Barack Obama

So much for compromise.

A total of 43 Catholic educational, charitable and other entities filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court around the nation Monday, charging that the Obama Administration's rule requiring coverage of birth control in most health insurance plans violates their religious freedom.

Photo courtesy jamelah via Flickr

The Obama Administration has unveiled a plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.

It has five broad goals for addressing the disease and helping families facing challenges from it, with an end- goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and editor of America's New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West.

Will Obama's Wednesday embrace of same-sex marriage equality hurt him in November? The short answer is: possible, but not likely.

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama declared his support for gay marriage. This marks a departure from the president's previous stance, which has repeatedly been described as "evolving."

Here's the money quote from ABC's OTUS blog:

Barack Obama photo courtesy of the White House; Keith Judd photo courtesy Texas Dept. of Corrections.

Texas prison inmate Keith Judd earned an unofficial 42 percent of votes in yesterday’s West Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary. President Barack Obama earned close to 58 percent.

So who is Keith Judd?

The Associated Press reports Judd is behind bars at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. Judd paid a $2,500 fee and filed a notarized form to get on the ballot in West Virginia.

In a speech delivered from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, President Obama said that after more than 10 years of war in the country, the U.S. is on a path toward peace.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama has made a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

He’ll be addressing America in a speech tonight, the one year anniversary of a special forces mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.

KUT News will broadcast NPR's coverage of President Obama’s remarks tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can listen on KUT 90.5 FM, or stream online at kut.org

Obama photo courtesy Pete Souza via Wikipedia; Romney photo courtesy Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia.

Romney Leads Obama in Texas

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would beat President Obama in Texas if an election were held today. At least that’s what a recent survey from Public Policy Polling has found.

The group surveyed nearly 600 Texans and 400 Republican primary voters and found that 50 percent would vote for Romney.  Forty-three percent said they would choose Obama.  The seven-point spread is a significant drop from the last presidential race in Texas when, in 2008, republican nominee John McCain captured the state by 13 points.

In 2008, Barack Obama captured two-thirds of the Hispanic vote, winning in crucial swing states with large Hispanic populations like Colorado, Nevada and Florida.

Incumbent presidents generally try to cast their re-election contest as a choice between the imperfect but well-meaning and effective occupant of the White House and the far worse alternative offered by the rival party.

Challengers, on the other hand, try to frame a presidential race as a referendum on the sitting president whose record nearly always contains missteps, or who can be blamed for trouble in the economy or elsewhere.

In short, whether it's the president or the challenger, the way the game is played requires each to define the opposition as well as himself.

No matter how many times he said it Wednesday, the White House press corps just didn't seem to be buying deputy press secretary Josh Earnest's assertion that Obama administration officials weren't working on contingency plans just in case the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act.

They also weren't taking at face value Earnest's defense of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's performance on behalf of the administration Tuesday which has been widely criticized as nervous, halting and all-around less-than-inspiring.

Photo courtesy Marketplace/APM

President Barack Obama will discuss energy, economic policy and more on American Public Media's "Marketplace" tonight.

The “Marketplace” team says host Kai Ryssdal will chat with President Obama at the Copper Mountain Solar facility in Boulder Hills, Nevada. In addition to talking about energy policy and high gas prices, they will touch on many aspects of the economy: jobs, the budget, housing, average Americans, banks and the politics of economic policy.”

“Marketplace” airs at 6:30 p.m. on KUT 90.5 FM.

Live video by Ustream

Here’s one South by Southwest Interactive panel you don’t need a badge for.

At 9:30 a.m. today, a group of panelists are gathering to answer a question: “Can Bloggers Put Hope Back Into the 2012 Election?” The group is set to discuss whether the online team the Obama campaign assembled in 2008 can be jump-started this cycle and counter potential Democratic unenthusiasm:

2008 was the first Election in American History where bloggers and vloggers helped shape the political narrative and carry President Obama to the presidency. Four years later, the Administration has not nurtured these pop cultural connections. Will the blogosphere turn out for Obama in 2012?

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

Image courtesy transcanada.com

Approval for the Keystone XL pipeline – a controversial 1,700 mile pipeline designed to transport oil sands from Canada all the way to Texas ports along the Gulf of Mexico – is expected to be rejected today by the Obama Administration, according to a report from The Washington Post.

StateImpact Texas notes the announcement comes just a few weeks before the Obama administration would have been forced to make a decision on the proposal.

Image courtesy of US Justice Dept.

Texas may get its first openly gay U.S. attorney. The San Antonio Express-News reports President Obama is set to nominate U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lee Pitman of Austin as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, an area that stretches from El Paso to Austin.  

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Republican Gov. Rick Perry has made no secret of his disdain for federal health reform, or for one of its key tenets, a Travelocity-like state insurance marketplace in which consumers could choose from public and private health plans.

Graphic courtesy of the Texas Tribune, by Todd Wiseman.

Texas Lawmakers Trying to Overhaul Medicaid & Medicare

The Texas Tribune, KUT's political reporting partner, has a story this morning on how Texas lawmakers are moving forward with efforts to overhaul -and get more control of- Medicare and Medicaid. 

Medicare is the health care program for the elderly; Medicaid primarily serves poor children and people who are disabled. State lawmakers are moving forward with their bill even though seniors across the country are upset with U.S. House members who supported overhauling Medicare.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT.

Governor Perry and President Obama aren't meeting during Obama's visit to Texas today. And, perhaps not surprisingly, each side is blaming the other. 

The White House says Perry refused to meet the President in El Paso earlier today.

The Associated Press reports Perry's office said Obama declined an invitation to tour areas of the state scorched by wildfire or to meet in Austin. 

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Update: If you're looking for information on President Obama's July 17, 2012 appearance in Austin, click here

Because of President Obama's visit to Austin today, police are not allowing people to park near the W Hotel downtown between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. this afternoon. Mr. Obama will be speaking at the new ACL Studios at Moody Theatre late this afternoon.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

President Barack Obama is heading to Austin for a fundraiser. The visit is planned for May 10. 

President Obama announced this week that he would run for re-election in 2012. It wasn't a huge surprise, but he is the first to announce his plans.

Barack Obama
Image courtesy Barack Obama http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/

President Obama issued the first pardons of his tenure as Commander-In-Chief today, if you don't include the traditional turkey pardons on Thanksgiving eve.  Obama let nine people off the hook.

Here are the two from Texas.

Timothy James Gallagher -Navasota, Texas

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine; 21 U.S.C. § 846. Sentence: Oct. 18, 1982; District of Arizona; three years of probation.

Scoey Lathaniel Morris -Crosby, Texas

Obama birth certificate
Image courtesy FactCheck.org

Is there anything the national broadcast media loves more than a beatdown of a radically conservative politician? If so, State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) is making it way too easy for Anderson Cooper.

Despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence that President Obama was born in Hawaii, Berman took the bait last night on CNN.

You know I really don't know. If you look at my white hair, you can tell I've been around for awhile. And I've known everything about every president that I've come across for the last 70 some-odd years. I don't know anything about President Obama. I wish I did.

Check out the video.

Dan Liu is a 16-year-old senior at Austin ISD's Liberal Arts and Science Academy at LBJ High School.  Yes, he's just 16 and going to graduate high school this Spring.  Liu and some of his friends at math camp won the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. It's a science competition for high school students.

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