Preparations have been under way for weeks for the 57th U.S. Presidential Inauguration, taking place today in Washington, D.C. Planners are expecting hundreds of thousands to attend the public swearing in of President Barack Obama for his second term, and more to attend the Inaugural Parade and dozens of related parties, balls, and concerts around the area. I’ll be posting photographic coverage of the events to this essay throughout the day, so check back later for more.
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On Monday, January 21, U.S. President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term during an inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. As Obama and his team prepare for another four years, it seems appropriate to look back on his first term. White House photographers have captured thousands of images, including world tours, congressional battles, national tragedies, ceremonies, and many personal moments. Collected here are 50 images of Obama’s first four years, from the intimate to the iconic.
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2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health."
[Image: Pete Souza/The White House]
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“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” Obama said during a brief address from the White House, where he repeatedly wiped away tears.
“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would, as a parent. And that is especially true today.”
“The majority of those who died today were children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10.” —President Obama wipes a tear while talking about the Newtown school shooting.
— President Obama in a White House Statement accepting Susan Rice’s Withdrawal for Consideration for Secretary of State.
As natural as Obama’s statement may have sounded, his words were as carefully chosen as the interview. The testimonial to the gay men and women in his life; the discussion of values and the Golden Rule; the remarkable fact that America’s first black president, discussing an issue many see as a modern civil-rights struggle (with a black interviewer, no less), made no reference to civil rights — these were all talking points straight out of the new playbook of the gay-rights movement.
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Framing the gay marriage debate from both a legalistic and educational standpoint proved successful for Democrats in 2012, but what exactly prevents it from being framed as civil rights issue?