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Obama suggests time to kick Russia to curb after latest (Snowden) snub



Published: Fri, August 9, 2013 @ 11:14 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP)

Responding to critics, President Barack Obama promised on Friday to work with Congress on "appropriate reforms" for the domestic surveillance programs that have stirred criticism at home and abroad. He also said it is time to recalibrate the United States' relationship with Russia, which is harboring NSA secrets leaker Edward Snowden.

"It's not enough for me to have confidence in these programs," the president declared of NSA domestic intelligence-gathering programs at a White House news conference, one day before his scheduled departure on a weeklong vacation. "The American people have to have confidence in them as well."

The president announced a series of changes in a program begun under the anti-terror Patriot Act that was passed in the wake of the attacks of Sept, 11, 2001. But none of the moves would alter the basic core of the program, the collection of millions of Americans' phone records.

As for Snowden, recently granted temporary asylum by Russia, Obama said he is not a patriot, as some have suggested, and challenged him to return to the United States to face espionage charges.

On Russia, Obama said that given recent differences over Syria, human rights and Snowden, it is "probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia is going ... and recalibrate the relationship."

The hour-long news conference ranged over numerous issues, although the president became especially animated when the questions turned to Republicans in Congress. He said they would risk the wrath of the public if they vote to shut down the government this fall in an attempt to cut off funding for his signature health care law.

And on another congressional issue, he said that while he was open to House Republicans proposing an alternative immigration bill, his preference was for a vote on a Senate-passed measure that would combine border security with a chance at citizenship for millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.

He said he was "absolutely certain" such a bill would pass in the GOP-controlled U.S. House.

He did not mince words about the United States' deteriorating relationship with Russia. He said President Vladimir Putin's recent decision to grant asylum to Snowden was merely the latest in a series of differences between the two countries, including a response to the Syrian civil war and to human rights issues.

"I've encouraged Mr. Putin to look forward rather than backward," Obama said, evoking memories of relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

The president, who just this week canceled a planned summit meeting with Putin, said he does not want the United States to boycott the upcoming 2014 Olympics scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia, as a protest against Russian treatment of homosexuals.

"One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kinds of attitudes that we're seeing here," he said. "And if Russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, then that would probably make their team weaker."

On the U.S. economy, Obama said he has a range of candidates he is considering to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, a nomination he likened in importance to selecting a Supreme Court justice. Among the contenders are former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Janet Yellen, the vice chair of the Fed, he said, adding that whoever replaces Ben Bernanke must focus his attention on keeping inflation in check and helping strengthen the recovery from the worst recession in decades.

While saying he won't pick a Fed chairman until the fall, he expressed irritation at critics of Summers, including some Democrats in Congress, whom Obama said were engaging in "a standard Washington exercise that I don't like" of launching pre-emptive attacks before an appointment has been made.

The president and his family are due to depart the White House on Saturday for a weeklong vacation at Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.


Comments

1bmanresident(597 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

It's time we boot that bum Obuma out of office!!! The list of scandals and Big Brother government just keeps on growing under his administration. This is the most corrupt, tyrannical administration in history!!! Get the schmuck outta office!

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2ThomasChompalone(28 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Obama is a charlatan & a putz with the IQ of a melted ice cube.

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3AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What the petulant one needs to "recalibrate" is his snit over being schooled by Vlad.

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4papa1(662 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

experts said that snowdens revelations have helped terrorist. he's a traitor.

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5sknirak(120 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

He'll finish his term in office, much to the detriment of this country. He's untouchable for obvious reasons.

Obama may know law, but he is shaky on world history. Our rough relations with the Russians go back through the Cold War and were initiated with our involvement in Northern Russia in 1918 when the First World War was finally coming to an end.

Yeah, he needs to be gone from office, but I doubt that is going to happen.

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6LtMacGowan(643 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Although I strongly disapprove of the NSA spying program which has been building in size and scope since the 1970s. Sorry Tea drinkers he didn't wave his magic Marxist wand and create it.

That being said I'd probably vote for Obama yet again if he was running against the likes of McSame/Crazy Lady, and Tin Man/Ryan. Snowden enlisted as a soldier and I believe he honored his oath to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I only wish that when I was in the Army if I had been presented with such flagrantly unAmerican, unconstitutional facts that I would have had the courage that Snowden and PFC Manning had of their convictions.

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7ytowntomg(26 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO SAY "Massive Debt" you lackingbrainpowertoopenapackofmatches? REALLY?????? How about the biggest debt in the history of the world under OBAMAITHINKI'LLTAKE ANOTHERVACATIONASLONGASI'MNOTPAYINGFORITOUTOFMYOWNPOCKET. These are the days of sitonyourassandcollectmoneyfromthegovernment. I'll bet you 50:1 gdog4766 is on public assistance and living off the government teat. And if he's not, he's filling out the paperwork as I berate him.

