Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago.
Latest news and discussion about former U.S. President Barack Obama.
  • Trump to Swap Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ for Modest Upgrades

    Trump to Swap Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ for Modest Upgrades

    (Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is on track to obliterate former President Barack Obama’s signature plan for combating climate change by replacing sweeping curbs on power plant emissions with requirements for modest upgrades at the sites.The Environmental Protection Agency is set to unveil its rewrite of the Clean Power Plan as soon as Wednesday, finalizing a replacement rule that would establish pollution guidelines based on potential gains from efficiency upgrades at individual facilities.Like a proposal released last October, the EPA’s final rule gives U.S. states wide latitude to design their own plans for paring carbon dioxide emissions at power plants, according to people familiar with the measure who asked not to be named before it was released.The effort fulfills President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to rip up the Clean Power Plan and dovetails with his administration’s retreat from a global fight against climate change. Trump announced in June 2017 that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate accord, a global carbon-cutting agreement reached in 2015, and the EPA is now unwinding Obama-era regulations targeting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, automobiles and oil wells.Yet the latest decision -- which faces an inevitable legal challenge -- prolongs uncertainty for electric utilities and power generators that are already eschewing coal-fired power and embracing cleaner natural gas and renewables.Less AmbitiousTrump’s approach is significantly less ambitious than the Obama administration’s rule by relying on a narrow view of the “best system of emission reduction” at coal-fired power plants, said Janet McCabe, the EPA’s former acting administrator for air quality.“It constrains it only to the things that power plants can do within their fence line,” McCabe said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said the agency’s planned power plant changes empower states to pare emissions while ensuring Americans have access to reliable and affordable energy.Environmentalists have already vowed to battle the replacement rule in federal court -- setting up potential legal wrangling that could last years. Already, court action prevented Obama’s Clean Power Plan from going into effect. The Supreme Court put off the initiative in February 2016, amid legal challenges from opponents who said the EPA had overstepped its authority.At the time it was imposed, the Clean Power Plan was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.In a change from its earlier proposal, the EPA will not simultaneously finalize provisions authorizing companies to upgrade old power plants without triggering requirements for costly pollution control systems, said the people. That change is expected to come later, as the EPA works to overhaul its so-called New Source Review program governing pollution controls at power plants and industrial facilities.A ShiftThose permitting changes were needed to drive more aggressive efficiency improvements at individual power plants, the EPA argued in its proposal. Stripping those provisions out could help justify weaker requirements for bolstering efficiency.The EPA’s power plant rule is set to mark a shift in how the agency credits potential health gains tied to cleaning up air pollution -- specifically fine particulate matter, or soot.Last year, the EPA predicted its initial proposal would mean an uptick in particulate matter pollution -- and the asthma attacks, respiratory diseases and premature deaths tied to it. There could be a range of 470 to 1,400 additional premature deaths in 2030 under even the most stringent proposed power plant improvements, the EPA predicted. Hospital admissions and emergency room visits for asthma would also climb.But the EPA is expected to discount the potential effects of its final rule by comparing its impacts against a baseline scenario without the Clean Power Plan in place.The agency also is set to highlight questions about the health benefits tied to low levels of soot. Administration officials debated the merits of that approach in 2017, as they moved to repeal the Clean Power Plan.In an October 2017 email exchange released as part of a federal rulemaking docket, an EPA official said the agency could choose to discount some health benefits of paring soot by asserting it was the administration’s policy to acknowledge uncertainties about the impacts. That would have the benefit of being a “policy” and not “a purely scientific call” that would require addressing recent scientific studies, EPA lead economist Al McGartland said in a September 2017 message. To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at jdlouhy1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at, John Harney, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Audubon intervenes to protect ocean monument for puffins
    The Citizens' Voice

