The previous President, after the attacks of 9/11, engineered a war with a state which, though abysmal to its own people, had had no direct or indirect link with any terror attack on the United States. It was, if anything, a mortal enemy of the group which carried out the attacks, as that group saw the ruling regime as corrupt and un-Islamic. As the history of that war is being written, the regime sought to stave off war, willing to give the previous President anything he wanted, save for the regime’s destruction. Of course, the regime as it existed stood in the way of the grand plan to remake the Middle East; its destruction, not its containment, was the goal. Anything short of political—and literal—suicide would not suit the ultimate purpose. So the country and the world were lied into a war, which cost nearly 5,000 American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths; a war which was supposed to last a few weeks and pay for itself instead dragged on for nearly a decade, costing over $1 trillion. And the Middle East, far from being remade into a collection of benevolent American satrapies, teetered on the edge of all-out war for the eight years of the George W. Bush administration.
That President, however, was never asked to apologize for the disaster he had wrought. And if ever he had been asked to apologize in a face-to-face interview, he never offered one: no apology for the countless dead, for the treasure wasted, for the lives destroyed. It’s just not the done thing.
All times Eastern (click ‘Inauguration Schedule’ second from top on the right sidebar for, well, the Inauguration (weekend) Schedule).
Coverage kicks off on Sunday with a special report on the president’s oath of office at 11:55 am, followed by continuous coverage on Monday from 9:30 am – 5 pm, anchored by Dan Harris along with Olivier Knox. Evening coverage continues with a live feed from both inaugural balls, and ABC News and Yahoo! will stream a post-inaugural show called After: The 2nd Inauguration of President Barack Obama, on Tuesday at 10 am …
BET & CENTRIC
Ed Gordon and Cynne Simpson will anchor coverage of the inauguration and celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from the roof of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., airing live at 11 am Jan. 21. Live coverage of the parade will be featured on the networks starting at 3 pm ….
Scott Pelley will lead CBS News’ live coverage of the inauguration, including the official swearing in at the White House on Sunday, Jan. 20 …
The network’s Inauguration Day coverage on Monday begins with a three-hour CBS This Morning at 7am co-hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell from the National Mall. Immediately following this, Pelley will begin anchoring CBS News’ daylong inauguration broadcast (10 am – 4pm)….
CNN’s coverage will begin with the private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 20 …. starting at 10 am and leading up to a primetime special at 8 pm. Inauguration eve special editions of Piers Morgan Tonight and Anderson Cooper 360 will follow.
On Jan. 21, Early Start With John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin and Starting Point With Soledad O’Brien begin CNN’s coverage at 5 am. At 9 am, Wolf Blitzer will be joined by John Berman, Kate Bolduan, Soledad O’Brien and Jessica Yellin, live from the U.S. Capitol West Front, while Anderson Cooper will be on the National Mall with Gloria Borger, David Gergen, John King, Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon….
On Monday, Candy Crowley will report from the inauguration ceremony platform…..
C-SPAN‘s coverage of begins with a look back at his first. On Sunday, Jan. 20, at 10:30 am, the network will look back at his 2009 inaugural address. This is followed by a discussion with former presidential speechwriters about this year’s address and how past inaugural addresses have been crafted. Then, there will be live coverage of the president’s official swearing in by Chief Justice John Roberts at 11:55 am.
On Jan. 21, C-SPAN’s live coverage of the inauguration begins at 7 am….
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Up With Chris Hayes (8 am) and Melissa Harris-Perry (10 am) will start from Washington, D.C. Then, Chuck Todd will anchor live coverage of the private swearing-in ceremony beginning at 11:50 am.
On Monday, Jan. 21, Way too Early and an extended Morning Joe will be live from The Dubliner from 5:30 – 10 am, with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. Guests will include Colin Powell, Sen. Tim Kaine, David Axelrod, Maureen Dowd –🙄 – Mike Barnicle, Michael Steele and Alex Wagner.
