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The Leonard Lopate Show

Eric Alterman on American Liberalism

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Journalist and historian Eric Alterman traces the history of liberal ideals and discusses the politicians, intellectuals, visionaries, activists, and public personalities fighting for social justice. His book, The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama, written with historian Kevin Mattson, looks at liberalism in American politics and culture.

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WNYC News

Paul Krugman: Obama 'Screwed Up' Private-Sector Line

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paul Krugman thinks he knows what President Obama was trying to say when he infamously said that the "private sector is doing fine." But the economist and New York Times columnist said the president "screwed up the line."

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New Jersey News

After Cory Booker's Remarks, Press Aide Resigns

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

His communications director insisted that her departure had nothing to do with the Newark, N.J., mayor's controversial comments in which he criticized the Obama campaign for targeting Mitt Romney's experience at Bain Capital. Still, her exit shows how managing the mayor's political message has become a challenge as his star has risen.

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WNYC News

Romney, Boehner Message: It's Still The Economy (Not Gay Marriage), Stupid

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt Romney and Speaker John Boehner showed a determination Thursday to keep the election-year debate confined to the topic on which they believe President Obama has the greatest vulnerabilty — the economy.

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WNYC News

Black Voters Likely To Stick With Obama Despite Gay Marriage Stance

Thursday, May 10, 2012

African-Americans, compared with other groups that make up the Democratic political base, have been the most resistant to an expansion of gay rights.

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Features

Obama Heads To Hollywood; Conservative Group Mocks 'Celebrity President'

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On Thursday, some of Hollywood's top stars and deepest pockets will congregate at the Studio City, Calif., home of actor George Clooney to mingle with President Obama and raise money for his re-election campaign. At least one conservative group is deriding Obama as a "celebrity president."

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WNYC News

Obama Gambles On Gay Marriage

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The president and his re-election team are clearly wagering that his support for same-sex marriage will attract more voters than it repels — and allow him to make the choice between himself and Mitt Romney even sharper.

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WNYC News

Biden Foreign-Policy Counterattack On Romney Highlights GOP Challenge

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A president seeking re-election against a backdrop of a lackluster economy would be remiss if he didn't stress his unique roles as the nation's top policymaker for international relations and the military's commander-in-chief. President Obama and his campaign clearly intend to exploit those credentials for all they're worth while pointing out Mitt Romney's lack of them.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Eric Alterman on American Liberalism

Monday, April 16, 2012

Journalist and historian Eric Alterman traces the history of liberal ideals and discusses the politicians, intellectuals, visionaries, activists, and public personalities fighting for social justice. His book, The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama, written with historian Kevin Mattson, looks at liberalism in American politics and culture.

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The Takeaway

Once Bipartisan, Violence Against Women Act Now Faces Political Fight

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the federal legislation aimed at ending violence against women and supporting victims of violence, is up for reauthorization this year. Senate Democrats plan to begin the push for reauthorization today. The original bill, passed in 1994, enjoyed strong support from both sides of the aisle. This year, Republican critics are voicing opposition, particularly to new programs included in this iteration of VAWA, including expanded programs for illegal immigrants to access visas by claiming domestic violence and support for victims in same-sex relationships. Democrats claim that this is the latest in Republicans' war on women. Republicans claim that federal money needs to be spent responsibly. What does this mean for the future of VAWA and for female voters in the 2012 election?

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Where Are the Liberals? Here, Here, and Here

Friday, January 13, 2012

Earlier this week, New York Times columnist David Brooks asked, "Where are the liberals?" The short answer is that they are everywhere—pushing solutions, envisioning a stronger America and building a movement.

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WNYC News

Obama's Ex-Car Czar Defends Romney, Bain From GOP Attacks

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Steven Rattner, the Wall Street financier who oversaw the Obama Administration's successful rescues of General Motors and Chrysler, now comes to the aid of some other beleaguered members of corporate America — Mitt Romney in his former role as a private-equity CEO, and Bain Capital, the company the Republican presidential candidate once ran.

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Transportation Nation

Dems Want Tighter "Made in America" Rules for Infrastructure Projects

Thursday, December 01, 2011

House Democrats floated a bill Thursday designed to spur job growth by enforcing "made in America" provisions on US transportation and infrastructure projects.

Current law already requires firms to tilt toward US firms for taxpayer-funded transportation projects. But loopholes allow firms to go overseas if there are significant cost differences, and often don't apply to subcontractors. Now Democrats, with the backing of unions and transportation groups, want to ratchet down on the loopholes and make it harder for companies to use foreign steel and engineering.

