Republic

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About The New Republic

Tailored for smart, curious, socially aware readers, The New Republic covers politics, culture and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective.

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Well-known for its century-old tradition of providing context and analysis beyond the daily headlines, The New Republic has been reimagined for the 21st century with fresh and compelling design across print, digital, and mobile devices.  If you like timely journalism that sparks important conversations, you’ll love rediscovering The New Republic.

Our purpose is not simply to tell interesting stories, but to always ask why these stories matter and tie their reporting back to our readers.  We hope to discern the hidden patterns, to connect the disparate facts, and to find the deeper meaning, a layer of understanding beyond the daily headlines.

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To do this, The New Republic has evolved from offering only a print magazine to become a media company that produces live events featuring our staff and other experts, a responsive website designed for social conversations and a mobile life, audio versions of all of our work, a cutting-edge tablet app, and, of course, twenty print issues a year.  We provide access to all of our products for one price to make it as simple as possible to subscribe.

New Republic subscribers are some of the most educated and influential people in the country.  The median age is 51, with a household income of nearly $100,000 and over half have graduate degrees.

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The New Republic is led by its Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Chris Hughes.  A Facebook co-founder and digital campaign strategist for the 2008 Obama Campaign, Hughes purchased The New Republic in March, 2012 to help build a future for substantive journalism in a digital age.

http://www.newrepublic.com/page/about-new-republic

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Redesigns ‘The New Republic’

January 29, 2013 2:19 AM

Chris Hughes, 29, is the co-founder of Facebook, a former adviser to the Obama campaign, and now the publisher of the 98-year-old magazine The New Republic.

He’s facing the same challenges other print media owners do: How to marry in-depth news articles with screens that seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Hughes tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep it’s a task he’s prepared to tackle.

Interview Highlights

On Redesigning To Fit The Way We Read

The New Republic is known for doing long-form journalism. But we already see over 20 percent of our traffic coming from mobile. So we’ve redesigned our website so that it’s optimized for not only a mobile reading experience but for the tablet as well. We’ve added in all kinds of features like cross-device syncing, so that if you start a piece at your desk and you get halfway through it, when you come back to the same article on your phone, it picks you up right where you left off. … Increasingly, that’s the way we read.”

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On The Web

‘The New Republic’

On Why ‘The New Republic’ Will Not Beat The Huffington Post

“The first thing that people tend to do is roll over in the bed pick up their phone, check their e-mail briefly and check the headlines. For us, we’re not trying to compete with The New York Times or the Huffington Posts of the world to get that first dash of the headlines in the morning. Where you’re much more likely to read The New Republic is at lunch, in the evenings, on the weekends — the moments when you want to try and go a little bit deeper and get some context and analysis on the journalism of the day.”

On Social Media And Partisan Pushes

“We use something called Chartbeat, which shows you how quickly pieces are moving across the social-media universe, and that’s open in my browser throughout the day. However, it’s really important to not be completely guided by the social environment. While it’s very important that our pieces move and that people want to share them, I think it might naturally lead towards content that’s a little bit more partisan at times, it’s more about wit or a quick hit rather than substance. So it’s a balance. … I think the way that social environments work, they tend to reward more extreme opinions, I think they tend to reward images and content that’s packaged well. And all of that’s important — but that doesn’t necessarily lead to the best journalism.”

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On Finding Media Sustainability In The Digital Age

“Our model isn’t altogether different from the models that magazines used previously. What is different is that it used to be, you give us $35 and we give you 20 issues of print a year. That just isn’t gonna cut it in 2013. So now our model is, you give us $35 a year, we give you 20 issues of print, we also give you unlimited access on the web, we give you audio versions, we give you comments — so the business model is much broader, but I also think in time it can be a profitable one. It may not be the same level as media companies made money in the late 20th century, but I think as long as we’re focused on a high quality of journalism, then we can get to a point where it’s sustainable, if not profitable. It will take some time, but I think we can get there.”

On Why ‘TNR’ Will Keep The Printing Presses Going, For Now

“We make money off of print. And in addition to that, I personally love print. I mean, I tend to read on my phone and my iPad, but on the weekends in particular, I love sitting down with a print magazine and going page by page. So, it makes business sense for us and it also is something that I love. So, we’re committed to print for the foreseeable future.”

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/29/170523571/facebook-co-founder-chris-hughes-redesigns-new-republic

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JANUARY 28, 2013

 The President Is Not Pleased Obama on his enemies, the media, concussions

BY FRANKLIN FOER AND CHRIS HUGHES

Barack Obama’s pre-presidential manifesto, The Audacity of Hope, has only one extended riff on gun control—not a homily on behalf of the cause or even a meditation on the deep divisions opened by the debate, but a story of crummy luck. While State Senator Barack Obama was vacationing in Hawaii, visiting his grandmother and hoping to “reacquaint myself with Michelle,” the Illinois legislature abruptly returned to consider bills making the possession of illegal firearms a felony offense. Joining this special session would have required him to backtrack thousands of miles with a sick 18-month old in tow. So Obama stayed put on the islands, while back in Springfield, the package failed by a slim margin. His campaign manager warned him that a political opponent would likely pillory his absence in an attack ad featuring a beach chair and a Mai Tai.

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That Obama didn’t include the substantive case for gun control in his treatise was characteristic. A strain of wisdom ruled a generation of Democratic Party politics: You might pay a price for reticence on the issue in a big city like Chicago, but in the rest of the country, it was a noble loser, bait for backlash in electorally crucial Rust Belt states with not even the remotest hope for legislative victory. In 2010, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence judged Obama’s efforts on behalf of its issue worthy of an “F.”

So when the president learned of the massacre in Newtown, how could he not have felt at least a pang of guilt about the failure of his party and administration to keep gun control on even a low simmer? Indeed, his aides described the massacre as having knocked his tightly held interior life into full view like no other event. “I had never seen him like that as long as I’ve known him,” his speechwriter Jon Favreau later told The New York Times, recalling the day of the killings, when Obama sat gob-smacked behind his desk.

On the day we visited the White House, about a month later, the president had just finished presenting his robust slate of gun control proposals—so robust, in fact, that the next morning’s newspaper would declare it almost certainly doomed to failure in Congress. But that was the point. On gun control, the president never expected John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to join him on a surveying expedition in search of the mythic land of Common Ground. Compromise was a conversation for the distant future, one he would entertain only after making a muscular argument and creating the political space for his ideas. It was an approach emblematic of a new pugnacity, which also revealed itself in our interview.

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That morning’s event included parents of the Sandy Hook dead. And as Obama walked with us along the colonnade to the Oval Office, he initially seemed a bit drained. But he perked up as he asked us in granular detail about the health of the media business.1 He bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn’t allow him to enter required subscriber information. (Chris Hughes worked on his 2008 presidential campaign and has donated money to him since.)

As he sunk into his leather chair and began to answer our questions, he spoke in his characteristic languid pace, often allowing seconds to elapse between words.2 Although he hardly sounded angry, he voiced an impatience with Republicans and the media (and college football) that he once carefully reserved for private conversations. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.

1 He specifically wanted to know if The New Yorker and The Atlantic had found workable business models.

2 Our session lasted just under forty-five minutes.

Chris Hughes: Can you tell us a little bit about how you’ve gone about intellectually preparing for your second term as president?

Barack Obama: I’m not sure it’s an intellectual exercise as much as it is reminding myself of why I ran for president and tapping into what I consider to be the innate common sense of the American people.

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The truth is that most of the big issues that are going to make a difference in the life of this country for the next thirty or forty years are complicated and require tough decisions, but are not rocket science. We know that to fix our economy, we’ve got to make sure: that we have the most competitive workforce in the world, that we have a better education system, that we are investing in research and development, that we’ve got world-class infrastructure, that we’re reducing our health care costs, and that we’re expanding our exports. On issues like immigration, we have a pretty good sense of what’s broken in the system and how to fix it. On climate change, it’s a daunting task. But we know what releases carbon into the atmosphere, and we have tools right now that would start scaling that back, although we’d still need some big technological breakthrough.

