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44: March 7, 2010 - March 13, 2010

Obama warns of falling education standards

President Obama warned Saturday that a faltering U.S. education system is putting the country at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy, saying, "Few issues speak more directly to our long-term success as a nation."

By Scott Wilson  | March 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Religious adviser to Obama responds to CBC's criticism

In the wake of Congressional Black Caucus member accusations that President Obama has not been responsive enough to African American concerns, a top religious adviser to the president called on the community to help the president -- and his faith -based programs director emphasized the work the White House is doing reaching out to religious communities on issues the CBC cares about.

By Hamil R. Harris  | March 12, 2010; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Antiabortion religious leaders urge lawmakers to pass Senate health bill

With the House moving toward a final health-care vote, the White House circulated Friday night a letter from Catholic and evangelical leaders that refutes claims that the Senate health-care bill could lead to the federal funding of abortion coverage.

By Post Editor  | March 12, 2010; 8:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Health Care  
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Obama at a Caps game? Barack the Red dreams on.

Will President Obama attend a Washington Capitals game? "I think he would very much enjoy going," press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 12, 2010; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Reid's wife has surgery after serious crash, Reid thanks well-wishers

Sen. Harry Reid's wife has undergone surgery at a Virginia hospital to stabilize injuries from a broken neck she suffered in a traffic accident.

By the Associated Press and staff reports  | March 12, 2010; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Gibbs makes good on hockey bet with Canada

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs honored a bet he'd made with his Canadian counterpart during the Winter Olympics, donning the red maple leaf of the Canadian national hockey team at the start of Friday's briefing.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 12, 2010; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Washington Life, White House  
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Republicans name their slate of members for Obama deficit panel

Congressional Republicans on Friday named six members to President Obama's deficit-reduction commission, choosing two of the party's most respected leaders on fiscal issues as well as outspoken conservatives who said they are determined to focus the panel's efforts on cutting spending rather than raising taxes.

By Lori Montgomery  | March 12, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Economy  
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Pelosi: Public option not in legislation

In her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence that health care reform would pass, saying lawmakers are "one day closer" to a historic achievement. But she also stuck a knife in hopes from some Democrats for a public option to be included in the bill.

By Rachel Weiner  | March 12, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Michelle Obama announces trip to Mexico

Michelle Obama will travel to Mexico City in April in her first solo official trip as first lady, the White House announced.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 12, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Michelle Obama, The First Lady  
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Obama delays foreign trip to work on health care

President Obama will leave three days later than planned for Indonesia, departing March 21 rather than March 18, in hopes of reviving the stalled health-care bill.

By Rachel Weiner and Michael D. Shear  | March 12, 2010; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Health Care, Obama Abroad  
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Reform's fate a question of trust

The fate of President Obama's health-care reform plan is increasingly dependent on trust: Do lawmakers trust their leaders and the White House, given that they haven't seen a bill yet? And does the House trust the Senate to follow it off the cliff?

By Ben Pershing  | March 12, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Care, The Rundown  
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Reid's wife and daughter sent to hospital after car accident

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's wife and daughter were taken to a hospital for treatment after a car accident, his office said Thursday.

By Josh White and Shailagh Murray  | March 11, 2010; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (143)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Health Care  
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In Indonesia, an Obama look-alike

The people of Jakarta, Indonesia, are eagerly awaiting President Obama's arrival next week. But in the meantime, Ilham Anas will do. The 34-year-old Jakarta resident looks uncannily like Obama.

By Michael D. Shear  | March 11, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama  
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Obama's Nobel Prize money going to 10 charities

Three months after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama announced Thursday the 10 charities that will benefit from his $1.4 million cash award.

By Scott Wilson  | March 11, 2010; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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House Republicans say they will reject all earmarks

House Republicans Thursday announced their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year, denouncing all of the line-item expenditures as wasteful and corrupting.

By Post Editor  | March 11, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (168)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Barney Frank says staff handled Massa matter appropriately

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank on Thursday said a member of his staff alerted his chief of staff that then-Rep. Eric Massa had taken one of their junior staffers to a private dinner, and that the matter was handled appropriately.

