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Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

From “Birthers” who claim that President Obama was not born in the United States to those who believe that the Constitution is in danger of being replaced with Sharia law, conspiratorial beliefs have become increasingly common in our public discourse. Arthur Goldwag explores the ideas and rhetoric that have animated extreme, mostly right-wing movements throughout American history. His new book is The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right.

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What McCarthy Means for Pro-Romney SuperPAC

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Recap from It's a Free Country.

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Jane Mayer, New Yorker staff writer, discussed the career of Larry McCarthy, one of the most successful negative-ad makers in history, who is now working for the pro-Romney SuperPAC Restore Our Future.

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The Gingrich Long-Tail, Romney "Not Concerned About Poor", and #EnoughWhat?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Episode #4: After Romney's decisive victory in Florida, is it just a matter of going through the motions until he's the nominee? Not according to Newt Gingrich and Todd Zwillich. Todd, Anna Sale and Brian Lehrer play their most revealing clips of the week and discuss the disappearing issue of poverty; Gingrich's February strategy; and Rick Santorum's "third-way" approach. Plus, Brian impersonates Howard Dean.

Don't forget this week's twitter challenge: Answer the question #EnoughWhat? What have you had enough of in the first month of Election 2012?  (See what others are saying)

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AG Schneiderman Promises Swift Action From New Financial Regulation Group

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recap from It's a Free Country.

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General and  co-chair of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, talked about his appointment to co-chair the federal working group examining mortgage fraud.

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Obama Pulls PAC Punch, Cantor's Lament, and Todd's REM Cycles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Episode #3: At the State of the Union, President Obama talked about the "corrosive influence of money in politics," but perhaps most revealing was what he didn't mention. Anna Sale, Brian Lehrer and Todd Zwillich bring their most revealing clips of the week and discuss Obama's SuperPAC strategy; Eric Cantor's admission that bipartisanship doesn't always work; and how Todd should nap as he works the morning shift.

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Story Pirates States of the Union (Exclusive Download)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This is Politics Bites. Every once in a while we'll post short audio to It's A Free Country: The Podcast that deserves a little extra attention.

The Story Pirates take stories written by kids and turn them into musical theater. For the State of the Union 2012, It's A Free Country asked our audience to answer the question: “What would you say if you were addressing the country?”

The Story Pirates compiled the answers and some responses from their own workshops - with kids from ages 6 to 17 - and here are the results. Take a listen, download for free!

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Romney's Tax Rate, South Carolina, and Special Guest Ana Marie Cox

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Episode #2: Mitt Romney revealed this week that he pays an effective tax rate of 15% — Brian Lehrer, Anna Sale, and Todd Zwillich discuss Romney's inability to shake the "Richie Rich" image. Plus, what White voters in South Carolina are looking for, and how Newt Gingrich may be using his conservative "dog whistle" on them. And special guest Ana Marie Cox of the Guardian brings a clip to the competition.

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Brian, Anna and Todd Talk Mussolini, Moderates, and Beanbags

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's the day after a Romney sweep of Iowa and New Hampshire - and all eyes shift to South Carolina. Brian Lehrer, Anna Sale, and Todd Zwillich play their most revealing clips and talk about comparisons of Obama to fascists; why moderates feel left out; and how to play "cornhole."

Don't forget this week's twitter challenge: Update the phrase "Politics ain't beanbag" with a more modern activity  (See what others are saying)

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Are Bain, 'Fire' Comments Enough to Derail Romney?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recap from It's a Free Country.

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Josh Rogers, political reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio, and Anna Sale, It's A Free Country political reporter, talked about Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and the last-minute challenges for Mitt Romney.

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Paul, Santorum and Huntsman: The Final Sell Before NH

Monday, January 09, 2012

Two hope to keep their surprising momentum going, while a third looks for his big break.

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The Final Pitch in Iowa, by Air and on the Ground

Monday, January 02, 2012

For Republican hopefuls, it's the final full day of campaigning in Iowa. And at least in the television ads the candidates are putting their names and faces to, it's all positive in their final pitches.