    Audubon intervenes to protect ocean monument for puffins

    PORTLAND, Maine — The National Audubon Society is getting involved in a lawsuit over the future of a national monument in the ocean off New England because of the area's importance to seabirds, especially colorfully beaked puffins. Fishing groups sued in federal court against creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which former President Barack Obama designated in 2016. The case is on appeal. Court documents show Audubon has moved to file a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of keeping the monument. Lawyers for the fishing groups have said the monument was illegally created by Obama using the Antiquities Act. The groups include fishermen, such as lobstermen and crabbers

  • Raptors GM did a 'close-fisted shove… potentially.' But police haven't released video

    Raptors GM did a 'close-fisted shove… potentially.' But police haven't released video

    Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri allegedly struck a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office in the face as he tried to enter the court at Oracle Arena after his team beat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship last Thursday. That's a claim police have advanced following an incident, for which they say they'll pursue a charge of simple battery of an officer — a district attorney will decide whether the charge proceeds. WATCH: June 14 — Video offers second angle of aftermath of alleged confrontation between Masai Ujiri, police But that claim has come under increasing scrutiny in the days following the Game 6 championship. Greg Wiener, a Warriors season-ticket holder,

  • Biden spars with Warren and Sanders at first event facing rival Democrats
    The Guardian

    Biden spars with Warren and Sanders at first event facing rival Democrats

    Event organized by The Poor People’s Campaign tackled issues ranging from bipartisanship to inequality and systemic racism Joe Biden speaks at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress presidential forum in Washington on Monday. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, clashed with his primary rivals on Monday over whether it is “naive” to try and work with and win over Republicans in a post-Donald Trump era. Appearing at an event with other Democratic candidates for the first time in the 2020 race, Biden spoke at a forum in Washington organised by The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. The Reverend William Barber, the co-chair of the campaign, urged the audience to refrain from cheering or clapping any of the nine candidates but rather focus on listening. “If you don’t do that, the media will misinterpret it, and our issues won’t get out,” he said. “The movement is bigger than any one person.” Even so, some of those present could not resist generating some noise for Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whereas the reaction to Biden was somewhat cooler. Joy Reid, an MSNBC host who moderated the question and answer sessions, asked Biden how he would get his plans through a resistant Congress, noting that, when he was vice-president, the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell considered anything that came from the White House “dead on arrival”. Biden fixed his gaze on the sitting Reid, walked closer and leaned towards her as he replied: “Joy, I know you’re one of the ones who thinks it’s naive to think we have to work together. The fact of the matter is, if we can’t get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive. Zero.” He acknowledged “there are certain things where it takes a brass knuckle fight” but said a president has to use the power of persuasion. “You’ve got to make it clear to Republicans that you understand on some things there’s a rationale for compromise.” Biden, who made several references to Barack Obama during some meandering answers, added: “You can shame people to do things the right way.” During the campaign so far, the former vice-president has implied that Trump is an aberration, and that his defeat could herald a return to the kind of bipartisan cooperation he enjoyed in the Senate with the likes of John McCain. Other candidates, however, have suggested that Trump is a symptom of a far deeper malaise. Warren, who is gaining on Biden in opinion polls, told the forum: “Let’s be clear, if we’re in the majority and Mitch McConnell wants to block us on the kinds of things our country needs and the kinds of things they elected me and other people to enact, then I’m all for getting rid of the filibuster. “We cannot let him block things the way he did during the Obama administration. I’ve been there when it was one set of rules when President Obama was president and now it’s a different set of rules now that they’ve got Trump in the White House. We can’t do that as Democrats. We have to be willing to get in this fight.” The Senate filibuster is a gift to obstructionists, enabling a minority of senators to use procedure to prevent a bill from being voted on by the full Senate by extending debate. In an energetic performance, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado also suggested a combative approach. “I wouldn’t want any of us to be as malevolent or as cynical as Mitch McConnell, but could we please just be as strategic as he is?” Raising his left hand, Bennet almost shouted: “We have a climate denier in the White House! The majority of the American people believe that climate change is real, that humans are contributing to it and we should deal with it urgently. But we have a climate denier in there who ran proudly on that and the Senate is full of climate deniers as well.” Rather than trying to persuade them, the senator argued in favour of out-organising them and building a coalition, including farmers, that could overcome McConnell. “I do not believe we can change all this in one election,” he added. “I think this is going to take the rest of my lifetime, election after election after election, starting with the defeat of Donald Trump.” Elizabeth Warren speaking at the event. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images The Poor People’s Campaign released what it called a “Moral Budget”, highlighting that 140 million people in the US are considered poor or low income, laying out a plan for change, and challenging “the lie of scarcity”. It identifies $350bn in annual military spending cuts that would make the nation and the world more secure, and $886bn in estimated annual revenue from fair taxes on the wealthy, corporations, and Wall Street. Barber declared at the event’s opening: “We are here because in 2016 we went through the most expensive presidential campaign in US history without a single serious discussion or debate about systemic racism or poverty. Twenty-six debates and not one hour.” Barber criticised Democrats in past cycles for focusing on the middle class rather than the poor and embracing neoliberalism and “Republican-lite”. He argued that although poverty is most concentrated among black people, it is highest in raw numbers among white people. He quizzed candidate after candidate over how they would deal with the “interlocking injustices” of systemic racism (for example, voter suppression), poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and “distorted morality” (for example, by the religious right), and whether Democrats should hold a televised debate on the issue. Sanders and Warren, who both answered yes, seemed most at ease in outlining visions to combat multi-pronged injustices simultaneously. Sanders described Republican governors who suppress votes as “political cowards” and earned applause by stating: “If you are a citizen of America, you have the right to vote even if you are in jail.” Attendees held up signs including ‘“Starving a child is violence”, “A poverty wage is violence” and “Polluted drinking water is violence”.Bobby Fields, 33, an African American man who earns $9.30 an hour working at McDonald’s in Tampa, Florida, said he has yet not decided which candidate to support. “Trump has never acted in our best interests. He makes things worse. I’m feeling much better about all the Democratic candidates than I am about the president. Patricia Chadwick, 66, who works in communications for an international not-for-profit organisation, voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary but said: “I like him but he’s a little too old. I’m leaning towards Elizabeth Warren. She’s produced ideas and plans and there’s the benefit she’s a woman. I wouldn’t [vote] for someone just because they’re a woman but I would like to see a woman as president.” As for Biden, Chadwick was unimpressed. “I don’t like him. He’s very mainstream corporate. He’s sexist. I didn’t like the thing he did at the hearing with Anita Hill.”

