THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S INAUGURAL ADDRESS
Video and Full Text (Via POLITICO) – http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/president-barack-obamas-2013-inaugural-address-full-text-86497.html
WASHINGTON POST – President Obama takes second oath of office at inauguration
A self-assured President Obama on Monday used his second inaugural address to lay out a bold liberal vision of the American future, drawing direct links between the origins of the republic and some of the most vexing political issues of the day.
The usual inauguration choreography of prayers and poems and crowds became a powerful demonstration of history’s arc: The first African American president was taking his second oath of office on a day named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Mall where King thundered almost 50 years ago about the United States’ unfulfilled promise.
WASHINGTON POST – The President liberals were waiting for is (finally) here
Couched in rhetoric about the need to come together as a country was a strong — and surprisingly pointed — invocation of a laundry list of progressive principles: gay rights, voting rights, climate change and the inherent value of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.
In addition to endorsing that progressive policy agenda, Obama also not-so-subtly criticized what he clearly believes is the hijacking of the Republican party by rank ideologues. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” said Obama.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – Obama’s inaugural speech provokes rattled Republicans
The complaints of congressional Republicans that President Obama’s inaugural address sent them no bouquets and love letters show a lot of gall, given the history of the last four years. Obama’s inauguration speech in 2009 was crammed with language about bipartisan cooperation and ending the political rancor in Washington and what did he get for it?
First, he got Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s declaration that the paramount priority of his caucus was to make Obama a one-term president. After that, he got an avalanche of roadblocks thrown in his way as GOP senators and representatives attempted to carry out McConnell’s mission.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS – Obama outlines unapologetically liberal vision in inaugural speech
President Barack Obama began his second term Monday with an unapologetically liberal vision coupled with a hard-nosed offer to work more effectively to overcome partisan mistrust.
Before a crowd of hundreds of thousands, he used his second inaugural address to lay down divisive markers, demanding progress to combat climate change, poverty and income inequality, and insisting that Congress protect the social safety net even as it seeks to bolster the nation’s finances.
The 44th president also made clear that he’s open to negotiation, daring Republicans to set aside dogma and start cutting deals after a first term often marred by friction and stalemate.
TIME – Why Obama’s Second Inaugural Speech Is Historic for Gay Americans
Second Inaugurals have been remembered before, and Monday’s speech had none of the diamond-hard eloquence and blood-soaked wisdom that Abraham Lincoln mustered nearly 150 years ago when the curtain rose on his second term. But like that speech, Barack Obama’s address this week will likely be the stuff of history — and of Hollywood. Echoing Thomas Jefferson, Obama said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall … ”
THE DEBT CEILING
NBC NEWS – Congress: House to vote on extending debt ceiling
“House Republicans are scheduled to vote Wednesday to extend the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt limit as the opening salvo in a renewed battle this year to pass a federal budget and reduce the debt,” USA Today writes. “The GOP bill would suspend the limit on the nation’s borrowing authority to pay for the nation’s legal obligations through May 18.”
And, mark your calendars: “President Obama and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will release their respective budgets after the president’s Feb. 12 State of the Union Address.” And: “In an effort to pressure the Senate, House Republicans included in their legislation a provision to suspend lawmakers’ salaries if their respective chamber does not pass a budget by April 15.”
HUFFINGTON POST – Debt Ceiling: House Voting On Temporary Extension
With tacit support from President Barack Obama, House Republicans are moving to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent an economy-rattling fiscal crisis for at least three months.
The GOP legislation marks a tactical retreat by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is eager to avoid a potential first-ever default on U.S. payment and debt obligations as he wrestles with Obama and his Democratic allies over taxes, spending and the deficit.
WASHINGTON POST – Obama ‘will not oppose’ House GOP plan to suspend debt limit until May
House Republicans are advancing a novel plan to suspend enforcement of the federal debt limit through May 18, a move that would lift the threat of a government default and relieve the air of crisis that has surrounded their budget battle with President Obama.
The measure — set for a vote Wednesday in the House — would not resolve the dispute over how to control the national debt. But after the traumatic “fiscal cliff” episode at the end of last year, it would buy policymakers a little breathing room to continue the argument without another economy-rattling deadline just around the corner.
NBC NEWS – Clinton again takes responsibility in Benghazi attack
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday she took responsibility for not adequately protecting U.S. personnel in the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
USA TODAY – Clinton facing grilling on deadly Benghazi attack
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is testifying before Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, called upon to discuss lessons learned from the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
"I take responsibility," Clinton told the committee. "Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure."
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – Obama’s speech: One for the ‘herstory’ books
We, the female people of the United States, would like to thank President Obama, and not just because his inaugural speech Monday was one of the shortest in history — much as we appreciate succinctness in our busy, multitasking, parent-spouse-friend-career lives.
Not just because he addressed the problem of women’s pay inequality for the first time in any inaugural speech, saying, "Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."
THE BALTIMORE SUN – Obama’s debt-ceiling strategy could put the squeeze on GOP
A week before his inauguration, President Barack Obama said he wouldn’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the federal debt limit.
At an unexpected news conference Jan. 14, the president asserted that he won’t trade cuts in government spending in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.
"If the goal is to make sure that we are being responsible about our debt and our deficit, if that’s the conversation we’re having, I’m happy to have that conversation," Mr. Obama said. "What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people."
CNN – Obama speech: Anti-government era is over
Thirty-two years ago, President Ronald Reagan launched an era of anti-government politics with his first inaugural address. On Monday, President Barack Obama offered the best rebuttal to date.
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said the speech marked "the end of Reaganism," and I couldn’t agree more.
Like Reagan, the president sought to ground the national conversation in his own definition of patriotism. But instead of the "liberty-only" patriotism of Reagan and political descendants such as Paul Ryan, who would turn love of country into hate for its government and its people, Obama offered a deeper "liberty and justice for all" patriotism.
North Carolina Democratic Party