A recent string of scandals have threatened to beset President Barack Obama's second term, but the latest CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday found that he has yet to pay a price in his approval rating for them.
In fact, Obama's approval rating of 53 percent among American adults in the poll amounts to a 2-point bump since the previous CNN/ORC poll a month ago. Forty-five percent said they disapprove of Obama's job performance, down two points since last month. Two months ago, the CNN/ORC poll showed Obama with an upside-down approval rating: 47 percent said they approved of the President while half said they disapproved.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The past week's uproars about the Obama administration have had some Republican lawmakers revisiting one of the party's favorite pastimes: impeachment.
For much of his time in the White House, President Obama has faced threats of impeachment from Republicans on Capitol Hill. His transgressions? Everything from using executive orders for his own agenda to being an impediment to theirs. TPM compiled a list of some of the members of Congress -- all Republicans -- who have invoked the "I-word" during the Obama years.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A visibly angry President Obama tore into Senate Republicans on Wednesday for voting down legislation to expand background checks on gun sales, accusing opponents of the measure of deliberately lying to derail its passage.
"Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders not just to honor the memory of their children but to protect the lives of all of our children," Obama said, standing alongside Vice President Biden and a handful of people whose lives had been affected by gun violence. "A few minutes ago a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn't worth it."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
President Obama caused a stir Thursday when he commented on the appearance of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
"She's brilliant and she's dedicated, she's tough," Obama said at a DNC fundraiser in Atherton, Calif., according to a White House pool report. "She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general....It's true! C'mon."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he has the backing of gun owners when it comes to proposals for new laws governing firearms. On Thursday, yet another poll showed he's probably right.
The latest national survey from Quinnipiac University confirmed something that's been widely evident in the months since the massacre in Newtown, Conn.: Support for universal background checks is pretty much, well, universal. According to the poll, 91 percent of American voters support background checks for all gun buyers, while a mere 8 percent said they are opposed. The poll also showed 88 percent of gun owners in favor of universal background checks -- a point Obama seemed to allude to while stumping Wednesday in Denver to drum up support for the White House's gun proposals.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 28 brand new American citizens, President Obama called on Congress to fix the nation's "broken" immigration system without delay.
"We just got, at this point, to work up the political courage to do what needs to be done," Obama said at the White House event, citing a broad bipartisan consensus on the basic structure of a comprehensive reform bill. "I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible."
President Obama is seeking to push Republicans to work with him on a grand deficit bargain by first assuring them he's willing to cut entitlements, and then attempting to scrape off enough of them who will in turn agree to raise new revenues.
House Republicans emerged from a rare meeting with Obama on Wednesday afternoon saying he assured them he was serious about cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the long-term deficit.
"It was a really great first step," said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI). "He did express a willingness to give on entitlements."
"He focused a lot on entitlements," said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL).PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
In the culmination of a dramatic turnaround on the question of gay marriage that reflects the larger sea change among the American public -- as well as President Obama's much-cited personal "evolution" -- the Obama administration is now taking the maximal legal position that gay and straight couples have an equal constitutional right to marry.
In an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, Obama's Justice Department argued that California's Proposition 8 -- which outlaws same sex marriage in the state -- should be struck down because it violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. The brief comes one month before the court is set to hear arguments on two major gay marriage cases. One involves the Defense of Marriage Act, which the federal government will take the lead in pushing to overturn, and the second involves Prop 8, where the federal government is not a party to the case but where it has now made its position clear.
"Proposition 8's withholding of the designation of marriage is not based on an interest in promoting responsible procreation and child-rearing -- petitioners' central claimed justification for the initiative -- but instead on impermissible prejudice," the administration's brief reads. "Prejudice may not, however, be the basis for differential treatment under the law."
Evan Wolfson, who leads the pro-marriage-equality group Freedom To Marry, told TPM that the brief makes as expansive a legal case as plausible for putting gay and straight couples on equal footing. "The arguments laid out powerfully and clearly refute all the purported justifications for withholding the freedom to marry for gay couples," Wolfson said.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
If the consequences of indiscriminate defense and domestic spending cuts aren't severe enough at the outset to force Congress and the White House to cut a deal in early March, the fight over sequestration could easily be swallowed by a different -- more routine, but more pressing -- budget fight.
Funding for the federal government expires on March 27, and if Congress doesn't pass legislation to renew that funding, most government services will grind to a halt. The turbulence of sequestration will turn into the spiral-dive of a government shutdown.
These issues might seem wholly distinct. After all, sequestration emerged as a tool to force Congress into an agreement on taxes and entitlement spending, whereas a government shutdown would be the consequence of Congress failing to pass federal appropriations -- a different category of spending altogether.
But because sequestration largely targets the same category of spending, it stands to reason that Democrats and Republicans will use the imperative of funding the government to press their distinct visions of how to replace sequestration.
