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State Of The Union

February 12, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The Interwebs have been full of leaks and guesswork about what President Obama will say Tuesday in the opening State of the Union address of his second term. The biggest leak: The president will announce plans to withdraw half of the U.S. troop contingent in Afghanistan in the coming year. That may or may not conflict with calls from the Pentagon to keep the force pretty much intact through September; the official line is that Obama's position syncs with the advice of his commanders.
February 12, 2013 | By Morgan Little
Bringing to rest days of speculation about the contents of his State of the Union address, President Obama will deliver his speech Tuesday night, leaving room for supporters, opponents and pundits to weigh in on every word. Joining in the commentary will be The Times' Opinion section, tweeting their reactions to Obama's speech as it happens in a stream housed below. Join Jon Healey, Doyle McManus, Jonah Goldberg, Michael McGough and the rest of the opinion crew as they examine the first State of the Union of Obama's second term.
February 12, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was tapped by fellow Republicans to present a fresh face in response to President Obama's State of the Union address. But excerpts released a few hours ahead of Obama's speech to Congress and Rubio's nationally broadcast follow-up broke little ground from what has been GOP orthodoxy since the 41-year-old lawmaker was in grade school. He sounded familiar anti-Washington themes, accused Obama of overspending and over-taxing, and renewed calls for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and an overhaul of the Medicare and Social Security programs.
February 12, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - In the first State of the Union address of his second term, President Obama tried to breathe new life into his economic agenda, offering measures to spur growth and urging Congress to revive stalled talks over deficit reduction. Entering his fifth year presiding over a flagging economy, the president declared the restoration of a strong middle class "our unfinished task" and called on a deeply divided Congress to find "reasonable compromise" to solve the nation's lingering fiscal ills.
February 12, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- President Obama doesn't refer to "drones" in his State of the Union speech, but he alluded to the targeted killing of suspected terrorists when he said, "where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans. " Obama said his administration was seeking to "forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counter-terrorism operations. " Four years into the effort, no such framework yet exists for what remains an officially secret process run by the White House and the CIA. LIVE STREAM: Watch the State of the Union   "I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we're doing things the right way," Obama added.
February 12, 2013 | By Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - When President Obama implored Congress on Tuesday to take up the thorny issue of gun violence, he did so in the name of Nathaniel Pendleton Sr. and Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, whose 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya, was killed just two weeks ago in Chicago. "They deserve a vote," he said in an escalating refrain echoed by legislators gathered for his State of the Union address. He recited other individuals and communities shattered by shootings, such as Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.
February 12, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Climate change: By Neela Banerjee WASHINGTON -- In his State of the Union address, President Obama articulated a subtle but noticeable shift away from his longstanding discussion of climate change in almost entirely economic terms to making a moral argument for the need to act. “For the sake of our children and our future,” he said, “we must do more to combat climate change.” “Yes, it's true that no single event makes a...
February 12, 2013 | By Paul West
WASHINGTON - Declaring that the nation is stronger “after years of grueling recession,” President Obama advocated an array of modest second-term initiatives Tuesday night that he said wouldn't bust the federal budget. There were no sweeping new initiatives. In a one-hour speech that weighed in at a hefty 6,600 words, the president focused at length on domestic issues, including gun control, voting rights, education, immigration and economic development. “Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.
February 12, 2013
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens: Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union - to improve it is the task of us all.” Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home.
February 12, 2013 | By Amina Khan
NASA's Twitter celebrity "Mohawk Guy" helped send a rover to Mars, but now he's landing at the White House, thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama, and he'll be rocking a brand new hairstyle for the occasion. Bobak Ferdowsi shot to fame the night the Mars Curiosity rover landed on the Red Planet, when his stars-and-stripes hairstyle captivated viewers worldwide. His faux-hawk even earned a shout-out from President Obama, who joked that he had toyed with the idea of trying a similar 'do. Now, the first lady has invited the 33-year-old Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer to be one of her guests at the president's State of the Union address tonight.
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