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Feb 13, 2013
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
Drones Are Focus as C.I.A. Nominee Goes Before SenatorsBy Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, The New York Times
Engaging a high-ranking Obama administration official for the first time in an extensive public discussion of the use of drones for targeted killing, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday pressed John O. Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, about the secrecy of the strikes, their legal basis and the reported backlash they have produced in Pakistan and Yemen.Read more
Brennan Objects To Use Of Waterboarding In CIA Confirmation HearingBy Tom Gjelten, NPR
President Obama's nominee to run the CIA has his confirmation hearing Thursday afternoon. The hearing of White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan comes as lawmakers are studying a memo on drone strikes overseas. Robert Siegel talks to Tom Gjelten.Listen here
How the Gun-Control Movement Got SmartBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Here is how advocates of gun control used to talk about their cause: They openly disputed that the Second Amendment conferred the right to own a gun. Their major policy goals were to make handguns illegal and enroll all U.S. gun owners in a federal database. The group now known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was once known as Handgun Control Inc.; a 2001 book by the executive director of the Violence Policy Center was entitled Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.Read more