Update 8:14 p.m., 12/4/2013
(CNN) – Obamacare is back, at least in how President Barack Obama refers to his signature health care reforms.
Following the botched October 1 launch of the HealthCare.gov website for the reforms, the Obama administration appeared to steer clear of the nickname Obamacare originally given by hostile Republicans and later adopted by the President.
Update 5:29 p.m. ET, 12/4/2013
Washington (CNN) - The White House is officially ready for the holidays.
Following yearly tradition, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled a White House transformed by Christmas finery Wednesday.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration isn’t always truthful with the American people, a top Republican senator charged Monday.
“I think the current administration has taken lying to a new level,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said bluntly as he tied the administration’s flawed explanations about the deadly incident at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya to its faulty promises about the new healthcare reform law.
“Since the terrible tragedy that took four American lives in Benghazi, we’ve had difficulty, to put it mildly, trying to get to the bottom of this,” the second-ranking Senate Republican said during a Google Hangout session he held while the Senate is on recess. “Now the goal is to talk to the Benghazi survivors – people who were actually there who could tell the truth and expose what happened and hold the people responsible accountable. This has been a cover up from the very beginning.”
Cornyn, a frequent administration critic who is running for re-election, said that same lack of accountability is resurfacing as the White House tries to explain the problems with Obamacare.
“To me, that’s the one thing I find most aggravating about what’s happening in Washington these days, particularly about this administration. Which is a lack of accountability and the willingness to mislead people or provide them just demonstrably false information and expect to be able to move on,” he said. “We’ve seen this most recently in the health care debate over ‘if you like what you have you can keep it,’ something that we can go back to 2010 and demonstrate that the Department of Health and Human Services knew was false.”
Cornyn said Republicans are trying to get to the bottom of Benghazi and the health law promises but are struggling to do so “when the administration decides to cover this up and mislead and to change the subject as they seem to be very good at doing.”
(CNN) - First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia and dogs Bo and Sunny, welcomed the official White House Christmas tree Friday.
The 18.5-foot-tall Douglas fir will go in the White House Blue Room. Chris Botek, the third-generation Christmas tree grower from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, and his family, were at the White House when the tree from his farm arrived. Last year's tree was from a farm in North Carolina.
(CNN) – As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama and the GOP expressed gratitude on Thursday to members of the military serving overseas during the holiday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a member of the Armed Service Committee, said the celebrations are a reminder to be grateful for life’s basic comforts and the nation should remember those unable to make it home for the holiday.
(CNN) - The South Lawn of the White House was illuminated Wednesday as thousands were expected to attend the National Hanukkah Menorah lighting, celebrating the start of the Jewish lunar calendar on the first night of Hanukkah.
Thursday, the beginning of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, carries unique significance as it marks the last time for 70,000-plus years the two holidays will fall on the same date.
Washington (CNN) – After an online vote that included a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram campaign, a turkey named Popcorn won a presidential reprieve from the Thanksgiving table Wednesday.
In a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama joined by daughters Sasha and Malia, joked that, "Thanksgiving is a bad day to be a turkey. Especially at a house with two dogs. So I salute our two guests of honor, Caramel and Popcorn for their bravery."
Update 1:53 p.m. ET, 11/27/2013
Washington (CNN) - It's a welcome sign with a caveat.
President Barack Obama and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are urging people to try again on the problem-plagued Obamacare website, insisting it will work better by Saturday's self-imposed deadline to improve its performance from last month's botched launch.FULL STORY
Mt. Vernon, Virginia (CNN) – Along a pastoral lane at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate sits a sizable wooden pen built specifically to house the two turkeys that will be "pardoned" at the White House on Wednesday.
The well-appointed pen includes a small coop to protect them from weather and foxes, and an area for them to strut their stuff for camera-toting tourists.FULL STORY