President Obama dined with lawmakers at the Capitol in the traditional inaugural luncheon on Monday. Within hours, Obama and congressional Republicans will be back at it over the debt ceiling, spending cuts and a possible government shutdown.
For many inauguration attendees without tickets to official viewing areas, there was a historic alternative all the way on the other side of the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is often invoked by President Obama and the memorial's role in the civil rights movement also made it a powerful draw on a day that was not only Inauguration Day, but also Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Robert Siegel talks to several prominent African-Americans for their thoughts on what it has meant to have the first black president. We hear from Roger Wilkins, a civil rights activist, history professor, and journalist; Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; writer Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University; and civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, the new head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The Big Sandy Power Plant, 4 miles north of Louisa, is the biggest industry in Lawrence County. Local residents blame President Obama's environmental policies for the company's plans to close the plant in 2015.
If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.
And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry — a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 5:35 pm
When you think of Martin Luther King Jr., all sorts of things immediately spring to mind. The climax of the "I Have a Dream" speech. The Montgomery bus boycotts. Maybe some black-and-white images of the man meeting with important people or contemplating weighty matters.
It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support — universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.
When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 9:01 pm
President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.
Journalist Simeon Booker braved the dangers of the Deep South during the Jim Crow era. His reporting about the horrific murder of Emmett Till sparked national outcry and added fuel to the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin speaks with Booker about his remarkable career for a Tell Me More 'Wisdom Watch' conversation.
Today's inaugural ceremonies also fall on the holiday honoring civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. In a special touch, President Obama used two Bibles to take the oath of office, one of them belonging to Abraham Lincoln and the other once belonged to Dr. King. And a lot of Americans have drawn a connection between this nation's first African-American president and Dr. King.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:59 pm
President Obama began his second term with an unapologetically liberal inaugural address, calling on Americans to work together to preserve entitlements, address climate change and extend civil rights.
"Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play," the president said. "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."