Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Winners and losers in Donald Trump’s first budget plan

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Africa to Appalachia — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he’d put on a crash diet.
The budget proposal out Thursday is a White House wish list; it’ll be up to Congress to decide where money goes. If Trump gets his way, there will be more losers than winners among government departments and programs.
Some programs would tread water: WIC grants — money to states for health care

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House GOP health bill facing fresh House committee test

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
The White House and Republican leaders are talking to rank-and-file lawmakers about revising the GOP health care overhaul, hoping to keep a rebellion by conservatives and moderates from snowballing and imperiling the party’s showpiece legislation.
Four days after a congressional report projected the bill would pry coverage from millions of voters, signs of fraying GOP support for the legislation were showing. The measure would strike down much of former President Barack Obama‘s 2010 overhaul and reduce the federal role, including financing, for health care consumers and is opposed uniformly by Democrats.
In a fresh test of Republicans’ willingness to embrace the

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Donald Trump looking to Sarah Huckabee Sanders in tough moments

Sunday, March 12th, 2017
Faced with aggressive on-air questioning about the president’s wiretapping claims, Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t flinch, she went folksy.
Speaking to George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” she pulled out a version of an old line from President Lyndon Johnson: “If the president walked across the Potomac, the media would be reporting that he could not swim.”
The 34-year-old spokeswoman for President Donald Trump was schooled in hardscrabble politics — and down-home rhetoric — from a young age by her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Her way with a zinger — and her unshakable loyalty to an often unpredictable boss —

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About that unusually tense interview between Stephanopoulos, Trump aide

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
George Stephanopoulos‘ “Good Morning America” interview with White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday is an instant milestone in the hostile relationship between the Trump administration and the media.
In the discussion about President Donald Trump‘s weekend accusations — offered without proof — that former President Obama ordered Trump’s New York home wiretapped, Stephanopoulos repeatedly interrupted and stopped Sanders when he felt she veered from the truth. It was a crackling exchange unusual for the generally happy terrain of network morning television, and made Stephanopoulos a hero or villain depending on whose social media feed is followed.
It was also

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House GOP releases bill replacing Barack Obama health care overhaul

Monday, March 6th, 2017
House Republicans on Monday released their long-awaited plan for unraveling former President Barack Obama‘s health care law, a package that would scale back the government’s role in health care and likely leave more Americans uninsured.
House committees planned to begin voting on the 123-page legislation Wednesday, launching what could be the year’s defining battle in Congress and capping a seven-year Republican effort to repeal the 2010 law. Though GOP leaders expect their measure to win the backing of the Trump administration, divisions remain and GOP success is by no means ensured.
The plan would repeal the statute’s unpopular fines on people

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An angry weekend follows on heels of frustrations for Donald Trump

Monday, March 6th, 2017
President Donald Trump started his weekend in Florida in a fit of anger over his young administration getting sidetracked just days after his most successful moment in office. He returned to the White House late Sunday derailed — again.
Trump’s frustration appeared to be both the symptom and the cause of his recent woes. Angry about leaks, errant messaging and his attorney general landing in hot water, he fired off a series of tweets that only ensured more distractions.
His staff had hoped to build on the momentum generated by his speech to Congress by rolling out his revamped travel ban

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Teed off: Critics say Donald Trump water rule helps his golf links

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
President Donald Trump‘s recent executive order calling for a review of a rule protecting small bodies of water from pollution and development is strongly supported by golf course owners who are wary of being forced into expensive cleanups on their fairways.
It just so happens that Trump’s business holdings include a dozen golf courses in the United States, and critics say his executive order is par for the course: yet another unseemly conflict of interest that would result in a benefit to Trump properties if it goes through.
“This conflict is disturbing and his failure to completely step away from his

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Donald Trump claims Barack Obama had phones wiretapped; Obama denies it

Saturday, March 4th, 2017
President Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of having Trump Tower telephones “wire tapped” during last year’s election, a startling claim that Obama’s spokesman said was false.
Trump did not offer any evidence or details, or say what prompted him to make the allegation.
Trump, whose administration has been under siege over campaign contacts with Russian officials, said in a series of early morning tweets that he “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!’
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said a “cardinal rule” of the Obama

