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Morning Examiner: A status quo speech for a status quo election

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

If you were hoping that President Obama would attempt to transcend the petty politics of the present and unite Americans in his Second Inaugural Address, you were disappointed yesterday. Except for its merciful brevity, there was nothing notable in Obama’s speech that distinguished it from the literally hundreds of campaign speeches he has been giving for the past two years.

He included the invocation of the military as an example for us to follow when resolving our political differences. He cast as heartless villains anyone who wanted to reform any of our welfare-state programs. He did at least acknowledge that we must reduce our deficits, but in the same breath expressed an absolute refusal to do anything but raise taxes to solve the problem.
On election day, only 46 percent of those who voted told exit pollsters they believed the country was “generally going in the right direction.” A majority, 52 percent, said the country “seriously off on the wrong track.” Yet despite those numbers, Americans voted to keep the same president, the same Senate Majority Leader, and the same Speaker of the House. Unsurprisingly, the same actors that produced gridlock and divisiveness since 2011 are producing gridlock and divisiveness in 2013. NBC News, ABC News, and CBS News all released polls heading into Obama’s Inaugural showing that American dissatisfaction with the direction of the country has since risen to 57 percent.

Nothing Obama said yesterday will change that.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Obama wants it both ways on ‘hard choices’
Tim Carney: What if taxpayers had guaranteed the jumbo jets that are now catching fire?
Byron York: In inaugural speech, Obama gives nation’s top issue short shrift
Philip Klein: What has to happen for Obama to become the liberal Reagan
Mark Tapscott: Is the conservative movement a mere outrage machine?

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Support Grows for Roe v. Wade: Seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, according to new data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, as the landmark Supreme Court abortion-rights ruling turns 40 on Tuesday.
The Washington Post, With 2 percent inflation target, Japan signals new strategy to end deflation: Japan’s central bank on Tuesday doubled its inflation target to 2 percent, a main pillar in the country’s drastic new strategy to break away from a two-decade economic stagnation.
The New York Times, Algeria Defends Tough Response to Hostage Crisis as Toll Rises: The prime minister of Algeria offered an unapologetic defense on Monday of the country’s tough actions to end the Sahara hostage crisis, saying that the militants who had carried out the kidnappings intended to kill all their captives and that the army saved many from death by attacking.
Richmond Times Dispatch, Republicans push through rewrite of Senate districts: Senate Republicans this afternoon pushed through a surprise rewrite of the 2011 redistricting plan that erases a Democratic seat in western Virginia and creates a sixth majority black district that would be located between Petersburg and Danville.
The Huffington Post, Paul Ryan Booed By Inauguration Crowd: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., faced a chorus of boos as he left the Capitol building to attend President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony.

Lefty Playbook
Michael Kinsley on Obama’s Liberal Definition of Rights
Greg Sargent calls Obama’s speech “an expansive case for progressive governance, grounded in language of Founding Fathers.”
Kevin Gosztola scoffs at Obama’s claim that perpetual war has ended.

Righty Playbook
Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s “no single person” straw man.
William Kristol on The Most Dangerous Sentence in Obama’s Second Inaugural Address
Mark Krikorian reminds Marco Rubio that Congress already required the creation of a “nationwide exit system to check foreigners out of the country” back in 1996.
Mickey Kaus notes that Fox’s entire primetime lineup is now pro-amnesty.

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