User: flenvcenter Topic: Policy and Governance-National
Category: Elections n Elected Officials :: Presidential Election
Last updated: Feb 05 2016 08:30 IST RSS 2.0
 
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General says Obama's proposed U.S. troop cuts constrain Afghan training mission 5.2.2016 Chicago Tribune: Nation
The ability to train and advise the still green Afghan security forces will be constrained if the U.S. troop level is cut to 5,500 as President Barack Obama has proposed, the senior American commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday. Army Gen. John F. Campbell told the Senate Armed Services ...
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Obama’s First U.S. Mosque Visit Came Late, But Still Means A Lot, Says Top Muslim Scholar 5.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama made his first visit to a U.S. mosque as commander in chief. In an impassioned speech to Muslims at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Obama denounced growing anti-Muslim bias, called for greater religious tolerance, urged Americans not to be “bystanders to bigotry” and told young American Muslims that “you fit in here.” In the wake of Obama's visit, The WorldPost spoke to scholar Akbar Ahmed, a professor at American University. Ahmed (no relation to Huffington Post reporter Akbar Shahid Ahmed ) has traveled throughout the United States to research the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. What does Obama’s visit to a mosque mean for Muslims at this time? It has high symbolic significance. In any case when the president of the United States does anything, it carries both symbolism and substance. In this environment of high Islamophobia, of widespread Islamophobia and growing Islamophobia, the ...
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Save Our Arctic and Atlantic Waters Now 4.2.2016 Switchboard, from NRDC
Rhea Suh, President, New York City: Today we delivered more than 2 million petitions to the White House urging President Obama to permanently put our Arctic and Atlantic coasts off-limits to oil and gas drilling. This week, NRDC and our environmental partners called on President Obama...
Five Things You Should Know About President Obama's Coal Leasing Moratorium 22.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
When President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a suspension of pending federal coal leases and a top-to-bottom review of the long broken coal program, we cheered. Digging past the headline, here are important implications about what this proposal means for the climate, the economy, and our future that are worth cheering about. 1- Serious climate progress: The coal lease suspension stops the zombie-like inertia of a federal coal leasing program that is a major source of our country's climate pollution. That inertia simply can't continue if we are serious about climate. Just this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record . With rising temperatures, extreme weather, and human displacement, we know that not all populations will be harmed by climate change in the same way. The elderly, children, communities of color, and low income populations will be disproportionately harmed by the impacts of climate change, ...
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Fact-Checking The Fourth Democratic Debate 18.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This post originally appeared on FactCheck.org. Summary The three Democratic presidential candidates made misleading claims on health care, energy and guns.  Sen. Bernie Sanders said his health care plan wouldn’t “tear up” the Affordable Care Act. But he would replace the ACA with an entirely new public insurance system. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said health care costs were “the lowest they’ve been in 50 years.” Costs have continued to go up, not down, but they have been growing at historically low rates. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Obama “made us more energy independent.” But the rise in domestic oil production, and drop in imports, is due mainly to advances in drilling technology, not government policy. Clinton said 1-in-3 black men “may well end up going to prison.” That’s outdated. It’s a projection based on the 2001 incarceration rate for black males that assumed the rate would remain unchanged. In fact, it has declined. Clinton said Sanders once “publicly sought ...
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The End of an Error 16.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
During his State of the Union address, Barack Obama alluded, not for the first time during his presidency, to John Muir's old camping buddy, Theodore Roosevelt, whom he clearly admires. But the president also paid tribute to T.R. in another way: by following the admonition to "speak softly and carry a big stick." Here are the words the president spoke: "I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." Sounds sensible, right? Sitting right behind the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't even flinch, although I think I saw him squeeze his eyes shut like someone in Star Wars who just felt a disturbance in the Dark Side of the Force. Today the president followed through on those sensible words in a big way, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's announcement that the U.S. would stop issuing new coal leases on public lands while it conducts the first major review of the country's coal-leasing ...
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Economy Is Stronger Because President Obama Protected the Environment 16.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
President Obama gave his final State of the Union this week and in the seven years he's been president, much has changed. There's no doubt that in terms of environmental and climate change legacy, the president has much to be proud of, including the Paris agreement, the vehicle fuel efficiency standards, as well as the Clean Power Plan. All of those will significantly reduce U.S. carbon pollution. But, before he leaves office, there is more that can and should be done to address climate change. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas -- at least 25 times more potent , pound for pound, than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. The administration set a goal to reduce the amount of methane emissions across the U.S. economy by up to 45 percent of 2012 levels by 2025. Already, the EPA proposed standards to reduce methane leaks in new facilities. That's a good first step and an indicator that the administration is serious about this issue. But, that's not enough. We need to implement standards on ...
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The End of an Error 16.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
During his State of the Union address, Barack Obama alluded, not for the first time during his presidency, to John Muir's old camping buddy, Theodore Roosevelt, whom he clearly admires. But the president also paid tribute to T.R. in another way: by following the admonition to "speak softly and carry a big stick." Here are the words the president spoke: "I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." Sounds sensible, right? Sitting right behind the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't even flinch, although I think I saw him squeeze his eyes shut like someone in Star Wars who just felt a disturbance in the Dark Side of the Force. Today the president followed through on those sensible words in a big way, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's announcement that the U.S. would stop issuing new coal leases on public lands while it conducts the first major review of the country's coal-leasing ...
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Obama Must Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground 13.1.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire

