Massachusetts Democrat is funded, in part, by $38 million in taxpayers’ money. Daily Caller

Kennedy’s real legacy: 50 years of mass immigration . . . At the commemoration of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Monday, Obama obliquely referred to Kennedy’s role in pushing his influential political accomplishment: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The passage of the act marked a fundamental change in America’s immigration policy: Rather than serving the interests of Americans and national unity by setting limits on immigration, the act put “family unification” as the top priority, serving the interests of foreigners first. Breitbart

EPA chief: Keystone wouldn’t be a disaster . . . “No, I don’t think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate, nor do I think there is one solution for the climate change challenge that we have,” McCarthy said. Politico

Hawks face an obstacle: Obama . . . The White House signals it won’t go along with billions in extra Pentagon funds without something in return. Politico

Michelle Cambodia hotel cost a quarter million dollars . . . Hotel accommodations for First Lady Michelle Obama’s two-day trip to Cambodia required 85 rooms and cost taxpayers $242,500, according to a government contract released Friday. Mrs. Obama traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia on March 21 to promote a girls education initiative. A contract was awarded on March 3, citing the “unusual and compelling urgency” of the First Lady’s trip. Washington Free Beacon

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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. Senate… Continue 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 involve… Continue Reading