White House blames Democrats for not cooperating in repealing Obamacare

White House blames Democrats for not cooperating in repealing ObamacareAmid complaints about the secrecy with which Republicans are drafting a health care bill, the White House Tuesday put the blame on Senate Democrats for refusing to cooperate.



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White House scrambles to defend Trump’s use of climate data, disputed by the authors themselves

White House scrambles to defend Trump’s use of climate data, disputed by the authors themselvesMIT scientists say that Trump has “badly misunderstood” their study, but EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says other studies back up the president’s position.



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White House officials struggle to answer questions about Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord

White House officials struggle to answer questions about Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accordPresident Donald Trump arrives to speak about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. WASHINGTON — Shortly after President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden on Thursday and announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, a pair of White House officials spoke with reporters about the move.



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Meals on Wheels: Our donations surged after White House talked defunding

Meals on Wheels: Our donations surged after White House talked defundingDonations and volunteer sign-ups to Meals on Wheels surged, the group said Friday, in the hours after President Trump’s administration pointed to the public-private partnership as an example of government spending it can no longer defend. “We received 50 times the normal amount of donations yesterday,” said Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels. The group also “saw an almost 500 percent jump in volunteer sign-ups through our AmericaLetsDoLunch.org Ad Council website,” Bertolette said.



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Asked about the ‘deep state,’ White House says Obama allies ‘burrowed into government’ to enact their own agenda

Asked about the ‘deep state,’ White House says Obama allies ‘burrowed into government’ to enact their own agendaWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that there’s “no question” there are allies of former President Barack Obama who are “burrowed into government” and working to push a liberal “agenda.” Spicer’s comments came after Yahoo News asked if the White House believes there’s a “deep state” that is actively working to undermine President Trump. “Well, I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office that there are people who stay in government … and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer said.



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White House looks to regain health care offensive, trashes CBO

White House looks to regain health care offensive, trashes CBOPresident Trump and Republicans in Congress tried to regain the initiative Wednesday in the battle over health care, seeking to recover from the withering criticism of their rollout of a replacement for Obamacare. To that end, they went after the Congressional Budget Office, which is still days away from releasing its analysis of the Republican bill. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during Wednesday’s briefing with reporters.



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Mostly Theater? Taking Aim At White House ‘We the People’ Petitions

theodp writes: “Since we launched We the People in 2011,” wrote the White House last month, “millions of Americans have engaged with their government on the issues that matter to them. This groundbreaking online platform has made petitioning the government, a First Amendment right, more accessible than ever. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has taken a stance on a number of causes that citizens really care about and used the We the People petition platform to voice their concerns.” Sounds good, but even if the White House is listening to We the People petitions, as it assured skeptics, one wonders what — and who — exactly they are listening to. Petitions suffer from being aye-only, lack identity and location verification, and appear to have other data quality issues. One attempting to explore the petition data for the 67,022-and-counting signers of a new petition urging a quick response to a court decision that could cut the time international STEM students can work in the U.S. on student visas after graduation, for example, would be stymied by thousands of missing and non-U.S. postal codes. Plotting what location info is available does show that the petitioners are clustered around tech and university hubs, hardly a surprise, but it sheds no context on whether these represent corporate, university, and/or international student interests.

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Is There an Ed-Tech Critic In the House?

theodp writes: Educational technology has been stuck for awhile, laments Hack Education’s Audrey Watters in And So, Without Ed-Tech Criticism… (an accompanying 1984 photo of Watters making a LOGO turtle draw a square looks little different than President Obama ‘learning to code’ 30+ years later by making a Disney Princess draw a square). “We might consider why we’re still at the point of having to make a case for ed-tech criticism,” writes Watters. “It’s particularly necessary as we see funding flood into ed-tech, as we see policies about testing dictate the rationale for adopting devices, as we see the technology industry shape a conversation about ‘code’ — a conversation that focuses on money and prestige but not on thinking, learning. Computer criticism can — and must — be about analysis and action.”

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