With four more years on the clock, another chance to make good.
Near the conclusion of his second inaugural address, President Obama described several ways in which “our journey is not complete.”
He was speaking broadly of America’s journey but, here at the start of his second term, it was hard not to think of the stated goals that have and haven’t been completed by this halfway point in Obama’s presidential journey.
Some promises made on the campaign trail and in the president’s first term have been kept, some broken, and some remain works in progress. With four years on the clock, here are five promises President Obama still has time to honor. “For now decisions are upon us,” he said in his let’s-get-it-done inaugural, “and we cannot afford delay.”
Stand on the balcony where Martin Luther King, Jr. last stood.
Step outside the modern Rock and Soul Museum in Memphis and look across the street, and you’ll see an incongruous sight. There stands a two-story, concrete-block, green-and-white motel from another time, with a huge white wreath hanging from its second-story balcony. A boxy ‘60s-era white Cadillac and a finned Chevy are parked beneath it.
The wreath marks the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at age 39 on April 4, 1968, as he stood on that balcony outside his room, No. 306.
The very best and very worst of the news week ending Jan 18
Every week, the Daily Dose reviews the news to select three very best and three very worst stories to come across our desk.
— The Very Best —
• Showing a sense of humor while honoring a promise to respond to public voices, the White House has voted against a petition to build a Death Star. Phew. Paul Shawcross, WH chief of the Science and Space Branch, penned a witty response explaining that construction would cost over $850 quadrillion and that the administration does not support blowing up planets.
…and more little-known facts about the Benjamins.
Of the many ways that Benjamin Franklin has improved our lives , we appreciate him most when his face is on a $100 bill stuffed into a pocket. In celebration of big Ben’s birthday today, here are 10 secrets hidden on a C-note, plus other facts of value. With any luck, you have a $100 bill handy to verify the following.
San Antonio's BiblioTech will be an entirely digital reading room.
San Antonio’s Bexar County seeks to reverse the traditional model of a library with an entirely digital public library, the BiblioTech, which will open this autumn.
BiblioTech will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind.
Many public institutions have only begun to implement new technologies. Take libraries. Although computers are available at most, they often function as a search auxiliary and not as the primary media source.
But at BiblioTech personal computers, laptops and tablets will replace the hardcover volumes, paperbacks, newspapers and magazines that usually line the shelves of traditional reading rooms.
Cheers, jeers, and tears over presidential oaths.
The 20th Amendment mandates that a U.S. president’s term in office turns over at noon on Jan. 20. Because that date falls on a Sunday this year, though, President Obama will be sworn into his second term in a private ceremony over the weekend, with the public ceremony, parade, and inaugural balls to follow on Monday — despite a Ticketmaster error that released tickets a day early, to the frustration of untold thousands. But compared to other moments in our inaugural past, that doesn’t even qualify for a footnote in the history books.
Here's what the government is banging its head against now.
Americans have received more than a few lessons in economics since the fiscal crisis came crashing down in 2008. Simply to follow the terminology in headlines — subprime mortgage, deregulation, fiscal cliff — takes some patient learning about finance and government. With the cliff temporarily averted, government is now banging its head on the debt ceiling. So what’s it all about?
Say you need to pay for something you don’t currently have the cash for, like a high utility bill or an unforeseen dental procedure. You can put those expenses on a credit card and pay them back later. Your income normally covers your monthly budget, but sometimes things come up and you have to put it on the card. However, the credit-card company will limit how much you can borrow.
Television today requires some serious attention span.
Despite decades of warnings about the boob tube frying our brains, good television requires a longer attention span and deeper thinking than our other daily digital interactions.
The texts, tweets, emails, and YouTube clips that call for our eyes, ears, and thumbs tally up enormous swatches of our time, but each of these micro communiqués flares and fades faster than a matchstick.