WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's address to Congress Wednesday was heavily salted with statistics.
"There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage," he said.
It's not a new approach - the president's health care speeches are generally awash in figures - but the choice of figures may be significant.
"Even for folks who are weathering this economic storm, and have health care right now, all it takes is one stroke of bad luck - an accident or an illness, a divorce, a lost job - to become one of the nearly 46 million uninsured or the millions who have health care, but really can't afford what they've got," President Obama said March 5 as he kicked off the health care summit at the White House.
Yesterday, a new night brought a new number - one which may reflect a conscious shift in emphasis on the president's part.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama will chair a summit meeting of leaders from nations on the U.N. Security Council September 24, his spokesman announced Thursday.
It will be the first time a U.S. president has chaired such a meeting, and only the fifth time the heads of state of Security Council member countries have held a summit, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
The topic of the summit will be nuclear proliferation and nuclear disarmament, Gibbs said. The meeting will occur around the opening of the U.N.
General Assembly in New York.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The nation's economy started to turn around after the passage of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package in February, his chief economic adviser said Thursday.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created or saved slightly more than 1 million jobs through August, according to the president's Council of Economic Advisers.
The stimulus plan also boosted the nation's gross domestic product by 2.3 percentage points in the second quarter, the council said in its first quarterly stimulus report to Congress.
"Following implementation of ARRA, the trajectory of the economy changed materially toward moderating output decline and job loss," the council said.
President Obama said in a September 9 address to a joint session of Congress
that "Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."
(CNN) – Rep. Joe Wilson, who heckled President Obama's speech on health care reform Wednesday night, is a popular, deeply conservative, usually polite Republican with a solid lock on his district, observers say.
After the president told members of Congress that the plan would not pay for treating illegal immigrants, boos and hisses could be heard to Obama's left. Wilson's voice rose above the clatter, shouting, "You lie!"
Speaking near his Capitol Hill office on Thursday, Wilson called his outburst "spontaneous" and said he had apologized in a call to the White House.
"I taught Joe Wilson's kids. He is a good guy. I don't think this is in keeping with him," said Dave Woodard, a Clemson University political science professor who has known Wilson for years.
"He's a decent guy," Woodard added. "We all make mistakes, and I think he made a mistake."
(CNN) – President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.
"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."
Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."
One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.
"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden predicted Thursday Congress will have a resolution on the health care bill "before Thanksgiving."
"I think the most important thing he did, he also debunked a lot of the myths out there, the idea of death panels, that we were going to insure undocumented aliens," Biden told the "Today Show," commending Obama for his emphasis that doing nothing is not an option.
"I believe we will have a bill," Biden said. "I've been in the Congress for a long long time, been there for eight presidents. I think we will have a bill before Thanksgiving."
The vice president also said the way Republicans "stepped away" from Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst Wednesday evening is proof Congress is not as divided as it may seem.
Wilson said Thursday that he had been instructed by GOP leadership to call the president to apologize, and Sen. John McCain called the congressman's behavior "totally disrespectful" in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live.
"I saw unity in the Congress in terms of the response to Joe Wilson's demeaning comment, not only to the president but to an institution I love," Biden said.
(CNN) – Virginia residents are set to be bombarded Thursday with new television ads attacking both the state's gubernatorial candidates.
The Republican Governor's Association, via their offshoot political action committee in Virginia, released a 30-second spot that takes aim at Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds' fiscal policies, saying Deeds once pushed for a tax plan that would have increased taxes on gasoline by 34 percent.
"Creigh Deeds, pumping up spending, pumping up taxes, even in a bad economy," the ad's narrator states.
Meanwhile, the Deeds campaign went up with an ad Thursday targeting Republican Bob McDonnell's policies on abortion issues.
"Bob McDonnell introduced 35 bills to restrict a women's right to choose," the ad's narrator states. "He wants to outlaw abortion - even in cases of rape and incest."
(CNN) - Two words, delivered with index finger punctuating the air and directed at the president of the United States, made a little-known South Carolina congressman one of the most controversial men on the Internet - at least Wednesday heading into Thursday.
As soon as Rep. Joe Wilson was identified as the person whose angry and audible outburst disrupted President Obama's health care speech to Congress, condemnation was swift - and brutal.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The South Carolina GOP congressman who shouted at President Barack Obama during his Wednesday night speech to Congress insisted Thursday that his outburst was "spontaneous."
Rep. Joe Wilson shocked many when he shouted "You lie!" after the president denied that health-care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants.
Wilson told reporters Thursday that the Republican congressional leadership told him Wednesday night that they wanted him to contact the White House and indicate that his comments were "inappropriate."