  • Fox News

    Larry Wilmore: White comedians were too 'afraid' to mock President Barack Obama

    Comedian Larry Wilmore knocked his white peers for being too "afraid" of mocking former President Barack Obama when he was in office. On the latest episode of "The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special,"  Shapiro sat down with Wilmore and discussed how the political climate has impacted modern comedy. Shapiro began by pointing out how "one-sided" late-night comedians have been and that "no one made a joke about Barack Obama for eight years." "Now that I agree with you," Wilmore responded. "I felt that white comedians, definitely on the left, were definitely afraid of making the wrong joke about Obama. "And when they did make jokes about Obama, they were flattering jokes, you know? Like, nobody really

  • Navy SEAL officer who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid suggests Trump could learn about 'integrity' from Obama and Bush
    Business Insider

    Navy SEAL officer who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid suggests Trump could learn about 'integrity' from Obama and Bush

    Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, a Navy SEAL who commanded the US Joint Special Operations Command, described President Donald Trump's predecessors as "men of great character" and said he hoped Trump would take cues from their presidencies. "I had the opportunity to work for President [George W. Bush] and of course, President Obama," McRaven said during an interview on CNN. "And while I didn't agree with either men on every issue, they were men of great integrity and great character. And were always trying to do what was right for the nation." McRaven said he believes Trump "tries to do" what he believes is right for the country, but added "he may want to look at the examples of the two