MSNBC’s coverage of the inauguration then continues live from 10 am – 4 pm, hosted by Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, with Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz and Rev. Al Sharpton….
MSNBC’s regularly scheduled programming picks up at 4 pm with Martin Bashir and continues through primetime, with hosts live in Washington.
Steve Benen: After three consecutive weeks of discouraging news, today’s report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims pointed to a sharp improvement in the data.
Indeed, the new numbers not only reverse the discouraging trend, they’re back to the level we saw in mid-March, which is near a four-year low.
…. It’s worth emphasizing that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report. Still, it’s generally heartening when the numbers are at least pointing in the right direction.
E.J. Dionne: We expect some hypocrisy in politics, but it was still jaw-dropping to behold Republicans accusing President Obama of politicizing the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t it just eight years ago that the GOP organized an entire presidential campaign — including the choreography of its 2004 national convention — around the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and George W. Bush’s response to them?
Obama’s opponents don’t just think we have short attention spans. They imagine we have no memories whatsoever…
…. On foreign policy, Obama has kept his 2008 promise to turn history’s page. The nation is in no mood to turn it back.
MSNBC: GM posted a profit of $1 billion in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on strong demand in its key North American market.
GM also said the U.S. economy was improving and it expected its core North American results in the second and third quarters to largely match the first quarter due to scheduled downtime at its large truck plants.
1:05: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event in Corona Del Mar, Calif.
2:45: Departs Los Angeles, California en route San Francisco
3:30: Arrives San Francisco
5:00: Attends a campaign event
10:10: Delivers remarks at a campaign event
AP: The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.
The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. It was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008.
ABC (Devin Dwyer): Fact Check – Obama and the Resurgence of American Manufacturing
President Obama is this week heralding the resurgence of American manufacturing as a leap toward an “economy built to last,” and a sign that he deserves a second term. …. Obama’s claim is corroborated by government statistics, which show an undeniable rebound for manufacturers during his term, both in terms of productivity and employment of American workers.
When Obama took office in January 2009, unemployment in the manufacturing sector stood at 10.9 percent and spiked to 13 percent a year later, according to the Labor Department. But in the two years since, unemployment has fallen precipitously, now holding at 8.4 percent in January 2012.
In terms of raw manufacturing jobs, the trajectory is similarly positive …. U.S. manufacturers have also increased production by 15 percent since the recession officially ended in late 2009….
New York Times (Editorial): There’s nothing like a deadline – and the prospect of acute political embarrassment – to concentrate the mind. With Congress about to go on recess, and with Republicans fearing a voter backlash, negotiators on Wednesday were putting the finishing touches on a deal to extend the payroll tax cut and federal jobless benefits through 2012.
The agreement is imperfect but sound. It will help struggling Americans and the struggling economy. It is also a political win for Democrats and President Obama, who had made extending the payroll tax cut and the jobless benefits a centerpiece of his jobs agenda. We hope that it gives them the courage to stick to that agenda if they face another round of Republican obstructionism…..
LA Times: ….. President Obama was expected to raise a total of more than $3 million during two events at the expansive Holmby Hills estate of “The Bold and the Beautiful” producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen. The outdoor event, with tickets priced at $250 and $500, featured a performance by the Foo Fighters and appearances by comedian Jack Black and actress Rashida Jones.
Obama spoke later to a more intimate gathering inside the Bells’ Spanish-style home, which about 80 supporters each paid $35,800 to attend. Among those present were George Clooney, Jim Belushi and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who on Wednesday was named chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Washington Post: …. If Obama is suffering any lingering Hollywood blowback after his administration failed to get behind a pair of high-profile Internet piracy bills championed by the entertainment industry, it wasn’t apparent …. The two Tinseltown events were expected to reap more than $3 million….
“Anything we can do to help,” said Andy Spahn, a political consultant to DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of Obama’s top campaign bundlers and staunchest Hollywood supporters. “The events are sold out,” Spahn said of Wednesday’s concert and dinner at the home of Bradley and Colleen Bell, producers of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “I expect the president to continue to enjoy strong support.”