By Carol D. Leonnig  | March 11, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Probe of leaders likely in Massa case

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) introduced a bill Thursday calling for the House ethics committee to restart its probe of ex-representative Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), as Republicans seek to focus attention on what Democratic leaders knew about Massa's behavior and when they knew it.

By Ben Pershing  | March 11, 2010; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Preparing the gowns for the Smithsonian First Ladies Exhibit (video)

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History this week takes a stroll through formal fashion history with a short video documenting the process of setting up the museum's first ladies exhibition, which on Tuesday acquired first lady Michelle Obama's white inaugural gown.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 11, 2010; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, The First Lady, Washington Life, White House  
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Steve Hildebrand: 'Real shot' Democrats will get 'slaughtered'

One of President Obama's top campaign advisers tells CNN that Democrats have reason to worry about this year's elections. "I think that there is a real shot we are going to get slaughtered in elections this fall if we aren't leading the efforts to reform Washington," Steve Hildebrand said. "We campaigned in '06 and '08, and if voters don't see that change, we haven't lived up to that promise."

By Rachel Weiner  | March 11, 2010; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Is health reform deal 'pretty close'?

President Obama and congressional Democrats are nearly finished deciding what will be in their compromise health-reform package. All that's left to determine is how -- or whether -- it can pass.

By Ben Pershing  | March 11, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Health Care, The Rundown  
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Massa aide contacted Pelosi's office in October with concerns about lawmaker

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was contacted by a top aide to then-Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) in October of last year with concerns about the lawmaker's behavior toward young, male staffers, a congressional source with knowledge of the investigation into Massa's actions said Wednesday.

By Carol D. Leonnig  | March 10, 2010; 9:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Obamas will get a sneak peek at 'The Pacific'

In what has to be one of the real perks of the job, President Obama and Michelle Obama will have Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and a few others over to the White House on Thursday evening for an advance screening of "The Pacific." HBO's lavish World War II miniseries begins Sunday night for the rest of us.

By Scott Wilson  | March 10, 2010; 8:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Cost projections complicate Democrats' efforts to twin health, student loan measures

The projected cost of President Obama's plan to overhaul the federal student loan program has exploded over the past year, making it almost impossible to include the popular measure in the same deficit-reduction package that would be the vehicle for the final pieces of Obama's health care initiative, Democratic sources said on Wednesday.

By Post Editor  | March 10, 2010; 7:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Health Care  
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House rejects Kucinich's Afghan withdrawal measure

The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted down a symbolic resolution calling for the removal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

By Post Editor  | March 10, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, National Security  
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Patrick Kennedy calls press 'despicable' for Massa coverage (video)

During a House debate over the war in Afghanistan Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) ripped into the media for not covering the event the way they've covered the sexual past of a certain former congressman.

By Rachel Weiner  | March 10, 2010; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Ethics committee closes investigation of Massa

The House ethics committee decided Wednesday to close its short-lived investigation into allegations that now-resigned congressman Eric Massa groped and sexually harassed younger male staffers in his office, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

By Web Politics Editor  | March 10, 2010; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Tea Party candidate for Nev. Senate questioned by tea party groups, GOP candidates

Jon Scott Ashjian is the first tea party candidate to announce a Senate bid and is running on the Tea Party of Nevada ticket.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 10, 2010; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Democrats weigh twinning health, student loan measures

As Democratic leaders push to finish health care this month, they are weighing whether to add a separate measure that would overhaul the student loan system and expand Pell Grants.

By Shailagh Murray  | March 10, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Health Care  
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Anthony Weiner: Massa 'one taco short of a happy meal' (video)

As fallout continued from former representative Eric Massa's mind-boggling appearance on Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) called the New York Democrat "one taco short of a happy meal" in a conversation with Don Imus on the FOX Business Network.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 10, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Guiliani speaks about his 2008 presidential bid, 9/11

Former New York City mayor Rudolph Guiliani recently spoke with The Post's Jonathan Capehart about the biggest mistake he made in running for president.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 10, 2010; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Cast of Characters, Video Report  
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Massa on the Glenn Beck show: the videos

In case you missed former representative Eric Massa's appearance on Glenn Beck on Tuesday, here are the video excerpts released by Fox News.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 10, 2010; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Obama to target Medicare and Medicaid fraud

Today President Obama will embrace tougher new efforts to fight fraud in Medicare and Medicaid as part of his drive to pass comprehensive changes to the nation's health-care system, the White House announced last night.

