Scott Horsley http://kplu.org en Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself http://kplu.org/post/obamas-tax-rate-rose-and-he-cant-blame-anyone-himself President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.<p>The White House <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/04/11/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-s-2013-tax-returns">released the president's tax return</a> last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.<p>In 2012, the Obamas paid just 18.4 percent of their income in taxes. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:53:36 +0000 Scott Horsley 16045 at http://kplu.org Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate http://kplu.org/post/white-house-learns-complications-pay-equity-debate Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.<p>Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.<p>It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.<p>Standing before a crowd of women in the White House East Room, President Obama noted that the average woman working full time in America makes just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:56:15 +0000 Scott Horsley 15813 at http://kplu.org White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial http://kplu.org/post/enrollee-goal-met-obamacare-still-faces-political-trial President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.<p>A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.<p>That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.<p>Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.<p>On Tuesday, the president marked the comeback. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 17:33:15 +0000 Scott Horsley 15713 at http://kplu.org With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial Obama Meets Internet CEOs To Discuss Privacy Issues http://kplu.org/post/obama-meets-internet-ceos-discuss-privacy-issues Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.<p>High-tech CEOs are not the obvious messengers to be delivering a privacy lecture to the government. After all, they make their money by scanning customers' emails and tracking their movements, all with the goal of serving up more targeted ads. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:39:44 +0000 Scott Horsley 15143 at http://kplu.org Obama Meets Internet CEOs To Discuss Privacy Issues A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On http://kplu.org/post/bittersweet-goodbye-white-house-pastry-chef-move The first family must be crust fallen.<p>Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.<p>"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 00:04:19 +0000 Scott Horsley 15014 at http://kplu.org A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On Finding Common Interests, Obama And The Pope Set A Date http://kplu.org/post/finding-common-interests-obama-and-pope-set-date President Obama plans to meet this spring with Pope Francis.<p>On Tuesday, a White House spokesman announced the president will visit the Vatican as part of European trip in March. The president is said to be looking forward to talking with the pope about their "shared commitment to fighting poverty" and income inequality.<p>The meeting will be the two men's first face-to-face encounter, but Obama has carefully followed the pope's progress since Francis took charge of the Roman Catholic Church 10 months ago. Tue, 21 Jan 2014 22:48:43 +0000 Scott Horsley 12745 at http://kplu.org Finding Common Interests, Obama And The Pope Set A Date As Congress Leaves Town, Some Jobless Benefits Set To Expire http://kplu.org/post/congress-leaves-town-some-jobless-benefits-set-expire The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from Democrats, the deal did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program.<p>While the issue may be reconsidered in January, more than a million Americans will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Year's.<p>Among them is Joan Boudro, who lost her job as an administrative assistant almost three years ago. Since then, she's found only temporary work for a few months at a time. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 22:24:12 +0000 Scott Horsley 11698 at http://kplu.org As Congress Leaves Town, Some Jobless Benefits Set To Expire Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag http://kplu.org/post/enrollment-jumps-healthcaregov-though-totals-still-lag Enrollment in the federal government's new health insurance exchange picked up sharply in November, but the number of people signing up for coverage still trails original forecasts. Officials from the Obama administration say they expect the pace of enrollments will continue to increase now that the insurance website is working more smoothly.<p>Users have until Dec. 23 to <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">sign up for coverage</a> that begins in January.<p>As of Nov. 30, more than 137,000 people had obtained health insurance through the federal website, which serves consumers in 36 states. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:55:49 +0000 Scott Horsley 11582 at http://kplu.org Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag Administration Says You Can Now Escape HealthCare.Gov 'Prison' http://kplu.org/post/administration-says-you-can-now-escape-healthcaregov-prison The Obama administration says it has patched hundreds of software bugs infecting the government's health insurance website. That includes the notorious "prison glitch."<p>Martha Freeman of Pennsylvania encountered the bug when she tried to sign up for coverage for herself and her adult children. The website wanted documentation of the children's incarceration status.<p>Never mind they'd never been in prison. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:15:55 +0000 Scott Horsley 11425 at http://kplu.org Administration Says You Can Now Escape HealthCare.Gov 'Prison' A Churchill 'Quote' That U.S. Politicians Will Never Surrender http://kplu.org/post/churchill-quote-us-politicians-will-never-surrender This week, Congress dedicates a new bust of Winston Churchill in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. The sculpture is meant to honor the British statesman's legacy of determination and resolve.<p>It's also a salute to Churchill's friendship with the United States — summed up in an oft-quoted line that Maine Sen. Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:28:11 +0000 Scott Horsley 10676 at http://kplu.org A Churchill 'Quote' That U.S. Politicians Will Never Surrender After DOMA Ruling, Government Scrambles To Adjust http://kplu.org/post/after-doma-ruling-government-scrambles-adjust At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.<p>Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.<p>President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. Tue, 02 Jul 2013 21:44:50 +0000 Scott Horsley 9236 at http://kplu.org After DOMA Ruling, Government Scrambles To Adjust Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff http://kplu.org/post/obama-hopes-another-victory-avoiding-fiscal-cliff President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.<p>A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.<p>The 62 million Americans who voted to re-elect the president last week had no illusions about what they were doing. Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:48:22 +0000 Scott Horsley 7099 at http://kplu.org Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff Sandy Underscores Debate Over Government's Role http://kplu.org/post/sandy-underscores-debate-over-governments-role President Obama offered thoughts and prayers Tuesday for all those who have been affected by Sandy. He also offered something more tangible: the full resources of the federal government.<p>"The most important message I have for them is that America's with you," he said. "We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet."<p>For Obama, the federal government is a critical vehicle for that kind of help. Wed, 31 Oct 2012 14:11:44 +0000 Scott Horsley 6900 at http://kplu.org After Aurora: Politicians shy away from new gun control efforts http://kplu.org/post/after-aurora-politicians-shy-away-new-gun-control-efforts In the days since the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., there's been little discussion of the laws that allowed the gunman to acquire his arsenal.<p>Authorities say suspect James Holmes, who was arrested at the scene of the shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more, was armed with a modified assault rifle, two pistols, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.<p>Colorado Gov. Tue, 24 Jul 2012 02:29:45 +0000 Scott Horsley 5684 at http://kplu.org After Aurora: Politicians shy away from new gun control efforts