October 2013

Oct 31, 2013

Three Republicans Back Democratic Immigration Bill In House

By Susan Davis, USA Today

A Democratic bill in the House to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is picking up Republican support, though well short of the votes needed to pass the measure.

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As Talks Open, Democrats Show Signs of Division

By Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times

President Obama and congressional Democrats, astonishingly united through recent fiscal fights with Republicans, were showing some divisions as budget negotiations opened on Wednesday between the House and Senate to avert another crisis in coming months.

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Budget Talks Set Low Expectations For A Deal

By Susan Davis, USA Today

Lawmakers tasked with finding a budget agreement to head off the next fiscal confrontation set low expectations at their first public meeting on Wednesday.

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Tap on Merkel Provides Peek at Vast Spy Net

By Mark Mazzetti and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

It was not obvious to the National Security Agency a dozen years ago that Angela Merkel, a rising star as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, was a future chancellor of Germany.

But that did not matter.

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Obamacare, Shutdown Hurt Obama's Standing: NBC News/WSJ Poll

By John Harwood, CNBC

The troubled rollout of the new health-care law and recent government shutdown have exacted a major toll on President Barack Obama's standing, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found.

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Obama’s Health-Care Promise That People Can Keep Their Insurance Comes Back to Haunt him

By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

It is a catchy sound bite that has turned around to bite the hand that fed it to the country: If you like the health insurance you have, you can keep it.

President Obama’s credibility has taken a hit over that line, which he tossed off in various versions during countless campaign stops and policy speeches.

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Oct 30, 2013

Does Obama Still Have Faith in Government?

By Gloria Borger, CNN

Irony is a part of life, the cliché goes. And right now, President Barack Obama is living the part, in a big way: He's the civil libertarian defending an activist drone program. He's the liberal with a spy agency caught eavesdropping on the private conversations of friendly leaders. And he's the high-tech health care reformer whose website got stuck at Go.

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Should Congress yield control of the debt limit?

By Susan Davis, USA Today

In the wake of the latest confrontation that pushed the nation to the brink of financial default, lawmakers are posing a management question: Can we continue to trust Congress with raising the nation's debt ceiling?

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It Gets Better

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

During the public debate over health care in 2009 and 2010, no matter how tightly you may have shut your door, there was one piece of information it was impossible to avoid: the president's promise that if you liked your doctor and your health care plan you would be able to keep it. So it was a surprise to many people to get a letter like the one Independence Blue Cross sent its customers weeks ago. It said that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, "your current plan will be discontinued effective January 1, 2014, and you will need to select a new plan by the end of December to avoid any interruption in coverage."

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Where the Buck Stops, Some See a Bystander

By Peter Baker, The New York Times

President Obama finds himself under fire on two disparate fronts these days, both for the botched rollout of his signature health care program and for the secret spying on allied heads of state. In both instances, his explanation roughly boils down to this: I didn’t know.

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Obamacare's 'Whole Truth'

With John Harwood, CNBC

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Intelligence Officials Defend Spying On Allies

With Tom Gjelten, NPR

U.S. intelligence officials are defending their surveillance operations carried out in allied countries. Testifying on Capitol Hill, they said reports that the NSA intercepted phone calls of European citizens are "completely false" and based on a misreading of the leaked documents on which the reports were based. They did not deny monitoring the communications of European leaders, saying such intelligence-gathering is normal.