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So the question is not, Do we have policies that might work? It is, Can we mobilize the political will to act? And so, I’ve been spending a lot of time just thinking about how do I communicate more effectively with the American people? How do I try to bridge some of the divides that are longstanding in our culture? How do I project a sense of confidence in our future at a time when people are feeling anxious? They are more questions of values and emotions and tapping into people’s spirit.

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Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

CH: Have you looked back in history, particularly at the second terms of other presidents, for inspiration?

There are all sorts of lessons to be learned both from past presidents and my own first term. I’ve said this before, but one of the things that happened in the first term was that we had so many fires going on at the same time that we were focusing on policy and getting it right, which means that we were spending less time communicating with the American people about why we were doing what we were doing and how it tied together with our overarching desire of strengthening our middle class and making the economy work.

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I always read a lot of Lincoln, and I’m reminded of his adage that, with public opinion, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish; without it, you’re not going to get very far. And spending a lot more time in terms of being in a conversation with the American people as opposed to just playing an insider game here in Washington is an example of the kinds of change in orientation that I think we’ve undergone, not just me personally, but the entire White House.

Franklin Foer: Let’s talk about that in terms of guns. How do you speak to gun owners in a way that doesn’t make them feel as if you’re impinging upon their liberty?

Well, in our comments today, I was very explicit about believing that the Second Amendment was important, that we respect the rights of responsible gun owners. In formulating our plans, Joe Biden met with a wide range of constituencies, including sportsmen and hunters.

So much of the challenge that we have in our politics right now is that people feel as if the game here in Washington is completely detached from their day-to-day realities. And that’s not an unjustifiable view. So everything we do combines both a legislative strategy with a broad-based communications and outreach strategy to get people engaged and involved, so that it’s not Washington over here and the rest of America over there.

That does not mean that you don’t have some real big differences. The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they’re really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies.

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There are going to be a whole bunch of initiatives where I can get more than fifty percent support of the country, but I can’t get enough votes out of the House of Representatives to actually get something passed.

CH: You spoke last summer about your election potentially breaking the fever of the Republicans. The hope being that, once you were reelected, they would seek to do more than just block your presidency. Do you feel that you’ve made headway on that?

Not yet, obviously.

CH: How do you imagine it happening?

I never expected that it would happen overnight. I think it will be a process. And the Republican Party is undergoing a still-early effort at reexamining what their agenda is and what they care about. I think there is still shock on the part of some in the party that I won reelection. There’s been a little bit of self-examination among some in the party, but that hasn’t gone to the party as a whole yet.

And I think part of the reason that it’s going to take a little bit of time is that, almost immediately after the election, we went straight to core issues around taxes and spending and size of government, which are central to how today’s Republicans think about their party. Those issues are harder to find common ground on.

But if we can get through this first period and arrive at a sensible package that reduces our deficits, stabilizes our debts, and involves smart reforms to Medicare and judicious spending cuts with some increased revenues and maybe tax reform, and you can get a package together that doesn’t satisfy either Democrats or Republicans entirely, but puts us on a growth trajectory because it leaves enough spending on education, research and development, and infrastructure to boost growth now, but also deals with our long-term challenges on health care costs, then you can imagine the Republicans saying to themselves, “OK, we need to get on the side of the American majority on issues like immigration. We need to make progress on rebuilding our roads and bridges.”

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There are going to be some areas where that change is going to be very hard for Republicans. I suspect, for example, that already there are some Republicans who embrace the changing attitudes in the country as a whole around LGBT issues and same-sex marriage. But there’s a big chunk of their constituency that is going to be deeply opposed to that, and they’re going to have to figure out how they navigate what could end up being divisions in their own party. And that will play itself out over years.

FF: Are there any forces for reform within the Republican Party, people you’ve been able to establish some sort of working relationship with?

Well, look, I’ve always believed that there are a bunch of Republicans of goodwill who would rather get something done than suffer through the sort of nasty atmosphere that prevails in Washington right now. It’s not a fun time to be a member of Congress.

And I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don’t think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground.

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One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.

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It’s not a fun time to be a member of Congress.

I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.

The same dynamic happens on the Democratic side. I think the difference is just that the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word. And I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.

CH: You inspired a lot of people in your first presidential campaign, and with your books, by talking about a new kind of politics. And now, four years later, it’s a time in Washington that’s characterized by nastiness more often that not. How do you reconcile those two things four years in?

I believe that what I talked about in 2008 is still where the country is. And it describes my real-world view of how politics should work. I’ve always been suspicious of absolutism. I’ve always been suspicious of ideological litmus tests. I’m not somebody—when I look back on American history—who believes that one party has got a monopoly on wisdom.

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So I guess the issue is not that the concept in 2008 was wrong. I think the issue is that we have these institutional barriers that prevent what the American people want from happening. Some of them are internal to Congress, like the filibuster in the Senate. Some of them have to do with our media and what gets attention. Nobody gets on TV saying, “I agree with my colleague from the other party.” People get on TV for calling each other names and saying the most outlandish things.

Even on issues like the response to Hurricane Sandy, Chris Christie was getting hammered by certain members of his own party and media outlets for cooperating with me to respond to his constituents. That gives you an indication of how difficult I think the political environment has become for a lot of these folks. And I think what will change that is politicians seeing more upside to cooperation than downside, and right now that isn’t the case. Public opinion is going to be what changes that.

FF: When you talk about Washington, oftentimes you use it as a way to describe this type of dysfunction. But it’s a very broad brush. It can seem as if you’re apportioning blame not just to one party, but to both parties—

Well, no, let me be clear. There’s not a—there’s no equivalence there. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree”—as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?

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And I want to be very clear here that Democrats, we’ve got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access really goes to the political system generally. It’s not unique to one party. But when it comes to certain positions on issues, when it comes to trying to do what’s best for the country, when it comes to really trying to make decisions based on fact as opposed to ideology, when it comes to being willing to compromise, the Democrats, not just here in this White House, but I would say in Congress also, have shown themselves consistently to be willing to do tough things even when it’s not convenient, because it’s the right thing to do. And we haven’t seen that same kind of attitude on the other side.

Until Republicans feel that there’s a real price to pay for them just saying no and being obstructionist, you’ll probably see at least a number of them arguing that we should keep on doing it. It worked for them in the 2010 election cycle, and I think there are those who believe that it can work again. I disagree with them, and I think the cost to the country has been enormous.

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But if you look at the most recent fiscal deal, I presented to Speaker Boehner a package that would have called for $1.2 trillion in new revenue—less than I actually think we need, but in the spirit of compromise—and over nine hundred billion dollars in spending cuts, some of which are very difficult. And yet, I’m confident we could have gotten Democratic votes for that package, despite the fact that we were going after some Democratic sacred cows. And had we gotten that done, it would have been good for the economy, and I think it would have changed the political environment in this town.

Democrats, as painful as it was, as much as we got attacked by some of our core constituencies, were willing to step up because it was the right thing to do. And the other side could not do that.

CH: It seems as if you’re relying more on executive orders to get around these problems. You’ve done it for gun control, for immigration. Has your view on executive authority changed now that you’ve been president for four years?

I don’t think it’s changed. I continue to believe that whenever we can codify something through legislation, it is on firmer ground. It’s not going to be reversed by a future president. It is something that will be long lasting and sturdier and more stable.

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So a great example of that is the work we did on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” There were advocates in the LGBT community who were furious at me, saying, “Why don’t you just sign with a pen ordering the Pentagon to do this?” And my argument was that we could build a coalition to get this done, that having the Pentagon on our side and having them work through that process so that they felt confident they could continue to carry out their missions effectively would make it last and make it work for the brave men and women, gays and lesbians, who were serving not just now but in the future.

And the proof of the pudding here is that not only did we get the law passed, but it’s caused almost no controversy. It’s been almost thoroughly embraced, whereas had I just moved ahead with an executive order, there would have been a huge blowback that might have set back the cause for a long time.

But what I do see is that there are certain issues where a judicious use of executive power can move the argument forward or solve problems that are of immediate-enough import that we can’t afford not to do it. And today, just to take an example, the notion that we wouldn’t be collecting information on gun violence just to understand how it happens, why it happens, what might reduce it—that makes no sense. We shouldn’t require legislation for the CDC to be able to gather information about one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America.