Ahead of this year’s State of the Union, 350.org is looking for President Obama to build on his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and outline how he plans to keep more fossil fuels in the ground.

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President Obama's Final Climate Test: Keep It in the Ground 13.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As President Obama gears up for his final State of the Union address tonight, it's worth revisiting another speech he gave back in March of 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma. The President traveled to Cushing during one of the inflection points in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. In November 2011, after a wave of protests, the State Department had delayed the project over concerns about the pipeline's route in Nebraska. That December, Congress tried to force the President's hand by passing a bill that would order him to make a final decision on whether to approve the pipeline within 60 days. In January, Obama rejected the bill, saying the timeline didn't give enough time for a proper review, and invited TransCanada, the company attempting to build the project, to submit another permit application. In February, TransCanada announced that they'd be going ahead and building the southern leg of Keystone XL, which didn't require a Presidential permit, while they waited on the rest of the pipeline to get ...
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Obama's Final Climate Test: Keep It in the Ground 13.1.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Jamie Henn

As President Obama gears up for his final State of the Union address tonight, it's worth revisiting another speech he gave back in March of 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma.

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President Obama's State of the Union: Defining Issue, Defining Leadership 11.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Tomorrow, President Obama will give his last State of the Union address. There are a number of issues he could focus on: a record 70 consecutive months of private-sector employment growth and cutting the unemployment rate in half; an historic healthcare law that brought insurance to millions; huge strides in social justice, like equality for LGBT Americans and steps to reduce gun violence; rescuing the auto industry and putting millions back to work - an issue we worked on together tirelessly when I was Governor of Michigan. The list goes on. But when history books are written, many will rightfully note the actions the President took to fight carbon pollution, transition to a clean energy economy with good jobs that can't be shipped overseas, and lead on climate change as one of his top defining legacies. It is credit he rightfully deserves. And 2015 will stand out as the tipping point, when clean and renewable energy solidified its place as a powerful economic driver, despite fierce opposition from ...
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TransCanada Sues the U.S. for $15B for Rejecting Keystone XL. Will This Be the New Normal Under TPP? 7.1.2016 Democracy Now!
On Wednesday, TransCanada Corporation filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court alleging President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution. TransCanada also filed legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, claiming the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified." It's seeking $15 billion as part of its NAFTA claim. TransCanada's lawsuit comes just days before President Obama's final State of the Union address, where he's anticipated to tout his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, deal. The secretive trade pact between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations could govern up to 40 percent of the world's economy. After TransCanada announced its lawsuit on Wednesday, the group Friends of the Earth released a statement saying, "This is why Friends of the Earth opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements, which allow companies and investors to challenge sovereign government decisions to ...
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TransCanada Sues the US for Rejecting Keystone XL. Will This Be the New Normal Under TPP? 7.1.2016 Truthout - All Articles
On Wednesday, TransCanada Corporation filed a lawsuit in US federal court alleging President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the US Constitution. TransCanada also filed legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, claiming the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified." It's seeking $15 billion as part of its NAFTA claim. TransCanada's lawsuit comes just days before President Obama's final State of the Union address, where he's anticipated to tout his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, deal. The secretive trade pact between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations could govern up to 40 percent of the world's economy. After TransCanada announced its lawsuit on Wednesday, the group Friends of the Earth released a statement saying, "This is why Friends of the Earth opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements, which allow companies and investors to challenge sovereign government decisions to ...
