"That is a big win for not just women but for families and for the American people. It’s a law that’s going to save lives and help more Americans live free from fear"
"The challenge for Obama in the State of the Union is the mismatch between the magnitude of the current economic malaise and the resources that he can summon to deal with it."
Obama campaigned in 2008 as a fierce critic of George W. Bush’s national security policies, but he has apparently learned to stop worrying and love nearly unfettered executive power—the literal power of life and death over fellow U.S. citizens overseas thought to be consorting with extremists groups that may be targeting America. So, under what circumstances does he have the right to act?
The memo says “an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” must decide that the target is a “senior operational leader” of al-Qaida or “associated forces,” “poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States,” and that an attempt to capture that individual is “infeasible.”
Obama memo justifies drone-war killing of Americans (Olivier Knox)
"The crowds will be smaller and President Barack Obama will be grayer when he takes the stage on Monday to deliver his second inaugural address. Will the orator in chief reclaim his mantle of eloquence with a big, bold speech? Or will he play it safe and keep it short?"
Presidential second terms have a bad reputation. It’s almost enough to make you wonder why President Barack Obama wanted the job.
President George W. Bush saw his popularity dragged into the cellar in his second term by the unpopular Iraq war, the botched government response to Hurricane Katrina and the failed push to privatize Social Security. Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was exposed and led him to become just the second U.S. president to be impeached. Sordid details of his affair with the White House intern made Clinton a punchline and drew headlines around the world.
President Ronald Reagan faced the “Iran-Contra” scandal in which Tehran, though designated a state sponsor of terrorism, received arms shipments with Washington’s blessing. And Nixon? Watergate!
Obama’s second term formally opens next week. But he already faces an array of problems that’s enough to make you wonder whether the Audacity of Hope will turn into the Audacity of Heartburn. —Olivier Knox