Thus events of the next several days -- particularly the public's early reaction to sequestration -- will determine whether the two issues blend into one, and whether the synthesis redounds to the benefit of one party or the other.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
If it appears to you that Democrats are approaching the Friday sequestration deadline with greater poise than the GOP, you're not mistaken.
Democrats enjoy a massive public relations advantage over the GOP. Voters are prepared to blame Republicans. The Democrats have an unusually steady message. Republicans are lurching from message to message as they try futilely to blame Obama for sequestration's very existence, while contending that its consequences won't be so dire (except when they contend it will hollow out the military) and to argue just as futilely that Obama's revenue demand is an act of duplicity.
But Democrats are also confident because they have an institutional memory of winning a similar fight, when Republicans shut down the government in 1995.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Monday marks the beginning of the last legislative week until sequestration begins and federal agencies start scaling back government services and furloughing workers -- and even the most optimistic of politicians don't think congressional leaders will figure out a way to avoid it.
Indeed, if anything's odd about how this most recent self-imposed crisis is playing out in Washington it's that everyone's being very blasé about it -- or at least pretending to be.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The White House on Sunday night released state-by-state reports fleshing out the expected damage from the sequester -- the deep, indiscriminate spending cuts set to take effect this week. Party leaders have made no progress in striking a deal to avert them.
The reports details the consequences for popular areas of government like public health, education and research. It's part of a broader public relations offensive to pressure Republicans to drop their opposition to raising revenue as part of a deal to avoid what leaders of both parties agree would be devastating consequences if the cuts go through.
"Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe," the reports say. "By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Update: February 22, 2013, 8:43 AM
Democratic opposition researcher James Carter on Thursday said the individual who recorded Mitt Romney making his infamous "47 percent" remarks at a Florida fundraiser was not a high-dollar donor.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
As crucial as it is to be clear-eyed about Democratic and Republican ideas for replacing the sequester, it's more important to have a broad sense for how it will function and what the consequences will be -- particularly given how little party leaders are doing to avoid it.
If, as many suspect, no deal is reached to avoid it and President Obama orders the sequester next week, the reliability of government services and the broader economic outlook will grow very uncertain. Unlike the targeted federal spending cuts we've seen in recent years, the sequester isn't designed to reshape federal priorities in democratic ways. Instead, when the sequester order goes out, it will effectively start a countdown clock, which ends at the close of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
President Obama is riding a huge surge in popularity in public opinion surveys among Hispanics, who are overwhelmingly excited about his second-term efforts to pass immigration reform.
Where the media succeeds at not letting politicians shirk responsibility for the sequester's existence, it fails miserably at explaining and evaluating the two parties' positions on what to do about it.
That failure isn't entirely because news organizations are confused by the various plans to replace it. It's also because the story of the sequester's origin is coincidentally well served by the assumption that Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the country's problems, while the story of the current impasse is not.
But the parties' negotiating positions and substantive proposals aren't particularly confusing. And unlike the fake fight over who's to blame for creating the sequester, explaining and adjudicating the fight over how the parties would like to avoid the sequester is actually illuminating -- at least inasmuch as it's not just a cynical exercise in reverse engineering the conclusion that everyone's being equally unreasonable.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Lost in the political fight between President Obama and Marco Rubio, is that the White House's leaked bill is the first new proposal from anyone involved in negotiations that actually specifies its path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Given that the details of legalization are one of the most contentious issues in the process, it's worth taking a look at what they came up with. Here are some of the highlights from the section detailing the new path to citizenship, which are part of a broader draft that also includes border security provisions and new restrictions on employers to prevent them from hiring undocumented workers.
President Obama reached out to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and other Republicans working on immigration reform on Tuesday, looking to bury the hatchet after a spat over a leaked White House bill.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Updated: 12:30 p.m. ET
PBS' "FRONTLINE" this week details Washington, D.C.'s recent budget battles, with one scene taking a look at a speech during which President Obama's eviscerated Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney joined the chorus of Republican voices attacking President Obama's nominees to his national security team Saturday night, accusing the president of picking inadequate candidates to join his cabinet and jeopardizing America's safety through planned defense cuts.
Speaking before the Wyoming Republican Party, Cheney panned Obama's recent picks, including new Secretary of State John Kerry, Pentagon nominee Chuck Hagel and CIA nominee John Brennan, according to a report from Associated Press.
"Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people," Cheney said.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Jon Stewart on Wednesday went after the Obama administration for releasing documents related to CIA torture under President Bush, but declining to make public information about the government's current drone strikes.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
As the debate over guns after Newtown moves into the often bitterly partisan halls of Congress, President Obama flew Monday to the Midwest to remind the country there's more unity on gun control than the rancorous debate in the nation's capital might suggest.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)