FROM Douglas Brinkley
President Obama Says, "I'm Not Done" With Republicans controlling the Senate as well as the House, the President will tour the country this week, taking credit for economic improvement. He’ll preview themes from his State of the Union speech in an all-out effort to resist becoming a lame duck during his last two years in office. We hear what he has to boast about and look at the unfinished business he may try to accomplish -- on Capitol Hill or, more likely, by “executive action.” How does he look compared to past presidents as their terms in the White House were beginning to run out?
The President's Speech and the Politics of Tragedy In last night's memorial service in Tucson, President Obama began with touching stories about the dead, the wounded and the first responders, apparently learned in telephone calls during the past few days. He addressed the question of what caused the killings and woundings that shattered what he called "a quintessentially American scene."
The President, the Republicans and the Rhetoric President Obama took the high road at last night's memorial service in Tucson, asking Americans not to use "tragedy to turn on one another." At a time, he said, when political discourse is "sharply polarized," we should talk "in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." Republicans are now on a closed-door retreat, talking about the business of trashing healthcare reform under heavy pressure from Tea Party supporters. Did Obama meet the challenge a president faces in troubled times? Will politicians and pundits tone down the rhetoric?
The State of the Union: 'We Don't Quit...I Don't Quit' Barack Obama's first State of the Union address touched on many subjects in more than an hour of prime time TV. But the principal focus was the economy. President Obama conceded that he made mistakes in his first year in office, but said most of his problems were beyond his control. He promised to create jobs, curtail spending and work for economic recovery in the long term. He still wants comprehensive healthcare reform, and he criticized Democrats as well as Republicans for partisanship on Capitol Hill. Did he rally his base? Reach out to Conservatives? Did he get Independents to lean his way again?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?