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President Obama is about to deliver his State of the Union Address. Here's a thread to discuss it.
No ABC for me. They started out showing all the people there supporting more gun control. And then said they will show updates of Dorner on the bottom of the screen.
You can watch online here, free of talking heads and news anchor commentary. [More....]
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The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hold a hearing at 2:30 pm ET today on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director.
Yesterday, President Obama announced that the Office of Legal Counsel's targeted kill memo(s) will be provided to the members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
Brennan's answers to pre-hearing questions are here. His answers pertaining to rendition, detention and interrogation begin on page 21.
Brennan, who is expected to be confirmed, will face some tough questioning, especially by Democrats. [More...]
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Speaking in Las Vegas today, President Obama outlined his new immigration plan, including a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented residents currently present in the U.S.
The White House has issued this fact sheet on the plan.
Immigrants living here illegally must be held responsible for their actions by passing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, going to the back of the line, and learning English before they can earn their citizenship. There will be no uncertainty about their ability to become U.S. citizens if they meet these eligibility criteria. The proposal will also stop punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own by their parents and give them a chance to earn their citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. [More...]
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It's official. The Senate voted today 94 to 3 to confirm John Kerry as Secretary of State.
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Coincidentally, Breuer’s impending departure comes after “Frontline” broadcast a harshly critical report Tuesday night. The PBS program, entitled “The Untouchables,” was full of assertions that under Breuer the DOJ went after small fish in the mortgage-market abuses that nearly paralyzed the country’s financial system, while the big fish swam free.
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Listen LIVE here:The Daily Kos Radio Player
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Today President Obama will be inaugurated for the second time (ceremonially to be sure, as he was formally inaugurated yesterday, January 20, as the Constitution requires.) Daily Kos Radio, with Netroots Radio, will be covering it.
Starting at 10:00 a.m., I will be offering an hour of thoughts on President Obama's challenges for his second term, the history of second inaugural addresses, from Lincoln to FDR to Clinton, and the "civil war" that the president will face at the outset of his second term (a civil war on our very philosophy of government.)
Please join us.
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President Obama today released his gun control plan.
Obama's plan calls on Congress to renew a prohibition on assault weapons sales that expired in 2004, a requirement for criminal background checks on all gun purchases, including closing a loophole for gun show sales, and a new federal gun trafficking law - long sought by big-city mayors to keep out-of-state guns off their streets.
He also announced 23 steps he intends to take immediately without congressional approval. These include improvements in the existing system for background checks, lifting the ban on federal research into gun violence, putting more counselors and "resource officers" in schools and better access to mental health services.
Obama also named Todd Jones will be the chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, "quietly abandoning Andrew Traver." The cost of Obama's plan: $500 million.
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"There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet," Biden said, adding that Obama is conferring with Attorney General Eric Holder on potential action.
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Counterterrorism chief John Brennan is President Obama's choice for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Also as expected, he nominated Republican Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.
As for Brennan,
Mr. Brennan has played a central role in Mr. Obama's most critical and controversial counterterrorism and security policies. He has been a chief driver of Mr. Obama's acceleration of the CIA's drone program and its expansion into Yemen. He also has been central in navigating the politics surrounding the administration's inability to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Mr. Brennan also has served as an emissary to Yemeni officials to manage counterterrorism operations there and in Somalia and has helped steer white House security policy in response to the Arab Spring. [More...}
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President Obama is about to speak, addressing the fiscal cliff. You can watch here.
Preventing a middle class tax hike has been his top priority. An agreement is within sight. But it's not done. Issues remain. He's hopeful Congress can get it done.
The agreement would extend tax credits for families with kids, extend tuition and clean energy tax credits and unemployment benefits. He would have liked a grand bargain, a bigger deal, that deals with taxes and spending. But, that was too much to hope for with this Congress. So it will take several steps.[More...]
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President Obama just gave a press conference on the fiscal cliff. He says we need to find some common ground. He's met Republicans half-way.
"This is something within our capacity to solve....Call me a hopeless optimist, but I still think we can get this done."
He wishes everyone Merry Christmas and because Congress didn't get this done, he'll see us next week.
The first question from the media was about the NRA. (Then the video cut off.)
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President Obama has announced that John Kerry will be his next Secretary of State.
He is expected to take office in January. Hillary is recovering from a concussion and the flu.
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President Obama has named Joe Biden to lead a new task force on gun violence.
Obama said Wednesday that he supports the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, and highlighted the nation’s strong tradition of gun ownership. Yet, he said, the country’s leaders need to find ways to keep “weapons of war” out of the hands of the irresponsible few.
“There is a big chunk of space between what the Second Amendment means and having no rules at all, and that space is what Joe’s going to be working on to try to identify where we’ll find some common ground,” Obama said.
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Susan Rice will not be the next Secretary of State. She has tendered a letter to Obama asking that her name be withdrawn from consideration.
Her withdrawal leaves Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as the leading candidate for the job. A senior administration official said “something strange would have to happen” for Kerry not to be the choice.
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“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Mr. Petraeus said in his statement, expressing regret for his abrupt departure. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
Why does an extra-marital affair compromise his position as CIA Director?
By acknowledging an extramarital affair, Mr. Petraeus, 60, was confronting a sensitive issue for a spy chief. Intelligence agencies are often concerned about the possibility that agents who engage in such behavior could be blackmailed for information.
Doesn't sound like much of a reason to me. Is this really about his affair? [More...]
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