Facing pressure to address a burgeoning threat from extremists in Yemen, President Obama is suspending transfer of Yemenis from Guantanamo Bay prison back to their own country.
But Obama says he remains determined to shutter the detention center.
"Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda," Obama said. "In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula." Read More
House Democrats huddled in private to decide what kind of compromise on health care legislation they would be willing to strike with the Senate while pressure mounts for them to end the secretive nature of the talks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her leadership team faced questions about openness after emerging from a closed-door meeting with top committee chairmen on legislation to overhaul the nation's health system. Read More
Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s top spokesman said the U.S. will suspend transfers of Guantanamo terrorist suspect to Yemen.Yemen is “not capable of handling” them now, Robert Gibbs told reporters at a briefing. “Right now, any additional transfers to Yemen is not a good idea.”Gibbs said inmates slated to go to Yemen from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be moved to an Illinois prison in the wake of the Dec. 25 attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight. Read More
The attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was more than just al Qaeda's latest attempt to bring death and destruction to American shores. It was also, in its still-unfolding political aftermath, a head-on collision between Barack Obama's soaring rhetoric and the reality of terrorism.
Obama's first response to the incident, or nonresponse, did not surprise anyone who followed his 2008 presidential campaign. As a candidate, Obama repeatedly accused the Bush administration of using terrorism to spread fear among the American public for political gain. Read More
Congressional Democrats, eager to complete health care legislation by the end of the month, will try to skip the step of having a committee of House and Senate members craft a compromise bill from the different versions produced by the two chambers.
Democratic leaders are close to an agreement to negotiate a compromise informally between the two chambers, thus bypassing the conference committee process that would allow Senate Republicans many opportunities to block the bill through the use of a filibuster. Read More
Karl Rove had some good advice for Republicans in his year-end Wall Street Journal column. "It won't be enough to surf voter dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama and Democrats," he wrote. "Voters will want to know what Republican candidates would do." Read More
The big idea of 2009 was that crises could be curative — that big changes can be achieved when people are desperate.
Rahm Emanuel was not the first to suggest that a crisis should not go to waste, but he and the other members of the Obama team applied the concept with more eagerness — and nakedness — than any new administration in American history. Read More
With the approval rating of Congress sinking in the polls and public opinion of their health care plan going down along with it, Democrats may have done themselves one favor too many this week when they riddled the bill with special deals for individual lawmakers.
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., struggled to pull together his 60 Democratic-controlled votes needed to pass the bill, certain holdout lawmakers were able to carve out extra money, benefits or exemptions that senators from other states didn't get. Read More
The Senate is heading toward Christmas Eve passage of a massive health care bill, but Democratic leaders signaled it will still see changes when it is merged with a House version in January, perhaps affecting how people would be taxed under the plan.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, an architect of the Senate bill, said he does not anticipate the House will simply sign off on the Senate health care plan, projected to cost $871 billion in its first 10 years. Read More
The Senate is headed for a historic partisan showdown as Democrats scramble to come up with enough support to pass a massive overhaul of the nation's health care system while Republicans do everything in their power to stop it. Read More