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8FormerYtowner(96 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

ytownomg, you are obviously "lackingbrainpowertoopenapackofmatches.": If you would just take a simple five minutes to do some fact finding instead of listen to Faux Noise,, you would be better off.

While Obama has had his hand in the deficit, this also proves who else contributed to it ..http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/gop-presidents-have-been-the-worst-contributors-to-the-federal-debt/264193/

simple facts.

As far as vacations..
http://www.crewof42.com/uncategorized...

screw off.

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9papa1(662 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

the deficit has been cut almost in half but the repubs won't tell you that. it's too bad people aren't paying attention. that's what the repubs count on so they can spread their lies.

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1076Ytown(1242 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

papa1: The deficit cut in half? It's over $800 billion and our debt is over $16,896 trillion and growing. That's $148,000 debt per taxpayer. If you think those numbers are eye-popping drop down to the bottom of the page to see the social security liability numbers!

http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html

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11papa1(662 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

there is still 8 billion dollars missing in Iraq. I wonder where it went?

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12papa1(662 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

the deficit has gone down. maybe not half but substancially. check it out on a non biased website.

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13AllCapsGrandpa(12 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

OBAMA IS SO WEAK HE COULDN'T EVEN KICK HIMSELF

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14kurtw(848 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The trouble with Republicans- most of them- is that they're all wimpy. They have convictions- or, at least they say they do, but, then, when "push comes to shove" any convictions they might have had get conveniently thrown overboard. John McCain, Bush the Younger, Mitt (with a name like that what can you expect?) Romney and, lately, John Portman and Mario Rubio all fit that pattern. They say they have character, but, in a pinch, they all show themselves to be gutless (or should I say "Ball less"?)

Why would that be? What turns a strong, principled leader with courage and convictions into a wimp? Answer: WOMEN

I mean, lets face it, most prominent politicians are married men and we all know that wives exercise extraordinary powers of persuasion over their husbands (Pillow Talk!) and, my theory is, that the politicians who do best are the ones married to women whose ideology and beliefs are the same as their own.

That explains, among Republicans, Ronald Reagan's extraordinary success as a leader- he was married to a woman, Nancy, whose views were close to his own and their intimacy was incredible- he wrote her every day. It explains, among Democrats, Obama's success and Bill Clinton's also- they're both married to women whose Ideology is roughly the same as their own (in fact, more so, I would say Hillary and Michelle are even more wacko than their husbands- if that's possible).

Now compare that to- a typical example among Republicans- Bush the Younger- married to Laura- who grew up a Liberal Democrat- became a Librarian (also suspect- I never met a Librarian who wasn't a Liberal) and then, for the entire time of their marriage, every night in bed... Pillow Talk- all of it in a Left Wing direction- that was her background- no wonder poor Bush emerged a Wimp (the Iraqi War was classic "Reaction Formation"- the Wimp trying to prove himself manly for the Wife- but, it was too late, because during their pillow talk, dear Laura had deftly reached over and snipped his balls away- metaphorically speaking. )

There is one major institution in the World today that proves my theory- The Roman Catholic Church- 2,000 years old and still going strong and for most of that time run by Single Men. Amen.

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15LtMacGowan(643 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

How did we go from discussing the abhorrent abomination that the NSA has become to the deficit?

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1676Ytown(1242 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

gdog4766 and papa1: Let me know what you mean by biased website. Go back to USdebtclock.org again. Hover your mouse over any of the numbers to see the government sources. Yes, these numbers are painful but true.

I agree, the deficit has gone down slightly due to increased taxes and some decreased spending but not nearly enough. Debt is what we owe and deficit is the shortfall between what we take in and what we spend. It's like getting paid $2743 each month, but spending 3540...an additional $800 (borrowed) which adds to our debt. each month. That is down from earlier this year when we were spending (borrowing) an additional $1000 per month. We need to kick our deficit into spending less than what we take in and putting that to our deficit.

As for social security and unfunded liabilities...we're broke!

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17AllCapsGrandpa(12 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

PUTIN PRACTICES JUDO, HE WOULD KICK OBAMA TO THE CURB

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18southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Obama will not kick anyone...he needs all the "friends" he can muster

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19NilesOhio(724 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

"they would risk the wrath of the public if they vote to shut down the government this fall" - Seriously?!?

I'd LOVE it if the government shut down. No more free money to people who refuse to work. No more congress, or the Senate, or the House. I highly doubt they'd allow it go offline and miss out on all the federal taxes being collected from the working people, though.

It's sad, but we're better off without them.

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20handymandave(474 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

You Donkeycrats helped put Obama the terrorist in office all this time we're not calling you traitors "sheeple" perhaps but not traitors

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212616hillmanst(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Hilliary Clinton 2016 I cant wait

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22stateline(69 comments)posted 1 year ago

Our President is weak.

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