FF: Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

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FF: The whole family?

Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.

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So it’s trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

FF: Sticking with the culture of violence, but on a much less dramatic scale: I’m wondering if you, as a fan, take less pleasure in watching football, knowing the impact that the game takes on its players.

I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.

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How do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?

I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.3

3 Of course, the president has engaged in sports punditry before.

CH: The last question is about Syria. I wonder if you can speak about how you personally, morally, wrestle with the ongoing violence there.

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Every morning, I have what’s called the PDB—presidential daily briefing—and our intelligence and national security teams come in here and they essentially brief me on the events of the previous day. And very rarely is there good news. And a big chunk of my day is occupied by news of war, terrorism, ethnic clashes, violence done to innocents. And what I have to constantly wrestle with is where and when can the United States intervene or act in ways that advance our national interest, advance our security, and speak to our highest ideals and sense of common humanity.

And as I wrestle with those decisions, I am more mindful probably than most of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations. In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation? Would a military intervention have an impact? How would it affect our ability to support troops who are still in Afghanistan? What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime? And how do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?

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Those are not simple questions. And you process them as best you can. You make the decisions you think balance all these equities, and you hope that, at the end of your presidency, you can look back and say, I made more right calls than not and that I saved lives where I could, and that America, as best it could in a difficult, dangerous world, was, net, a force for good.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112190/obama-interview-2013-sit-down-president

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O and Hill

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Jan. 25, 2013: File image taken from video and provided by CBS, President Barack Obama, center, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak with 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft, left, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. (AP/CBS)

During joint interview, Obama praises Clinton as she prepares to leave office

Published January 27, 2013 Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama lauded Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of his closest advisers and said their shared vision for America’s role in the world persuaded his one-time rival — and potential successor — to be his top diplomat while he dealt with the shattered economy at home.

During a joint interview that aired Sunday, Obama and Clinton chuckled as they described their partnership and stoked speculation that Obama may prefer Clinton to succeed him in the White House after the 2016 elections. Clinton is leaving Obama’s Cabinet soon, and speculation about the former first lady and senator has only grown more intense after a heated appearance last week on Capitol Hill.

Both Obama and Clinton batted away questions about future campaigns, but the joint interview — the president’s first with anyone other than first lady Michelle Obama — was only likely to increase the fascination with Clinton’s future.

“The president and I care deeply about what’s going to happen for our country in the future,” Clinton said. “And I don’t think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next year.”

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Obama, who suggested the joint interview as Clinton prepared her exit from the State Department, lavished praise on his rival for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He called her a friend and an extraordinary talent, and praised “her discipline, her stamina, her thoughtfulness, her ability to project.”

It teetered on an endorsement of a 2016 presidential bid that is still an open question. Clinton advisers say she has not made a decision about a run, while Democratic officials suggest Clinton would be an early favorite if she decided to mount another campaign.

Obama and Clinton laughed when asked about the political future.

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“You guys in the press are incorrigible,” Obama said when pressed on another Clinton presidency. “I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”

The possibility of a presidential campaign for Vice President Joe Biden did not come up during the interview, taped Friday at the White House.

Obama described why he insisted Clinton become his secretary of state.

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“She also was already a world figure,” Obama said. “To have somebody who could serve as that effective ambassador in her own right without having to earn her stripes, so to speak, on the international stage, I thought, would be hugely important.”

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It was a job she initially refused. But Obama kept pushing, Clinton said.

“The one thing he did mention was he basically said: `You know, we’ve got this major economic crisis that may push us into a depression. I’m not going to be able to do a lot to satisfy the built-up expectations for our role around the world. So you’re going to have to get out there and, you know, really represent us while I deal with, you know, the economic catastrophe I inherited.”

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It’s a job she embraced during the last four years. She arrived on the job with a global brand she quickly lent to promoting U.S. interests. In return, the public rewarded her with high approval ratings that could come in handy if she runs in 2016.

But her tenure has had its blemishes. For example, the United States did not directly intervene in the civil war in Syria, where the United Nations says more than 60,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million people have been internally displaced since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

DOMINOES“There are transitions and transformations taking place all around the world. We are not going to be able to control every aspect of every transition and transformation,” Obama said, saying his jobs are to protect the United States and engage where the U.S. can make a difference.

In a separate interview with The New Republic, also released Sunday, Obama said, “As I wrestle with those decisions, I am more mindful probably than most of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations.”

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On “60 Minutes,” he praised Clinton’s State Department for helping him sort out what the United States can — and cannot — accomplish.

“It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I’m going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can’t begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit,” Obama said.

It’s something of a turnaround from 2007 and 2008, as the two raced through Iowa and New Hampshire and onward. In increasingly bracing language, the two excoriated the other. At one point, a visibly angry Clinton seethed, “Shame on you, Barack Obama.”

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Obama now jokes about the rivalry.

“Made for tough debates, by the way, because we could never figure out what we were different on,” the president said.

Both acknowledged disagreements continue but said they had common goals.

“Are there going to be differences? Yeah. Deep differences? Of course,” Clinton said. “You had a lot of strong-willed, -minded people. But the president deserves our best judgment, our advice and then he deserves us to stand with him and to execute.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/27/during-joint-interview-obama-praises-clinton-as-prepares-to-leave-office/#ixzz2JHITHgZq

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Five Moments from President Obama & Hillary Clinton’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview

by Ben Teitelbaum Jan 28, 2013 4:45 AM EST

In their first joint interview, President Obama and Hillary Clinton couldn’t get enough of each other, as they talked about their friendship, the last four years, and America on the world stage.

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Obama Wanted to ‘Publicly Say Thank You’

President Obama started off the interview effusively, telling Steve Kroft that Hillary Clinton “will go down as one of the finest secretary of state we’ve had.” Complimentary and grateful, the president also allowed himself a moment of reflection. “I’m gonna miss her,” he said. “Wish she was sticking around.”

Appointment Took Hillary by Surprise

When Kroft brought up reports that Hillary at first had no interest in accepting the position of secretary of state, Clinton admitted she was “so surprised” by Obama’s offer and initially felt “hesitancy.” But after mulling it over, she understood where the president was coming from and couldn’t say no. “If the roles had been reversed,” Clinton said, “I would’ve desperately wanted him to be in my cabinet.” She then said she’d made a “great decision.”

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Are Obama and Hillary Besties?

They might not be getting manicures together, but Obama described Clinton as a “strong friend.” Hillary didn’t go quite that far, but she did say they were “warm” and “close” and shared “a sense of understanding that doesn’t even take words.” And they have a very healthy professional relationship to boot.

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The ‘Incorrigible’ Media

Nothing unites politicians like shared distaste for the press. The interview would’ve been incomplete without Kroft alluding to the 2016 election, but neither Obama nor Clinton would entertain the thought. “I was literally inaugurated four days ago, and you’re talking about elections four years from now,” said a beaming Obama, while Clinton laughed alongside. And as still-active secretary of state, Clinton told Kroft, she was “out of politics” and “forbidden from even hearing these questions.”

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Foreign Policy Must Be ‘Careful’ and ‘Thoughtful’

In response to Kroft questioning whether the administration is guilty of “an abdication of the United States on the world stage,” Clinton stressed that the modern world is both “dangerous” and “incredibly complicated,” and that “you can’t rush in” to foreign entanglements. Still, she affirmed the government’s commitment to “American values,” “freedom,” and “the aspirations of all people to have a better life.” Obama then commended Clinton for taking advantage of “opportunities where our intervention, our engagement, can really make a difference.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/28/five-moments-from-president-obama-hillary-clinton-s-60-minutes-interview.html

Bias

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– Accuracy In Media – http://www.aim.org

Shameful Media Coverage of Benghazi Scandal and Cover-up

Posted By Roger Aronoff On November 6, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Regardless of the outcome of the presidential election on November 6th, the most outrageous media malpractice of the election has been coverage of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, including two former Navy SEALs. From the outset, Obama and other people speaking for the administration claimed that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration sparked by anger from an anti-Islamic video made in the U.S. But that was just the beginning.

