On Saturday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll break down President Obama's State of the Union address, with a special focus on several of the most surprising and significant initiatives in the speech, and the reaction on Capitol Hill. First, we'll examine the dynamics of the 113th Congress and the return of Republican obstructionism as President Obama unveils his second term agenda. This week, House Majority Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) flatly refused to consider any of the president's major proposals, deferring action to the dysfunctional Senate. read more
Over the last 17 months that we've been on air, we've talked quite a bit about the Obama administration's secret program of targeted killing of suspected terrorists. A small number of those targeted and killed have been American citizens, while some unconfirmed number of those killed in Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere have been innocent civilians: mothers, children, young and old men in the wrong place at the wrong time. read more
On Sunday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll continue our extensive coverage of the government's use of drone strikes and its "targeted killing" program, focusing on the Justice Department white paper obtained this week by NBC News, which outlines the administration's legal rationale for giving the president virtually unlimited authority to select American citizens for targeted killing. We'll also discuss the confirmation hearing for John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA and current deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. read more
On Saturday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll sit down with feminist and activist Gloria Steinem, and activist and actress Marlo Thomas, to discuss their latest project "Makers: Women Who Make America," a documentary examining the women's movement through the lenses of its pioneers, airing on PBS on February 26. We'll open the discussion up to our panel to examine the state of feminism today in light of the assaults on women's rights in the last year, including the shutting down of abortion clinics, attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, and states' mandatory ultrasound bills, among others. read more
There was a muddle of new economic news this week that delivered a mixed message on the state of our lagging economic recovery.
First, there was the GDP report showing that the U.S. economy had actually contracted slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012. That number sent brief ripples of anxiety throughout markets and the political class, though the contraction was due almost entirely to a sharp decrease in defense spending at the end of the year. read more
With a bipartisan group of senators joining forces, the so-called "Gang of Eight" this week made dreams of immigration reform appear on the horizon. President Obama has already listed a plan for America's 11 million people living in the shadows as a "top priority" for his second term, and his hawkish approach on enforcement has helped enlist Republicans. But as the Gang of Eight proposal stands, the fate of possible citizenship for millions of people hinges on a bolstered southern border. read more
Much of the immigration reform debate over the coming weeks will center on a few key components—phrases you've likely heard countless times, such as a “pathway to citizenship.” But those phrases can often be hollow and mean little for the people to whom the bill will actually apply. It’s in the details that real immigration reform will either live or die. And so far, those details remain relatively unknown. read more
On Sunday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll discuss the demagoguery and bullying on display at the confirmation hearing for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska and President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense. Then we'll examine whether there's been a genuine shift within the Republican establishment since the presidential election on issues like immigration reform, and what that portends for Washington's ability to function in President Obama's second term. read more
On Saturday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll talk about the immigration proposals that the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" put forward this week. The proposed reforms center on four main pillars: creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. that is contingent upon strengthening the country's borders; reforming the country's legal immigration system; establishing an effective employment verification system; and creating a better process for admitting valuable workers to the U.S. read more
The State Department is reportedly close to completing a review of a proposed extension of the Keystone Pipeline, to transport oil from Canadian oil sands to the United States. The pipeline is controversial to be sure, and environmentalists contend that, in order for President Obama to remain faithful to his renewed commitment to combat climate change, he must reject the pipeline proposal. Famed NASA climatologist James Hansen has said that moving to oil sands would be “a step in exactly the opposite direction” of what President Obama claims he wants to do in his second term. read more
On Sunday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll talk about the conflict in Mali and the Congressional hearings into the attacks in Benghazi, and examine whether the violence in Mali is fallout from the intervention in Libya and the broader Arab Spring. Then we'll turn to the broader legacy of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Few would dispute that Clinton has worked as hard as, if not harder than, any of her predecessors. But what are the concrete policies and achievements of her tenure? And can she fairly be regarded as one of the most influential secretaries of state in history? read more
I will admit, as I watched the president's inaugural address on Monday morning, I was definitely not expecting this:
Obama: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations...Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it."
On Sunday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll ask what President Obama can do, through executive powers alone, to make climate change a priority in his second term. We'll also examine whether the president's renewed commitment to fighting climate change can be reconciled with the proposed construction of a pipeline -- the Keystone XL pipeline -- to transport oil from Canadian tar sands to the United States. read more
On Sunday's Up w/ Chris Hayes, we'll talk to a packed line-up of newsmakers, including a governor, several members of Congress and several former Obama administration officials. First, we'll examine Vice President Joe Biden's outsize role in the Obama administration as he's sworn in for a second term, and consider the ever-expanding portfolio of the vice president's office. Then we'll discuss perhaps one of the most consequential decisions of the president's second term, coming up this week: filibuster reform. read more