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Obama Says That in America You 'Can Criticize a President — Without Retribution'

In his last national security speech, delivered before troops on Dec. 6, Barack Obama praised and defended his administration’s legacy and offered his view on how successors should continue its policies and uphold its values. Although the White House says the remarks were planned before the Nov. 8 election, the speech often sounded like a lightly veiled message to president-elect Donald Trump, whose views on national security largely diverge from Obama’s.

“[The US is] a country where you’re judged by the content of your character, rather than what you look like, or how you worship, or what your last name is, or where your family came from,” Obama said. “That’s what separates us from tyrants and terrorists.”

In his speech, held at the MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, Obama said that America was a country where people are free to criticize its president “without retribution,” hinting at Trump’s oft-displayed dislike of criticism directed at him. Obama reviewed his eight years as commander-in-chief, including the fight against Al Qaeda and the way his administration handled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also spoke about his vision of America and lessons for the future.

Instead...

Donald Trump Tried to Sweet-talk Theresa May By Telling Her She’ll Be Thatcher and He’ll Be Reagan

Before the UK voted for Brexit, US president Barack Obama warned that doing so would put the country in the “back of the queue” for trade talks with the US. Britons ignored him and voted to leave the European Union anyway.

Britain had hoped to fare better with Donald Trump, who declared himself “Mr. Brexit” and promised to prioritize Britain in trade talks if he won the election. But Britain was nowhere near the front of the queue when president-elect Trump started making his first calls to foreign his leaders. British prime minister Theresa May was ninth on his list, behind the leaders of such countries as Egypt and Australia.

When they did speak, May’s spokesperson described their first conversation as “very warm,” in which Trump said that “he looked forward to enjoying the same close relationship that [Ronald] Reagan and [Margaret] Thatcher had.” But will Trump be May’ s transatlantic “political soulmate” as Reagan was to Thatcher?

Thatcher was the guest of honor at both the first and the last of Reagan’s state dinners as president. And although—or perhaps because—their relationship was based on mutual trust and respect, neither had a problem castigating the other...

Hillary Clinton Directly Blames FBI Director James Comey For Her Loss

Hillary Clinton directly blames FBI director James Comey for her loss, telling her campaign’s biggest fundraisers and donors recently that his two letters to Congress tilted several crucial states to Donald Trump.

“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” she said on a wrap-up conference call with her national finance committee, according to a person on the call. “But our analysis is that Jim Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless [and] baseless—and proven to be—stopped our momentum.”

In Comey’s first letter on Oct 28, he said the bureau was examining newly discovered emails to see whether there was any evidence incriminating Clinton for her handling of classified information while serving as secretary of state. Comey’s second letter on Nov. 6, two days before Election Day, said no incriminating information had been found.

Comey’s second letter, which effectively re-exonerated her, ironically ended up mobilizing the Trump vote, Clinton said, according to the person on the call, who asked to remain anonymous because he or she was not authorized to speak for the campaign.

The Clinton campaign was not immediately available for comment.

“After the third debate we...

The First American to Vote From Space

David Wolf won’t mind waiting in a long line to cast his ballot today.

In 1997, the retired NASA astronaut voted in a local Texas election while he was more than 200 miles above Earth, on the Russian space station Mir. At the time, humans were still trying to figure out how to stay alive in low-Earth orbit; earlier that year, a fire had erupted inside the Mir during a routine procedure, and a cargo probe collided with station when it tried to dock, causing significant damage. Communications from mission control could sometimes take hours to reach the station. There was little time for anything but work.

Wolf doesn’t recall what was on the ballot that year, but he remembers how moved he felt.

“I voted alone up in space, very alone, the only English speaker up there, and it was nice to have an English ballot, something from America,” Wolf told me recently. “It made me feel closer to the Earth and like the people of earth actually cared about me up there.”

Wolf became the first American to vote from space, thanks to legislation in Texas, where most astronauts live, that was signed into law in...

What Theresa May Could Teach America’s Next President About Leading a Divided Country

For several months leading up to today’s ballot, Donald Trump has taken to calling himself “Mr. Brexit,” predicting that his brand of grassroots populism ultimately will win out over an out-of-touch political class. Now that election day is upon us, it is certainly possible that Trump will pull off such an upset, even if most experts expect that Hillary Clinton – the “establishment” candidate – will squeak by to become America’s 45th president.

But whether Trump wins or loses his bid for the White House, Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union will still hold lessons for the U.S. Indeed, the real lessons of “Brexit” will become apparent not on election day but starting the day after, when the person elected to be the next president of the United States turns to the unenviable but critical task of putting the country back together.

A bad hangover

Just as Americans will on Nov. 9, Britons woke up on June 24 as a nation divided. Following a bitterly fought and at times ugly referendum campaign – one marred by accusations of racism, lies, fear-mongering and even the fatal shooting of a pro-European MP – the country narrowly voted to leave the...

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