That argument was made repeatedly. UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on five talk shows the following Sunday morning claiming that their best intelligence at that point was that it was sparked by the video, rather than a planned terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11. President Obama, speaking before the UN General Assembly on September 25th, cited the videotape six times.

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As the story unfolded, we were reminded that there had been a series of attacks in April and June of this year in Benghazi by so-called “militants” carried out on the U.N., the Red Cross, the U.S. consulate, and the British consulate. There had been requests for additional security by Ambassador Stevens and others who worked there, but they were denied. The evidence shows that President Obama and his national security team were able to watch part of the attack in real time, but failed to call in back-up support.

Within two hours of being notified that there was an attack under way at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the White House received an email from the State Department stating that a specific terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda had taken credit for the attack.

Benghazi Media Blackout

Fox News, and in particular Jennifer Griffin and Catherine Herridge have led the way in reporting on the story. The evidence, including classified documents leaked to Fox News, and reported on October 31st, showed that the U.S. Mission in Benghazi had “convened an ‘emergency meeting’ less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a ‘coordinated attack,’ according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.” Calls for additional security went unheeded. Yet the administration had continued to argue that the attack came without warning.

The rest of the media largely stayed away from the story, deflecting it on numerous talk shows by changing the subject, and rarely, if at all, treating it as an Obama administration scandal. Brian Williams spent two days with Obama for a long feature story on NBC’s Rock Center on October 25th, asked him one softball question about Benghazi, which Obama answered with his standard delay-until-after-the-election answer, with no follow-up.

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Here was the exchange:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Mr. President, since we’ve been airborne, a person or persons of interest picked up in Tunisia in connection with Benghazi. The question becomes: Have you been happy with the intelligence, especially in our post 9-11 world? The assessment of your intelligence community, as we stand here, is that it still was a spontaneous terrorist attack and were you happy with what you were able to learn as this unfolded? It went on for several hours.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, as I’ve said, Brian, we’re going to do a full investigation. Obviously, when four Americans are killed, you know, you have to do some soul searching in terms of making sure that all our systems are where they need to be. And that’s what we are going to find out. But what I’m confident about is that we will be able to figure out who perpetrated this act, that we’ll be able to bring them to justice and we are confident that we’ve got the cooperation of the Libyan government. We’re going to continue to make sure that we figure out what intelligence was coming in when, how was it gathered, how was it analyzed? And my expectation is that as a consequence, we’re going to be able to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

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Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta explained why no troops were sent in to attempt to save or rescue Ambassador Stevens and the others: “The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” he said. “And as a result of not having that kind of information…[we] felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

But as Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, U.S. Army (ret.) wrote [1] in WorldNetDaily, “On its face, that is a remarkable, indeed incomprehensible, change from America’s doctrine in past wars. By that standard, there would have been no Normandy or Inchon. In fact, I can’t think of a war we fought in which we didn’t go into harm’s way without real-time information or to save lives—something the president refused to do in Benghazi.”

Brady, a retired general who has received the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration one can receive, continued his critique: “To fully understand the doctrinal change, one has to understand President Obama. He has a dearth of understanding of our military and military matters. We hear he is uncomfortable in the presence of ranking military and seldom meets with them. He is not a person who can make decisions, and he takes an extraordinary amount of time to do so…He cowers from crisis decisions. He is a politician who thinks only in terms of votes and his image…I believe he is risk-averse—fearful of risk—and that is the basis of the Obama-Panetta doctrine.”

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As William McGurn, chief editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Libya was supposed to be the Obama success story, showing how this president achieves our goals abroad without committing American troops or treasure. However ridiculous it might have been to blame the whole thing on a YouTube video, politically the tactic was far preferable to admitting that the president who boasts about getting us out of war in Iraq and Afghanistan might have a whole new one brewing in Libya.”

The Washington Post finally editorialized on November 2nd that Benghazi “increasingly looks like a major security failure.” They argued that “sooner or later the administration must answer questions” about it and “the policies that led to it.” The Post even cited Fox News’ reporting.

The Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial that the Obama administration had tried to avoid accountability by offering “evasive, inconsistent and conflicting accounts about one of the most serious American overseas defeats in recent years.” The editorial continued: “Unresolved questions about Benghazi loom over this election because the White House has failed to resolve them.”

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Claudia Rosett, writing for Pajamas Media, pointed out [2] the conflicts in the timeline put out by the State Department versus that of the CIA. The administration has been caught in significant lies and contradictions, and has managed to kick the full consequences of their actions, and inactions, down the road, past the election.

CBS withheld a snippet of their September 12th interview with Obama that could have cleared up the question that became famous in the presidential debate moderated by Candy Crowley as to whether or not he considered the attack to be a planned, terrorist attack, or a spontaneous attack resulting from the video. That day, during the CBS interview, the same day he had used the term “act of terror” in his Rose Garden comments, he refused to identify it that way. But for some reason, CBS chose to hold that back until less than two days before the election.

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What should have been a full blown scandal before the election was largely swept under the rug by the mainstream media, certainly up until the last week or two before the election. And even then, its coverage was limited and tepid. Obama certainly owes a debt of gratitude to his media allies who covered for him the best they knew how.


Article printed from Accuracy In Media: http://www.aim.org

URL to article: http://www.aim.org/aim-column/shameful-media-coverage-of-benghazi-scandal-and-cover-up/

URLs in this post:

[1] wrote: http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/u-s-general-obama-paralyzed-by-fear/

[2] pointed out: http://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/benghazi-and-the-missing-obama-911-timeline/

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/shameful-media-coverage-of-benghazi-scandal-and-cover-up/

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IBD Editorials

Media Gave ‘Pathetic’ Benghazi Coverage To Aid Obama

Posted 11/05/2012 07:11 PM ET

Bias: Call it the “October Suppress” as the so-called “mainstream” media provided less coverage to the current president’s bungling of and lying about Benghazi than they did to another president’s decades-old DUI arrest.

Last Friday, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Kirsten Powers, a Daily Beast columnist, appeared on Fox News’ “Happening Now” program to justifiably bash the mainstream media and its orchestrated suppression of coverage of the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

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Neither is a charter member of the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” but both roundly condemned the shameful and politically motivated actions of their colleagues. Miller called them “co-conspirators” in a Benghazi cover-up, and Powers said the “mainstream media is pathetic” and “carrying water for the administration.”

They are right and just one example is what happened on all the Sunday talk shows on Oct. 28. When the Benghazi attack was brought up by a guest, the moderator quickly changed the subject.

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When Newt Gingrich raised Benghazi on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos quickly moved on to another topic. Also running interference for Team Obama was NBC’s David Gregory who cut off GOP panelist Carly Fiorina while promising to “get to that a little later,” which he never did.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Candy Crowley, who aided President Obama in the second presidential debate by wrongly telling Mitt Romney that Obama called Benghazi a terrorist attack from day one, sloughed off attempts by two GOP officials to bring up Benghazi.

Folks like ABC’s Rick Klein explain away the Benghazi non-coverage by saying it’s because GOP nominee Mitt Romney did not make much of an issue of it, particularly during the presidential debates. If he had spoken out about it, he would have covered it.

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Yet witness what happened in the town hall debate when Romney did bring it up. Crowley took Obama’s side and argued with Romney as the president looked on approvingly. When Romney condemned our Egyptian embassy’s apology for the video the administration used as an excuse for weeks after the attack, he was condemned for politicizing the issue, the media spending more time on his comments than the terrorist attack.

NBC’s Brian Williams opened his Sept. 12 Nightly News with: “Romney is taking fire tonight for the way he went on the attack” over Benghazi. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley noted “Democrats said the governor had injected politics into a tragedy.”

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That first night, a Media Research Center analysis found the Romney angle received nearly 10 minutes of coverage on the Big Three evening newscasts (9 minutes, 28 seconds) vs. just 25 seconds questioning Obama’s Mideast policy.

From there it was downhill, as the networks ignored revelations that the Obama administration didn’t heed prior warnings, denied requests for added security and knew the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar al-Sharia was responsible for the attack they watched as it happened.

What the media consider news important enough to judge a presidential candidate on has apparently changed over time. In 2000, a Democratic operative orchestrated an “October surprise” attack on George W. Bush, revealing that 24 years earlier Bush had been arrested for drunken driving. That spawned a media feeding frenzy that nearly cost Bush his election bid.