By Michael D. Shear  | March 10, 2010; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Health Care  
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Letterman 'Top 10' takes on Emanuel

Emanuel has broken through an important pop-culture barrier: He was the subject of David Letterman's Top 10 list Tuesday night, titled "Top Ten Signs Rahm Emanuel Is Nuts."

By Ben Pershing  | March 10, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Cast of Characters  
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Massa has media groping for answers

Everyone in Washington feels a bit dirtier -- insert your House gym shower joke here -- the morning after Eric Massa took to the airwaves to defend/bury himself following a bizarre scandal that ended his congressional career.

By Ben Pershing  | March 10, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Rundown  
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Tea Party groups come to town to lobby against health-care reform

Tea party organizers came to Capitol Hill Tuesday night to kick off a weeklong campaign they're calling "Take the Town Halls to Washington," an effort to block Democrats' latest push for health reform.

By Amy Gardner  | March 10, 2010; 7:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Health Care  
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Massa on King: 'I don't have the energy to fight everyone all the time'

Former Rep. Eric Massa reversed himself Tuesday night, saying that "it is not true" that he had groped congressional staffers, hours after he told a different cable TV interviewer, "Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe."

By Scott Butterworth  | March 9, 2010; 9:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Bill Clinton and George W. Bush put together team to oversee Haiti aid fund

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush announced late Tuesday that they have appointed a six-member board of former Democratic and Republican senior government officials to oversee the humanitarian fund the presidents established in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

By Philip Rucker  | March 9, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Clinton-era 'Filegate' case tossed out

Filegate, one of the many "-gates" that erupted during the Clinton administration, looks to be over after a 14-year run. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth tossed the case.

By Al Kamen  | March 9, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Massa on Beck: 'You can take anything out of context'

In his first televised appearance since saying last week that he would resign from Congress, former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday evening that he groped a staffer, but he denied that it was a sexual incident.

By Scott Butterworth  | March 9, 2010; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Romney urges tea party: Don't run third party candidates

In an interview with the conservative website Newsmax.com, Mitt Romney said he loved the tea party movement -- as long as they don't hurt Republicans.

By Rachel Weiner  | March 9, 2010; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Todd Palin has surprising tie to Venezuela-owned oil company

Palin's anti-Venezuela sentiments do not appear to extend to her husband, whose snowmobile racing team was sponsored by a division of Citgo, the retail arm of Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 9, 2010; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Sarah Palin  
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Senate jobs bill clears key hurdle

The Senate's latest jobs bill cleared a key procedural hurdle Tuesday, with the chamber voting to limit debate on a $150 billion package of tax extensions and aid for the unemployed.

By Ben Pershing  | March 9, 2010; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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Business groups plan TV assault on Obama health-care plan

A coalition of major business groups said Tuesday that it will spend as much as $10 million on television ads over the next 10 days attacking President Obama's health-care reform plans, arguing that legislation under debate in Congress will be too costly for small employers and will kill jobs at a time of economic distress.

By Post Editor  | March 9, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Health Care  
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Napolitano rules out terrorism in IRS plane crash

A suicide plane crash that killed the pilot and an Internal Revenue Services worker at an office building in Austin, Tex., Feb. 18 was not a case of domestic terrorism, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday in a radio interview.

By Post Editor  | March 9, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Security  
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Hoyer blasts Massa health-care claim

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer dismisses as "absurd" claims that scandal-plagued Democrat was forced from House to boost prospects of health reform

By Post Editor  | March 9, 2010; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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At the White House, talk turns to what comes next after health care

As he works to wrap up a yearlong debate on health care, President Obama is looking to the next big things -- energy and financial reform.

