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President Barack Obama (WDCpix) Only a year ago, hopes were high that a big push by the government to stop foreclosures would be a great success, living up to its billing as “Help for America’s Homeowners.” Last January started out with a foreclosure moratorium, allowing time for the Obama Administration to put the final touches on Making Home Affordable — its $75 billion signature program aimed at helping 3 to 4 million homeowners. After bailing out banks and the financial system, the administration turned its efforts to borrowers on the verge of losing their homes. The program rolled out with fanfare in the spring.
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President Obama, left, sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, a U.S. official says. U.S. envoy delivered Obama's letter while visiting North Korea, official says Special envoy Stephen Bosworth went to North Korea last week Bosworth visit called "positive," although it did not win promises from Pyongyang U.S. wants North Korea to return to six-party talks aimed at ending its nuclear program Washington (CNN) -- President Obama wrote a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that a U.S. envoy delivered, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he "still" smelled sulfur after President Obama made a keynote speech at the Copenhagen climate conference Friday, accusing the American president of carrying the same satanic scent that Chavez believes followed Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush. Chavez, who was not included on the original list of speakers for the final day of the summit, ended the proceedings with bitter references to the Peace Prize-winning Obama as the "Nobel Prize of War." "The Nobel Prize of War just finished saying here that he is here to act. Well, show it sir.
During Sarah Palin's interview with Glenn Beck today, something extraordinary happened --Â Beck challenged Palin on a stock, noncommittal answer to a question.
The Senate's healthcare bill is fatally flawed, a senior Democrat atop a powerful committee said on Wednesday. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Rules Committee and co-chairwoman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said that the Senate's bill is so flawed that it's unlikely to be resolved in conference with the bill to have passed the House. "The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago," Slaughter wrote in an opinion piece for CNN's website . Slaughter argued that while the House bill is far from perfect, the Senate bill's exclusion of a public option, along with abortion funding restrictions and other measures, make the bill undeserving of a vote.
The country's largest gay-rights group today demanded an apology from David Letterman , for making what it called "inappropriate and incendiary remarks" regarding President Obama's appointment of a transgender woman to the Commerce Department.
PRINCETON, NJ -- The increased conservatism that Gallup first identified among Americans last June persisted throughout the year, so that the final year-end political ideology figures confirm Gallup's initial reporting: conservatives (40%) outnumbered both moderates (36%) and liberals (21%) across the nation in 2009. More broadly, the percentage of Americans calling themselves either conservative or liberal has increased over the last decade, while the percentage of moderates has declined . Since 1992, there have been only two other years -- 2003 and 2004 -- in which the average percentage of conservatives nationwide outnumbered moderates, and in both cases, it was by two percentage points (in contrast to the current four points).
Passage of the health-care bill will be, for the administration, a catastrophic victory.
A proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in California was approved by a key committee of the Assembly this morning, over the dire warnings of police chiefs and prosecutors. The Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 to approve AB 390 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who said the bill would provide tax revenue to the state and regulation of the drug. The new law includes a requirement that users be at least 21 years old. The measure next goes to the Health Committee, but proponents worried it would not be acted on by that panel by Friday's deadline, which would require the proposal to be reintroduced to be heard this year by the full Assembly.
Bipartisanship is alive on Capitol Hill -- House Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday morning to join forces against a common, longstanding enemy: the executive branch and the "pocket veto". On December 16, Congress passed a war-spending bill to fund the Department of Defense just as money was about to run out for the agency. So that President Obama would have time to read the full bill before signing it, Congress also passed a "continuing resolution" (CR), funding the DoD for an extra week.
January 18, 2010 Joe Biden, seeming to lay the groundwork for the case for moving health care legislation forward without 60 votes in the Senate, described the supermajority rule as a perversion of the Constitution. "As long as I have served ... I've never seen, as my uncle once said, the Constitution stood on its head as they've done.
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Layers of money managers that don't bear the brunt of losses but walk away with big payouts when things go well have turned the US economy to a type of "ersatz capitalism," Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University professor and Nobel laureate, told CNBC Tuesday. "An awful lot of people are not managing their own money," Stiglitz said. "In old-style 19th Century capitalism, I owned my company, I made a mistake, I bore the consequences." "Today, (at) most of the big companies you have managers who, when things go well, walk off with a lot of money. When things go bad the shareholders bear the costs," he said.