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The Art of the Political Flip-Flop

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Newt Gingrich was for health care mandates before he was against them. Rick Perry was for allowing abortions in cases of rape and incest before he was not. And Mitt Romney has changed his positions on climate change, health care, abortion, and gay rights, just to name a few. In 2004, the caricature of John Kerry as a "flip-flopper" partly cost him the presidential election. Although flip-flopping is almost universally portrayed as negative, these changes of heart sometimes reveal an evolution of ideals and maturity. "When the facts change, I change my mind," John Maynard Keyes once said. "What do you do, sir?"

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Days Before The Iowa Caucus, Is Santorum In and Gingrich Out?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

With five days to go until the Iowa caucus, all six contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are making their rounds in small towns across Iowa. Newt Gingrich's poll numbers continue to fall in the Hawkeye state, opening up the possibility for another candidate to overtake the lead. Hopefuls who have stuck it out since the beginning — like Rick Santorum and Ron Paul — have experienced a recent uptick in popularity.

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Election 2012: The Year Ahead

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Although some GOP hopefuls have been informally campaigning since this time last year and Barack Obama announced his campaign for reelection back in April, the January 3rd caucus will be the true beginning for the 2012 presidential race. This year, $5.9 million has been spent on TV advertising alone in Iowa. With no heavily favored Republican candidate, the strategy for turning fundraising dollars into actual votes has yet to reveal itself.

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A Ground-Level Look at the Iowa Caucus

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Most Americans probably won't start receiving the flood of presidential campaign materials until May or June of next year. But Iowans, as they do every four years, get inundated with politically-charged robo-calls, mailers, and television ads for almost a full 12 months — from late November until election night. This year, $5.9 million was spent on TV advertising alone leading up to the January 3rd caucus.

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Days Before Caucuses, Iowa Voters Uninspired by GOP Candidates

Friday, December 23, 2011

With less than two weeks until the caucus, many voters are unenthusiastic about the Republican presidential hopefuls. Ron Paul, a libertarian Texas congressman, is in the lead, but many voters don't believe his unconventional politics will get him elected. Tea Party members and evangelical Christians don't feel they are properly represented in any of the candidates. No candidate has a solid core of voters, so aggressive campaigning will continue until January 3rd.

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House GOP Agrees to Payroll Tax Cut Extension

Friday, December 23, 2011

Responding to near-universal condemnation from the White House, The Wall Street Journal op-ed page, and senior members of their own party, the House GOP agreed Thursday to accept a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits the Senate approved last Saturday. House Republicans rejected an almost identical proposal on Tuesday. The stunning about face came after members of their own party criticized the House GOP for handing a political victory to President Obama. The deal will keep the payroll tax at 4.2 percent and expands the holiday to small businesses that have temporary caps on wages.

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After a Century of Suffrage, Women Still Can't Get Elected in Iowa

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A woman has never been elected to Congress or held the governorship in Iowa. The only other state to hold this dubious distinction is Mississippi. Several studies point to cultural factors, such as the state's older population and evangelical lobbying groups. But nearly a century after women's suffrage and three years after Iowa legalized gay marriage, the Hawkeye State's problem seems to lie deeper.

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Ahead of Caucus, Paul Surges in Iowa

Thursday, December 22, 2011

With less than two weeks before the January 3 Iowa caucus, the GOP presidential hopefuls are making their final push in the Hawkeye state. Recent days have seen libertarian candidate Ron Paul surge to the front of the pack, a position most recently held by Newt Gingrich. With his popularity among young voters, his consistency on issues, and populist rhetoric about "ending" the Federal Reserve, Paul has formed a broad coalition that has made him the latest front-runner in Iowa. But will it be enough to sustain a national campaign to beat presumptive nominee Mitt Romney?

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Rep. Garrett: Keystone Pipeline, not Payroll Tax Cut, is Real Job-Creator

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recap from It's a Free Country.

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, US Congressman (R-NJ 5th) Scott Garrett discussed unfinished business including the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits.

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