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The Takeaway

Governor Ed Rendell on Pennsylvania's Primary Race

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A year ago Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter quit the Republican party to join the Democrats. He won the support of President Obama, organized labor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. But he lacked the support of the voters and lost yesterday's primary to Rep. Joe Sestak. 

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The Takeaway

Anti-Incumbent Fever as Primaries Get Underway

Friday, May 14, 2010

Anti-incumbent fever has taken down two Washington heavyweights in less than a week. First, there was the surprising caucus defeat of three-time Republican Senator Robert Bennett in Utah last Saturday. Then fourteen-term Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan, from West Virginia, became the first House incumbent to lose his primary race this year. Now, many are wondering if incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican-turned-Democrat, will be the next to lose his primary.

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The Takeaway

Why Hasn't a Third Political Party Caught On?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Great Britain this week, a center-left political party — the Liberal Democrats — played the power broker in recent elections, teaming up with new PM David Cameron's Conservative Party to create the first coalition government in Britain in 70 years. Could a third party ever play kingmaker here, in the United States?

A new NBC/WSJ poll suggests that many people wouldn't object: More than 80 percent see problems with America's two-party system, and nearly one third of the country believes that America needs a third party.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Obey, Powerful Democrat, to Retire

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rep. David Obey, an influential democrat in the House of Representatives, announced he would not seek reelection at the end of his term in November. Obey who represents Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, is the third-most senior member of the house and is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He served in Congress for more than four decades.

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton Becomes Obama's Best Asset on World Stage

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two years after a contested and hot-spirited primary campaign, Barack Obama's strongest rival has morphed into a great ally as the president and the secretary of state find their footing on the international stage. It took some time for Hillary Clinton to find her voice in the Obama administration, but is now a strong member of the team.

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The Takeaway

Finance Regulatory Bill Blocked in Senate

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Senate Republicans held their caucus together and blocked debate on a bill to re-regulate the financial industry late Monday afternoon. Only one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, joined the GOP in a procedural move to prevent the bill from coming to the Senate floor. Other Democrats indicated that they would delay the rest of their agenda in order to keep bringing the bill back, perhaps as soon as Tuesday.

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The Takeaway

Looking for the Next Justice

Monday, April 12, 2010

Justice John Paul Stevens announced on Friday that he will retire this June, after spending 35 years on the bench. Democrats say they want to move quickly into the nomination process in order to have the next justice confirmed by the end of the summer.

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The Takeaway

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn Takes the Pulse of Health Care Reform

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) joins us with the very latest on the contentious health care reform bill that will likely see a vote in Congress later this week.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Obama's Final Health Care Push, Your Responses on the Narrative Power of Numbers

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT: Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning made the news this week by holding up a bill for jobless benefits, payments for doctors, and a host of other programs. Last night he finally relented. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains the fracas. We also get a preview of President Obama's health care speech today.
  • LISTENER TAKEOUT: Yesterday, we looked at how we understand events through numbers. Listeners tell us their view on numerical storytelling. 

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The Takeaway

The Debate about the Health Care Debate

Thursday, February 25, 2010

President Obama's bipartisan health care summit begins later this morning, but the bickering started weeks ago. Arguments between Republicans and Democrats over what kind of table will be used, the seating arrangements, the frequency of coffee breaks and other minutiae are starting to take center stage even before the conversation about whether or how to reform health care.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Fallout from Afghan Civilian Deaths, Toyota Hearings, Health Care Summit

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our weekly look ahead at the news for the next seven days with Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times, and Jonathan Marcus from the BBC. This week: the fallout from a NATO air strike that killed a number of Afghan civilians; what's in store for Toyota executives as they face a grilling from U.S. lawmakers; and how Republicans are preparing to face President Obama at his health care summit.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Harry Reid's Jobs Bill, Bode Miller Wins Gold, Listeners' Top Sports Movie for Sports-Haters

Monday, February 22, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT: An update from Time Magazine Washington correspondent Jay Newton-Small on legislation President Obama just introduced that would crack down on insurance companies. It's the first time the president has introduced legislation in the health care debate.
  • OLYMPICS TAKEOUT: From Vancouver, New York Times reporter, Jason Stallman recaps the Olympics weekend, including the U.S.- Canada hockey team and Bode Miller's gold performance in the super combined.
  • LISTENER RESPONSE: All weekend our listeners called in with their nominations for the top sports movies for people who hate sports. We hear some of your favorites.

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The Takeaway

Republicans Prepare for White House Health Care Meeting

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

President Obama has called for a health care summit at the White House, where republicans can offer up their own ideas on how to reduce costs, and the two parties can try again to find some common ground.

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The Takeaway

How to End Political Gridlock on Capitol Hill

Friday, February 05, 2010

"Gridlock" is a term that went from engineering jargon to everyday lingo during a transit strike in 1980. Now it's used more to describe the situation on Capitol Hill, with partisan rancor holding up major legislation. We find out how stuck Congress really is and look at new ways to break the deadlock.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Taliban Leader Reported Dead, Bonus Time at Goldman Sachs, Super Bowl Kickers

Thursday, February 04, 2010

  • TALIBAN TAKEOUT: A senior intelligence official told the Associated Press that the U.S. believes Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud died following a missile attack last month. We find out more from BBC correspondent Mark Dummetin Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • MONEY TAKEOUT: New York Times business reporter Louise Story says speculation abounds over what kind of bonus Goldman Sach's CEO Lloyd Blankfein might award himself.
  • SPORTS TAKEOUT: Sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, talks about the two kickers heading into the Super Bowl. This is a position that can make the difference between a Super Bowl champion or a complete afterthought.

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The Takeaway

Your State of the Union

Monday, January 25, 2010

The president delivers his first State of the Union address this week. We're asking listeners, guests and readers to give us their own impressions: Describe the State of the Union in six words or less.

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The Takeaway

In Washington: The F Word Everyone Says

Friday, January 22, 2010

This week in Washington has been all about the F word you can say on the air: 'Filibuster.'

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The Takeaway

What History Teaches Us About the Supermajority

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The election of Republican Scott Brown as Massachusetts' new junior senator on Tuesday night sent shock waves through Washington. Politicians of on both sides of the aisle flocked to microphones to give their takes on the future of health care reform now that the Democrats no longer have the Senate 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster. But how did we come to expect a 59-vote majority as a bad thing? We look at the history of the supermajority.

 

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The Takeaway

Courting the Independent Voter

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Republican Scott Brown's victory in Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate race proved the power of independent voters, and the degree to which they are shifting away from the Democratic party, only a year after they helped propel Barack Obama into the presidency. We speak with Jay Campbell, a vice president at Hart Research, and with Ross Baker, professor of political science at Rutgers University.

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The Takeaway

Brown Wins Mass. Senate Race, Gives GOP 41st Seat

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Republican Scott Brown has won the late Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat after a heated battle in Massachusetts. Brown handily defeated Democratic candidate Martha Coakley. The win for Brown is a major defeat for Democrats, who can no longer muster 60 votes to overcome frequent Republican filibusters in the Senate.

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