  • Michael Kelly On Surviving The “Really Difficult” 'House Of Cards' Scandal, Giving Doug Stamper His Big Finish & Embracing Life On 'Jack Ryan'
    Deadline Hollywood

    Michael Kelly On Surviving The “Really Difficult” 'House Of Cards' Scandal, Giving Doug Stamper His Big Finish & Embracing Life On 'Jack Ryan'

    Michael Kelly's Doug Stamper was the steel-strong thread of integrity through six seasons of House of Cards. While the show's leads Frank and Claire Underwood stopped at nothing in their Machiavellian scheming, Doug was driven only by his loyalty to Frank. And although Kelly has three times been Emmy-nominated for the role, it is in this sixth and final season that he shines brightest of all. While Kevin Spacey's departure from the show almost robbed House of Cards of a proper ending, the rewrites that emerged following that debacle ultimately gave Doug his well-earned pivotal bow. In a finale scene so intense it took some 15 hours to shoot, Doug both confessed to murdering Frank and was stabbed


    White House expands health accounts for small firms

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says it will expand options for small companies to use special accounts to help workers buy their own health insurance or upgrade job-based coverage, officials said Thursday. The tax-free individual accounts are called "health reimbursement arrangements," or HRAs. White House officials said Thursday that employers could also combine the accounts with workplace coverage, allowing workers to use the money for additional benefits such as dental and vision care. HRAs are already available, but the administration is promoting new uses that potentially could boost their popularity. Critics fear that could undermine traditional workplace insurance. The HRA

  • Trump said no other US president has been treated worse than him, even Abraham Lincoln
    Business Insider

    Trump said no other US president has been treated worse than him, even Abraham Lincoln

    In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, President Donald Trump said he's been treated worse than any other American president, including President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated in 1865. In the interview, Trump repeated his usual complaints that the media treats him unfairly and writes fake stories about him and his administration — and said he needs to rely on Twitter to get his message across so he is not misconstrued. "If I don't use social media, I do not get the word out," Trump said, adding that supporters at his rallies beg him not to stop tweeting. When Stephanopoulos pushed back on Trump and argued that every president complains about their media coverage, Trump went further and argued that his tumultuous relationship with the press makes him the worst-treated president of all time, even worse than Lincoln.

  • Sasha Obama Looks Absolutely Stunning in Summer's Trendiest Dress

    Sasha Obama Looks Absolutely Stunning in Summer's Trendiest Dress

    She's the latest star to step out wearing one of Reformation's viral designs. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. I miss seeing photos of Sasha and Malia Obama on the regular. But every now and then, the former first daughters are snapped by photographers while going about their lives. This time, the paparazzi shot them while they were vacationing in Avignon, France over the weekend (casual, right?). Michelle and Barack Obama were also there, but it was their daughters' stylish summer outfits that really captured my attention. I couldn't help but notice that Sasha,

  • Ed Harris to Step in as Atticus Finch in Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Ed Harris to Step in as Atticus Finch in Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

    The four-time Oscar nominee will succeed Jeff Daniels in the iconic role, returning to Broadway after an absence of more than 20 years and beginning performances Nov. 5. Broadway has found its new Atticus Finch. Following the Nov. 3 departure of Jeff Daniels at the end of his year-long run in Aaron Sorkin's mega-selling stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harris will begin performances two days later in the pivotal role of the principled lawyer in 1930s small-town Alabama who takes on the defense of an African-American sharecropper falsely accused of raping a white woman. Producer Scott Rudin confirmed Harris' casting today, following a report Thursday in The New York Times, based on information

  • Plainview Daily Herald

    Bill would limit lobbyist contributions year-round

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine could place a year-round ban on political candidates accepting contributions from lobbyists outside their districts under a bill facing Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. Such bills have failed in past years but are gaining ground under the newly Democratic Legislature. The Senate sent the bill to Mills on Monday, and she has until next Friday to veto it, sign it or let it go into law. She hasn't said what she'll do. An Associated Press review of state campaign finance reports shows that self-identified lobbyists gave at least $25,000 to legislative candidates and legislator-run political action committees last year. Maine's biggest lobbying firms gave over $47,000. Currently,