By Scott Wilson  | March 9, 2010; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Health Care  
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Gibbs calls Massa's story 'ridiculous'

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called retiring Rep. Eric Massa's charges of a conspiracy to force him from office "ridiculous" in an appearance Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 9, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Cast of Characters  
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Obama keeps focus on reform story 'villain'

Two clichéd axioms have become relevant this week as President Obama focuses his fire on the health-insurance industry -- every good story needs a villain, and the best defense is a good offense.

By Ben Pershing  | March 9, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Health Care, The Rundown  
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DHS corrects report that overstated ICE deportations under Obama

Months after reporting that the number of illegal immigrants deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement increased 47 percent during President Obama's first year in office, the Department of Homeland Security on Monday corrected the record, saying the actual increase in removals and "voluntary returns" was 5 percent.

By Spencer S. Hsu and N.C. Aizenman  | March 8, 2010; 11:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, National Security  
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Obama meets with El Salvador's president

President Obama and President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador met in the Oval Office Monday to discuss the central elements of the administration's agenda for Latin America -- trade, security, and the environment.

By Scott Wilson  | March 8, 2010; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Rahm Emanuel in the NYT Magazine

The latest story in the growing stream about the president's chief of staff comes from New York Times White House reporter Peter Baker, who has penned the upcoming New York Times Magazine story, "The Limits of Rahmism."

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 8, 2010; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Cast of Characters  
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Obama congratulates Alabama's Crimson Tide, but Gibbs skips out

President Obama warmly welcomed the University of Alabama's football players to the White House on Monday -- though without help from a key adviser.

By Washington Post Editor  | March 8, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Massa says he was forced out so that Democrats can pass health care

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) prepared Monday to resign his House seat but not before lobbing a series of unsubstantiated accusations, including that the White House and House leaders conspired to force his resignation in order to boost the chances of passing a health-care bill.

By Paul Kane  | March 8, 2010; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing, Cast of Characters, Democratic Party  
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Senators seek to slash number of presidential appointees

Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday introduced a bill to slash the number of presidential political appointees, both full-time and part-time, from about 3,500 to 2,000 employees. on Monday introduced a bill to slash the number of presidential political appointees, both full-time and part-time, from about 3,500 to 2,000 employees.

By Al Kamen  | March 8, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, In the Loop  
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On Obama's nightstand: 'The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt'

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted Monday that Obama is reading "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris. Gibbs was responding to media questions about Obama's reference to his extra-curricular reading during the fiery health-care speech he delivered in Glenside, Pa.

By Scott Wilson  | March 8, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, White House  
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That report Obama cited on insurers raising premiums

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton tweeted out a link to the Huffington Post "report potus referred to" about insurers raising premiums and shedding customers as a business strategy.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 8, 2010; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama, Health Care  
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Palin says her family went to Canada for health care when she was young

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a fierce opponent of Democratic health-care reform efforts who has said America under Obama is headed toward socialism, told a Canadian audience in a speech Saturday night that her family used to go to Canada to get medical care when she was growing up.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | March 8, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (276)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin  
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Obama to explain space program plan at Florida conference

President Obama will speak directly to contractors and workers in the space program in Florida on April 15, attending a White House-sponsored conference that will give him a forum to explain and defend his decision this year to alter the program's direction and long-term priorities, the White House disclosed Sunday.

By R. Jeffrey Smith  | March 7, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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McConnell blasts RNC fundraising document

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) denounced a recently uncovered Republican National Committee PowerPoint presentation...

By 44 Editor  | March 7, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Sarah Palin: God wrote on his hand too

At an Ohio Right to Life fundraiser Friday night, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin once again defended the notes she wrote on her hand during last month's Tea Party Convention. She said she didn't have a good answer to media criticism at the time. Now she has one: God wrote on his hand too.

By Rachel Weiner  | March 7, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Sebelius: Bid for GOP support delayed health care

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says health care reform would have been "dead on arrival" if the White House had sent a finished proposal to Congress last year.

By Post Editor  | March 7, 2010; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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