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In 2004, CBS icon Dan Rather thought forged documents proved former F-102 fighter pilot Bush had used his father’s influence to avoid service in Vietnam. Even after it was revealed the documents were fraudulent and that Bush the younger had in fact volunteered for Vietnam service, Rather still insisted the story was true.

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But the murder of four Americans in a terrorist attack, including the first ambassador in three decades, was ignored because it might have hurt their candidate, President Obama, who falsely claimed the war on terror was over and terrorism was as dead as Osama bin Laden.

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http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/110512-632252-kirsten-powers-calls-benghazi-coverage-pathetic.htm?p=full

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Content

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HearingObama unbound

By Charles Krauthammer, Published: January 24

The media herd is stunned to discover that Barack Obama is a man of the left. After 699 teleprompted presidential speeches, the commentariat was apparently still oblivious. Until Monday’s inaugural address, that is.

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Where has everyone been these four years? The only surprise is that Obama chose his second inaugural, generally an occasion for “malice toward none” ecumenism, to unveil so uncompromising a left-liberal manifesto.

obama-mediaBut the substance was no surprise. After all, Obama had unveiled his transformational agenda in his first address to Congress, four years ago (Feb. 24, 2009). It was, I wrote at the time, “the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president.”

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Nor was it mere talk. Obama went on to essentially nationalize health care, 18 percent of the U.S. economy — after passing an $833 billion stimulus that precipitated an unprecedented expansion of government spending. By the White House’s own reckoning, Washington now spends 24 percent of GDP, fully one-fifth higher than the postwar norm of 20 percent.

Obama’s ambitions were derailed by the 2010 midterm shellacking that cost him the House. But now that he’s won again, the revolution is back, as announced in Monday’s inaugural address.

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It was a paean to big government. At its heart was Obama’s pledge to (1) defend unyieldingly the 20th-century welfare state and (2) expand it unrelentingly for the 21st.

The first part of that agenda — clinging zealously to the increasingly obsolete structures of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — is the very definition of reactionary liberalism. Social Security was created when life expectancy was 62. Medicare was created when modern medical technology was in its infancy. Today’s radically different demographics and technology have rendered these programs, as structured, unsustainable. Everyone knows that, unless reformed, they will swallow up the rest of the budget.

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As for the second part — enlargement — Obama had already begun that in his first term with Obamacare. Monday’s inaugural address reinstated yet another grand Obama project — healing the planet. It promised a state-created green-energy sector, massively subsidized (even as the state’s regulatory apparatus systematically squeezes fossil fuels, killing coal today, shale gas tomorrow).

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The playbook is well known. As Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus once explained, environmentalism is the successor to failed socialism as justification for all-pervasive rule by a politburo of experts. Only now, it acts in the name of not the proletariat but the planet.

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Monday’s address also served to disabuse the fantasists of any Obama interest in fiscal reform or debt reduction. This speech was spectacularly devoid of any acknowledgment of the central threat to the postindustrial democracies (as already seen in Europe) — the crisis of an increasingly insolvent entitlement state.

On the contrary. Obama is the apostle of the ever-expanding state. His speech was an ode to the collectivity. But by that he means only government, not the myriad of voluntary associations — religious, cultural, charitable, artistic, advocacy, ad infinitum — that are the glory of the American system.

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For Obama, nothing lies between citizen and state. It is a desert, within which the isolated citizen finds protection only in the shadow of Leviathan. Put another way, this speech is the perfect homily for the marriage of Julia — the Obama campaign’s atomized citizen, coddled from cradle to grave — and the state.

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In the eye of history, Obama’s second inaugural is a direct response to Ronald Reagan’s first. On Jan. 20, 1981, Reagan had proclaimed: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” And then succeeded in bending the national consensus to his ideology — as confirmed 15 years later when the next Democratic president declared “The era of big government is over.” So said Bill Clinton, who then proceeded to abolish welfare.

Obama is no Clinton. He doesn’t abolish entitlements; he preserves the old ones and creates new ones in pursuit of a vision of a more just social order where fighting inequality and leveling social differences are the great task of government.

Nothing Sure But Debt And Taxes

Obama said in 2008 that Reagan “changed the trajectory of America” in a way that Clinton did not. He meant that Reagan had transformed the political zeitgeist, while Clinton accepted and thus validated the new Reaganite norm.

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Not Obama. His mission is to redeem and resurrect the 50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy. Accordingly, his second inaugural address, ideologically unapologetic and aggressive, is his historical marker, his self-proclamation as the Reagan of the left. If he succeeds in these next four years, he will have earned the title.

Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-obama-unbound/2013/01/24/10d43996-6660-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html?hpid=z2

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Hearing

benghazi-pic4Clinton takes on critics over Benghazi at tense Hill hearings

Published January 23, 2013| FoxNews.com

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her long-awaited testimony Wednesday on the Benghazi terror attack by taking “responsibility” — but she used the full day of hearings to repeatedly deny involvement in key controversies and pointedly reject the allegations of Republican lawmakers.

The at times heated testimony before House and Senate committees, likely to be the outgoing secretary’s last, elicited praise from Democrats and frustration from Republicans. Far from putting the issue to rest, the testimony further fueled a debate that has raged on Capitol Hill for four months.

Though she said officials are following some “very promising leads” on the terrorists, Clinton herself acknowledged there are still several open questions about what prompted the attack that night.

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The secretary battled tough criticism from lawmakers throughout the day. In one of the final jabs of the session, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., told her, “Madame Secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap.”

The biggest flash point Wednesday came during morning testimony.

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Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson claimed the department could have “easily” determined what happened that night by interviewing staffers who were evacuated. He was referring to the administration’s initial claim that the attack sprung out of a protest. It was later determined there was no protest on the ground in Benghazi. Diplomatic security agents said as much to the FBI during interviews on Sept. 14, despite administration claims to the contrary two days later.

“We were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that,” Johnson said. “The American people could have known that (there was no protest) within days, and they didn’t know that.”

At that point, Clinton began to raise her voice.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said.

“I understand,” Johnson said.

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Clinton continued to speak, raising her voice and gesturing: “Was it because of a protest or is it because of guys out for a walk one night and they decide they go kill some Americans?

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Clinton, lowering her voice, then said it is the administration’s job to “figure out what happened” and prevent it from happening again.

Later in the testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton acknowledged the administration did not have a “clear picture” of what happened in the immediate aftermath. She said perhaps officials didn’t do a good enough job explaining that they “didn’t have a clear picture.”

But Clinton still said the motivations of the attackers, to this day, are not clear. “Even today there are questions being raised,” she said, referring to findings in the classified version of a recent report that she could not describe in detail.

Clinton, throughout the hearing, walked a fine line between taking responsibility generally for what went wrong and challenging specific allegations against her department and the administration.

During the opening of the hearing, Clinton said she has “no higher priority” than the security of her department’s staff, and that she is committed to making the department “safer, stronger and more secure.”

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“As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right,” Clinton said, later choking up when describing how she greeted the families of the victims when the caskets were returned.

Clinton went on to deny having ever seen the requests for more security from the Libya team that were denied by officials within the State Department.

“I didn’t see those requests, they didn’t come to me,” Clinton said, adding those kinds of requests wouldn’t normally come to the secretary.

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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., later suggested lives could have been saved if Clinton were more involved in reviewing security requests.

He said that if he were president, “I would have relieved you from your post.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after the exchange with Johnson, said he was not satisfied with the secretary’s answers, complaining that the public still doesn’t have answers on what happened.

Clinton, while pushing back against Johnson, also said she was not involved in crafting the controversial statements that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice made on Sept. 16 — in which she asserted the attack was “spontaneous” and linked to a protest.

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Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

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“I wasn’t involved in the talking points process,” Clinton said, though she said she wasn’t aware of anything that would have “contradicted” the information Rice had at the time. She noted that “going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing,” a possible reference to claims that she declined to go on television Sept. 16.

Clinton also defended the administration’s actions on the night of Sept. 11, when the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi came under fire and four Americans died.

“I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government,” she said. “No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from our military.”

