THE NEW YORK TIMES – Obama to ‘Put Everything I’ve Got’ Into Gun Control
Four days before taking the oath of office, President Obama on Wednesday staked the beginning of his second term on an uphill quest to pass the broadest gun control legislation in a generation.
In the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre, Mr. Obama vowed to rally public opinion to press a reluctant Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expand background checks, and toughen gun-trafficking laws. Recognizing that the legislative fight could be long and difficult, the president also took immediate steps by issuing a series of executive actions intended to reduce gun violence.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – Obama challenges Congress on gun laws
Pledging to "put everything [he's] got into this," a somber President Obama challenged Congress on Wednesday to approve an extensive package of gun control proposals that he said would help prevent mass shootings and reduce the epidemic of gun violence.
The president’s response to the December massacre at a Connecticut school included reimposing a ban on sales of assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, plus expanding background checks of gun buyers. Those measures will face strong opposition in Congress from most Republicans and some Democrats, making prospects for passage highly uncertain.
USA TODAY – Obama gun control plan faces hurdles in Congress
President Obama is pitching the most ambitious gun control program in decades — but whether it becomes law or not remains to be seen.
While Obama said any action that can save one child’s life is worth it, he and aides indicated that proposals to ban assault weapons, expand background checks, and restrict the capacity of gun magazines face big hurdles on Capitol Hill
NBC NEWS – White House calls NRA ‘repugnant,’ ‘cowardly’ for invoking president’s children in ad
The White House is hitting back at the National Rifle Association for its web video, which refers to President Obama’s children.
"Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."
Here’s the transcript of the NRA’s ad:
"Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. But he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids. And gun-free zones for ours.”
THE FIRST FOUR YEARS
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Obama’s First Term: A Romantic Oral History
Four years ago, on the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, this magazine devoted nearly an entire issue to a photo essay, “Obama’s People.” The photographs, 52 of them, depicted a team arriving on a wave of hope despite inheriting an economy in trouble, a collapsing auto industry, two wars and a continuing terrorist threat.
Four years later, they have met some of those challenges, been daunted by others and created new ones of their own. The economy is better but still anemic. Osama bin Laden is dead and the Iraq war over, but Afghanistan remains a morass and the prison at Guantánamo Bay remains open. The auto industry has been saved and health care expanded, but national debt has soared. A dictator in Libya has been toppled, but a dictator in Syria slaughters his own people undeterred.
NBC NEWS – Obama’s first four years in office – then vs. now
Is the nation better off than it was four years ago?
The answer largely depends on the statistics you pick.
With President Barack Obama beginning his second term less than a week from now, there are plenty of numbers suggesting that the country is on more solid footing than it was when he first took office on Jan. 20, 2009.
The Dow Jones Industrial average is up 5,550 points since then. The economy is growing (instead of contracting). Consumer confidence has nearly doubled (though it remains below where it was before the Great Recession). And a larger percentage of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction (but a majority still think it’s on the wrong track).
NEWS & OBSERVER – Poll shows drop in public opinion of McCrory
Gov. Pat McCrory starts his term of governor fairly popular, but with his approval rating having dropped since his sweeping November election victory.
McCrory’s approval rating is 45 percent, with a 19 percent disapproval rating and 19 percent uncertain, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm based in Raleigh. That is down eight points from a month ago.
His approval ratings are somewhat better than those of his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. After a month in office, her approval rating was 43 percent, with 32 percent disapproval.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – Obama goes all in on guns
If anyone had doubts that President Obama would have the political courage to propose a genuinely strong package of gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings — and, frankly, we did — he laid them to rest Wednesday. His proposals would fulfill the fondest wishes of anti-gun activists and organizations that have been advocating for decades for many of the same policies.
Now the only problem is getting Obama’s common-sense proposals past Congress — which is a bit like saying that the only thing preventing this pig from flying is getting it to grow wings.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Enough talk. Time to act.
President Barack Obama and the National Rifle Association do agree on something: No amount of legislation can prevent every evil act. In his remarks on gun violence Wednesday, Obama acknowledged what gun enthusiasts have been saying for decades: Cracking down on illicit access to guns won’t pre-empt all such future tragedies:
In the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn., school massacre, 20 children and six adults died at the hands of a troubled 20-year-old armed with weapons his mother evidently had acquired legally: a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two handguns. The stark efficiency of semi-automatic weaponry allowed Adam Lanza to do maximum damage in a short period of time. Similarly, last summer, alleged gunman James Holmes within minutes managed to shoot 70 people inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Now What, Liberalism?
The argument of the political commentator Walter Russell Mead that the United States has reached an end-stage death match between liberal constituent groups has received widespread attention, especially in the conservative blogosphere.
North Carolina Democratic Party