This was the critical moment, the brief time between his inaugural and when the nation's collective focus turns to whom his successor will be, when President Obama had to make real progress on his second-term agenda and thus forge his legacy.
Instead, the president finds his administration, the public, Congress and the news media distracted by controversies over Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups and a leak investigation in which the Justice Department secretly obtained months of phone records of Associated Press journalists.
Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the Justice Department's actions in secretly obtaining journalists' phone records as part of a probe into leaks of classified material, but said he himself had nothing to do with the subpoena.
Over the past decade, some 39,000 people have come forward voluntarily to tell the IRS about offshore money they haven't been paying taxes on. This group provides a small window into the world of people who are hiding money in offshore havens. (It's a world we've been trying to learn more about, partly by setting up an offshore company in Belize.)
After living underground in the United States — figuratively speaking — some undocumented immigrants deported to the Mexican border city of Tijuana are living in holes. These migrants have dug bunkers along Tijuana's sewage canal to protect themselves from police who routinely burn down their makeshift homes.