WASHINGTON (CNN)– Even as the Obama administration struggles to sell a massive economic stimulus plan, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is planning Monday to unveil a separate financial stability plan that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars more to buy up troubled assets from banks and more broadly deal with the credit crunch and foreclosure crisis, according to two senior administration officials.
The officials are billing the move as a major reform of the so-called TARP federal bailout program that was created last fall to try and stabilize the financial system, but has come under withering criticism across the political spectrum.
"It will be an overhaul of the whole program," one senior official vowed about the package being put together Geithner and other top economic advisers to the President.
Officials said the goals of the new plan will include bringing new transparency and accountability standards to the TARP program, keeping people in their existing homes, and increasing lending to consumers and small businesses.
(CNN) - The entertainment world may be in a swoon over Barack Obama, but one legendary soul singer is fuming at the new president and the pop star who serenaded the first couple on inauguration night.
Etta James, famous for her rendition of the song “At Last,” is apparently miffed that pop star Beyonce was tapped to perform the ballad as the president and first lady slow-danced during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on January 20.
“You guys know your president, right?” the singer asked an audience in Canada last week, according to audio posted on TMZ.com. “You know the one with big ears? Yeah, wait a minute. He ain’t my president.”
She then went after Beyonce: “That woman singing for him, singing my song? She’s gonna get her ass whipped.”
WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA (CNN) – President Barack Obama got to experience another first in his nascent presidential career Thursday: a ride on Air Force One as commander-in-chief.
Donning a blue jacket with the presidential seal on the right and his name embroidered on the left, President Obama came back to the press section of the plane shortly before taking off for a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia where the House Democrats are meeting.
"Hey guys, what do you think of my - this spiffy ride here?” the president asked the group of reporters traveling with him on the presidential plane.
WASHINGTON (CNN) –A senior administration official tells CNN that a list of names for consideration to the top post at Health and Human Services has been compiled, and that the people on that list are now being vetted.
The official added that the list is not necessarily complete and that other names could be added. While there has been speculation about who might be considered for the position, the official would not confirm any of the names on the list.
Tom Daschle withdrew as President Obama’s cabinet nominee Tuesday.
(CNN) - The new Faith-Based Initiative. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, President Obama gives his personal account of his religious transformation. And CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin takes a look at the 26-year-old responsible for revamping the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
And: CNN's Kate Bolduan reports on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's hospitalization for treatment for pancreatic cancer. CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin looks at how this development might affect the Court.
Meanwhile: Another Obama cabinet pick is in trouble for tax problems, forcing the postponement of a key committee vote on the appointee's nomination. CNN's Ed Henry reports on the developing story.
Finally: An iconic image of Barack Obama created by artist Shepard Fairey hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Now, the Associated Press is accusing the artist of copyright infringement: The news agency says he based his work on one of their images, without first securing permission. CNN Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton takes a look.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved all four Pentagon officials nominated by the Obama administration, including a Raytheon lobbyist whose potential conflict of interest led to objections to the nomination.
The nominations still need to be voted on by the entire Senate.
Ratheon executive William Lynn was nominated to be deputy secretary of defense, the number two position under Secretary Robert Gates. Lynn was given
special waivers so that he could be appointed despite President Barack Obama's
ethics rules, which would have seemed to make him ineligible to operate in that
(CNN) – The bipartisan meeting of senators looking to reach a deal on the stimulus bill ended their second meeting Thursday afternoon sounding significantly less optimistic than they had earlier in the day.
Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Republican Susan Collins of Maine, and others said it was proving tough to reach the right balance on spending - cutting some programs while adding funds for infrastructure projects.
Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said they're trying to find the "sweet spot" on that mix.
Still, two Democratic senators said they have found general agreement to cut some $100 billion from the bill, a number they have reached as they have added cuts throughout the day.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will name the members of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board and lay out its mandate at a White House event tomorrow, the White House confirmed Thursday.
Obama will appear with Paul Volcker, who is heading the new group. That panel is tasked with assisting the president as he looks to reduce unemployment and stabilize the markets.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama will hold the first official press conference of his presidency next Monday night, February 9, two weeks earlier than President Bush held his first White House press conference eight years ago.
Obama is also slated to speak to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 24, in what is being described as his first State of the Union address. The White House says he will submit his first budget to Congress by the end of this month or the beginning of March.
(CNN) - The Associated Press is claiming ownership of the most famous image of the presidential campaign: Shepard Fairey's “Hope” depiction of President Obama in red, white and blue.
The image itself, which now has a home in the National Portrait Gallery, is based on a 2006 AP photograph — and the news service says it deserves credit, and a share of the massive profits Fairey's depiction has generated.
“The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement released Wednesday. "AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
Anthony Falzone, Fairey's attorney, says fair use protects his client's rights from using the photograph as a basis for his image. The concept of fair use allows breaches of copyright law based on the degree to which the original image is used, among other factors.
Fairey, a Los Angeles street artist, has said he found the image online and created his now-famous depiction in early 2008. He says he has not profited at all from the work, which he donated to the Obama campaign.