As his oath to "protect the Constitution" rings hollow, Obama offers firm support for gay rights and addressing climate change.....PBC notes the ironies of the second Obama inauguration, which cost $50 million and included unlimited corporate contributions; his speech was a good one, but the team named so far for Obama 2.0 are cautious insiders who won't advance most of the issues named in his speech.
--example: who will run the EPA, and will s/he have to buckle under to frackers and the "clean coal" cartel like Lisa Jackson was forced to?
--score one for Obama, as GOP backs down from extortion over debt ceiling increase--for now
--hear an excerpt from our in-depth interview with Palestinian Iyad Burnat, regarding his brother's Oscar-nominated doc, 5 Broken Cameras. Burnat gives a detailed description of the events in the film, as Israel took 60% of the town's land to build a barrier and settlement of 50,000
--in the January 21 New Yorker, editor David Remnick sets the scene for today's big election in Israel, and focuses on hard-liner Naftali Bennett
--on the Bill of Rights Watch:
--White House dronemeister John Brennan is finalizing the "playbook" for targeted killing and "signature strikes", which also exempts from the "rules" the CIA, which Brennan is nominated to run....pretty neat, huh?
--after 3 years of review, FISA Court is unable to explain its legal framework for wiretapping Americans
--Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) had put a "hold" on a bill to lower the boom on unofficial leakers and whistleblowers, then was the only "no" vote when it passed the Intel Committee
--TSA is removing the Chertoff x-ray scanners from airports
--Gitmo judge refuses to affirm that KSM trial will observe constitutional standards
--charges dismissed against younger Imam Kahn in Florida case against Pakistani-Americans
--Algerian hostage attack ends badly. Read Pepe Escobar's report on Mali and Algeria here.