Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it’s time for the president to “get serious about spending.” The budget numbers suggest Barack Obama already has, with beneficial effects on the deficit. ...“If you strip out the stimulus, discretionary spending over the last few years has been quite modest and is scheduled to go to levels we haven’t experienced in modern times,”
He swore his oath of office on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. He has asked to give the State of the Union address on Lincoln’s birthday. He rode to Washington in 2009 on a train route similar to Lincoln’s in 1861. He has compared his critics to Lincoln’s critics. He confides to admirers that he likes to read the handwritten Gettysburg address that hangs in the Lincoln bedroom. Barack Obama is inviting the world to compare him not just to good presidents but to the greatest in American history. There can be majesty in invoking past presidents and the Founders.
President Obama´s Second Inaugural Address is unlikely to be much remembered by future generations. Its authors have a talent for "rhetorical craftsmanship," as James Fallows astutely noted. But used to what end? Were hard truths expressed? Were complicated concepts rendered in clarifying language? Were the disagreements that divide us insightfully characterized? Was an argument advanced? No, the craftsmanship was marshaled in place of substance rather than in support of it. The president expertly associated himself with certain ideas and evoked certain impressions. He burnished his brand rather than acting like a leader. I don´t mean to suggest a total dearth of ideas.
There’s no naïveté quite like that of the sophisticate. Forty years ago this day, the Supreme Court upended the laws of all 50 states in Roe v. Wade — and The New York Times pronounced the issue settled. “The court’s verdict on abortions,” said the Times, “provides a sound foundation for final and reasonable resolution of a debate that has divided America too long. As with the division over Vietnam, the country will be healthier with that division ended.” Four decades on, we are hard-pressed to find any sign this division is ended. To the contrary, by substituting the preferences
In an otherwise unmemorable second inaugural speech, I was struck by one sentence: "But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well." Two points: First, our forebears were only able to "win the peace" because they first crushed out enemies in war. But under President Obama we´re not committed to winning our wars. We´re committed to ending them. Does Obama really think we´re going to win the peace after not winning the war?
Senate Republicans surprised everyone Monday by ramming through a vote for new district maps that improve their political fortunes, winning majority of support for it because a Democratic lawmaker was attending the inauguration. The power play occurred when Sen. John Watkins, R-Midlothian, introduced a bill amendment that significantly redraws Senate district boundaries so Republicans can potentially pick up an additional seat in the 2015 elections. The new map means two senators -- Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Emmett Hanger -- will have their districts combined. Republicans said it was an effort to correct maps passed in 2011 that split communities.
Four years ago, on a freezing day in Washington, DC, Barack Obama, before a crowd of over 1.5 million Americans, took the oath of office, and, in the wake of his historic (and, for many, inspiring) election, spoke of the tough times at hand. With the economy in near free fall, he referred to "gathering clouds and raging storms" and "this winter of our hardship." He somberly urged the nation to "brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come" in order to revive America.
Jill Kelley was not the first to see the anonymous email that would rupture her comfortable life as a wealthy Tampa socialite who forged friendships with two top American generals. She learned of the mysterious message from her husband, Scott, who opened the note on his iPhone, under the Yahoo account they share, as he was about to board a plane. Kelley says she was “terrified” late last summer when he told her about the email. In that note and the barrage that followed, “there was blackmail, extortion, threats,” Kelley told me in her first interview
New York Times journalists are extremely protective of their newspaper’s reputation as the “paper of record.” So when faced with criticism of their reporting or accusations of journalistic bias, they tend to reject it, discrediting their critics as insignificant right-wingers. Last year, for example, former New York Times correspondent Neil Lewis wrote a lengthy piece for the Columbia Journalism Review on “The Times and the Jews,” discounting criticism of the newspaper’s Palestinian-Israeli coverage as “ill-founded,” “toxic” and “based on misunderstandings of journalism.” He marginalized the critics as likely to come from a small group of Orthodox Jews
Did the US get caught by surprise by the al-Qaeda attack on an Algerian natural-gas facility? Not entirely, as ABC News reports. While the US government insisted that AQ has been “decimated,” the House Intelligence Committee had been alerted to “lots of threat streams” about pending attacks in the North Africa region. Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough intel to connect the dots, says Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee chair:(Snip for video)The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that before the deadly Algerian hostage crisis, the U.S. had several reports that “something big”
Pattie Mallette’s position on abortion is clear: Had she not converted to Christianity before getting pregnant as a teen, her pop star phenom son Justin Bieber would have never been born. But now, with a memoir under her belt and her son’s next album dropping soon, the Stratford, Ont., born mother is carving out a niche as an anti-abortion crusader, amid reports Bieber may not be comfortable with it. The 37-year-old is the new, public face of a short-film fundraising project to raise at least $10-million for American pregnancy centres, which encourage women to go through with a pregnancy, not terminate it.
If anyone remains in any doubt that the next four years will be a relentless exercise in left-wing presidential radicalism, look no further than Barack Obama’s second inaugural address. This was not a president in any mood to reach out across the political aisle, or to give words of comfort to the nearly 60 million Americans who did not vote for him last November. His address was defiant and divisive, projecting his firm commitment to seeing through his avowedly liberal agenda in the face of concerted opposition on Capitol Hill and in the 30 states which have Republican Governors.
