NEWS ABOUT: Obama administration

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Obama Approves Sonic Gun for East Coast Oil Search

Eastern Seaboard will be open for exploration in 2018

(Newser) - The Obama administration is opening the Eastern Seaboard to oil exploration for the first time in decades, it announced today, and it's approving the use of a controversial sonic cannon in the effort. Companies will be able to apply for permits from Delaware to Florida in 2018, when the... More »

Obama Needs a New 'Team of Rivals'

White House can't be 'echo chamber for the president’s views': Fred Hiatt

(Newser) - When President Obama first took office, he was wise to install a " team of rivals ," from Hillary Clinton to Bush-era defense secretary Robert Gates, who ensured his views would be challenged. But his second-term staff appears to be more a "team of loyalists," writes Fred Hiatt... More »

White House Seeks Tougher Rules on Child Migrants

Central Americans could quickly be sent home

(Newser) - Amid an influx of child migrants , many from Central America, President Obama is calling on Congress to change the rules on how their cases are handled—and it looks like his proposals will make it harder for the kids to stay. As it currently stands, children from countries that don'... More »

New Airport Security Concern: 'Creative' Bombs

Intelligence indicates terrorists in Syria may be working on them

(Newser) - The US may boost security measures at its own airports—and call for improvements abroad—amid fears of attacks fueled by the crisis in Syria, ABC News reports. Terrorists in the country, according to new US intelligence, may be working on "creative" bombs targeting commercial planes, sources tell ABC.... More »

In 40-Year First, US Paves Way for Oil Exports

Administration allowing two firms leeway on 1970s ban

(Newser) - Since the 1970s, the US has largely banned the exporting of unrefined oil. But the rules put in place after that decade's Arab oil embargo are changing: The Commerce Department is allowing two companies to export condensate, a form of ultralight oil that can be turned into gasoline, diesel,... More »

Obama Makes Gay Marriage More Like Straight Marriage

A host of federal benefits to be extended to same-sex couples

(Newser) - The White House is rolling out a slew of reforms today that will extend to same-sex married couples many of the federal benefits long reserved for straight couples. And in "almost all instances," the couples will get those benefits whether the state they live in recognizes same-sex marriage... More »

VA Accused of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

Meanwhile, Obama's pick for health undersecretary backs out

(Newser) - As if the cloud over the Department of Veterans Affairs wasn't dark enough, the Office of Special Counsel has now launched an investigation into allegations that it retaliated against 37 whistleblowers—including some that tried to bring the waiting list scandal to light, the Washington Post reports. Employees in... More »

Shinseki: VA Has 'Systemic' Problems

He moves to fire senior leaders of Phoenix hospital

(Newser) - Eric Shinseki has begun the process to fire the senior leaders of the infamous Phoenix VA medical center, he announced today, as he apologized for his department's lapses. When the crisis broke, Shinseki said he believed the problem was isolated. "I no longer believe that. It is systemic,... More »

VA Boss Writes Op-Ed Amidst Howls for His Head

Democrats join in bashing Shinseki

(Newser) - The calls for Eric Shinseki to resign are getting deafening, but the Veterans Affairs secretary doesn't sound like a man on the edge in an op-ed posted this morning at USA Today . Shinseki writes that yesterday's revelations "are reprehensible to me and to this department, and we... More »

Secret Tapes of Gitmo Force-Feedings Do Exist

Well, at least tapes of one detainee being force-fed

(Newser) - In an unprecedented ruling, non-government officials have been given the go-ahead to view secret recordings that depict force-feedings at Guantanamo Bay—a ruling that by its nature establishes the fact that these tapes actually do exist, reports the Guardian . A federal judge yesterday ruled that lawyers for Abu Wa’el... More »

White House Report: Climate Change Is Here, and It's Dire

National Climate Assessment paints picture of increasingly severe weather

(Newser) - Americans are already experiencing the harmful effects of climate change, and those effects will get worse unless something is done, according to a new National Climate Assessment issued today. The report cites increased instances of extreme weather, droughts, and heat waves as evidence of climate change's impact, and presents... More »

White House Tells Colleges How to Deal With Rape

Task force presents university guidelines, launches website

(Newser) - The White House has pulled together its two cents on how US colleges should step up their fight against rape, with an Obama administration task force yesterday issuing guidelines for action. Among them: survey students anonymously on sexual assault, do a better job of keeping reported assaults confidential, and teach... More »

Rumsfeld: 'A Trained Ape' Could Do What Obama Can't

Rumsfeld savages president for declining relations with Afghanistan

(Newser) - Well, we're sure no one will take this the wrong way. Last night Donald Rumsfeld savaged the Obama administration's handling of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who yesterday came out in support of Russia's Crimea invasion. "Our relationship with Karzai and with Afghanistan was absolutely first rate... More »

Analysis: Obama's Transparency Push a Flop

Feds cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times

(Newser) - The Obama administration pledged to boost transparency in the White House from the get-go, but it hasn't exactly been a promise kept. In virtually every category, the government's efforts to be more open about its activities in 2013 were their worst since Barack Obama first took office, the... More »

EPA's New Rule Will Make Gas Pricier, Earth-Healthier

Oil refiners will need to cut gasoline's sulfur content some 60%

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency is today putting in place a new rule to drastically cut sulfur from gasoline, a measure it says will ultimately save lives, the New York Times reports. Sulfur in gasoline renders vehicle pollution control systems less effective, boosting smog-causing emissions associated with heart and lung disease,... More »

33K Pages of Clinton Files Are Still Hidden —Why?

Withholding period ended in January 2013

(Newser) - It's been more than a year since the legal justification for secrecy expired on a collection of roughly 33,000 pages of documents from the Clinton presidency. But the files in question—which are held at the Clinton Presidential Library and are reportedly related in part to scandals such... More »

Obama Cracks Down on US Ivory Sales

Sellers will now have to prove their ivory is legit

(Newser) - The Obama administration today announced a ban on nearly all ivory imports, exports, and sales, along with rules designed to make skirting the ban especially difficult. Under the new rules, all commercial imports of African elephant ivory are banned, including antiques. Most domestic sales will be banned as well; there... More »

US' New Afghanistan Plan: Forget Karzai

Military revising exit plan to give Obama room to negotiate with the next guy

(Newser) - The US military is changing its Afghan exit strategy to give President Obama a chance to negotiate a security deal with whoever succeeds Hamid Karzai, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama is increasingly frustrated with Karzai, with whom he pointedly hasn't spoken since last summer. "If he's... More »

Obama Losing Allies in Climate Groups

But the fossil-fuel industry isn't a big fan right now either

(Newser) - President Obama may be stuck between a melting icecap and a hard place. Environmental groups have grown weary of the administration's "all of the above" energy strategy—which has seen it hold tight to domestic natural gas, oil, and coal production even as it works to limit coal-fired... More »

US Bending on Environment for Sake of Big Trade Deal

Countries' 'red lines' said to clash

(Newser) - As a dozen Pacific Rim nations continue three years of talks on a major trade deal, the US seems to be bending on environmental regulations accompanying the deal. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, central to President Obama's goals in the region, features a contentious chapter on environmental rules; a Nov. 24... More »

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