Barack Obama

WBFO's Mike Desmond

It is not difficult to be satirical in today's political environment, but it's not exactly easy, according to the founder of the on-line humor publication, The Onion.

President Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday that takes aim at a number of his predecessor's climate policies.

The wide-ranging order seeks to undo the centerpiece of former President Obama's environmental legacy and national efforts to address climate change.

It could also jeopardize America's current role in international efforts to confront climate change.

In a symbolic gesture, Trump signed the document at the headquarters of Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. Senate has a lot going on: confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee, negotiations on repealing the Affordable Care Act, votes on gun sales regulations and bear-hunting rules for Alaska.

Updated at 7 p.m. EST

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons' earlier approach would provide flexibility.

The Trump administration is rescinding protections for transgender students in public schools.

The move by the Justice and Education departments reverses guidance the Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:45 p.m. ET

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order promising to withhold federal money from what it calls sanctuary jurisdictions. What's not clear is which cities and counties qualify for this punishment, and whether this kind of federal pressure is even legal.

A newly inaugurated Donald J. Trump delivered a fiercely populist and often dark address, promising to transfer power in Washington from political elites to the people and vowing to put "America first."

Surrounded by members of Congress and the Supreme Court, the nation's 45th president repeated themes from his historic and divisive campaign message, describing children in poverty, schools in crisis and streets pocked with crime and "carnage."

The peaceful transition of American power will be witnessed by the world once again Friday. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. That has brought jubilation in conservative America. For them, Trump's win is a sigh of relief, a repudiation of Barack Obama's America and a pause on the liberalization of the world's remaining superpower.

President Obama gave his final press conference at the White House on Wednesday, just two days before Donald Trump's inauguration. He reflected on his time in office and looked toward the incoming administration, ultimately concluding, "At my core, I think we're going to be OK."

NPR's politics team, with help from editors and reporters across the newsroom, annotated his remarks.

President Obama reflected on the achievements of his eight years in the White House on Tuesday night, telling supporters in his hometown of Chicago that they were instrumental in helping him boost the nation's economy, create his signature health care reform law and extend equal rights to more Americans:

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The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating President Obama's farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. The team will be adding fact-checks and background to Obama's comments as he gives them. We'll be watching in particular for remarks on his legacy, national security, health care and foreign policy, among other topics.

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Carl Paladino says there are no lingering problems with the president-elect's transition team over his widely condemned comments insulting President Barack Obama and his wife. The co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign in New York is refuting reports that he is on the outs with the transition team and unwelcome at a fundraiser Thursday in Buffalo.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House.

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Comments made by Buffalo school board member Carl Paladino to a local weekly newspaper have led to widespread condemnation of the controversial developer.

5 Things You Should Know About The Electoral College

Dec 19, 2016

Electors from the 50 states will convene in their state capitols Monday and cast their votes for president. Republican Donald Trump is assured of a victory, unless there is a massive — and totally unexpected — defection by the electors who are pledged to support him.

Here are five things you should know about the Electoral College:

1. How do you get to be an elector?

In a wide-ranging exit interview, NPR's Steve Inskeep asks President Obama about Russian interference in the U.S. election, executive power, the future of the Democratic party and his future role.

Steve Inskeep: Thanks for joining us one more time; I really appreciate it.

President Obama: Great to be with you, Steve.

The Obama administration has issued a sweeping final rule banning smoking in all public housing units nationwide, extending a smoke-free environment to nearly a million units.

Hospitals have long been reluctant to share with patients their assessments of which nursing homes are best because of a Medicare requirement that patients' choices can't be restricted.

For years, many hospitals simply have given patients a list of all the skilled nursing facilities near where they live and told them which ones have room for a new patient. Patients have rarely been told which homes have poor quality ratings from Medicare or a history of public health violations, according to researchers and patient advocates.

File photos

Although President Barack Obama remains in office for a few more weeks, Buffalo's mayor has made his final scheduled visit to an Obama White House. Byron Brown reflected on the visit and what the Obama Administration has meant to his city.


With just over a week before it was scheduled to take effect, a federal judge has blocked the implementation of an Obama administration rule that would have extended overtime eligibility to some 4 million Americans.

The Labor Department's sweeping overhaul to the overtime rule required employers to pay time-and-a-half to their employees who worked more than 40 hours in a given week and earned less than $47,476 a year.

At his first news conference following his party's shocking loss at the ballot box last week, President Obama appeared to needle Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign for not paying enough attention to rural voters who eventually handed President-elect Donald Trump the upset victory.

"When your team loses, everybody gets deflated, and it's hard, and it's challenging," Obama said. "I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection."

It was perhaps the unthinkable: President Obama meeting with his successor at the White House in the first step to carry out the peaceful transition of power in the American republic — and that successor is Donald Trump.

But that's exactly what happened Thursday morning in what amounts to one of the more surreal moments in American political history.

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

Democrats called on Americans to reject what they called the politics of fear and division of the GOP and elect Hillary Clinton during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Following the death of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, President Obama said that "attacks on police are an attack on all of us."

Three officers were killed and three others were wounded in an encounter that began shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday. Louisiana law enforcement said they believe the gunman who shot at officers was killed at the scene. A law enforcement source confirmed to NPR the identity of the shooter as Gavin Eugene Long. The 29-year-old black man was a former Marine who served from August 2008 to August 2010.

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At the White House Monday morning, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Valor to 13 police officers noted for their bravery and valor while in the line of duty, including one from Western New York.

WBFO News File Photo / WBFO News

A Cheektowaga man has been arrested after threatening to kill President Obama and others.

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