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?
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?