Obama congratulates Afghan voters on high election turnout
Afghan residents wishing to vote line up underneath underneath Afghan flags outside a polling station in Mazar-i-Sharif on April 5, 2014 (FARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
April 5th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
2 weeks ago

Obama congratulates Afghan voters on high election turnout

(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Saturday praised the high turnout of voters in the first democratic transfer of presidential power in Afghanistan's history.

Increased violence ahead of the elections threatened to keep voters home, but long lines at polling centers across the country showed the determination of the Afghan people to have their voices heard.

As the U.S. draws down its forces in Afghanistan, the President called on officials to follow through on the election results.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Elections • Hamid Karzai • John Kerry • President Obama
White House, Republicans push opposing economic agendas in weekly addresses
April 5th, 2014
12:23 PM ET
2 weeks ago

White House, Republicans push opposing economic agendas in weekly addresses

(CNN) - In their weekly addresses, the White House and the Republican Party described different visions for how to fix an economy that still struggles to show consistent growth.

Friday's monthly jobs report showed the economy picking up slightly after a lull over the winter, but signaled that a healthy jobs market is still years away.

President Obama, in his weekly address from the White House, pushed for job creation and training, access to education and raising the minimum wage, while Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, in the GOP's weekly address, blamed Democrats for an approach that he says throws "billions of dollars each year" at problems in the job market without making fundamental improvements.
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Filed under: Economy • GOP • Jobs • President Obama • Republican • Tim Scott • unemployment
April 3rd, 2014
09:18 AM ET
2 weeks ago

Inside Politics: Could more money (and transparency) be a good thing?

Here's what we're watching Thursday Inside Politics:

Turns out money is the same thing as speech in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUS campaign finance in a nutshell: After the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC yesterday, you can't just give as much money as you want to any candidate. Those limits are still set at $5,200 every two years. But there's now no limit on how much total you can give to all candidates. The old limit was $123,000 every two years. As Jeffrey Toobin put it on CNN just after the decision, essentially, in the eyes of the court, corporations are people and money is speech.

John Roberts’ majority ruling: “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades - despite the profound offense such spectacles cause - it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

Stephen Breyer’s dissent: The decision “creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. FEC, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

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Obama takes minimum wage pitch to Michigan
April 2nd, 2014
08:50 AM ET
3 weeks ago

Obama takes minimum wage pitch to Michigan

Updated 3:49 p.m. ET, 4/2/2014

Ann Arbor, Michigan (CNN) – Having declared his signature health care initiative a success - at least for now - President Barack Obama headed to Michigan Wednesday to push another top domestic priority, raising the federal minimum wage.

Speaking to a rowdy crowd at the University of Michigan, Obama used much of his remarks to lambast Republicans who oppose such a hike, saying it amounted to giving working-class Americans "the shaft."
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Filed under: 2014 • Michigan • Minimum wage • President Obama
April 1st, 2014
02:25 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Red Sox Nation converges on the White House

Washington (CNN) - Chicago White Sox fan-in-chief President Obama honored the Boston Red Sox at the White House on Tuesday for their 2013 World Series championship, but he slipped in a quick plug for his hometown team while greeting the defending champs.

“Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. Good luck this season. May the best Sox win,” Obama said.
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Filed under: Massachusetts • President Obama • White House
Official: Obamacare on track to meet original goal
April 1st, 2014
07:13 AM ET
3 weeks ago

Official: Obamacare on track to meet original goal

Washington (CNN) - After a surge of sign-ups on enrollment deadline day, Obamacare is now on track to hit the White House's original target of 7 million people signing up, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

More than 4.8 million visits were made to healthcare.gov and 2 million calls were made to the call center Monday, raising optimism that the goal would be met, the official said.

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Filed under: Obamacare • President Obama
Obama makes his pick in contested Hawaii primary
Brian Schatz participates in a ceremonial swearing in event with Vice President Joe Biden, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill, on December 27, 2012.
March 31st, 2014
03:33 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Obama makes his pick in contested Hawaii primary

Updated 5:13 p.m. ET, 3/31/2014

(CNN) – President Barack Obama jumped into the heated Democratic primary battle in his native state of Hawaii, backing incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

Schatz, previously lieutenant governor, was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2012 after the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye.
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Filed under: 2014 • Hawaii • President Obama • Senate
March 28th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Political Circus: The joke's on us

Washington (CNN)—Come on House Speaker John Boehner.

We know you’re miffed about Obamacare’s latest extension...
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Filed under: John Boehner • Obamacare • President Obama • Rand Paul • Scott Brown • Uncategorized
Rand Paul jabs at Obama over NSA controversy
March 27th, 2014
10:12 AM ET
3 weeks ago

Rand Paul jabs at Obama over NSA controversy

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul took a shot Thursday on Twitter at President Barack Obama over the National Security Agency surveillance controversy.

As the President was meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the first term Republican senator from Kentucky, who is one of Obama's biggest critics over NSA surveillance activities, jokingly offered the President a suggestion on what he should say to the pontiff.

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Filed under: NSA • Pope Francis • President Obama • Rand Paul
March 26th, 2014
01:20 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Boehner rips latest Obamacare extension: 'What the hell is this, a joke?'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner ripped a decision to extend the March 31 Obamacare enrollment deadline for some people who have not finished signing up.

"What the hell is this, a joke?" he said on Wednesday of the Obama administration’s latest change in carrying out the politically charged health law.

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Filed under: Health care • Healthcare • John Boehner • Obamacare • President Obama
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