  • Fact Check: Trump Defends Rising Deficit and Debt
    The Fiscal Times

    Fact Check: Trump Defends Rising Deficit and Debt

    In an interview with ABC News, President Trump — who as a candidate in 2016 said he could eliminate the national debt in eight years or at least reduce it in chunks — defended its continued rise under his administration.Asked about his criticism of the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, Trump brought up the debt and complained that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “doubled” it during their years in office:“What I don't like is when you raise the interest rates, there's no inflation-- there's virtually no inflation. When you raise interest rates, that means you're paying more in debt. And I inherited almost $21 trillion in debt. I inherited that. President Obama and Biden, they doubled the debt during their eight years. You know that.”When Stephanopoulos pointed out that the debt has been rising on Trump’s watch as well, the president said spending more money on the military was necessary:“Sure. But I have to rebuild the military. They doubled the debt, and they didn't do anything. They doubled the debt on nonsense. I took over a military that was totally depleted. I have to rebuild it. … We have beautiful new F-35s and F-18s and new — rifles, new uniforms. In the case of the Army, we have the new uniforms that everybody's wanted for years. They're an expensive — job. … We have spent a tremendous amount of money on our military. And we did the right thing because we had to rebuild our military.”Fact-Checking Trump:1\. The debt didn’t quite double under Obama, but it did rise by $9 trillion. The debt held by the public, a more meaningful number, did more than double, rising from $6.3 trillion to $14 trillion. But blaming that all on Obama isn’t fair, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has said. Meanwhile, the debt has risen by more than $2 trillion under Trump so far.2\. While Trump’s didn’t explain his claim that Obama raised the debt for “nonsense,” he has in the past criticized the deficit-raising stimulus passed in 2009 to help lift the country out of the Great Recession. While there’s still some debate among economists about just how much the stimulus helped, fact-checkers have said that Trump’s past criticisms distorted the facts and were “mostly false.”3\. Trump’s comments about military spending ignore other factors that have driven up the debt under his administration, including the 2017 tax cuts he signed, which the Congressional Budget Office has said will add $1.9 trillion to the debt. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said earlier this year that the tax cuts will cost $230 billion this year, accounting for roughly a quarter of the deficit, while spending increases Trump grudgingly signed into law last year, including those for the military, will cost $190 billion, or about a fifth of the deficit.Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.

  • Media Matters for America

    Fox Business host falsely claims the 2009 market crash was a "knee-jerk reaction" to President Obama's election

    CHARLES PAYNE: I think President Trump was talking about the knee-jerk reaction on Wall Street. All you have to do is look at history. From the day he was elected to the inauguration day the market was up 15 percent. Conversely when President Obama was elected the market crashed, right, it went down 14, almost 15 -- I'm sorry, Trump was up 9 percent, President Obama was down 14.8 percent and President Bush was down almost 4 percent. There is an instant reaction on Wall Street. The Washington Post: A guide to the financial crisis - 10 years later Previously:

  • Why is President Trump launching his reelection campaign in Florida?
    WTSP-TV Tampa

    Why is President Trump launching his reelection campaign in Florida?

    Present Trump is in Florida Tuesday, officially launching his 2020 reelection campaign. The President could have done that from anywhere. In fact, President Obama did it online. So, why a huge political rally in Orlando? Experts say Republicans and Democrats are already focusing their “I mean, Florida is the jackpot again for the 2020 elections,” said 10News Political Expert Lars Hafner. “And we are going to be starting with President Trump coming to town.” Political watchers say the Trump campaign's decision to officially launch a re-election bid in Orlando is no coincidence. Nor is the Democrats' decision to hold their first big debate a few days later in Miami.