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State Of The Union

NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Michael McGough
When he delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama will be abiding by Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, which says: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; and he shall also give a shout-out to guests in the audience who can serve as human props for his political priorities or...
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NATIONAL
January 28, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Hoping to leave a bruising year in the rearview mirror, President Obama vowed Tuesday to work with Congress when possible but around it when necessary to push ahead with a series of mostly modest steps aimed at helping low- and middle-income families share in the economic recovery. In his State of the Union address, Obama shook off his earlier recession-era rhetoric to envision an increasingly robust economy. He warned Congress not to impede that progress, and swore he would work to shrink the gap between rich and poor left by the years of job losses and depressed wages.
OPINION
January 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Two themes dominated the advance speculation about President Obama's State of the Union address: that he would hammer away at income inequality and joblessness, and that, despairing of cooperation with congressional Republicans, he would defiantly trumpet what he could accomplish unilaterally. Fortunately, the forecasts were only half right. Obama indeed emphasized the importance of strengthening and enlarging the middle class, which he said had been battered not only by a concentration of wealth at the top but by "massive shifts in technology and global competition.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Daniel Rothberg, This post has been corrected. See below for details.
WASHINGTON - Two Boston bombing survivors and Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA player who came out as gay last year, will sit among the White House's guests at Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Accompanying First Lady Michelle Obama, they join a list that includes Obamacare proponent Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Ky.), the first female CEO of General Motors and a first responder to a tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., in May, the White House announced. Presidents frequently cite guests in the first lady's box to reinforce their State of the Union themes.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee and Evan Halper
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's discussion of energy and environmental issues in his State of the Union address was notable not just for what he said, but for what he didn't say. The president largely stuck to issues he had discussed before, such as how a good portion of the country's economic recovery, including the limited revival of manufacturing jobs, stems from the domestic fossil fuel boom, especially in natural gas. But he remained silent...
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Saying it's the "defining project of our generation," President Obama will call on Americans on Tuesday night to try to bridge the gap between rich and poor in a State of the Union speech that will focus on restoring the promise of upward mobility and economic opportunity.  "Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better.  But average...
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Evan Halper
In his State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled policies he can implement by executive order, as well as several needing congressional approval. Among them: Executive actions: • Create a retirement savings program for lower-income workers. The “starter” investment plan would be made available to millions of private-sector employees who do not currently have access to a 401(k) or pension. • Boost the minimum wage for workers hired by firms with federal contracts to $10.10 per hour.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Brian Bennett and Daniel Rothberg
WASHINGTON -- President Obama urged Congress in his State of the Union speech to “fix our broken immigration system,” saying both political parties stood to gain by helping millions of undocumented immigrants get a legal foothold in America. “Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades,” he said. “And for good reason: When people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, invent and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone.” But Obama, aware that House Republicans won't appreciate any hectoring from him, didn't set out any legislative markers, including requiring a pathway to legal status and ultimately citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Tuesday night's State of the Union address from President Barack Obama will get a reality TV guest star with the presence of "Duck Dynasty" cast member Willie Roberston. Robertson, who serves as the chief executive of the Robertson family business, Duck Commander, and appears along with his father, uncle and brothers on the A&E reality series, will be attending the speech as the guest of freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.). In a statement to the media, McAllister said, "I am proud to have my close friend, constituent and small business owner, Willie Robertson, attend tonight's State of the Union Address as my special guest.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union will spotlight many issues, but more than anything may illuminate the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility” in the United States  as the “the defining challenge of our time.” His overriding goal, he has said in speeches and interviews, is to reverse the trend in which incomes for most Americans have stagnated since the late 1970s while the share going to the wealthiest has soared.
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