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January 21, 2013
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National Pulse 
  • Obama: "America's possibilities are limitless"
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    Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and millions watched around the world as President Barack Obama took the oath of office for his second term. Today's swearing-in was a ceremonial event, as the official oath was taken Sunday, on the date mandated by the Constitution. Addressing today's crowd, Obama spoke with optimism for the next four years. "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands," he said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/21) , The Washington Post (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Reader Polls 
  • This week's poll: Obama 2.0
    Now that President Barack Obama has been sworn in for his second term, it's time to take a look at his possible legislative and regulatory initiatives for the next four years. Given that the debt ceiling and negotiations over the federal budget will occupy most of his attention in the short term, what else should be on his list for term two? This week's question: Besides the unfinished business of the "fiscal cliff," what should be the president's top domestic priority for his second administration? Some possibilities are listed below. As always, if you care to recommend choice that is not listed, send it to us using this link. Select "Content Feedback" as the category. Results will be posted on Friday.
Tax reform
Global climate change
Improving the economy and creating jobs
Reducing gun violence
Social Security and Medicare reform
Infrastructure investment
Improving education
Energy independence
None of the above/other

Agenda Items 
  • Foreign-policy headaches could shape Obama's second term
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    Karzai, Obama/Reuters
    President Barack Obama is eager to focus on domestic policy in his second term, and the winding-down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should make that possible, experts say. Still, there are plenty of potentially distracting foreign-policy issues with which Obama will have to grapple, including Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, China's leadership transition, instability in north Africa and tense diplomatic relations with Russia. National Journal (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • Mapping the economy as Obama begins his second term
    President Barack Obama faces a different economic landscape than he did four years ago. This post features interactive maps that show state and local data that shape national economic indicators such as unemployment and median household income, and it looks at demographic trends and how they will affect the U.S. for the next four years. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • Bread, bare feet and bombs? It must be inauguration day
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    In other countries, heads of state have very different inauguration ceremonies. Bolivia's Evo Morales dressed up as a bare-footed sun god for his swearing-in; Turkmeni leaders receive loaves of bread and sheaves of arrows to mark their ascent; and Russian presidents have a more utilitarian ceremony in which they are handed the "nuclear briefcase" containing the launch codes for the country's nuclear arsenal. (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Business & Politics readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
--Martin Luther King Jr., U.S. civil rights leader
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