He should have done this instead of wasting 2013 on a dead-end gun-control bill. “The Obama administration issued a pair of new executive actions Friday aimed at keeping guns out of potentially dangerous hands by limiting firearms access to those with mental illness and making it easier for states to report mental illness information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh January 5, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, right, and Secretary of State John Kerry. (Brendan Smialowski/Reuters)

Look what “leading from behind” has done for us: “[T]he bloodshed that has engulfed Iraq, Lebanon and Syria in the past two weeks exposes something new and destabilizing: the emergence of a post-American Middle East in which no broker has the power, or the will, to contain the region’s sectarian hatreds.

Democracy hasn’t done well under President Obama. “China’s leaders seem determined to block democracy internally, they have also been moving to rally nationalist feeling by aggressive moves against China’s neighbors. The latest, last month, was a declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone covering islands claimed by China but held by Japan and South Korea. China’s assertive stance has got its neighbors seeking closer ties and protection from the United States. Armed clashes — even war — seem possible. China continues to grow. But democracy and peaceful coexistence may be farther away than ever.”

I suspect this will get done in the next couple of weeks. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed hope on Sunday that enough Republicans would back an unemployment benefit extension to avoid a filibuster.”

This should be done elsewhere. “Idaho Republicans Kill Presidential Caucus.” Caucuses are undemocratic and favor the most extreme elements in the party.

This president has done practically nothing to aid Central and South America. “Thirty years after the Kissinger commission report, democracy and peace in Central America are again at risk. This time the foreign intervention is from immensely wealthy criminal gangs. The U.S. posture of neutrality in elections is right — but our tilt toward Zelaya in Honduras in 2009 and our failure today to state our concerns about the FMLN’s drug ties can tilt elections as well. If people like Comandante Ramiro come to power, Salvadorans’ hopes for democracy and peace, and our own hopes for continuing cooperation against narcotics trafficking, may be lost.”

Is there anything more this administration could have done to increase Iran’s influence more? It’s hard to imagine. “Secretary of State John Kerry said that Iran may become involved in Syrian peace talks to be held in Geneva this month, a possibility that members of the opposition have resisted.”