Are happy days here again? It sure looks that way from the new official portrait of President Obama released by the White House on Friday. The new color photo shows the President standing tall, flashing a big smile, his arms folded, flanked by flags and standing in front of his desk in the Oval Office. It’s a markedly different image of Obama than the official portrait taken four years ago, after he won his first historic election. In the 2008 photo the President looked somewhat somber. The setting was bland and unrecognizable, with flags over his right shoulder.
Two years after Barack Obama’s election as president, Democrats suffered their worst defeat in decades. The congressional majorities that had given Obama his legislative successes, reforming the health-insurance and financial markets, were swept away in the midterm elections; control of the House flipped and the Democrats’ lead in the Senate shrank to an ungovernably slim margin. Pundits struggled to explain the rise of the Tea Party. Voters’ disappointment with the Obama agenda was evident as independents broke right and Democrats stayed home.
Liberal actor Danny Glover of the series Lethal Weapon probably wasn’t very popular in the room after delivering this line to a group of students at Texas A&M. “I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,” Glover said. “The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans, so a revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.”
Michelle Obama proudly paraded her edgy new haircut as she took the stage with her two stylish daughters in tow at the star-studded gala for military families Saturday night, marking the beginning of inauguration weekend festivities. Some of Hollywood´s biggest recording artists, from Usher to Katy Perry, Alicia Keys and Fun., gathered at the Washington Convention Center in DC entertain hundreds of DC-area children and spouses of service members. Dressed in a casual yet chic ensemble consisting of a while loose blouse cinched at the waist with a vibrant belt paired with ankle-length trousers, Mrs Obama appeared
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden will not be sworn in Sunday at noon alongside President Obama at the White House because Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had somewhere else to be. Biden selected Sotomayor, the first Latino justice, to administer the oath. But Biden’s office said Sotomayor had a scheduling conflict Sunday and could not be at the White House at noon. So Sotomayor will swear Biden in at 8:15 a.m. Sunday at the Naval Observatory, the vice president’s official residence. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will swear in Obama at noon.
This weekend, Saturday Night Live opened with Taran Killam playing CNN’s Piers Morgan to highlight the newsworthy subjects of the week including Manti Te’o,’ Lance Armstrong, and Jodie Foster. Using a high-pitched voice with a British accent, Killam introduced himself as Piers Morgan – “the British version of Mario Lopez.” As the interview concluded, the SNL version of Piers Morgan announces a break. (Snip) The real Piers Morgan reacted to the skit on Twitter. “Do I seriously sound this annoying?”
As Washington prepares for a political battle over the Obama White House´s proposals to curb gun violence after the Newtown, Conn., shootings, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the National Rifle Association is more popular than the entertainment industry. Forty-one percent of adults see the NRA -- the nation´s top gun lobby -- in a positive light, while 34 percent view it in a negative light. By comparison, just 24 percent have positive feelings about the entertainment industry, and 39 percent have negative ones.
If ever a confluence of significant events called Americans to a day of sober reflection, it is Jan. 21, 2013. On that date, we mark the Inauguration of a president; the start of Barack Obama’s second term in the White House. And we also observe the annual Martin Luther King Day memorial to the nation’s revered civil rights leader. Fifty years ago, when King proclaimed his civil rights Dream, it was all but unimaginable that the nation today would not just have a black president, but would be returning him to the White House for a second term.
What a difference an election can make. Barack Obama, whose election victory and inuguration four years ago was fueled by the promise of change, transparency and the end of big money politics, ushers in his second inauguration with quite a bit of change. As in money from companies, labor unions and millionaire donors. Unlike his first inauguration, Obama is allowing $1 million donations to help fund this weekend’s festivities, taking corporate donations that were banned last time around and refusing to provide full information about the donors.
Most people would cut a 13-year-old girl some slack if she became obsessed enough with Justin Bieber to write the teen singer emails and letters all the time, but what if an ostensibly professional journalist were to do the same to a politician? This odd scenario actually is not a hypothetical, however. A CNN correspondent named Tom Foreman has been doing just that, writing a letter every single day to President Obama for the past four years. Even more disturbing is that Foreman has been publishing his daily missives on the CNN website
A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003. Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger
After already successfully bidding on a few weapons, Saul Silva was ready to call it a day when spontaneity struck. Caught in the moment, he spent $300 on what he called a "conversation piece" - a M72A3 antitank rocket-launcher. "I mean, who else has this?" Silva said, cradling the launcher as another thought sprang to mind: "My wife´s probably gonna kill me." The launcher was one of more than 100 firearms auctioned off from the private collection of Bill James, founder of The Arms Room in League City. The auction, mostly firearms and weapon accessories, included 19th-century rifles, swords,
President Barack Obama offered on Saturday to provide any assistance the Algerian government needs after a deadly hostage siege at a desert gas plant and said the United States was seeking a "fuller understanding" from Algerian authorities of what took place there. "The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the families of all those who were killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Algeria," Obama said in his first comments on the hostage crisis. Source removed from intro by Staff.
