President Barack Obama said on Thursday he intends to propose National Security Agency reforms to reassure Americans that their privacy is not being violated by the agency. "Part of what we're trying to do over the next month or so is, having done an independent review and brought a whole bunch of folks, civil libertarians and lawyers and others to examine what's being done, I'll be proposing some self-restraint on the NSA and to initiate some reforms that can give people more confidence," Obama said in an interview on the MSNBC television program "Hardball with Chris Matthews." A steady drip of revelations of NSA snooping has raised widespread concern about the reach of the agency's operations and its ability to pry into the affairs of private individuals as well as the communications of foreign leaders. The information comes from documents made public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Obama said he would not comment on details of NSA programs, but that while revelations of the agency's activities have raised legitimate concerns, some aspects have been exaggerated.
Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage says climate change may help Maine. Rep. Mike Michaud rolls eyes
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama says both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden would make outstanding presidents. That was the message Obama laid down in an interview on Thursday with MSNBC's "Hardball" program when host Chris Matthews asked him to compare and contrast the two. "Both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents," he said. America's political world is a boil as to whether former Secretary of State Clinton will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon. Obama made a somber appearance at the White House to talk about the loss of Mandela with whom he shares the distinction of being his nation's first black president.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown has earned the highest approval ratings of his current tenure and is on track to easily win re-election if he decides to run again next year, according to a Field Poll released on Thursday. The statewide survey showed that 58 percent of registered California voters currently approve of the job Brown, a Democrat, is doing as governor, with 33 percent disapproving and 9 percent having no opinion. The poll also found that when Brown was pitted against four possible Republican contenders for an open primary in June he would dominate the field – with 52 percent of those surveyed choosing him. Of potential challengers, former Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado was favored by 11 percent of those surveyed, with Assemblyman Tim Donnelly getting 9 percent and Neel Kashkari, former assistant secretary for the U.S. Treasury, collecting 3 percent.