President Obama told a German audience today that the U.S. lags behind other countries because Americans don't speak enough foreign languages. It’s not the first time he’s expressed the sentiment: back in 2008, Obama said, “It's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup, right?"
Democrats criticized Republicans for what they see as a new attack on abortion rights. In a recent MSNBC panel discussion on the bill, University of Pennsylvania professor Salamisha Tillet suggested that this is a racial issue.
The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was moving forward with its attempt to negotiate with the Taliban, which has opened a long-awaited political office in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban released a statement trumpeting its new political front. Within hours, Afghan president Hamid Karzai blasted the U.S. government, saying the talks will only advance “foreigners' strategies and goals” and are “completely in contradiction to the assurance that was given to Afghanistan by the United States of America.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the men accused of bombing the Boston Marathon in April, isn't winning any fans among the victims of her sons' crimes. The Boston Herald reports that one of those victims, who was hospitalized for weeks after the bombings, says Tsarnaeva's pro-jihad comments are "vile." Here's the story from the Herald:
With another of those airline mergers in the works, there is a possibility that flights from Washington's Reagan National Airport to some smaller cities out in the interior may be cancelled to the inconvenience of members of Congress who need to get home regularly and hang with their constituents. There are other airports in the vicinity of Washington but Reagan is easily the most convenient.
News reports from the final debate between Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez conclude that Gomez, a first-time candidate and self-styled "new kind of Republican," delivered a strongperformance.
Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado is a prominent gun control advocate (who apparently is quite confused about how guns work), as well as the co-chair of the "Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus." At a press conference on Tuesday, Elizabeth Harrington of CNS News asked DeGette why the logic of gun control measures--if it saves one life, it will be worth it--does not apply to restrictions on late-term abortions.
President Barack Obama, speaking today in Berlin, cited German philosopher Immanuel Kant:
"For thousands of years, the people of this land have journeyed from tribe to principality to nation state to reformation and enlightenment. Renowned as the land of poets and thinkers, among them Immanuel Kant, who taught us that freedom is the unoriginated birthright of man and it belongs to him by force of his humanity."