FROM Jamie Tarabay
Obama Promises No Ground Troops in Iraq Yesterday, General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee he might have to ask the President for ground troops to go back to Iraq, this time to fight the extremist group ISIS. Today in Florida, after meeting with senior commanders there, Mr. Obama reiterated that American forces "do not and will not have a combat mission." Jamie Tarabay is Senior Staff Writer with Al Jazeera America.
Has Democracy Come to Afghanistan? With Hamid Karzai termed out of office, eight candidates are running for president of Afghanistan. Some US officials claim this weekend's election will accomplish "the first, peaceful, democratic" transition of power in that country's history. But it might not turn out that way. The Taliban has already increased the level of violence, and voter fraud is predicted on what's called an "industrial" scale. Nonetheless, thousands of potential voters have showed up at rallies, and the increased participation of women reflects profound cultural change. Will the election preserve those gains by creating a government perceived as "legitimate" by Afghans and by Americans?
The Reclusive Preacher Who Holds Sway over Turkish Politics Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic spiritual leader said to influence millions of Turks, including members of the police and the judiciary. He has followers all over the world, and they've established 130 charter schools here in the US. But for 14 years, he's lived in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains and gives no interviews, until he spoke to Jamie Tarabay. A senior staff writer at Al Jazeera America and former Baghdad Bureau Chief for NPR, she's author of A Crazy Occupation : Eyewitness to the Intifada. Her rare interview with Gülen appeared last week in the Atlantic .
President Obama Signs the JOBS Act It's called the JOBS Act , but it's not what it sounds. "JOBS" stands for "Jump Start Our Business Startups." Majority Leader Harry Reid had to beg Senate Democrats to vote for it, so President Obama could sign it today. Jamie Tarabay is White House Managing Editor for the National Journal .
Obama Salutes Returning Troops at Ft. Bragg President Obama who won office in part by opposing the war in Iraq today celebrated its end with thanks to a crowd of soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The President alluded to nine years of controversy over the war but told the soldiers their sacrifices help to unify the country. Jamie Tarabay is Managing Editor of National Security and Foreign Affairs for the National Journal .
President Obama Pushes His Jobs Bill in WH News Conference At a White House news conference today, President Obama felt comfortable the Senate Democrats' plan for a surtax on millionaires to help pay for his jobs plan. He conceded that Republicans in Congress aren't likely to go along, but insisted that his proposals ought to be embraced by Republicans because the bill "reflects those ideas that have traditionally been supported by both Democrats and Republicans." Jamie Tarabay is White House editor for the National Journal .
Obama Lays Out Plan to Cut Deficit President Obama offered his deficit reduction program today: $4 trillion over 10 years. In a White House speech full of passion and political talking points, he wants to cut federal taxes for middle class workers and increase them on the wealthy, a move Republicans call "class warfare." To reduce the deficit and invest in education, medical research, and transportation he demanded an end to tax loopholes for corporations and people "who've done extraordinarily well." Jamie Tarabay is White House Managing Editor for the National Journal .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?