SF Gate: …. this week, The Chronicle has learned that the Obama campaign has, for the first time, opened a new type of campaign office in San Francisco: A Technology Field Office. It is believed to be the first such type of campaign office for a presidential campaign.
“We learned from 2008 that using the talents and skills of our supporters was a key to building the most effective organization,” said Obama campaign deputy press secretary Katie Hogan. “We’re taking the next step by providing tools and space for supporters in the technology community to help the campaign extend our current tools like BarackObama.com and our mobile applications.”
…. instead of cold-calling independents, a techie who wants to help Team O can come in and help develop something new for the website, etc…..
If you want to get involved, contact email@example.com.
The Guardian: …. Obama has critics and doubters. Maya Angelou, the sage of black America, now 83, has no time for them. “I think he has done a remarkable job, knowing how much he has been opposed,” she says. “Every suggestion he makes, the Republicans en masse fight against him or don’t vote at all.”
…. “I was hoping for the best. And I think I have gotten the best from him.” What of his detractors? “Those are people who didn’t see the morass into which he stepped.”
….. “His physical self, just being there, his photograph in the newspapers as president of the United States; that has done so much good for the spirit of the African American. We see more and more children wanting to be like President Obama, wanting to go to school.”
…. More recently, her presidential link has been via the first lady, Michelle Obama. “She’s the grand dame,” says Angelou. “I wrote her a note a few months ago because I was in a gathering. The president and his party were there, but I had to leave early. I know that’s a gaffe because no one leaves the building before the president so I wrote and apologised. I got a letter from her in her own handwriting. She said: ‘I have only one regret – that I didn’t come over and hug your neck.'”
MSNBC: ….. Herman Cain now leads the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
…. the onetime frontrunner, Rick Perry, has plummeted to third place, dropping more than 20 percentage points since late August:
Cain 27, Romney 23, Perry 16, Paul 11, Gingrich 8, Bachmann 5, Huntsman 3, Santorum 1
In the previous survey, conducted in late August, Perry led the field at 38%, Romney stood at 23%, while Cain was at only 5%.
President Obama 46 v Romney 44 – President Obama 49 v Cain 38 – President Obama 51 v Perry 39
….. 78% of Democratic primary voters say they want their party to nominate Obama again as its 2012 presidential candidate. By comparison, in April 1995, 67% of Democrats said the same of Bill Clinton….
TPM: Hey, remember when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said President Obama walked out of the debt talks yesterday? So, yeah – Obama says that never happened.
“No,” Obama told Cox TV’s Scott McFarlane in an interview Thursday. “At the end of the meeting, what I said to the group was what the American people feel: We have a responsibility to do the right thing. We shouldn’t be partisan, we should solve problems.”
The interview was one of a few sit-downs Obama did with local television reporters from across the country today. In addition to the interview with McFarlane, he spoke to TV stations in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
MSNBC: Whether it’s due to the current Medicare debate, the end of the health-care fight (in which the GOP clubbed Democrats on Medicare), or something else, Republicans are losing ground with seniors.
In our combined NBC/WSJ polls for the first half of this year, 44% of seniors identify themselves as Democrats, versus 35% who identify themselves as Republicans. So a nine-point spread.
But in our merged NBC/WSJ polls from 2010, Democrats held just a two-point edge among seniors, 42%-40%.
Why is this important? Because last year – when they won control of the House and made gains in the Senate – … the GOP won the senior vote by more than 20 percentage points, 59%-38%. But in 2008, McCain beat Obama among seniors by eight points, 53%-45%. And in 2006, Democrats split the senior vote, 49%-49%.
…. Something similar is happening in the Midwest, too. Per the merged 2011 NBC/WSJ polls, 42% of respondents in that region identify with Democrats, versus 31% who identify with Republicans. So an 11-point spread. Yet back in our 2010 merged data, the Dem edge was just four points, 41%-37%….