President Obama

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

President Obama called Sony's decision to pull its film The Interview, following threats to movie theaters, a "mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.

He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."

David Hyde talks with David Deese, political science professor at Boston College, about the politics behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

President Obama says the “whole country” is thinking about the victims of the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.

President Barack Obama is expected to visit the site of the deadly landslide in Snohomish County, Wash., later this month.

State lawmakers adjourn in Olympia, Seattle's $15 minimum wage gets more scrutiny and President Obama tries comedy to pitch the Affordable Care Act to young Americans. 

Steve Scher reviews these stories and more with Eli Sanders of The Stranger, news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Livewire host Luke Burbank.

Fighting wildfires would be funded more like hurricane and flood response under a proposal out of the Northwest that won President Obama's endorsement.

AP Photo/Larry Downing

David Hyde talks with Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University, about President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech and his plans to use his executive power to get things done.

Flickr photo/Muhammad Ghafari

David Hyde talks with David Gergen, former presidential advisor, CNN political analyst and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, about President Barack Obama's last State of the Union address and whether he met his goals for 2013.

(This post was most recently updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Saying that "critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives," President Obama said Friday that he wants the National Security Agency to stop holding on to massive amounts of "metadata" about the phone calls and electronic communications of millions of people around the world.

Flickr photo/Muhammad Ghafari

Steve Scher talks with David Cole, constitutional lawyer and national security expert, about how the state of security has changed post 9/11 and whether or not President Obama's civil liberty record holds up to his promises.

Flickr Photo/Boston Public Library

David Hyde talks with Kenny Irby of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies about a confrontation between national media and the White House over a policy that shuts photographers out of some presidential events.

Just a year after he won re-election, President Obama's second term is already feeling long and fairly fruitless.

It could get worse.

It's typical for second-term presidents to enter the doldrums, but in Obama's case the feeling that he can't accomplish very much set in early. The hopes he stated last year that his re-election would "break the fever" of unyielding Republican opposition to everything he proposed turned out to be misguided.

"The president is clearly at his weakest point in his presidency so far," says GOP consultant Whit Ayres.

President Hamid Karzai has criticized NATO for failing to bring stability to Afghanistan in over a decade there. He is also in no hurry to sign a security agreement with the US, stating, "If the agreement doesn't suit us then of course they can leave. The agreement has to suit Afghanistan's interests and purposes."

AP Photo/AP Pool

President Obama arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, today for the G-20 summit. He’s expected to make his case for launching a military strike on Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is publicly opposed to military action in Syria – a longtime Russian ally. Yesterday, Putin accused Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to the US Congress about Al Qaeda’s presence in Syria.

Relations between the two countries have been increasingly tense recently. Just last month Obama canceled a one-on-one meeting with Putin, after Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum.

What other factors are pushing the two countries apart? And how will tensions influence the discussions between the United States and Russia over a potential military strike in Syria? Dr. Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian history and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He talked with David Hyde.

White House Photo/Pete Souza

President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at noon P.T. — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden started spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.

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