When George W Bush declared war on an abstract noun--"Terror"--he was widely and inevitably mocked by the left for his foolishness. Not to be outdone, Barack Obama has used his second inaugural address to declare war on an even more nebulous threat to the security of the world: reality, itself.[Snip]The first sentence is a blatant untruth. Concerted global action so far to deal with the threat of climate change has resulted in: higher energy prices; more deaths from fuel poverty; more intrusive regulation; the destruction of rainforests and the squandering of agricultural land on biofuels; higher food prices;
Prince Harry flew out of Afghanistan tonight and admitted he had killed for the first time. Thoughtful but unrepentant, he said soldiers sometimes had to ‘take a life to save a life’. In an interview to mark the end of his four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, the third in line to the throne confirmed he had been directly responsible for the deaths of one or more insurgents as a co-pilot gunner. Asked if he had killed from the cockpit of his £40million aircraft, the 28-year-old prince said matter-of-factly: ‘Yeah, so lots of people have.
In an interview with student journalists, Michelle Obama used the word “normal” again and again last Friday in reference to her children. “I want them to be normal kids, just like you guys, polite and respectful and kind,” she said, according to 12-year-old Maggie McDow of Bexley, Ohio, who was reporting for Highlights Magazine. “I’m winning,” the first lady declared of her battle to give her children something resembling regular American girlhoods.
With the formal portion of the day over, all that was left for President Obama and First Lady Michelle was to kick up their heels at the inauguration ball to celebrate his second term. The Obamas appeared on stage at the Washington Convention Center to wild cheering and thunderous applause from thousands of people. First Lady Michelle´s choice of dress was finally revealed - a dramatic, red chiffon and velvet gown by Jason Wu. The designer had also created her dress for the 2008 ball. Obama paid tribute to his wife saying that although he was often criticized
The planet Jupiter and Earth´s moon will star is a dazzling spectacle in the night sky tonight, weather permitting. But even if bad weather spoils your view, you can see celestial show live online in a free webcast. Jupiter and the moon will appear just a finger-width apart tonight (Jan. 21) for stargazers across North America. In South America, some observers may even see Jupiter slip behind the moon in an amazing occultation. The extreme close encounter between the planet and moon is a must-see, even if clouds block your view. The online skywatching website
First Lady Michelle Obama wore a custom, ruby red Jason Wu chiffon and velvet gown Monday night to the inaugural ball. Her dress was fierce. The halter top was a great choice to show off Obama´s sculpted arms and back. The waistline was in the perfect place while the color choice was radiant. Alicia Keys had it right - "Obama´s on fire." "I can´t believe it. It´s crazy," Wu told The New York Times Monday night. "To have done it once was already the experience of my life. To have a second time is tremendous."
Obama’s speech: Very long on gaseous generalities; exiguous with details. “Par for the course,” you say. Yes and no. Yes, an inaugural speech is intended to set the tone for an administration rather than spell out in detail a policy program. I appreciated, as must every American of good will, his promise that his oath of office was before “God and country, not party or faction.” I wish I could believe it. Most leftist commentators I’ve checked in on have regarded the speech as they regard Barack Obama, as a consummate example of “pragmatism.”
An off-duty Las Vegas police officer shot his wife and young son before setting his home ablaze and committing suicide Monday, authorities said. A 52-year-old man dialed 911 from his Boulder City, Nev., home at 8:20 a.m. and told a dispatcher that he had killed his wife and his son and that he planned to set his home on fire and harm any responding officers, said Keith Paul, a spokesman for the Henderson Police Department, which was handling the investigation. When officers arrived, a man wielding what appeared to be a handgun stood in the doorway, officials said.
ALGIERS, Algeria -- The hostage-taking at a remote Algerian gas plant was carried out by 30 militants from across the northern swath of Africa and two from Canada, authorities said. The militants, who wore military uniforms and knew the layout, included explosives experts who rigged it with bombs and a leader whose final order was to kill all the captives. The operation also had help with inside knowledge - a former driver at the plant, Algeria´s prime minister said Monday. In all, 38 workers and 29 militants died, the Algerian prime minister said Monday
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton likely will face tough questions about the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya — including how the U.S. ambassador went missing for several hours during the assault — when she meets Wednesday with the House and Senate foreign affairs committees. The appearance, likely to be her last before Congress, will cap her time as secretary of state by revisiting one of the most bitterly contested and controversial episodes of her tenure
Forging into the latter half of his historic presidency, Barack Obama urged the nation at his second inauguration Monday to work together on a liberal agenda of America’s “limitless possibilities,” such as reversing climate change, advancing gay rights and strengthening the social safety net. On a chilly and overcast Monday, Mr. Obama laid out the broad themes for his second term, in which he is winding down the war in Afghanistan and is renewing his push for programs to help the middle class. While
President Obama began his second inaugural address with a reminder that this ceremony, like the 56 inaugurations before it in U.S. history, was a unifying symbol. “Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution,” he said from the West Front of the Capitol, his voice echoing across the Mall, where hundreds of thousands of people waved American flags. “We affirm the promise of our democracy.” Thus ended the warm-courage-of-national-unity portion of the proceedings. What followed was less an inaugural address for the ages than a
Detecting media bias is often an exercise in contrasting two analogous events to see how the media worked to write the narrative in the public´s imagination. We at NewsBusters have already looked at how the media love the party atmosphere of the Obama inaugurals but groused at the expense of Bush´s second inaugural, for example. So it´s instructive to see how Washington Post veteran journalist Dan Balz greeted President Obama´s entry into his second term with how he looked at the dawn of President George W. Bush´s second term.
The terrorist attack in Algeria that left three Americans and 34 other hostages dead shows that al Qaeda is “committed to creating terror" no matter where its members are located and that America has "got to fight back," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday. “I’m glad we were able to get some rescued, but we did lose three Americans,” Panetta told a small group of reporters Monday as he left the inaugural lunch at the Capitol. “That just tells us al Qaeda is committed to creating terror wherever they are, and we’ve got to fight back.”