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Barack Obama

The Takeaway

Analyzing Obama and Boehner's Dueling Speeches

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner both addressed the nation last night, explaining where each of their parties stand on the current debate over the debt ceiling. What impact did the speeches have?

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The Takeaway

Obama Urges Compromise in Debt Talks

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Obama stood before the nation and pleaded with Congress to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in a prime-time speech to the American public last night. "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said. House Speaker John Boehner immediately followed Obama's speech with his response, agreeing that the debate needs to be resolved, but urging Obama to sign on to the Republican proposal to raise the debt limit.

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The Takeaway

Debt: Obama Praises Gang of Six Plan; Five States May Face Credit Downgrade

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, called it correctly on yesterday's show, saying that the Gang of Six — a bipartisan group of senators who have been trying to formulate a deficit-reduction plan for months — would make a comeback. President Obama praised praised the group's proposal yesterday, calling it a "very significant step" toward a budget negotiation.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama's Enthusiasm Gap is a Major Problem

Saturday, July 16, 2011

While some progressives are threatening to withhold their votes should Obama pursue cuts to our critical social safety net programs, few doubt liberals will pull the predictable lever in the voting booth. But in terms of building a governing majority, it will be a disaster.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Most People Want More Cuts - And More Taxes

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's a shame that the real champions of this story aren't particularly powerful - another example of how moderates are losing clout.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Country ®

Debt Ceiling Theatrics, in Two Acts

Monday, July 11, 2011

This is all for our own good, President Obama said as he tried again to press his case for a sweeping package of spending cuts, new tax revenues, and entitlement adjustments to reign in the size of the federal deficit.

 

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The Takeaway

Negotiations on Deficit Continue at White House

Monday, July 11, 2011

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders today to try and revive a $4 trillion deal to reduce the deficit and avoid a default on the national debt, a day after Speaker John Boehner rejected any agreement on that scale. Boehner says the parties should aim for a $2 to $3 trillion deal, because a larger deal would require tax increases. But President Obama says a larger deal would be easier to implement. Negotiations continued last night at the White House.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama's Repeating GOP Mistakes on Entitlements

Friday, July 08, 2011

To get Republicans to stay at the table and raise the debt ceiling, President Obama has been goaded into expanding the discussion beyond the threat of an American default into a conversation about entitlement programs. So he offered what Republicans had just been shellacked for suggesting: cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Then he upped the ante and did what President Bush was roundly rebuked for attempting in 2005: he added Social Security reform to the mix.

—Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger

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The Takeaway

Rep. Rush Holt on Social Security Cuts in Debt Ceiling Talks

Friday, July 08, 2011

The latest news out of the ongoing negotiations to raise the country's debt limit is that President Obama is putting entitlement reform on the table. But Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say they were caught completely off-guard by the president's latest proposal, and said that the Party is opposed to including Social Security cuts in any kind of deal. The president says the two sides remain divided and far from finding reaching an agreement, but House Speaker John Boehner says there's a 50-50 chance that they'll be able to arrive at a decision this week. Will the president's dramatic proposal be the catalyst that moves the debt deal forward?

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The Takeaway

Obama Now Tweets, But Is His Message Getting Across?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Yesterday, President Obama held the first ever White House Twitter Town Hall meeting. The president fielded questions from Twitter users (asked in the site's standard 140 characters or less). But the president's answers were anything but concise. In fact, he responded to participants' questions with the same long-winded, professorial rhetoric he's been criticized for throughout his presidency. Obama's ability to address his base and stimulate audiences was perhaps his greatest strength as a candidate in 2008. This begs the question: Why has President Obama failed to properly get his messages across to the American people since then?

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It's A Free Country ®

Senator DeMint: Looming Economic Disruptions Okay for Long-Term Debt Fix

Thursday, July 07, 2011

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint repeated his threat again that he’s willing to confront “economic disruptions” as a consequence of raising the debt ceiling, but that doesn’t mean default is certain.

DeMint repeated his charge that Treasury Secretary Geithner has irresponsible for implying that the U.S. would default, because ...

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It's A Free Country ®

What We Learned From Obama's Twitter Town Hall? He Doesn't Get Twitter

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Twitter is a medium that rewards the short and grabby. It's supposed to take important people out from behind their publicists and PR cabals and give average people a direct line into their heads. It's supposed to be fun.

