The international consensus is that next month's meeting in Copenhagen will not produce the expected binding agreement for action on Global Warming. What happened to the sense of urgency? Can President Obama take the lead without both houses of Congress? Also, Attorney General Eric Holder is grilled about his decision on 9/11 trials, and as President Obama says he's close to deciding about troops in Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton goes to Kabul with tough talk for President Karzai.
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On Capitol Hill today, Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled on his decision to try the accused 9/11 plotters in a civilian court in New York City. When challenged by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Holder defended his decision as being based on evidence that "frankly the people who have criticized the decision do not have access to." Josh Gerstein is White House Correspondent for Politico.com.
President Obama said today he'll explain to the American people "exactly what is at stake" in Afghanistan, how much it will cost and how long it will take. Meantime, Secretary of State Clinton made a surprise visit to Kabul on the eve of President Karzai's inauguration. She met with top US military and diplomatic leaders, to discuss government corruption and economic development, now called the "civilian surge." Brian Katulis of the Center American Progress was a member of the Democracy International Election Observation Mission, which monitored Karzai's controversial re-election.
Denmark's Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, showed up in Singapore last week for a reality check on next month's climate change meeting in Copenhagen. The conference has been billed as the last, best hope for binding agreements to reverse climate change. Now that kind of consensus has been declared out of reach, and Hillary Clinton calls Copenhagen "a stepping stone." Poor countries want economic development to continue, and the worldwide recession has industrialized nations worried about what drastic action will cost. With legislation delayed on Capitol Hill, can President Obama still play a leadership role? What about China?