Citing the findings of a review panel, she said: “The board said the response saved American lives in real time — and it did.”

Several accounts relayed to Fox News, though, suggest possible delays in the response.

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FAST Team of Marines

Fox News has learned from senior U.S. defense officials that a FAST team of Marines out of Spain was asked by State Department officials to change out of their Marine uniforms after being asked to leave for Libya to help — this required them to deplane and delayed them by about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon officials.

Then there is the decision by Clinton and State Department Undersecretary of Management Patrick Kennedy not to mobilize the Counterterrorism Security Group, which is composed of experts on terrorism from across government agencies and makes recommendations on the response to crises involving terrorism.

Further, there are questions about the perceived delays CIA officials — stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support would be above when they landed in Benghazi. It wasn’t.

During the hearing on the House side Wednesday afternoon, Clinton was also pressed on why she was never interviewed by the State Department-sponsored board that investigated the incident. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said that was “outrageous.”

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Clinton said the board thought she was not “relevant” to their investigation because they were focusing on security officials. She said she “gladly” would have spoken with them.

She also addressed concerns about the four State Department officials who were removed from their jobs in the fallout from the attack – but were not removed from the department. She suggested federal law restricts what disciplinary measures could be taken against them.

The hearing Wednesday comes amid a broadening threat to U.S. interests across North Africa. There are reports that some of the attackers who took hostages in the deadly raid on an Algeria gas plant may have also participated in the Libya attack.

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“Benghazi did not happen in a vacuum,” Clinton said Wednesday, while saying later she could not verify that specific claim. She said instability has created an “expanding safe haven for terrorists” who plot into Algeria and other countries.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., top Republican on the Senate committee, lamented “the spiking of the ball and the thinking that when Usama bin Laden was gone that was the end of Al Qaeda.”

“We know nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

Clinton appeared to agree that the terrorist threat is far from diminished, saying Al Qaeda “wannabes” and “affiliates” continue to pose a challenge.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/clinton-denies-delay-in-benghazi-response-despite-accounts/

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Hillary Handles Hardball

By Chris Stirewalt

Published January 23, 2013| FoxNews.com

 “I guess everybody says to me, how can you be so calm? Or how can you just, you know, look like you’re not upset? And I guess I’ve just been through it so many times.”

— Then-first lady Hillary Clinton in a Jan. 17, 1998 interview with NBC News.

This is the last we will probably hear from Hillary Clinton for a while.

The secretary of State will face double-barreled questioning today in the Senate and the House about how her department made such a botch of the raid by Islamist militants the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Some of Clinton’s interrogators will be focused on her effort to spin the raids as an unforeseeable consequence to a YouTube clip offensive to Muslims. Other questions will focus on why her team denied pleas for more security despite warnings and with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching. Another likely line of inquiry will be about what President Obama knew and when he knew it as it relates to the video spin and the decision not to try to rescue the doomed Americans killed in the raid.

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Those who are looking for a Benghazi breakthrough today should bear in mind that perhaps no one in Washington is better equipped to slip these snares than the former first lady.

This is a woman who has survived tough questioning on everything from her sudden interest in livestock commodities trading and real estate speculation in Arkansas to the suicide of one of her closest friends to the cover up of her husband’s affair with a White House aide to, to firings in the White House travel office, to her claim that she braved sniper fire in Bosnia… Well, you get the idea.

Those who think Clinton is going to crack under questioning over Benghazi now should remember how she survived prior media uproars and conservative outrages. Her best strategy has almost always been to wait for one of her detractors to overreach and then use that to discredit the more reasonable concerns raised about her or her husband.

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Glenn Beck’s affinity for chalkboard diagrams charting out the frequently illusory “connections” in the growing liberal conspiracy to undermine America is well-documented. In that spirit, Media Matters for America has explored Beck’s links to the extremist, unhinged, and sometimes paranoid people and groups that inhabit the world of right-wing political activism and laid them out in a Beck-style chart.
http://mediamatters.org/research/2009/10/19/the-glenn-beck-chart/155903

She will no doubt be hoping for the chance to raise her righteous indignation over a nasty-sounding question. In the best-case scenario for Clinton, she would be able to summon the indignation not on her own behalf but for her staff and the president.

Now, as one of the most popular political figures in the country and viewed with deep sympathy by women who saw her mistreated by her husband and edged out by a man for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton comes with a lot of clout.

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Watergate Burglars

She is also helped by all of the lines of questioning. As someone who once helped prepare the congressional inquiry into Watergate, she knows that it’s easier to fend off an array of questions rather than just one central line of inquiry. And having had months to prepare her answers, she’s not likely to get tangled up.

So assuming that she survives the day without breaking down or saying something truly preposterous, Clinton will be able to slide out of her official position and do so to press accolades for a job well done. Her successor, Sen. John Kerry, is a shoo-in for confirmation and Clinton should have little trouble lowering her profile until all of this Benghazi business blows over.

Then, as a very rich, very famous and very popular politician, Clinton can decide her next moves. If she wants to run for president, which it seems almost certain that she does, she can wait and watch.

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While potential presidential contenders New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden have to hustle to warm up the Democratic base, Clinton can bide her time. Cuomo and Biden need to inspire the left with gun bans and other social issues, while Clinton can stand pat and talk about “big picture” ideas and lofty international goals.

Obama is revving up the base big time, finally acting like the man they wanted him to be all along: confrontational, ideological and uncompromising on key issues.

Depending on how the next two years unfold, the Democratic base may be still in the thrall of Obama-style liberalism and will want to see someone who promises to continue the incumbent’s fight against inequality, global warming, etc.

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If things go poorly for the president, though, the party may be in the mood for something else and be looking for someone more centrist in hopes of holding on the White House.

Clinton, after today, will have time to see which way the wind is blowing before she starts positioning herself after the 2014 midterm elections. Whether she’s unstoppable or not, she certainly has something no other viable Democrat enjoys: the luxury of time.

And Now, A Word From Charles

“KRAUTHAMMER: [Members of Congress] will ask [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] one question that nobody in the press is asking: ‘Where are the embassy personnel who were flown out and unhurt who know and can say what happened and have not even been named by the State Department, and why aren’t they allowed to speak to the American people and the congress?

BAIER:  Almost no one in the press.

KRAUTHAMMER:  Of course, because I exclude us as standing above the press.”

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— An exchange between Charles Krauthammer and Bret Baier on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”  

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News, and his POWER PLAY column appears Monday-Friday on FoxNews.com. Catch Chris Live online daily at 11:30amET  at  http:live.foxnews.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/hillary-handles-hardball/

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Post – 22 Jan – Inaugural Address

President Obama’s second inaugural address (Transcript)

Published: January 21

Here’s a full transcript of President Obama’s second inaugural address, delivered on Jan. 21, 2013 .

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens, each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.

OBAMA: What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

(APPLAUSE)

That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today we continue a never ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing. That while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on earth.

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OBAMA: The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people. Entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. And for more than 200 years we have. Through blood drawn by lash, and blood drawn by sword, we noted that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half slave, and half free.

OBAMA: We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers. Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all societies ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.

For we have always understood that when times change, so must we, that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges, that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.

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For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future. Or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.

OBAMA: Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

(APPLAUSE)

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled (ph) our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending.

(APPLAUSE)

And economic recovery has begun.

(APPLAUSE)

America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive, diversity and openness, of endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.

My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together.

(APPLAUSE)

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

(APPLAUSE)

We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work, when the wages of honest labor will liberate families from the brink of hardship.

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OBAMA: We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

(APPLAUSE)

We understand that outworn (ph) programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work hard or learn more, reach higher.

But while the means will change, our purpose endures. A nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American, that is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.

(APPLAUSE)

But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.

(APPLAUSE)

For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss or a sudden illness or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative.

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OBAMA: They strengthen us.

(APPLAUSE)

They do not make us a nation of takers. They free us to take the risks that make this country great.

(APPLAUSE)

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We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.

(APPLAUSE)

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But American cannot resist this transition. We must lead it.

(APPLAUSE)

We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries. We must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure, our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

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OBAMA: We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.

(APPLAUSE)

Our brave men and women in uniform tempered by the flames of battle are unmatched in skill and courage.