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.- Stacey Darling loves watching family movies at the Ellsworth Air Force Base theater in South Dakota because it´s so much more affordable than taking her three children to the multiplex in nearby Rapid City. Darling, whose husband is an airman, has been catching second-run films on base for about 2 1/2 years, and was there Saturday for the theater´s last showing - a screening of the animated movie "Hotel Transylvania." The movie theater is among 60 around the globe run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service that is screening its last picture
Matthew Continetti, one of my favorite writers, wrote an eye opener last week, "´A Conspiracy so Immense´: ideological commitment and the timidity of pragmatic politics", too late for me to discuss in my column. It is one of the most important stories you´ll ever read anywhere and shows how far behind conservatives are in the fight against "progressive " ideologues. He picks up on a report by Andy Kroll in Mother Jones about a coordinated effort by about 36 different interest groups with reported revenues of no less than $1.69 billion
New Jersey is about to experience its coldest weather in several years this week, but while that isn´t terribly unusual for January, the likely reason for it is – suddenly warming temperatures miles above the Earth’s surface at the North Pole. An arctic air mass is expected to spill across the United States and enter the northeast on Sunday, dragged by a series of cold fronts that are forecast to drop high temperatures into the low- to mid-20s by mid-week, according to the National Weather Service. Source corrected by Staff.
Killing Osama bin Laden (or rather, signing off on the ongoing military operation that killed him) might have given Barack Obama a great electoral pitch, but what exactly did it accomplish for the security of the United States and its interests? Al-Qaeda is back--big time.[Snip] I wonder how much attention this incident--or for that matter, the murder last year of an American ambassador in Libya by an organised al-Qaeda attack--will be given in Mr Obama’s second inaugural address tomorrow? Al-Qaeda is no longer, of course, an organisation in the true sense at all. It is just a nom
WASHINGTON – A Maine representative to the Republican National Committee is accusing national party leaders of running a smear campaign to oust him from the committee, even as he wages his own longshot bid to become the national party´s next chairman. Five months ago, Mark Willis lost his delegate seat at the Republican National Convention in Tampa because of his outspoken support for presidential candidate Ron Paul. Now, other Republican National Committee members question whether Willis is eligible to represent Maine on the committee
Along with adding the finishing touches to his inaugural address on Monday, President Obama has plenty on his plate. He is consumed by the responsibilities of selecting new Cabinet members and preparing strategies to get them confirmed. He already had his fair share of critics, and the last thing he needs is a music critic telling him how to run the country. So I´m sorry to have to be the one to remind you, Mr. President, that you´ve left someone out. Secretary of Culture. It´s time. Despite a troubling international reduction of government support for the arts
WASHINGTON – The inauguration ceremony for President Obama’s second term will be held on Monday, but besides being sworn in on a platform on the West Front of the Capitol, he will participate in a whole range of events, from volunteering to ballroom dancing. Since the inauguration happens to fall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the event will be preceded by the first family taking part in the National Day of Service on Saturday in recognition of the civil rights leader. The White House has called for those in Washington, D.C., and people nationwide to join the president
George Packer, writing in The New Yorker, warns that President Obama’s upcoming inaugural address may be “a bit of a snooze.” He says most inaugural addresses are. Obama “isn’t a phrasemaker,” because he is “too complex, too nuanced, too elusive, and too careful, for words that stick.” Packer doubts that even the “signature phrase” from Obama’s first inaugural address — “a new era of responsibility” — will “enter the ages.” About that, he is undoubtedly right. Packer notes, however, that Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Reagan, and Bush 43 all gave inaugural addresses Column name removed from headline by Staff.
On August 1, 2009--just seven months into President Barack Obama’s first term--former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin predicted Obama would attempt to leverage health care to "take away" the Second Amendment rights of Americans. In a speech to National Rifle Association members in Anchorage, Alaska, Palin said Americans should be “wary” of this “tie-in” because Obama would attempt to “take away our rights under the guise of some new health care plan”: And by the way, [with] health care being so big in D.C. right now, be wary when some kind of tie-in occurs. Because it will crop up:
Since winning reelection, President Obama has been aggressive, combative and supremely confident in his public appearances. Like many reelected Presidents, he enters his second term believing he has a personal mandate from the voters. Unlike many others in their second term, however, he seems focused not on achieving specific policy results, but in reshaping the American political landscape. He is set to use the next four years to make the Republican Party a toxic brand in many parts of the country. He has navigated the "fiscal cliff" negotiations and the coming debt debate without any actual
Paris—With French officials saying confidently on Saturday that an advance by Islamist militants on Bamako, Mali’s capital, had been halted, France’s foreign minister told African leaders that “our African friends need to take the lead” in a multilateral military intervention in Mali.(Snip) In Paris, French officials said the United States, while willing to help ferry African troops, wanted to bill France for the use of transport aircraft, which officials said would not go down well with the French. The Pentagon favors providing rapid help with transport and even with air-to-air refueling, but the White House is