WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just 20 minutes after the release of July's unemployment report, The Republican National Committe released a statement slamming President Obama for taking a "victory lap" over some better-than-expected economic indicators:
"While President Obama was taking a victory lap to celebrate the economy's performance, more Americans lost their jobs and the budget deficit soared to a record $1.3 trillion in July. In the month of July alone 247,000 Americans lost their jobs, which means more than 2.8 million Americans have lost their jobs since the president took office," said RNC Chairman Michael Steele in an e-mail. "The president said his stimulus bill would keep unemployment from rising higher than 8 percent. It hasn't. Now he expects Americans to believe his trillion-dollar health care experiment will improve their health care? It won't. America simply can't afford more of the president's costly experiments."
(CNN) - Luci Baines Johnson was just 16 years old when she approached her father, President Johnson, with what she considered a reasonable request.
"I asked my father if we could have the Beatles come to play at the White House," she recalled. "I was very excited about it."
His response? A decisive no, "without even any moment of trying to soften the blow," Johnson said in a recent phone interview.
The president thought the move would be viewed as self-serving. His daughter, however, saw it as a chance to honor "a great talent" and strengthen ties between the United States and Great Britain - not to mention a golden opportunity for her and her friends.
(CNN) - A health care town hall meeting in Florida on Thursday dissolved into bouts of heckling and violent pushing and shoving among attendees.
The meeting in Tampa, which featured Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Florida State Representative Betty Reed, was another example of the tense battle lines that have been created in the passionate health care debate.
Hundreds showed for the meeting at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, some carrying signs railing against President Obama's proposed health care reforms. Hundreds more were not able to get into the meeting room.
As Castor first began to speak, scuffles broke out as people tried to get into the meeting room. Parts of the congresswoman's speech was drowned out by chants of "read the bill, read the bill" and "tyranny," video of the meeting showed.
Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat who was re-elected in November with nearly 86 percent of the vote in her heavily African-American district, earned a round of applause at the beginning of her town hall forum when she said she would not tolerate any rude behavior.
“You have to be respectful,” Edwards said. “Because I don’t know what’s been going in every place else around the country. But I know that that is not the 4th Congressional district of Maryland.”
She rejected the “hyperbole” and “noise” from health care opponents and told critics in the audience that while the health care system may appear to be in good shape in wealthier communities, “it is broken for millions of Americans.”
(CNN) - The nation's unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.4 percent in July, the U.S. Labor Department said.
The figures beat most expectations.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that Americans think Barack Obama's performance as president deserves a grade of C +.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Thursday as the president approaches 200 days in the White House, asked respondents to use a grading scale of A, B, C, D, and F, where A is excellent and F is very poor.
Twenty-two percent of those questioned gave Obama an A, 32 percent a B, 20 percent a C, 14 percent a D and 14 percent an F. The president's grade averaged out to a C+.
The president received a grade of B minus in a CNN poll taken earlier this year as he approached 100 days in office.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted July 31-August 3, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN National Report Card: President Obama
During his first 200 days in office, President Obama has acted on a wide range of issues, from the economy to terrorism, and addressed wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the next 100 days, Obama’s plans for health care reform and an energy “cap and trade” program hang in the balance.
CNN National Report Card: The media
President Obama has held four televised prime-time news conferences, sat for dozens of interviews and appeared on countless magazine covers. His constant media presence has caused some to ask if the president is overexposed, and if journalists have been too critical – or not critical enough – of his performance.
CNN National Report Card: Republican leadership
Decimated by the 2008 elections, the Republican Party has had to find a way to contend with minority status in both houses of Congress. The GOP's biggest challenge: to defy a far more popular president's broad an ambitious agenda without seeming obstructionist.
CNN National Report Card: Congress
Congress, controlled by Democrats, is debating health care reform legislation, and may vote on a bill by year's end after missing the original August deadline requested by President Obama.
CNN National Report Card: Your senators
As states across the country grappled with high unemployment rates, budget shortfalls and foreclosures, Congress passed the Obama administration's stimulus plan to provide some economic relief.
CNN National Report Card: Vice President Biden
Vice President Biden plays a main role in promoting the Obama administration’s economic agenda. He’s also caused the administration some embarrassment with several high-profile gaffes.
CNN National Report Card: Secretary of State Clinton
Hillary Clinton has traveled to Asia, Europe, the Mideast and Mexico, and administration officials say she plays a key role in directing policy on China, Russia and North Korea.
CNN National Report Card: Foreign affairs
President Obama inherited two wars and other global crises around the world. During his first 200 days, he has increased the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and announced plans to withdraw most of the American military presence from Iraq by August of next year