(APPLAUSE)

Our citizens seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace, and not just the war. Who turn sworn enemies into the surest of friends. And we must carry those lessons into this time as well. We will defend our people, and uphold our values through strength of arms, and the rule of law.

We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully. Not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.

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(APPLAUSE)

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OBAMA: America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.

OBAMA: Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice. We the people declare today that the most evident of truth 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; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

(APPLAUSE)

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.

(APPLAUSE)

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.

(APPLAUSE)

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Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.

(APPLAUSE)

Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

OBAMA: That is our generation’s task, to make these works, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.

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Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness.

Progress does not compel us to settle century’s long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.

(APPLAUSE)

For now, decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

(APPLAUSE)

We must act. We must act knowing that our work will be imperfect (ph). We must act knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

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OBAMA: My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction.

And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream.

My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time, not only with the votes we cast, but the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideas.

(APPLAUSE)

Let us each of us now embrace with solemn duty, and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

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Thank you.

God bless you.

And may He forever bless these United States of America.

END

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/president-obamas-second-inaugural-address-transcript/2013/01/21/f148d234-63d6-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_story.html

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WeAre1

The Obama Majority

By Harold Meyerson, Published: January 22

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek,” candidate Barack Obama said in 2008. At the time, his comments came in for criticism: They were narcissistic; they were tautological; they didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

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But in the aftermath of Obama’s 2012 reelection and his second inaugural address, his 2008 remarks seem less a statement of self-absorption than one of prophecy. There is an Obama majority in American politics, symbolized by Monday’s throng on the Mall, whose existence is both the consequence of profound changes to our nation’s composition and values and the cause of changes yet to come.

That majority, as the president made clear in his remarks, would not exist but for Americans’ struggles to expand our foundational belief in the equality of all men. The drive to expand equality, he said in his speech’s most historically resonant line, “is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall.”

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Our history, Obama argued, is one of adapting our ideals to a changing world. His speech (like recent books by Michael Lind and my Post colleague E.J. Dionne Jr.) reclaimed U.S. history from the misrepresentations of both constitutional originalists and libertarian fantasists. “Fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges,” the president said. “Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.”

Having established that the moral and practical arc of U.S. history bends toward equality, Obama vowed to push his demands for equality still further — to ending the systemic underpayment of female workers; the voter suppression that compels some Americans, usually minorities, to wait hours to cast their votes; the deportations of immigrants who would otherwise help build the economy; and the laws that forbid gay Americans to marry.

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As the president acknowledged, however, social equality is rising even as the relative economic equality that once defined American life has sharply and broadly receded. “Our country cannot succeed,” he said, “when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.” For this, Obama prescribed revamping our taxes and reforming our schools, but these are by no means sufficient to transform our nation into one that, as the president put it, “rewards the effort and determination of every single American.” The waning of the middle class is, with climate change, the most vexing item on the president’s agenda and requires far-reaching solutions beyond any he laid out. U.S. workers must regain the power they once had to bargain for their wages, but that only begins the list of economic reforms that are as difficult to achieve as they are necessary to re-create an financially vibrant nation.

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The president closed his speech by asking his supporters to join him to help “shape the debates of our time.” The biggest mistake Obama made when he took office was to effectively disband the organization of the millions of Americans who had worked for his election — for fear, in part, that it might upset members of Congress whose votes he would need for his policies. He wants no such unilateral political disarmament now; his operatives hope to keep his 2012 campaign’s volunteer army in the field for the legislative battles ahead. Obama’s legions have proven that they can win elections, and this matters a great deal more, the president has learned, than whatever trace elements of goodwill he may win by deferring to Congress.

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The Obama Majority — its existence and mobilization — is what enabled the president to deliver so ideological an address. No such inaugural speech has been delivered since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, demanding the curtailment of government programs and secure in the knowledge that much of the white working class had shifted its allegiance away from the Democrats and supported his attack on the public sector and minority rights. On Monday, Obama, secure in the knowledge that the nation’s minorities had joined with other liberal constituencies to form a new governing coalition, voiced their demands to ensure equality and to preserve and expand the government’s efforts to meet the nation’s challenges. As he left the stage, he stopped and turned to marvel at the crowd, at the new American majority they represented. They were the ones he, and we, were waiting for.

Read more from Harold Meyerson’s archive or follow him on Twitter.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/harold-meyerson-obama-forges-a-new-majority/2013/01/22/c66489a6-64a7-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html?hpid=z2

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Love…

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the Second Time Around

Post – 22 Jan – Editorial

January 21, 2013

President Barack Obama

President Obama’s first Inaugural Address offered a clear and bracing vision for a way out of the depth of an economic crisis and two foreign wars. His second, on Monday, revealed less of his specific plans for the next four years but more of his political philosophy.

He argued eloquently for a progressive view of government, founded on history and his own deep conviction that American prosperity and the preservation of freedom depend on collective action. In the coming days, there will be no letup of political combat over the debt ceiling, gun control, national security and tax policies that can either reduce income inequality or allow such inequality to stifle economic growth and opportunity for all but the very wealthiest in this society.

But, on Monday, the president stepped back from those immediate battles to explain what it means in the broadest sense to be “we the people,” Mr. Obama’s most eloquent description of our common heritage.

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“We have always understood that when times change, so must we,” he said, “that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

In every sphere of life — improving education, building roads, caring for the poor and elderly, training workers, recovering from natural disasters, providing for our defense — progress requires that Americans do these things together, Mr. Obama said.

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That applies, he said, to “the commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

President Obama rejected any argument that the American people can be divided into groups whose interests are opposed to each other. The choice is not “between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future,” he said.   “For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.”

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He spoke only obliquely of the persistent gridlock in Congress, where he will face right-wing Republicans whose bleak agenda would weaken civil rights, shred the social safety net and block important programs that could help put millions of jobless Americans back to work. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect,” he said.

Instead, he took the fight to the people, laying out his principles and priorities: addressing the threat of climate change, embracing sustainable energy sources, ensuring equality of gays and lesbians, expanding immigration and equal pay for women. Disappointingly, the need for stricter gun controls was noted solely in a reference to the safety of children in places like Newtown, Conn.

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On foreign policy, President Obama expressed with fervor a view of the role of the United States in a world that is threatened by terrorism on many continents. “We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully — not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear,” he said. “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.”

Mr. Obama is smart enough to know that what he wants to achieve in his second term must be done in the next two years — perhaps even in the first 18 months. Throughout his first term, he clung to a hope of bipartisanship even when it became obvious that his Republican adversaries had no interest in compromise of any sort.

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Time is not on his side. It is pointless to wait for signs of conciliation from the extreme right, whose central ideology is to render government ineffective. He has gotten off to a good start by putting forward a comprehensive plan to tighten gun laws, despite outrageous propaganda against sensible controls from the gun lobby.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that there is much left to be done to shore up the economic recovery and invest in education and opportunities for the next generation. And, above all, he stressed the importance of the middle class to America’s economic survival. “Our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” he said.

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It’s natural for a second-term president to be thinking about his place in history. There is no doubt that Mr. Obama has the ambition and intellect to place himself in the first rank of presidents. With this speech, he has made a forceful argument for a progressive agenda that meets the nation’s needs. We hope he has the political will and tactical instincts to carry it out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/opinion/president-obamas-second-inauguration.html?_r=0

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God

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Newsweek Hails Obama as Messianic ‘Second Coming’?

January 21, 2013 | By: Heather Clark

The popular news publication Newsweek recently released an online cover story about Barack Obama that has generated controversy among readers because of its large-lettered headline “The Second Coming.”

“Conservatives have long joked that the national press corps see Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus Christ,” writes Brent Baker of Newsbusters. “Today, Newsweek … made it official.”

While writer Evan Thomas insinuates later within the body of the article that the comparison was rather to Abraham Lincoln, others have found the cover to be a messianic statement that makes a play of Scripture.

“Obama may not be the second coming of Lincoln, and our times are hardly as desperate as the civil war,” Thomas wrote. “But it’s a good bet that Obama is more ambivalent than he lets on about the proper roads fostering prosperity while at the same time, cutting red ink, a challenge that divides the best of economists.”

