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Opening arguments began today as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on President Obama's landmark national health care law later this year.

Whatever the nine justices decide, it will be historic.

The so-called individual mandate is the linchpin of the law and came under scrutiny as the nation's highest court launched into its hearing Tuesday. 

That provision of the law requires Americans to buy health insurance, and it could unravel President Obama's biggest domestic policy achievement. 

President Barack Obama Image

The justices must decide how much power the federal government has in forcing every American to purchase a product or enroll in a government program.

Lawmakers have never before used this power, as insurance, while obviously valuable in countless situations, is a product one could theoretically avoid.

Proponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare, say it's unprecedented because it's never been this necessary.

Opponents contend it's because the authority doesn't exist, and argue it must be struck down by the high court on grounds of unconstitutionality.

The Supreme Court justices will be looking at three significant constitutional areas to determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is lawful:

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President Obama has weighed in on the Trayvon Martin case, calling it a tragedy, urging cooperation among law enforcement and "soul searching" among all of us.

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," the Commander-in-Chief said, underscoring how the issue affected him on a personal, and not just a political or legal, level.

Of what Martin's parents are suffering through, Obama said:

"I think they are right to expect that all of us are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of what happened."

"Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."

"I think that every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together - federal, state and local - to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened."

The statement by Obama came after he introduced Dartmouth President Jim Kim to be the next head of the World Bank during an appearance in the Rose Garden.

He took only one question before heading back to the West Wing, signaling that he was feeling pressure to make a public comment on the Trayvon Martin case.

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called on President Obama to apologize for comments made by actor Robert De Niro at a fundraiser Monday.

"What De Niro said last night was inexcusable and the president should apologize for him. It was at an Obama fundraiser, it is exactly wrong," Gingrich said.

What did the actor say to draw such a harsh rebuke?

newt and rob

De Niro told a New York City crowd of about 90 people, including his wife and First Lady Michelle Obama, that it was "too soon" for a "white first lady."

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady?" the 68-year-old asked, jokingly.

The crowd roared. Someone yelled "No!" De Niro asked, "Too soon, right?"

Gingrich said the comments made by De Niro "divide the country."

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Welcome to the latest edition of Barack-etology!

For the fourth consecutive year, President Barack Obama has taken a few minutes to fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket alongside ESPN's Andy Katz, hoping to choose his second National Champion in that time.

In 2009, Obama correctly predicted that North Carolina would be cutting down the nets and this year he's going back to the Tar Heel well. Who will UNC defeat in the title game? Which 12 seed does the President think will knock off a five seed? Find out now:

As for THG's staff picks? We're so glad you asked!

Hilton Hater: Baylor, Michigan State, Florida State, UNC
Free Britney: Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State

Best of luck in your pool, readers!

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President Obama invoked his daughters, Malia and Sasha, as he described reaching out to now-famous Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke over the phone.

Fluke and Rush Limbaugh have been ensnared in a war of words after Limbaugh called the contraception activist a slut for her testimony before Congress.

Obama elevated the issue even further when he called Fluke personally and the White House condemned Limbaugh's controversial remarks on the subject.

Since then, sponsors have been fleeing the Limbaugh show despite Rush's apology to Fluke and even GOP presidential candidates are distancing themselves.

At a press conference yesterday, Obama said:

"The reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha and one of the things that I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, including ones that I may not agree with the on."

"And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names just because they're being good citizens. One thing that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse."

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Really, is there anything better than an egg-laying bunny?

How about Bo the White House Dog dressed as said bunny?

The Portuguese Water Dog got all decked out to preview the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, happening on Monday, April 9th. The theme, in keeping with Michelle Obama's health-based initiatives: "Let's Go, Let's Play, Let's Move."

Feast your eyes on the cuteness of the video below!

Sporting pink bunny ears, Bo, a fixture of the annual event, helped announce the start of the ticket lottery, which began Thursday morning and will close today.

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Here we go again.

Stirring up "birther" controversy yet again, Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he suspects the President Obama's birth certificate released last year is fake.

Armed with a 10-page report he personally commissioned, Arpaio said he suspects Obama's long form birth certificate is merely a “computer-generated forgery.”

