Scalpels and Machetes

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

US President Barack Obama speaks on fiscal policy April 13, 2011 at George Washington University's Jack Morton Auditorium in Washington, DC (Mandel Nagan/Getty)

The day after President Obama’s speech laying out his proposal to reduce the nation’s debt, David Leonhardt of  The New York Times looks at the economics of the plan. Plus: an update on the drug-related violence in Mexico which has claimed the lives of 35,000 people since 2006; Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic on his new book on the history of green technology; the culture of Little House on the Prairie; and poet Martin Espada in the next installment of the Brian Lehrer Show’s celebration of National Poetry Month. 

President Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan

David Leonhardt, writer of the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, breaks down the fiscal impact of President Obama's deficit reduction plan, and how it differs from the Paul Ryan proposal.

→ Listen, Read a Recap, and Add Your Comments at It's A Free Country

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Jonathan Alter on the Politics of Deficit Reduction

The President's speech yesterday wasn't just about deficit reduction - it also framed the political conversation leading into the 2012 election. Jonathan Alter, MSNBC analyst and author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One, discusses what was said and how it will play inside the Beltway and around the country.

→ Listen, Read a Recap, and Add Your Comments at It's A Free Country

Poetry Month: Martin Espada

In honor of National Poetry Month, we will be speaking with different poets throughout the month of April. This week Martin Espada, poet and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of The Trouble Ball: Poems, talks about connecting the personal and the political through his poetry.

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Drug Violence in Mexico

Almost 35,000 people have been killed in the drug related violence in Mexico since 2006--120 bodies were found just since last week. We'll get an update on the violence and its origins from Viridiana Ríos, PhD candidate at the Department of Government at Harvard University, and co-author of the report Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2010.

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Green Technology

Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, talks about his new book, Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology, which explores the history of green technology and what it teaches us about our energy problems today.

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Reading Little House

Wendy McClure, BUST magazine columnist and author of I'm Not the New Me, talks about her new book, The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. Wendy's channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder on Twitter: @HalfPintIngalls

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