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Feb 14, 2013
Growth Isn’t Enough to Help the Middle ClassBy Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post
Two kinds of middle-class Americans are struggling today — people who can’t find any work or enough work, and full-timers who can’t seem to get ahead.
Democrats and Republicans prescribe economic growth to help both groups. There was a time that would have been enough. But not today.Read more
Senate Democrats, Accusing G.O.P. of Obstruction, Try to Force Hagel VoteBy Mark Mazzetti and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times
Accusing Republicans of a new level of obstruction, Senate Democrats moved on Wednesday to force a vote on President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.Read more
Feb 13, 2013
Obama's Wish ListBy John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
The president's State of the Union address was more than 6,000 words, but its message to voters could fit inside a single tweet: I am full of ideas that will directly affect your life, but these people in the audience are blocking them. The president brought a ton of proposals on Tuesday night: universal preschool, tax reform, immigration reform, a minimum wage increase, a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, infrastructure investments, new housing incentives, manufacturing incentives, energy plans, a program for scoring college education by affordability, and paycheck equity. They all seemed to have ready-made hashtags: #manufacturinghub, #fixitfirst, and #collegescorecard. There was no moon shot or a plan for overhauling Social Security, but in the aggregate it was a lot, especially in the current environment where the Senate can't pass a budget, House conservatives are ready to burn the ships, and Barack Obama and the John Boehner openly question the other's toughness.Read more
Obama Urges a Move Away From Narrow Focus on Politics of AusterityBy Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker
Just about every argument in Washington since the 2010 midterm elections, which returned control of the House to Republicans, has centered on reducing the federal deficit. On Tuesday night, President Obama leaned into his second term by declaring that a single-minded focus on deficit reduction would jeopardize the nation’s future. And he sounded an urgent call to rebuild.Read more
In a Shift for GOP, Marco Rubio Demonstrates the Power of SpanishBy Beth Reinhard, National Journal
By delivering the Republican response to the State of the Union speech in Spanish, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Tuesday broke through an increasingly powerful language barrier between the political establishment and the nation’s fastest-growing demographic.Read more
Republicans tear into Obama on spendingBy Susan Davis, USA Today
The second-term priorities President Obama outlined in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday face significant roadblocks in a divided Congress, and Republicans were quick to point them out Tuesday.Read more
Why Would Anyone Oppose the Violence Against Women Act?By Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Today's GOP has a talent for gratuitously making itself look bad.
On Tuesday, a growing faction threatened to derail the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which passed the Senate with 22 dissenting Republican votes. A couple of months ago, Senate Republicans defeated a treaty on disabilities -- rebuking their own party's war heroes, Bob Dole and John McCain, who spoke in support of the measure. One can imagine that for their next stunt, Republicans will oppose a bill to help the elderly across the street, or vote against a resolution honoring motherhood and apple pie.Read more
Victims Of Cyberattacks Get Proactive Against IntrudersBy Tom Gjelten, NPR
U.S. companies that have their networks routinely penetrated and their trade secrets stolen cannot be surprised by a new National Intelligence Estimate on the cyber-espionage threat. The classified NIE, the first-ever focusing on cybersecurity, concludes that the U.S. is the target of a major espionage campaign, with China the leading culprit.Read more
Feb 12, 2013
Watching Obama for Signs of ChangeBy Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
On Tuesday night, the president will address the nation and Congress on the state of the union. But many will watch as well for signs of the state of Barack Obama.Read more
Inside the White House and out, advisers and associates have noted subtle but palpable changes in Mr. Obama since his re-election. “He even carries himself a little bit differently,” said one confidant who, like others, asked not to be identified discussing the president. He is relaxed, more voluble and even more confident than usual, these people say, freer to drop profanities or dismiss others’ ideas — enough that even some supporters fear the potential for hubris.
Obama Speech Will "Throw Down the Gauntlet" to CongressBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
Here’s what we know about President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night: It will include some news -- as in new challenges aimed at Congress -- and enough rhetoric about economic growth and job creation to sound familiar to most Americans who worry about continued 8 percent unemployment.Read more
Obama Economy Mission Unfulfilled as He Speaks on State of UnionBy Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News
President Barack Obama first spoke before a joint session of Congress during the depths of a recession. Four years later, much of the mission he laid out remains unaccomplished.Read more
When Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight, he’ll still be confronting the central challenge of his presidency: The unemployment rate is only a few tenths of a percentage point lower than it was in February 2009, middle- income Americans are earning less, and the economy stalled in the last three months of 2012.
State of the Union: What Do You Want Obama to Say?By Molly Ball, The Atlantic
What is the point of the State of the Union?
The president's annual address to Congress tends to be a laundry list of policy priorities that fails to make much of a splash either inside the Capitol or with the broader public. His opponents are only listening to find things to take issue with, and his allies are mostly just hoping he tosses a mention to their pet causes.Read more
North Korea Nuclear Test 'Highly Provocative,' Obama SaysWith Martha Raddatz, ABC News Watch more
North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear TestBy David Sanger and Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times
North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it had conducted its third, long-threatened nuclear test, according to the official KCNA news service, posing a new challenge for the Obama administration in its effort to keep the country from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.Read more
Feb 11, 2013
In Address, President Will Focus on the Middle ClassBy Jackie Calmes and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times
President Obama on Tuesday will seek to move beyond the politics of the moment to define a second-term agenda built around restoring economic prosperity to the middle class, using his State of the Union address to unveil initiatives in education, infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing.Read more
Marco Rubio Emerges as GOP’s Star. But Is He the Answer for Republicans?By
Lately, it seems just about everyone is fascinated by the junior senator from Florida.
Time’s current cover proclaims Marco Rubio “The Republican Savior.” The Web site BuzzFeed last week solicited his views on immigration, climate change, gay rights — and the relative artistic merits of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. That test of his hip-hop fluency came after Rubio released a Spotify playlist of 16 songs he is listening to, generating a flood of instant analysis in the blogosphere.Read more
Obama’s Turn in Bush’s BindBy Peter Baker, The New York Times
If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself.Read more
Pentagon Goes On The Offensive Against CyberattacksBy Tom Gjelten, NPR
With the Pentagon now officially recognizing cyberspace as a domain of warfare, U.S. military commanders are emphasizing their readiness to defend the nation against cyberthreats from abroad. What they do not say is that they are equally prepared to launch their own cyberattacks against U.S. adversaries.Read more
How to Name a Mountain After Ronald ReaganBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Chuck Muth imagines a world where Las Vegas tourists could take a patriotic break from gambling and Cirque du Soleil for a side trip to Mount Reagan.Read more
Feb 08, 2013
Obama to Democrats: 'We've got a lot of work to do'By Susan Davis, USA Today
President Obama asked House Democrats to rally around his second-term agenda Thursday and warned of rocky times ahead as a divided Washington tries to bridge partisan gulfs on the federal budget, immigration laws and U.S. gun laws.Read more