Democrats cast the bill as a job-creation effort designed to help flagging employment numbers. Highway and construction projects are viewed on Capitol Hill as a major conduit of jobs growth because of the billions in taxpayer money flowing to all 50 states from the Highway Trust Fund and other programs.

Lawmakers make an example out of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge restoration project, where steel and engineering expertise for the 2.2 mile repair went to Chinese state-owned firms.

"It is appalling, offensive and downright wrong to send our taxpayer dollars to China when they should be invested right here at home," Rep. "Nick" Joe Rahall (W.Va) the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told reporters Thursday.

The bill requires all rail, bus, and aviation equipment and components paid for by US tax dollars to be made with US materials by 2016. That's up from current law, which requires 60% US content. It also makes it harder for contractors to go overseas for materials or expertise on highway and bridge projects. Dems also want to extend "Made in America" requirements to loans, loan guarantee and grant programs administered by DOT.

"We have these capabilities here in this country but we are giving them away to our competitors," Rahall said.

See a summary of the "Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011" here.

Of course, Democrats don't control the House and won't have a chance to get the bill on the floor without Republican help. Rahall said Dems would like to weave the bill, or at least parts of it, into the GOP's five-year transportation infrastructure bill. Lawmakers have talked up a desire to pay for highway projects with expanded domestic energy production and streamlined funding, but have not unveiled bill text.

Politico reported this morning that a lack of open floor time in the House has lead Republican leaders to put off consideration of the transportation bill until next year.

 

Follow Todd Zwillich on Twitter @toddzwillich

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The Takeaway

Barney Frank Will Leave Congress After Three Decades

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank announced Monday that he will not seek re-election next year, after representing his district in Congress for more than 30 years. The announcement brings to an end the career of one of Congress's most quotable and cantankerous members. Frank leaves behind a legacy of notable achievement in economic policy, and will be remembered by history as the first member of Congress to come out as gay.

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The Takeaway

Senate Looks to Pass Payroll Tax Cut

Monday, November 28, 2011

The "super committee" has failed. Obama is pushing his Jobs Act. Congress is coming back from a week-long Thanksgiving holiday still looking for ways to stimulate the economy and score political points for 2012. And up this week in the Senate — your taxes. Democrats are looking for a way to extend the payroll tax cut while Republicans are opposing this proposal.

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The Takeaway

Lawmakers Say 'Super Committee' is Likely to Fail

Monday, November 21, 2011

After months of budget negotiations, tensions between Congressional "super committee" members have reached what seems to be a breaking point. With only three days left before their deadline to cut 1.2 trillion dollars from the federal debt, 12 super committee members made the rounds to the Sunday political news outlets and publicly aired their grievances. Republican Jeb Hensarling told "Fox News Sunday," the following: "Unfortunately, what we haven't seen in these talks from the other side is any Democrats willing to put a proposal on the table that actually solves the problems." 

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WNYC News

SEIU Invokes 'Occupy' Movement In Obama Endorsement

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In a conference call with reporters, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry brushed aside the organization's disappointments with Obama and pledged its full support for the president.

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WNYC News

Now-Bankrupt MF Global, Ex-CEO Corzine Had Deep Pockets For Democrats

Friday, November 04, 2011

With the financial implosion of MF Global, the financial derivatives broker that sought bankruptcy court protection this week, Democratic Party candidates stand to take a hit because the company's executives were major donors to their campaigns.

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The Takeaway

Super Committee Comes Up For Air

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Joint Deficit Reduction "Super Committee," put in charge with finding $4 trillion to cut from the deficit, held their fifth public meeting on Tuesday. But the fate of the Super Committee remains unclear as it is unlikely they will come to consensus any time soon. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, says the hearing was both a pep talk to the committee but also partly a threat. There is a lot riding on them to succeed and a lot of heads could roll if they fail.

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The Takeaway

New Poll Shows Lack of Faith in Government

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday reveals a deep sense of frustration with government as both political parties have failed to give voters a sense that they can fix the economy. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Republicans favor the rich, while two-thirds support raising taxes on millionaires. A report from the Congressional Budget Office also out on Tuesday says that incomes for the top 1 percent of earners have grown by 275 percent in the last 30 years, versus just 40 percent for people in the middle income scale. The poll's findings are bad news for both Republicans and Democrats alike as they prepare for a pivotal election in 2012. New York Times national political correspondent Jeff Zeleny helps parse the numbers and explains what this means for the country.

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