The New York Times is reporting that during her time as Secretary of State, presumable 2016 presidential contender and tween idol Hillary Clinton used her personal email exclusively, potentially violating government laws. If that's true, Clinton spent four years without the ".gov" email address she should have had as Head of State Department—an email address that would archive all of her communications. Her personal email address has no such archival guarantees
How bad is it? Well, it's drawing some pretty public condemnation from both sides of the aisle. "It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario—short of nuclear winter—where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," said the National Archives' former Director of Litigation, Jason R. Baron.
A Clinton spokesperson said Clinton followed the "letter and spirit of the rules" ... Discuss
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd and 16 previous denomination presidents have sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to take action against ISIS. The letter comes on the heels of ISIS' video depicting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, and a report that they've kidnapped hundreds more. “We humbly call upon you to use the influence and power of your distinguished office to take the necessary actions now in this urgent hour to bring an end to these human atrocities,” the letter stated.
All told, it's a good letter, respectful of the office of the President and humble in its tone. As RNS points out, the timing is a little off (in more ways than one: it was accidentally dated March 2, 2014.) But more to the point, President Obama has already submitted a draft of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force to Congress, where it has been met by a "lack of enthusiasm" among GOP Congressional leaders ... Discuss
Earlier this week, Buzzfeed—continuing its bid for legitimacy—published a lengthy interview with President Barack Obama which covered a variety of intriguing topics. For example, Obama finds both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton to be "highly qualified" candidates for the presidency, he thinks Vladimir Putin "has a foot very much in the Soviet past" and, notably, dismissed the idea that the "coalition" of people who elected him would automatically support the next Democratic nominee. "I don’t think any president inherits a coalition," he said. "I think any candidate has to win over people based on what they stand for, what their message is, what their vision is for the future."
Interesting points but this is still Buzzfeed, and Buzzfeed being what it is (and the Obama Administration's media strategy being what it is) you know the President wasn't getting out of there without some sort of viral-ready video ...
You never know what the Internet is going to give you on any given day, which is why it's important to stay on your toes. Tomorrow it might be a ferret who correctly predicted the Super Bowl, and next week it might be Anna Kendrick unwrapping a Starburst with her tongue. Today, however, it's President Barack Obama being edited to sing "Shake It Off." Why? Don't ask why. It's the Internet. You figure it out ... Discuss
On Thursday, President Barack Obama gave an address at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he gave a strong condemnation of groups that use religion to justify violence. The remarks were an obvious reference to recent horrors committed by ISIS, but Obama acknowledged that Christianity has its own skeletons.
Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
That's an undeniable point, but it's one that opened Obama up to some of that religious questioning he referenced last week. Bill Donahue from The Catholic League said he felt it was "an attempt to deflect guilt from Muslim madmen." Breitbart called it "a lesson in moral relativism." Both seemed to miss the point the President was trying to make, but that's the Internet for you. In any case, Obama was roundly applauded for later remarks in which he called for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from Iran. You can listen to the whole speech below ... Discuss
Speaking at the Siri Fort auditorium in India, President Barack Obama addressed some of the accusations of his personal faith and encouraged religious tolerance in India. “In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith,” he said. “But there have been times that my faith has at times been questioned by people who don’t know me or they’ve said I adhere to a different religion—as if that were somehow a bad thing.”
Obama went on to encourage India to embrace those of all faiths. “Our nations are strongest when we see that we are all God’s children—all equal in His eyes and worthy of His love,” he said. “Across our two great countries, we have Hindus and Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, and Jews and Buddhists, and Jains and so many faiths. And we remember the wisdom of Gandhi, [who said], ‘For me, the different religions are beautiful flowers from the same garden, or they are branches of the same majestic tree.'" You can hear the full speech here ... Discuss