Most expect Obama to win re-election
PRINCETON, N.J., May 15 (UPI) -- U.S. voters overwhelmingly say they expect President Obama to win re-election, the latest Gallup poll indicated Tuesday.
The Gallup/USA Today poll found 56 percent of those queried said they expect Obama to win, compared to 36 percent who said they expect presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to come out on top.
At the same time, Gallup's daily tracking poll indicated voters were evenly divided on their preferences, with 46 percent favoring Obama and 45 percent, Romney.
"It is unclear why Americans are more inclined to predict an Obama than a Romney victory when the two are essentially tied in Gallup's latest election polling. It may be that Americans recognize the advantages Obama has as the incumbent and that historically, presidents seeking re-election usually win," Gallup said.
The Gallup/USA Today poll conducted last Thursday through Sunday queried 1,012 adults nationwide. The margin of error was 4 percentage points. The daily tracking poll was conducted last Tuesday through Sunday among 3,146 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Obama has JP Morgan account
WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama's 2011 financial disclosure forms showed $500,000 to $1 million in a JPMorgan Chase account.
JPMorgan has announced significant losses, but there is no indication they affected the president's assets.
The 2011 disclosure form was released by the White House Tuesday.
The president by law earns $400,000 a year as compensation for his office, along with a hefty expense account and a free residence called the White House.
Vice President Joe Biden earns $230,700 a year, and receives income from a wide array of investments.
Obama's disclosure also said he received a $500,000 royalty advance against sales in 2010 for a non-fiction book, "Dreams of My Father," but royalties from a children's book he wrote, "Of Thee I Sing," continue to go to the "Fisher House Foundation for a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers."
A White House statement said, "Neither the president nor the vice president [has] any conflicts of interest, and their reports have been reviewed and certified by the independent Office of Government Ethics."
White House slams Boehner debt warning
WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- The White House Tuesday blasted a warning by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner that he intends to hang tough on raising the national debt ceiling.
Boehner says he won't allow another hike in the national debt ceiling without larger spending cuts and reforms to entitlement programs.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday at a fiscal summit he estimates the government will hit its $16.394 trillion borrowing limit before the end of year, CNNMoney reported, but the U.S. Treasury can take extraordinary measures -- including suspending contributions to federal pension plans -- to delay the crisis until early in 2013.
In prepared remarks set to be delivered before the fiscal summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Boehner says: "When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see ... to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance."
The warning echoes one Boehner, R-Ohio, gave last year before a standoff with Democrats finally produced the Budget Control Act and its $2.1 trillion in cuts, CNNMoney said.
"We cannot hold the full faith and credit of the United States government hostage to one party's political agenda," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in response to Boehner's warning. "We saw what happened when this occurred last summer. It was very harmful to our economy. And we fully expect that members of Congress will agree that we must avoid a similar charade this year."
Carney said President Obama "has put forward a deficit and debt reduction plan that would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. But he's doing it in a balanced way. What he will not do is ... have a repeat of the kind of political brinksmanship that House Republicans engaged in last year, that caused ... harm to our economy."
Kansas gov. signs 'Conscience Act'
TOPEKA, Kan., May 15 (UPI) -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation allowing pharmacists to refuse to provide drugs they believe might cause an abortion.
"The Health Care Rights of Conscience Act," which will bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they "reasonably believe" could result in the termination of a pregnancy, was signed into law Monday.
"Conscience clauses" have been included in state legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. Kansas has had a law, since 1970, exempting medical practitioners from any requirement to perform or participate in abortions, but in recent years the national focus has been on pharmaceuticals, particularly those administered in emergency situations to prevent a pregnancy, the Wichita Eagle reported Tuesday.
Pakistani President invited to NATO summit
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 15 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Ali Zardari has been invited to the NATO summit in Chicago, a Foreign Office spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The summit, to be held Sunday and Monday, will include discussion of NATO's post-2014 role in Afghanistan, and the invitation comes a week after NATO Secretary-General Andres Rasmussen urged Pakistan to reopen a supply route to Afghanistan closed after an attack on a checkpoint in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed, Geo News reported.
The invitation is under consideration, the spokesman said.
Obama honors fallen police officers
WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama spoke of the sacrifices made by police officers Tuesday in a ceremony honoring those who have fallen in the line of duty.
The 31st annual National Police Officers memorial service was held Tuesday morning on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
"Blessed are the peacemakers because they shall be called the sons of God," he said in his speech.
The president thanked the families of fallen police officers for their sacrifice, acknowledging the "heavy hearts" that weigh on those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
"The willingness to risk everything for a complete stranger is extraordinary," he said.
"Every American who wears the badge knows the burdens that come with it -- the long hours and the stress; the knowledge that just about any moment could be a matter of life or death. You carry these burdens so the rest of us don't have to."
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