Arpaio also raised questions about the authenticity of the president’s selective service registration card. He said he would like Congress to investigate the matter.

“Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic,” Sheriff Arpaio said last week.

“My investigators believe the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in paper format as claimed by the White House.”

Arpaio repeatedly said he is not questioning Obama's legal status under the Constitution nor alleging fraud on Obama’s part, but did say there is evidence of crimes.

The controversial lawman believes someone close to the president has tampered with or forged documents and he is required to investigate under Arizona law.

Fact-checking groups have concluded the certificates are authentic, of course, and Obama has even joked about the sideshow that has followed his presidency.

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U.S. President Barack Obama was actually the guest on Bill Simmons’ "B.S. Report" podcast today ... something we don't see Mitt Romney doing anytime soon.

During the 24-minute, basketball-oriented sit-down, Obama guaranteed a Chicago Bulls title before he leaves office ... presumably by 2017, not this summer.

He also raved about fellow Harvard grad Jeremy Lin, the underdog who's sparked Linsanity around the nation (and the New York Knicks' recent win streak).

“I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for awhile,” Obama boasted.

Obama-Lin

The Prez said that his Secretary of Education, former Harvard basketball captain Arne Duncan, had talked about Lin while the point guard was still in college.

“It’s a terrific story. He seems like a wonderful young man; it elevates this great sport all around the world,” the 50-year-old Commander-in-Chief added.

Simmons, ESPN's hilarious and knowledgeable Sports Guy, went on to ask the president’s opinion on who the best basketball player of all time is.

Obama took a safe, biased (and hard to argue with) route: Michael Jordan.

Simmons also asked him to name the best character on the critically ignored but beyond awesome HBO series The Wire, to which Obama said, “It’s got to be Omar, right? I mean, that guy’s unbelievable ... That was one of the best shows of all time.”

It really was. Seriously, go Netflix it. Today.

And watch Obama's full talk with Simmons.

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Comedian Bill Maher announced during a comedy special Thursday night that he would donate $1 million to the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action Super PAC.

The host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher dropped the (money) bomb at the end of "CrazyStupidPolitics," streamed live on Yahoo. He said the following:

"I would like tonight to announce a donation to the Obama super PAC, which has the very unfortunate tongue-twister name Priority [sic] USA Action."

"I know, it was named by Borat," Maher said. "But tonight, I would like to give that PAC one million dollars," prompting cheers from the audience.

  • Bill Maher Photograph
  • President Obama Photo

The donation, manifested onstage in the form of one of those oversized checks, provides a significant boost to the pro-Obama Super PAC's coffers.

The group raised less than $59,000 in the month of January and $4.4 million overall ... not even that much more than the Colbert Super PAC really.

Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of cash to support political causes, but are not permitted to coordinate their activities with candidates they favor.

Bill Maher said that a 2012 Obama victory was "worth a million dollars" and described the donation as  "the wisest investment I think I could make."

He encouraged other wealthy donors to give to the group as well.

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Welcome back to the first annual Tournament of THG: Couples Edition, where fans vote on the most popular celebrity couple in the entire universe!

The concept is simple: Pick your favorite of the two pairs in each poll. Done. YOUR VOTES will determine the winners of this tournament showdown.

After eight hotly-contested first-round battles, the quarterfinal bracket is set. Tuesday, Robsten took on JT and Jessica Biel in a #1 vs. #9 matchup.

Today's contest: The President and First Lady of the United States, Barack and Michelle Obama, against upstarts Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

The Gossip Girl and Safe House stars have their work cut out here, but they've already knocked off Brangelina, so all bets are off. Cast your votes below!

And the Winner is?

Which celebrity couple do you like more, Barack and Michelle Obama or Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds? Vote in this quarterfinal matchup now! View Poll »

Poll is now closed! Here are the results:

Barack & Michelle
48.0%

Blake & Ryan
52.0%

Total Votes: 1807

Barack Obama Biography

Barack and Michelle Obama Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He became a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004, and has... More »
Born
Birthplace
Honolulu, Hawaii
Full Name
Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama Quotes

I do think in Washington, it's a little bit like American Idol. But everybody is Simon Cowell.

Barack Obama

I think I'm a pretty cool dad.

Barack Obama
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