9:01 AM, Dec 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The press covering Joe Biden's trip Asia caught an unusually frank comment from the vice president. Biden, speaking about himself, reportedly said that his "profound insights on policy are vastly exaggerated, but we do have profound respect for the people of South Korea."
Biden also insisted that America does what it says it's going to do -- always. "I want to make one thing absolutely clear: President Obama's decision to rebalance to the Pacific basin is not in question. The United States never says anything it does not do," said Biden.
"Let me say that again: The United States never says anything it does not do. ... [It's] never been a good bet to bet against America. … and America will continue to place its bet on South Korea."
More from Biden's visit to the South Korean president:
At 11:38 a.m VP Biden arrived at the Blue House, where he was greeted by President Park in the grand entry foyer, carpeted in red. They exchanged warm greetings and the Park led vpotus to sign a guest book at a small desk. Vpotus spent several minutes composing the message, which your pool was unable to read. Then the pool was led into a conference room and several minutes later the US and Korean delegations entered. Biden and Park shook hands at the head of the table and then the two sides sat facing one another on opposite sides of the long table with the primary leaders in the middle.
Park, the only woman to be at a negotiating table across from the Americans in three counties on this trip, spoke first.
She said the Koreans were happy to have Biden there because of his "profound insights" regarding foreign policy. "The Korea-US alliance is the linchpin to stability and security not just on the Korean peninsula but in northeast Asia."
It's not clear whether the issues of Syria and Iran came up on the meeting between Vice President Biden and President Park.
6:00 PM, Dec 5, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama, on the passing of Nelson Mandela:
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
5:25 P.M. EST
12:07 PM, Dec 5, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
With all the other problems experienced by consumers at Healthcare.gov, actually making payments for plans selected has gotten relatively little attention until recently. As the end of the year draws closer, however, the importance of making a payment to secure coverage by January 1 has increased.
5:21 PM, Dec 3, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Chuck Schumer will introduce legislation to make it illegal to make guns with 3-D printers, according to the Huffington Post. He's expected to introduce the bill in the Senate next week.
3:43 PM, Dec 3, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama sent a memorandum to Secretary of State John Kerry to direct him not to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to the capital city Jerusalem. Despite U.S. law, the embassy is currently in Tel Aviv, though there's an American consulate in Jerusalem.
As Barack Obama has done throughout his presidency, and as previous presidents did before him, here's the memo sent today to John Kerry:
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Suspension of Limitations under the Jerusalem Embassy Act
1:22 PM, Dec 3, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In Politico, Trudy Lieberman delivers a careful, detailed analysis of how the media failed to see the approaching Obamacare storm:
12:26 PM, Dec 3, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The bankruptcy of Detroit, which has been a widely appreciated fact for some time now, has now become sanctioned by law. As Reuters reports:
11:55 AM, Dec 3, 2013 • By GARY SCHMITT
Absolute coherence when it comes foreign policy is a rare thing. International relations will forever be a mix of principles, interests, circumstances, and necessities. But recognition of that fact doesn’t mean one has to jump to the opposite conclusion that foreign policy is simply a grab bag of decisions, lacking any coherence whatsoever. But, more and more, this appears to be the case when it comes to the Obama administration’s so-called “pivot” to Asia.
9:48 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
CNN host wondered out loud on his show this evening whether the physically unfit Chris Christie could follow the "perfect physical specimen" Barack Obama into the White House:
1:14 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In a routine, short-run economic downturn, people tend to adopt more healthy behaviors. You quit smoking and cut back on the drinking because … well, maybe to save money and maybe because you tend to focus more on the essentials and live less indulgently. But our current long, lingering economic malaise seems to have pushed people toward unhealthy choices. For release, perhaps, or from a fatalistic sense that things may not get better and so what.
10:46 AM, Dec 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Kuwaiti news outlet Al-Jarida reports that President Obama is seeking to arrange a trip to Tehran, Iran next year.
7:27 AM, Dec 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called on the Obama administration to be more forthcoming about Obamacare:
One reporter asked Gibbs: "Is the administration being as forthcoming as it could be or should be about what's working and what's not?"