(ATLANTA) -- President Obama said on Sunday he remains optimistic about the prospects for his second term agenda despite what he called a “shortage of common sense” in the nation’s capital.
“We’ve got good, common-sense solutions that we can implement right now. The bad news is, is that there’s a shortage of common sense in Washington,” he said at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “What’s holding us back is a tendency in Washington to put politics ahead of policy, to put the next election ahead of the next generation. And that mind-set is what we need ...Read more
(ATLANTA) -- President Obama said Sunday that he is motivated by the knowledge that “but for the grace of God … I might have been in prison,” in a commencement address at historically black Morehouse College, where he spoke frankly about race and young men’s responsibilities to 500 male graduates.
In his second commencement address of this graduation season, the president called on the graduates to set examples for others and reach out to those who need help, telling them that as a black man he felt a unique connection to assist those in need because he could have faced similar circumstances.
“There but for the...Read more
(NEW YORK) -- Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week, White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the legality surrounding the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue service is “irrelevant,” but called the behavior “inexcusable.”
“I can’t speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable, and it was stopped and it needs to be fixed so we ensure it never happens again,” Pfeiffer said.
Stephanopoulos asked Pfeiffer if he really thought the law is “irrelevant.”
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Delivering her only speech at a high school graduation this year, first lady Michelle Obama joked about the failures her husband, President Obama, has encountered in life as she told a graduating class of high school seniors in Nashville, Tenn. Saturday that in order to achieve success in life, they must first experience failure.
“When something doesn’t go your way, you’ve just got to adjust. You’ve got to dig deep and work like crazy, and that’s when you’ll find out what you’re really made of during those hard times, but you can only do that if you’re willing to put yourself in a position where you...Read more
(WASHINTON) -- Much has been made of the fact that senior Treasury Department officials were told about the investigation into the treatment of tea party groups in June 2012 — months before last year’s the Presidential election. Republicans who requested the investigation were also told about it at approximately the same time.
In a letter dated July 11, 2012, the man who conducted the investigation, IRS inspector general J. Russell George wrote to Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, telling him that he was investigating the issue...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Michele Bachmann Thursday called the various scandals facing the White House “far worse than Watergate,” blaming the Obama administration for “direct actions taken against Americans who sought to exercise their free speech rights under the First Amendment.”
Bachmann, who ran for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination and currently chairs the Tea Party caucus, held a press conference on Thursday attended by various other conservative luminaries to criticize the administration not just for the IRS targeting Tea Party groups but the Justice Department seizing phone records ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- After a week of hearings in Washington and despite cloudy skies, President Obama is spending his Saturday afternoon on the golf course.
Obama's foursome included Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Kass.
Obama has frequented the golf course often this spring, but until Saturday always with male golfing partners. Sebelius is the first woman to join the president on the golf course this year....Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says he believes "the true engine of economic growth" is a "rising, thriving middle class." But in order to build on progress made over the last four years, he says in his weekly address, government should invest in three areas: jobs, skills and opportunities.
President Obama has been visiting cities across the country as part of his "Middle Class Jobs and Opportunities Tour" to highlight the innovations taking place in the U.S. to create jobs or teach skills needed to fill opportunities for middle class families. On Friday, the president wrapped up the tour's second stop in Baltimore, ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland delivers this week's Republican address, joined by Sen. Mitch McConnell's Red Tape Tower, a seven-foot tall collection of "all the regulations already associated with President Obama's health care law." Harris, also a physician, argues for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and claims the law only limits job opportunities for Americans.
"Obamacare is knocking American off the ladder of opportunity, and the sooner we repeal it, the sooner we can start fixing health care for working families," Harris says in the address.
The Red Tape Tower, ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh apologized Friday for comments he made last week that a “hook-up mentality” among America’s youth might be responsible for some sexual assaults in the military. The comments were criticized by members of Congress and victims’ advocacy groups.
In a meeting with reporters, the Air Force’s top general said he was sorry to the victims of sexual assault who saw his comments as blaming victims. ”This crime is horrible – I think my position on this is pretty clear – but in view of the fact there are victims who took what I said as blaming ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- The Internal Revenue Service planted a question at an American Bar Association conference in order to reveal that it had inappropriately targeted conservative groups prior to the 2012 elections. But members of Congress are questioning why they weren’t told earlier.
The question that prompted Lois Lerner, IRS director of tax exempt organizations, to apologize for the agency’s actions came from Celia Roady, a prominent Washington lawyer in private practice. Roady said that she received a call from Lerner the day before the May 10 conference, requesting that Roady ask a question about tax exempt groups.
“I ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was first informed in March that there was an investigation into the IRS’ screening of nonprofit groups, but did not learn the details of that probe until last week, he said today.
“In mid March, I had had a conversation, just a getting-to-know-you conversation, with the inspector general right after I started, and he went through a number of items that were matters they were working on. And the topic of a project on the 501c3 issue was one of the things he briefed me was ongoing,” Lew said in an interview on Bloomberg’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.”
(WASHINGTON) -- Irate lawmakers Friday accused the acting IRS commissioner of misleading them about the agency's selective scrutiny of tea party-affiliated groups, demanding to know who was responsible and why no one told Congress about it.
"Why did you mislead Congress and the American people on this?" Louisiana GOP Rep. Charles Boustany, who chairs the Ways and Means panel's Oversight Subcommittee, asked Steven Miller.
"I did not mislead Congress or the American people," Miller replied.
Miller apologized but maintained that politics did not motivate the perceived targeting.
(BALTIMORE) -- Trying to change the subject after a week of political scandals, President Obama on Friday said the nation’s “focus cannot drift” from rebuilding the economy and that lawmakers should focus their attention on putting Americans back to work.
“I know it can seem frustrating sometimes when it seems like Washington's priorities aren't the same as your priorities. I know it often seems like folks down there are more concerned with their jobs than with yours,” Obama told local residents and workers at Ellicott Dredges factory in Baltimore.
“Others may get distracted by ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Despite her congressional testimony, the Internal Revenue Service on Friday denied that the former commissioner of tax exempt and government entities -- now running the agency’s health care office -- was in charge of the unit’s day-to-day operations after Dec. 2010.
Sarah Hall Ingram retained the title of commissioner, with oversight over tax-exempt groups, but the IRS says she moved to the agency’s Affordable Care Act office full time by the end of 2010, six months after the tax agency began selectively scrutinizing conservative groups.
Her successor as commissioner, Joseph Grant, said Thursday ...Read more