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Company behind Keystone XL oil pipeline sues U.S. government 7.1.2016 Minnesota Public Radio: Law & Justice
President Obama rejected the pipeline in November, saying it would not serve U.S. interests. The suit says he "trampled on Congress's right to regulate interstate and international commerce."
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Company Behind Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Sues U.S. Government 7.1.2016 NPR News
TransCanada's lawsuit claims President Obama exceeded his authority when he rejected the pipeline in November. It is also filing a $15 billion suit under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Obama's Oily Christmas Gift: Faster Pipeline Approvals 4.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog Just over a week before the U.S. signed the Paris climate agreement at the conclusion of the COP21 United Nations summit, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law with a provision that expedites permitting of oil and gas pipelines in the United States. The legal and conceptual framework for the fast-tracking provision on pipeline permitting arose during the fight over TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. President Barack Obama initially codified that concept via  Executive Order 13604  -- signed the same day as he signed an Executive Order to fast-track construction of Keystone XL 's southern leg -- and this provision "builds on the permit streamlining project launched by" Obama according to corporate law firm Holland & Knight . That 60-page streamlining provision falls on page 1,141 of the broader 1,301-page  FAST (Fixing America's Surface Transportation) Act (H.R. 22 and S. 1647) , known in policy wonk circles as the highway bill. The provision is located in a ...
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President Obama Signs Ban on Polluting Plastic Microbeads in Beauty Products 29.12.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
Center for Biological Diversity President Obama today signed into law a bill phasing out the manufacture of facewash, toothpaste and shampoo containing plastic microbeads by July 1, 2017 and the sale of such beauty products by July 1, 2018. Following in the footsteps of California’s historic microbead ban  enacted earlier this year, the Microbead-Free Waters Act ...
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President Obama Will Host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau At A White House State Dinner 29.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
HONOLULU, Dec 28 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for an official visit to Washington on March 10, complete with a rare state dinner and discussions about energy and climate change, the White House said on Monday. "The visit will be an opportunity for the United States and Canada to deepen their bilateral relationship, which is one of the closest and most extensive in the world," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. "The visit also is intended to advance cooperation on important bilateral and multilateral issues, such as energy and climate change, security, and the economy." The White House had previously signaled the visit would occur next year but had not announced a date. The president and first lady Michelle Obama would host Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire, it said. Trudeau, a Liberal, has vowed to improve Canada's relationship with its powerful neighbor after ties were strained over energy and climate issues during the ...
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David Spade Thinks President Obama Is Too 'Thirsty' For Attention 27.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
David Spade has criticized President Barack Obama for being a little too "thirsty" for the spotlight.  In a new video posted by TMZ on Sunday, the comedian voices his opinion about the president and first lady appearing on reality TV , magazine covers and talk shows. ("Michelle Obama's on 'Ellen' more than I am," Spade notes.)  "What president is doing reality shows?" Spade asks in the clip, adding, "I thought a president should have a little more dignity [than that]." He also criticizes Obama's recent GQ magazine cover , saying that the president should "leave that to Bradley Cooper" because, as POTUS, he's already "above all of us."  In general, Spade considers the Obamas "a bit thirsty" for his own tastes, but admits that we're just living in a different time.  "It's just a new world. I'm not used to it. It just seems a bit thirsty for me, that's all," he says. "I think they're going to do fine, but they're plotting [for] after the White House."  His final words of wisdom to POTUS?  "All right, guy. ...
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