-Stephen Reader, on Obama's Twitter Town Hall

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It's A Free Country ®

New York’s Frank Rich on Where Obama Went Wrong with Wall Street

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tea Partiers—and to some extent conventional Republicans—exploited this anger by turning the health care plan into another symbol of the big guy screwing you. If Obama had addressed this anger and been more proactive, he might not have been hoisted on petard of health care.

New York Magazine columnist Frank Rich on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

The 5 Campaign Messages in Obama's Press Conference

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In his first press conference since March, President Obama was ostensibly focused on his ongoing negotiations with Congressional Republicans about a deal to raise the debt ceiling. The president didn't announce any substantive new policy positions, but he did bring a a new swagger to the positions he's staked out. He tried to paint Washington Republicans as posturing procrastinators, and to polish his own profile in five key messages.

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The Takeaway

Terrorist Attack on Kabul Hotel

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hotel Interncontinental in Kabul, Afghanistan was attacked by gunmen and suicide bombers yesterday. Gun fire was exchanged between the terrorists and police force for many hours, and ended with NATO helicopters shooting and killing three militants on the hotel's roof. The identity of the terrorists has not been confirmed yet, but many believe the Taliban are responsible.

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It's A Free Country ®

Pawlenty Embraces Bush Foreign Policy Rhetoric but Not Bush Himself

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A two-term governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty’s foreign policy experience consists mostly of his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit Minnesota National Guard troops. Up to this point, he's run on his record in Minnesota, where he wielded vetoes to cut the size of government despite a Democratically controlled legislature. And he did it with unflappable niceness.

But in a Republican field without a John McCain (or a Colin Powell or David Petraeus waiting in the wings), Pawlenty sees some unclaimed territory on the party plank. In his first major speech about war and security at the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, Pawlenty articulated a robust, hawkish foreign policy driven by “moral clarity” — and took swings at President Obama and his fellow Republicans in the process.

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The Takeaway

Nation Building: Car Technology

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

President Obama emphasized nation building in his speech last week, announcing his plans for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. We have been asking Takeaway listeners: how would you like to see the government spend all of the money once spent on wars, here at home?  

Many of you would like to see improvements in energy and a shift away from foreign oil dependence. President Obama suggested requiring all cars and light trucks to run at 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. Is this feasible?

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Transportation Nation

Debate: Is Obama's 56.2 MPG Goal Feasible?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Photo: (cc) by Flickr user emilio labrador)

President Obama has suggested requiring all cars and light trucks to run at 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. Our partner The Takeaway, wanted to find out if this is feasible.

Listen. The conversation starts at 1:45 after a few calls from listeners about alternative fuels.

Seth Fletcher, thinks it's an achievable goal. He is the senior editor at Popular Science and author of, "Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy."

Sean McAlinden, executive vice-president for research and chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research, on the other hand, believes that this goal is just too ambitious, and too high a bar to set for many car companies.

 

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Afghanistan, Debt, Republicans

Monday, June 27, 2011

Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense this week, with Leon Panetta taking over. Panetta will have a lot on his plate, starting with the start of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan later this week. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at what obstacles are in store for Panetta as he begins his reign as Defense Secretary. 

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to try and come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, or face going into default. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the economic effects this on-going debate could have if a conclusion is not reached soon. 

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The Takeaway

At Gay Rights Event, Attendees Listen for Obama's 'Evolving' Gay Marriage Position

Friday, June 24, 2011

Barack Obama, as a senator then presidential candidate and now as president, has struggled with his political position when it comes to supporting same-sex marriage. As a candidate for State Senate in Illinois, Obama filled out a questionnaire and wrote, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages." (White House officials have said he was really referring to civil unions.)

In 2004 when he ran for the U.S. Senate, Obama said he would fight for equality for gay couples, but not for gay marriage. And on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, the candidate told Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren that, "marriage is the union between a man and a woman." Since becoming president, Obama has had a strong track record on supporting LGBT issues and has said that his position on gay marriage is "evolving." Last night in New York City, speaking at the “Gala with the Gay Community,” gay leaders were listening to see if the president would come any closer to endorsing gay marriage. 

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