Deep Rifts Divide Obama and Republicans
( New York Times )

President Obama and newly empowered Republican leaders professed a desire Wednesday to work together but yielded little ground on deep policy differences, foreshadowing the profound challenge of turning around a flagging economy under a divided government.

After what Mr. Obama described as an electoral “shellacking” for his party, the two sides gingerly explored the reshaped political terrain and sought to define Tuesday’s results. Republicans claimed a mandate to reverse Mr. Obama’s agenda while the president cast the vote as a cry of frustration that he has not moved fast enough.

“Over the last two years, we’ve made progress,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference intended to reassert his leadership as
Republicans celebrated their capture of the House and gains in the Senate. “But, clearly, too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday. And as president, I take responsibility for that.”

【 まずは準備運動 】

・rift 切れ目、裂け目
・foreshadow 予示する、前兆となる
・flag (帆などが)だらりとたれる、衰える
・gingerly きわめて慎重な・に
・terrain 地勢、地形

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The War in Iraq
( New York Times )

We were glad to see President Obama go to Fort Bliss on Tuesday before his Oval Office speech on Iraq, to thank those Americans who most shouldered the burdens of a tragic, pointless war. One of the few rays of light in the conflict has been the distance America has come since Vietnam, when blameless soldiers were scorned for decisions made by politicians.

President George W. Bush tried to make Iraq an invisible, seemingly cost-free war. He refused to attend soldiers’ funerals and hid their returning coffins from the public. So it was fitting that Mr. Obama, who has improved veterans’ health care and made the Pentagon budget more rational, paid tribute to them.

“At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve,” he said on Tuesday night. He added: “There were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.”

【 まずは準備運動 】

・oval 卵形の
・blameless 非難するところのない、罪のない
・coffin 棺、ひつぎ
・funeral 葬式、葬儀
・rational 理性のある、合理的な
・patriot 愛国者

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View Is Bleaker Than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan
( New York Times )

A six-year archive of classified military documents made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official

The secret documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.

The material comes to light as Congress and the public grow increasingly skeptical of the deepening involvement in Afghanistan and its chances for success as next year’s deadline to begin withdrawing troops looms.

The reports ― usually spare summaries but sometimes detailed narratives ― shed light on some elements of the war that have been largely hidden from the public eye:

・The Taliban have used portable heat-seeking missiles against allied aircraft, a fact that has not been publicly disclosed by the military. This type of weapon helped the Afghan mujahedeen defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・skeptical 懐疑的な、疑い深い
・withdraw 引っこめる
・summary 概要、要約
・narrative 物語、話術

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Responding to Spill, Obama Mixes Regret With Resolve
( New York Times )

President Obama uttered three words on Thursday that many of his 43 predecessors twisted themselves into knots trying with varying degrees of success to avoid: “I was wrong.”

He strode into the East Room to mount a robust defense of his
handling of the largest oil spill in American history, reassuring the nation that he was in charge and would do “whatever is necessary” to stop and clean up the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico. But by the time he walked out an hour later, he had balanced that with a fairly unusual presidential self-critique.

He was wrong, he said, to assume that oil companies were prepared for the worst as he tried to expand offshore drilling. His team did not move with “sufficient urgency” to reform regulation of the industry. In dealing with BP, his administration “should have pushed them sooner” to provide images of the leak, and “it took too long for us” to measure the size of the spill.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・utter (声・言葉を)口から出す、発する
・vary 変わる、変える
・robust 強健な、たくましい
・offshore 沖(合)の(沿岸の:onshore)
・urgency 緊急(性)、切迫

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In Health Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality
( New York Times )

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of

【 まずは準備運動 】

・pretax 税引き前の(tax:税金)
・income 所得
・soar 高く上がる、舞い上がる
・aspect (もの・ことの)面、様相
・capital 資本、資産、首都
・effect 効果、結果

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