President Obama didn't mince words today when asked at his end-of-the-year news conference about Sony Pictures: "Yes, I think they made a mistake," he said of the company's decision to pull the movie The Interview, reports NBC News. "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States," he said. Obama added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns as a corporation, but he said the precedent set over a "satirical movie" is a terrible one. "I wish they would have spoken to me first." Of the hackers: "They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond." Of the movie's star, Seth Rogen: "I love Seth."
- Black America: It is better off "in the aggregate" than when he came into office, said Obama, but work remains. He spoke of a "growing awareness" that law enforcement isn't always "applied in a colorblind fashion."
- Cuba: "Change is going to come to Cuba. It has to."
- Fidel: Obama said that when he was on the phone to President Raul Castro about renewing relations, he apologized for talking at length. Castro replied that his famous brother once spoke for seven hours' straight and that Obama was a young man who still had a chance to beat that record.
- 'Resurgence': Obama opened the news conference by ticking off improvements in the economy, job creation, and health care, and asserted that "America's resurgence is real. We are better off."
- Congress: Obama said he "sincerely" wants to work with the new Congress, citing areas such as simplifying the tax code, boosting US exports, and rebuilding infrastructure, reports CNN.
- Keystone: Construction of the pipeline from Canada would create some jobs, but the pipeline in general would not make "even a nominal" difference for US consumers.
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