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Kellyanne Conway kneels on Oval Office couch, sparks debate

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Photos of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway kneeling on an Oval Office couch with her shoes on have sparked an online debate about decorum in the executive mansion.
Conway is seen perched on her knees on the couch with her feet behind her in photos taken Monday while President Donald Trump met with leaders of historically black colleges and universities.
Some Twitter users were quick to highlight the photos as evidence of a lack of respect for the office from Conway and the Trump administration. Other users have countered with numerous photos of former President Barack Obama resting his feet on

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Kathy Castor says she preferred Obama policy on deporting the undocumented, but acknowledges ‘we’re a country of laws’

Monday, February 27th, 2017
Perhaps acknowledging the sentiment among the American public, Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor had little to say Monday about the recent directives from the Department of Homeland Security that expand the scope for law enforcement officials to deport undocumented immigrants, instead saying that the situation calls for a return towards looking to a more comprehensive solution to the issue.
“We’re a country of laws, and if you’re in the country illegally, you are subject to deportation,” the Democrat said, adding that she preferred the priorities of the Obama administration, who directed federal agents to concentrate on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals, and left most

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Groundhog Day for Democrats: Selecting the Party chair

Monday, February 27th, 2017
Democrats in Florida and at the national level have a similar problem. In both cases, there are more Democratic voters than Republicans, but in both cases, the Republican candidates have trounced the Democrats.
Between 2009 and 2016, which coincides with the terms of Barack Obama as president, Democratic candidates suffered heavier casualties than many military divisions. Democrats lost 11 Senate seats (-16 percent), lost 62 House seats (-24 percent) and, in the biggest surprise, lost control of the White House.
It was even worse at the state level. The numbers of Democratic governors declined from 28 to 16 (-43 percent), and

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James Comey in middle of political fray over Donald Trump and Russians

Saturday, February 25th, 2017
FBI Director James Comey is again in a familiar spot these days – the middle of political tumult.
As a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, he clashed with the White House over a secret surveillance program. Years later as head of the FBI, he incurred the ire of Hillary Clinton supporters for public statements on an investigation into her emails. Now, Comey is facing new political pressure as White House officials are encouraging him to follow their lead by publicly recounting private FBI conversations in an attempt to dispute reports about connections between the Trump

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Fear grips Latino communities in Florida as deportations increase

Friday, February 24th, 2017
There is palpable fear amongst the undocumented community this week, after the Department of Homeland Security issued new memos that give U.S. officials sweeping latitude to target “removable aliens” for deportation, effectively making most of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as priority targets.
Under Barack Obama, immigration officials were told to focus on convicted criminals instead of the broader undocumented population. The memo’s issued out this week by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly instruct agents to also prioritize undocumented immigrants who have been charged with a crime but not convicted of it, or committed an act that may be criminal offenses

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Conservatives welcome Donald Trump with delight – and wariness

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
For the past eight years, thousands of conservative activists have descended on Washington each spring with dreams of putting a Republican in the White House.
This year, they’re learning reality can be complicated.
With Donald Trump‘s presidential victory, the future of the conservative movement has become entwined with an unconventional New York businessman better known for his deal-making than any ideological principles.
It’s an uneasy marriage of political convenience at best. Some conservatives worry whether they can trust their new president to follow decades of orthodoxy on issues like international affairs, small government, abortion and opposition to expanded legal protections for LGBT

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NRSC begins targeting Bill Nelson in new digital ad campaign

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
Bill Nelson isn’t running for re-election for another year, but it’s never to early to start running a campaign against him.
That’s what the National Republican Senate Committee is doing this week, unveiling a new digital ad campaign to inform Florida voters of what they call Nelson’s” liberal record” in Washington, comparing his senate voting record to Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren.
“Bill Nelson has positioned himself squarely on the left, voting with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 92% of the time,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin. “Bill Nelson may try to pose as a moderate as the election approaches, but his record shows

