NEWS ABOUT: Obama administration

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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 »

Surveillance Court Digs in Over Planned NSA Reform

Obama's plan due Friday

(Newser) - President Obama is preparing to announce plans to rein in NSA intelligence-gathering on Friday, the New York Times reports. As expected , he'll tighten rules on telephone data collection, extend privacy protections to non-citizens, and urge the creation of an independent privacy advocate for the government's secret surveillance court.... More »

Negotiator Sees No Hope for Afghan Deal by Deadline

Relations worsen as US accidentally kills 4-year-old child

(Newser) - The US isn't going to get the security deal it wants in Afghanistan on the timetable that it wants it in, the Obama administration's top negotiator has privately warned Washington. In a classified cable, Ambassador James Cunningham said that Hamid Karzai would likely stick to his on-again off-again... More »

In First for Obama, Deportations Drop

ICE says focus on criminals has brought numbers down

(Newser) - Immigration officials sent 368,644 people packing in the last fiscal year, a 10% drop from the record 409,849 deported in 2012, the government announced last week. It's the lowest figure ever recorded under President Obama, who has seen deportations rise every year he's been in office,... More »

Senate OKs New Homeland Security Chief

Jeh C. Johnson confirmed with help from new filibuster rules

(Newser) - Democrats used their newly initiated lower threshold for defeating filibusters yesterday to win Senate confirmation of President Obama's nomination of former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh C. Johnson to be secretary of Homeland Security. On a 57-37 vote, Democrats broke a GOP blockade against Johnson before the Senate minutes later... More »

Obama Seeks New Corporate Powers in Trade Pact

US corporations would be able to challenge foreign laws: memos

(Newser) - The Obama administration is trying to grant US corporations formidable new powers in a trade pact with 11 other countries—including the ability to challenge laws and regulations abroad. In memos obtained by the Huffington Post (see them here and here ) the US is also pressing other members of... More »

Iran: We're Going to Produce Way More Oil

Even if it means tanking global crude prices

(Newser) - Following an initial nuclear deal between Tehran and the West, Iran is planning to ramp up its oil production, its oil minister says. "We will produce 4 million even if the price drops to $20," says Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. That's about a sixth of the current price,... More »

This Is Obama's 'Mission Accomplished' Moment

WSJ , Daily Caller compare launch to Iraq

(Newser) - We've already heard ObamaCare compared to Hurricane Katrina ; now, as the site proclaims improvements , pundits are drawing parallels to the Iraq War. In the Wall Street Journal , editors write that "the only thing missing from Sunday's relentlessly upbeat progress report was President Obama in front of a... More »

Many Still Can't Enroll on Health Site: Insurers

Insurers still in dark about some who've enrolled

(Newser) - Many of HealthCare.gov's well chronicled problems have reportedly been fixed , but that doesn't mean it's ready for prime time, insurers say. The site's ability to send consumer data to insurance companies remains flawed, and "until the enrollment process is working from end to end,... More »

Health Dept: Site's Biggest Problems Fixed

Site functional 90% of the time: White House

(Newser) - As December begins , the ObamaCare website's biggest issues have been addressed, says the White House—though smaller problems remain, the AP reports. "The bottom line: HealthCare.gov on December 1st is night and day from where it was on October 1st," says Jeffrey Zients, a White House... More »

IRS Targets Secret Campaign Cash

Administration looks to limit big-spending groups' political activity

(Newser) - The IRS and Treasury Department are looking to crack down on 501(c)4 groups—tax-exempt organizations that spent a reported $309 million in last year's election without having to reveal their donors. The groups (which the IRS code defines as promoting "the common good and general welfare") are... More »

NSA Chief Offered to Quit, Obama Said No: Report

Agency struggles to get back on its feet after revelations

(Newser) - With the NSA reeling from Edward Snowden's leaks, its leader offered to step down—but the White House quickly put the kibosh on that idea, an administration source tells the Wall Street Journal . Gen. Keith Alexander's offer followed Snowden's entrance into the spotlight in June, notes the... More »

For 2M Jobless, Benefits Set to Dry Up

Congress isn't looking likely to pass an extension

(Newser) - Some 1.3 million Americans could lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the year, with another 850,000 seeing benefits expire in March 2014 if Congress doesn't extend an emergency plan that ends Dec. 31. And though congressional Democrats and the White House are urging an extension,... More »

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