At the start of a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia, President Obama joked Sunday with a Buddhist monk in Thailand that he could use some prayer to help reach a budget deal with Republican lawmakers to avert a fiscal crisis back in the U.S.
“We’re working on this budget, we’re going to need a lot of prayer for that,” Mr. Obama told a monk while touring the Wat Pho Royal Monastery.
Later, at a joint news conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the president tried to explain his quip.
“I always believe in prayer,” Mr. Obama said. “If a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I’m going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home. I’m confident that we can get our fiscal situation dealt with.”
Congress demands info on secret email accounts
A House committee has begun an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency’s own internal watchdog — something Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.
The science committee has asked Mrs. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA.
The committee has also asked the White House’s lawyer and EPA’s inspector general to look into the matter and report back by the end of this month, saying that the secret email accounts could have been used to keep key information from official watchdogs as well as the public.
EPA did not respond Friday night to a request for comment.
The researcher who uncovered the “Richard Windsor” alias email, Christopher Horner, has repeatedly battled the administration over its global warming efforts.
Earlier this year he and his colleagues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute sued to demand the release of emails from “secondary” accounts from EPA, and cited a memo saying the practice began during the Clinton administration under then-administrator Carol Browner.
Lieberman not holding breath for new position
Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, one of the chamber’s most respected voices on national security, said on Sunday morning that he’d listen to offers from President Obama to take a Cabinet post or other position within the administration, but stressed that he isn’t holding his breath.View Entire Story
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