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Donald Trump embraces legacy of Andrew Jackson

Monday, February 20th, 2017
It was an ugly, highly personal presidential election.
An unvarnished celebrity outsider who pledged to represent the forgotten laborer took on an intellectual member of the Washington establishment looking to extend a political dynasty in the White House.
Andrew Jackson‘s triumph in 1828 over President John Quincy Adams bears striking similarities to Donald Trump‘s victory over Hillary Clinton last year, and some of those most eager to point that out are in the Trump White House.
Trump’s team has seized upon the parallels between the current president and the long-dead Tennessee war hero. Trump has hung a portrait of Jackson in the

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680 Cubans returned home since end of ‘wet foot, dry foot’

Saturday, February 18th, 2017
About 680 Cubans have been returned to the island from various countries since then-President Barack Obama ended a longstanding immigration policy that allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, state television reported Friday.
Cuba’s government had long sought the repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which it said encouraged Cubans to risk dangerous voyages and drained the country of professionals. The Jan. 12 decision by Washington to end it followed months of negotiations focused in part on getting Havana to agree to take back people who had arrived in

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Immigrant-rich Miami-Dade split over sanctuary city order

Friday, February 17th, 2017
The mayor is an immigrant, and more than half its residents are foreign born.
But unlike many cities with large numbers of immigrants, there’s no sanctuary for people living illegally in Miami-Dade County, Florida. A recent decision by Mayor Carlos Gimenez requires local authorities to cooperate with federal officials to enforce immigration law.
The decree by Cuban-born Gimenez has roiled the area, drawing criticism from the mayors of the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. The county’s commissioners have called for a special meeting Friday to confront the mayor on the issue.
They’re not the only ones who are unhappy with the

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Miami U.S. attorney announces resignation from post

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, whose office prosecuted thousands of cases during his tenure ranging from terror plots to billion-dollar Ponzi schemes to purveyors of prescription drug “pill mills,” announced Wednesday he will resign after nearly seven years.
Ferrer, 50, said in a news release he will step down as South Florida’s top federal prosecutor effective March 3. Ferrer, whose previous posts included senior adviser to former Attorney General Janet Reno, was nominated for the Miami job by former President Barack Obama in early 2010 and confirmed by the Senate.
“There has been no greater honor than to serve and protect

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U.S. Senate will consider blocking rule on guns and mentally ill

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
The Republican-led Senate is moving to block an Obama-era regulation that would prevent an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm.
The Obama administration had sought to strengthen the federal background check system with a rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send in the names of beneficiaries with mental impairments who also need a third-party to manage their benefits.
With a Republican ally in the White House, the GOP is moving aggressively on gun rights measures. The House earlier this month voted for the resolution blocking the rule. The Senate has scheduled a vote

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Donald Trump’s visits to Florida costing sheriff $1.5 million in OT

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
Donald Trump‘s visits to his South Florida estate since he was elected president have cost the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department $1.5 million in overtime costs.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is confident the money his department has spent while assisting the Secret Service will be reimbursed by the federal government.
“I do hope he is correct,” said Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker.
The county sent letters to federal officials in December seeking reimbursement for the overtime security costs from Trump’s five-day visit to the estate called Mar-a-lago in November, the Palm Beach Post reported Tuesday.
Those costs were originally estimated at $250,000, but

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The new civics course in schools: How to avoid fake news

Monday, February 13th, 2017
Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news — and why they should care that there’s a difference.
As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think only education can solve this problem,” said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey who began teaching a

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Pasco County GOP official in trouble after social media posts go national

Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Pasco County Republican Executive Committee Secretary Bill Akins is under fire, after a story publishing his history of pushing out racist jokes and conspiracy theories was published by the Washington Post on Saturday.
The reason that the previously little known local Republican even earned the interest of the Post was from what happened earlier on Saturday at Congressman Gus Bilirakis raucous town hall meeting in New Port Richey. That’s where Akins told a crowd of mostly supporters of the Affordable Care Act that it was a fact that they would face “death panels” at the age of 74 under the legislation. “Death Panels” were often uttered by Tea Party activists at town

