Got a question for President Obama? Now is your chance to ask him.
Hardball host Chris Matthews will sit down for a Q&A with the commander-in-chief on Thursday at American University in Washington, D.C. During the town hall-style interview, Obama will also answer students’ questions, in addition to some of yours, via the official “Let’s Play Hardball” group on msnbc.com.
Obama’s interview with Matthews comes following the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov, an interim nucleardeal with Iran, renewed calls for immigration reform, and with new budget negotiations on the horizon.
Matthews will discuss a number of topics with Obama, including voter suppression, healthcare, political gridlock in D.C., growing dissatisfaction with the government and more. The interview will air on Thursday evening’s Hardball at 7 p.m. ET.
How the president’s Irish “cousin” is making shrewd use of the First Family.
By Ben Schreckinger
There was little surprise when, shortly after President Obama’s chopper touched down in a patch of emerald grass in Moneygall, Ireland, in 2011, he was whisked inside the local watering hole and soon seen hoisting a pint and mugging for snapshots. It was a photo op, to be sure—one that played well with any of the 40 million Irish-Americans who saw pictures of the president’s visit to their ancestral homeland—but few people would have figured that it was the young Irishman at Obama’s side, Henry Healy, a then-26-year-old former accountant, who would go on to make deft political use of the moment. Fewer still who saw the pictures would have guessed they were looking at two old relatives catching up over a Guinness.
Healy, whose bright smile and ginger hair gives him a rather stereotypically Irish appearance, is a distant relative of Obama’s—who is more often described as America’s first African-American president, not its 12th one with Irish heritage. But both are accurate: Four years before that Obama visit to Ireland, Healy’s paternal uncle used parish records to trace then-Sen. Obama’s great-great-great grandfather to their village of Moneygall, population 310. Healy is one of several distant Obama relations still living in the hamlet, halfway between Dublin and Limerick, and when Obama upset Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, television cameras showed up, and the family put Healy forward as spokesman to explain how happy they were for their long lost cousin. “Speaking in public wouldn’t be something I’d be afraid of,” says Healy, who—as seems to be the village habit—often makes statements by speaking in the conditional. On an island where American politics looms large, Healy was an overnight celebrity.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/letter-from-moneygall-obama-cousin-ireland-100418.html#ixzz2lymTjJ7M
By Benjy Sarlin
Arguing “there’s no reason we shouldn’t get immigration reform done right now,” President Obama demanded on Monday for the umpteenth time that Congress pass his top legislative priority already.
So you can understand if he was a bit annoyed when, towards the end of his speech in San Francisco’s Chinatown, pro-immigration activists started heckling.
“Mr. President, please use your executive order to halt deportations for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now!” one protester yelled. As Obama tried to respond, the shouting continued: “You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country!”
“Actually I don’t,” Obama replied. “And that’s why we’re here.”
Done deal: Obama signs debt bill into law
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
After weeks of stalemate that shuttered the government for 16 days and brought the nation within hours of a key deadline to renew its borrowing authority, the standoff is finally over.
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling – just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support.
Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.
“We will begin reopening our government immediately,” he said in remarks before the House passed the bill. “And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and the American people.”
The GOP-dominated House passed the measure 285-144, with 87 Republicans joining all Democrats in support. The Senate passed it 81-18. In both chambers, only Republicans voted against the measure.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — Three senior Obama administration officials have made it abundantly clear that the president has no interest in budging from his position on the government shutdown or the looming debt ceiling fight.
The officials met with a handful of columnists and reporters on Thursday morning on condition that they not be named or quoted. They said President Barack Obama feels as strongly about this issue as he has about anything else during his time in office, including passing health care reform.
The meeting came the day after congressional leaders and the president met in the White House in hopes of finding a path forward on the dual budget fights. That meeting ended without an agreement. And the fact that both sides continued a media blitz the morning after suggests that a resolution remains far off.