Ooooh, it’s nearly time again – get all the latest news at the Inauguration website
USA Today: President Obama’s second inaugural? There’s now an app for that. The Presidential Inauguration Committee plans to announce Monday it has created an iPhone and Android app that enables people to follow next week’s events as Obama is sworn in for a second term.
The app will provide livestream video of inaugural events, including the Jan. 21 swearing-in ceremony. There are also schedules for nationwide events associated with the inauguration, including the National Day of Service on Saturday.
Update: President Obama will hold a news conference at 11:15 a.m. today
11:0: VP Biden meets with Members of the House of Representatives
12:0: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:30: The President and VP meet with Secretary of State Clinton
3:0: President Obama participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony (closed press) – Ambassadors from Poland, Japan, Zambia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Paraguay, Tuvalu, Maldives and Mexico will attend
TPM: Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with House Democrats’ task force to reduce gun violence at 11 a.m. ET Monday. The House members joining Biden are: Rep. Mike Thompson (CA), Rep. Bobby Scott (VA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY), Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT), Rep. William Enyart (IL), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO), Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS), Rep. John Conyers (MI), Rep. John Dingell (MI), Rep. Ron Barber (AZ).
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will also attend the meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
NBC: Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe has a message for the White House: “Ban assault weapons, restrict those magazines that so have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks,” he said in an exclusive interview with NBC News.
As Vice President Joe Biden prepares to present his gun violence proposals to the White House this week, the residents of Newtown — including first responders and some families of the victims — are speaking out on gun policy for the first time.
Few have a more personal connection to the issue than Kehoe: He was one of the first on the scene at the Sandy Hook Elementary School …. as a veteran law enforcement officer, what was most striking to Kehoe was that the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, had heavier firepower than Kehoe and his officers. The police had Glock pistols with 14-round magazines; Lanza had a Bushmaster assault-style rifle, two handguns and multiple 30-round magazines that allowed him to squeeze off an estimated 150 shots….
Washington Post: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will seek to institute some of the nation’s strictest gun-licensing requirements, ban assault weapons and restrict visitor access to schools in one of the most expansive government responses sought to last month’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Perhaps most controversially, O’Malley (D) will ask the General Assembly to force prospective gun owners to provide fingerprints to state police, complete a hands-on weapon-familiarization and gun-safety course, and undergo a background check to be licensed.
And the governor is seeking new measures to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illness who show violent tendencies…..
TPM: The White House’s weekend ultimatum that Congress either lift the debt ceiling cleanly or take responsibility for default puts Republicans in a bind over their goal of reforming entitlement programs.
In ruling out all executive options, such as minting a high-value platinum coin, the White House put the onus on congressional Republicans to agree to raise the nation’s borrowing limit — without spending cuts or strings attached — or permit the first ever credit default. President Obama has steadfastly rebuffed their calls to cut social spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and Democratic leaders support his position.
Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled
Sunday: The First Family will attend Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum
Monday: The President will travel to Redford, Michigan for an event on the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant
Tuesday and Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Thursday: The President will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Business Insider: As negotiations on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” enter the final three weeks, Republicans face a stark reality: The American public continues siding with President Barack Obama and Democrats on the issues crucial to any potential deal.
Polls taken over the past month have continually shown that a post-election bump for the President, combined with the relative unpopularity of Republicans, gives Obama a lot of leverage in the debate.
…. The kicker lies in the difference in approval ratings between Obama and Congressional Republicans. Obama’s approval rating hit an astounding 57 percent in Friday’s AP survey. Meanwhile, Congress has a 23 percent approval rating.
NYT: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.
…. Public opinion is shifting on this issue as more people recognize the inherent wrong in a last bastion of official discrimination. The most important hearts and minds to be won at this point belong to the nine justices.
Washington Post: Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.
The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate’s move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.
So much for voter suppression. So much for the enthusiasm gap. So much for the idea that smug, self-appointed arbiters of what is genuinely “American” were going to “take back” the country, as if it had somehow been stolen.
On Tuesday, millions of voters sent a resounding message to the take-it-back crowd: You won’t. You can’t. It’s our country, too.
…. Nationwide, roughly three of every 10 voters Tuesday were minorities. African Americans chose Obama by 93 percent, Latinos by 71 percent and Asian Americans, the nation’s fastest-growing minority, by 73 percent.
….. On Tuesday, the America of today asserted itself. Four years ago, the presidential election was about Barack Obama and history. This time, it was about us — who we are as a nation — and a multihued, multicultural future.
President Barack Obama talks with advisor Karen Dunn aboard Marine One en route from Camp David to Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 22, 2012. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is seen in the background. (Pete Souza)
‘Stock market’s performance under President Obama ranks fifth among all Presidents since 1900′