Baker noted that Thomas has declared Obama as being a God-like figure before.

“In a way, Obama’s standing above the country — above the world,” Thomas said during a 2009 interview on MSNBC. “He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.”

Many have been describing Obama as a type of messiah even before his first four years in office. Writer Dave Jolly notes that during the last election, Maggie Mertens, associate editor for the Smith College newspaper, penned an article entitled “I Will Follow Him: Obama as My Personal Jesus.”

“Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters t-shirts from a couple years ago that said, ‘Jesus is my homeboy,’” she wrote. “Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus.”

Jolly also pointed to an editorial in the Danish newspaper Politiken, which stated, “Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”

Additionally, to mark Obama’s 100th day of presidency, artist Michael D’Antuono unveiled a painting that he had crafted, which depicted Obama in the oval office wearing a crown of thorns and raising his arms as if on the cross.

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Michael D’Antuono

During the Democratic National Convention last September, a number of vendors offered products that depicted Obama as a messiah. One poster that was sold at the DNC displayed the head of Obama, which faded into a graphic of an open Bible with the word “Barak” highlighted. Above Obama was the headline “Prophesy Fulfilled.” To the left of the image, the poster read, “Barak is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is ‘flash of lightning.’ Barak is a valiant fighting man who cooperated with the prophetess Deborah to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hussein [means] good and handsome. So, you see, Barak was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”

T-shirts were also sold by vendors that cite Psalm 110:1, which says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.’” The graphic on the tees depicted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, placing his feet upon the back of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is kneeling on his hands and feet.

Additionally, Obama calendars were up for sale, which used Scripture for each month of the year to point to Obama as a messiah. For example, in the month of August, Obama’s birth month, accompanying a photo of Obama were the words “Heaven Sent” with the Scripture John 3:16, which speaks of God sending His Son. The month of November featured a graphic of citizens laying hands on Obama while quoting Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Prior to the election, Florida A&M professor Barbara A. Thompson also penned a book entitled The Gospel According to Apostle Barack in which she claimed that she was given a series of dreams by God where she was able to realize Obama’s purpose as the leader of the free world. She says that after God answered her prayers to heal her son Gibran, who was badly injured in an accident, God told her to “go on a journey with Apostle Barack.”

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“His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or ‘heaven here on earth,’” she writes in her book description on Amazon. “[A]s I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid, something miraculous happened. I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night.”

“Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society; Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society for the middle class and working poor,” she continued. “Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of ‘heaven here on earth’ for his followers.”

While many have made such claims about Obama, others are quite disturbed at these assertions.

“This is getting more creepy every day. He’s being worshiped like a god,” one commenter wrote. “I really don’t like where this is going. Reminds me far to much of North Korea and Kim Jong Il.”

Another commenter, who simply identified as “J,” pointed to 1 John 2:18, which reads, “Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

http://christiannews.net/2013/01/21/newsweek-hails-obama-as-messianic-second-coming/

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Jamie Foxx is a singer-songwriter, comedian and actor. (Photograph: Twitter/Jamie Foxx)

Jamie Foxx Calls Obama ‘Our Lord and Savior,’ Catholic League Reacts

By Stoyan Zaimov|November 26, 2012|4:04 pm

Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx has called Barack Obama “our lord and savior” during the 2012 Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, drawing the attention of Catholic League President Bill Donohue.

“It’s like church over here. It’s like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama,” Foxx said to a cheering audience on Sunday night. The rapper, comedian and actor who stars in the “Django Unchained” movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, was warming up the fans in preparation for the evening’s music awards.

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights President Bill Donohue, who has been vocal in protesting against some of President Obama’s biggest policies, such as the HHS mandate, released a statement commenting on Foxx’s reference to Obama as “lord and savior,” calling it “startling.”

Donohue wrote: “It just goes to show that even though Obama did not succeed in stopping the oceans from rising (as he promised to do in 2008), he did succeed in convincing Jamie Foxx, and no doubt legions of others, that God exists. Whether God can survive an ACLU lawsuit accusing him of violating church and state grounds remains to be seen.”

The Catholic League president reminded that back in 2011, when asked in an interview “What does God mean to you?,” Foxx’s response was “What does God mean to me? I don’t know.”

Donohue, along with many other Catholics, have said that the HHS mandate backed by Obama goes against the religious liberties of Catholics by forcing all employers to provide insurance coverage that offers birth control.

In an op-ed earlier this year, the Catholic League president also wrote that Obama “wages war on religion,” by noting several incidents that the president seemed reluctant or hesitant to accept talk about God.

“The fact is Obama is uncomfortable with America’s Christian heritage. In 2010 he could not bring himself to utter the words “In God We Trust” when speaking in Indonesia about our national motto; instead, he substituted “E Pluribus Unum.” But he is quite comfortable with atheists,” Donohue wrote.

During the run-up to the General Election, however, President Obama created a couple of videos and an information website where he directly addressed questions about his faith, assuring the American public that he is a committed Christian who prays regularly and would fight to defend religious freedom in the country.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/jamie-foxx-calls-obama-our-lord-and-savior-catholic-league-reacts-85590/

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Crowds flock to see the 15-ton sand statue of Barack Obama near the Charlotte Convention Center.

Idolatry at the DNC: Vendors Portray Obama as Messianic ‘Fulfillment of Prophesy’

September 6, 2012 | By: Heather Clark

Vendors at the Democratic National Convention are selling their wares this week in promotion of the re-election of Barack Obama, with a number of items hailing the Democratic contender as the messiah.

One poster that is for sale displays the head of Obama, which fades into a graphic of an open Bible with the word “Barak” highlighted. Above Obama is the headline “Prophesy Fulfilled.” To the left of the image, the poster reads, “Barak is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is ‘flash of lightning.’ Barak is a valiant fighting man who cooperated with the prophetess Deborah to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hussein [means] good and handsome. So, you see, Barak was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”

T-shirts are also being sold by vendors that cite Psalm 110:1, which says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.’” The graphic on the tees depict Barack Obama sitting in a chair, placing his feet upon the back of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is kneeling on his hands and feet.

Additionally, delegates and attendees can purchase Obama calendars, which use Scripture for each month of the year to point to Obama as a messiah. For example, in the month of August, Obama’s birth month, accompanying a photo of Obama are the words “Heaven Sent” with the Scripture John 3:16, which speaks of God sending His Son. The month of November features a graphic of citizens laying hands on Obama while quoting Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Obama-2011-halo

Other photos and paintings celebrating and elevating Obama are being offered for sale as well.

While the public idolization of Obama may be more evident this election, some are pointing out that many openly hailed the Democratic contender as the messiah in 2008, even going so far as to say that he was Jesus himself.

Writer Dave Jolly noted that during the last election, Maggie Mertens, associate editor for the Smith College newspaper, penned an article entitled “I Will Follow Him: Obama as My Personal Jesus.”

“Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters t-shirts from a couple years ago that said, ‘Jesus is my homeboy,’” she wrote. “Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus.”

Jolly also pointed to an editorial in the Danish newspaper Politiken, which stated, “Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”

obamachrist

Additionally, to mark Obama’s 100th day of presidency, artist Michael D’Antuono unveiled a painting that he had crafted, which depicted Obama in the oval office wearing a crown of thorns and raising his arms as if on the cross.

A number of those who have seen or learned about the items being sold this year at the DNC, while disturbed, state that they are not surprised.

“This is getting more creepy every day. He’s being worshiped like a god. I really don’t like where this is going. Reminds me far too much of North Korea and Kim Jong IL,” one man remarked.

Another commenter, who simply identified as “J,” pointed to 1 John 2:18, which reads, “Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

“Ok, this on top of the golden calf sand sculpture is seriously [spooking] me out,” said a woman named Laura.

While none of the items are believed to be endorsed by the Obama campaign, some opine that something should at least be said to discourage it.

Obama is expected to give his acceptance speech tonight to conclude the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. He was to have addressed the crowd in an outdoor stadium, but the venue was moved due to the threat of rain.

http://christiannews.net/2012/09/06/idolatry-at-the-dnc-vendors-portray-obama-as-messianic-fulfillment-of-prophesy/

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