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No matter the issue, Donald Trump knows a guy

Sunday, February 12th, 2017
President Donald Trump knows a guy.
No matter what issue Trump is addressing, he seems either to know somebody with a relevant personal experience or he’s got a firsthand tale to recount.
When he met airline CEOs on Thursday, Trump said his own pilot — “who’s a real expert” — had told him about problems with obsolete equipment.
When he met business and economic experts a week earlier, Trump cited the difficulties his friends in business were having borrowing money from banks as he spoke about the need to reduce financial regulations.
When he approvingly sized up Britain’s vote to leave the European

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At heated town hall, Gus Bilirakis once again hears overwhelming sentiment to improve — not repeal — the Affordable Care Act

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
For the second consecutive Saturday, Tampa Bay U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis waded into a lion’s den of sorts, hosting a town hall meeting that was dominated by those pleading with him to vote to improve – but not replace – the Affordable Care Act.
As hundreds crammed into the West Pasco Government Center in Florida’s 12th Congressional District (with at least another hundred listening to the meeting via an audio transmission outside the chambers), the atmosphere was at times raucous and rude, although the audience was overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats and supporters of the health care law.
It’s a scene that’s playing out throughout the country, as

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Being a White House kid comes with pluses and minuses

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
If it’s tough being a kid, try being a “first kid” — the child of an American president.
Just ask President Bill Clinton‘s daughter, Chelsea. Or President George W. Bush‘s twins, Jenna and Barbara. And now, President Donald Trump‘s youngest child, Barron, is finding out.
Ten-year-old Barron was the target of a poorly received joke tweeted by a “Saturday Night Live” writer on Jan. 20 as the new first family reveled in Inauguration Day events. Separately in Chicago, comedian Shannon Noll played the title character in “Barron Trump: Up Past Bedtime,” which had a recent run at a theater in Hyde

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Ted Deutch co-sponsors two bills to protect immigrants

Friday, February 10th, 2017
South Florida Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch has introduced two bills this week that would protect immigrants from fraud schemes and ensure that they are informed of their legal rights.
The Protecting Immigrants from Legal Exploitation Act (H.R. 912) would impose a fine and possible jail sentence for offering fraudulent immigration legal services. The Immigrant Detainee Legal Rights Act (H.R. 913) would require immigration detention centers to inform immigrant detainees of their legal rights within five days of their arrival at the facilities.
“Immigrant communities are extremely vulnerable to fraudulent legal services schemes,” said Deutch. “These scams are financially costly, can derail complex cases,

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Donald Trump’s assertions echo site filled with tales of dark plots

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

President Donald Trump‘s assertion that the media often fails to cover terrorist attacks is false, but he’s hardly alone in making the claim. The statement is just the latest by Trump to echo a website known for trafficking in dubious allegations of plots and cover-ups.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that,” Trump said in a speech to military commanders at

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Darryl Paulson: We are not the same; the immoral equivalency of President Donald Trump

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Voters who supported Donald Trump for president did so because they liked his free-speaking ideas, his attacks on the political establishment and his promise to “make America great again.”
President Trump has repeatedly stated that he would have won the popular vote for president if not for massive vote fraud. Does Trump believe that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won his office in free and fair elections?  I hope Trump cannot be that deluded.
Republicans raised strong criticisms when President Barack Obama conducted what many Americans viewed as an “apology tour,” criticizing America for all its failures. Americans prefer their presidents defend the

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GOP pushes 2 top Cabinet picks through to full Senate

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
Republicans jammed two of President Donald Trump‘s top Cabinet picks through the Senate Finance Committee with no Democrats in the room Wednesday after suspending a rule that would have otherwise barred them from taking the vote. The tactic seemed a warning shot that they might deploy brute political muscle in the upcoming fight over the Supreme Court vacancy.
With a near-toxic vapor of divisiveness between the two parties across Capitol Hill, nasty showdowns broke out elsewhere as well. One Senate panel signed off on Trump’s choice for attorney general only after senators exchanged heated words, and another committee postponed a

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