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Obama

The Takeaway

President Obama's Strategy for Arab World

Friday, May 20, 2011

In his speech on the Arab world on Thursday, President Obama evoked images of the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement and the Fall of the Iron Curtain to parallel American values and the Arab uprisings. The speech comes nearly six months after the uprisings began in Tunis, and the state of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt is precarious at best. But what concrete steps is Obama promising — and can he come through?

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The Takeaway

How Will This Week Define President Obama in the Future?

Friday, May 06, 2011

President Barack Obama went from comedian at the White House Correspondents Dinner to resolute diplomat scorning the Birther detractors and then comforting provider, bringing solace to the victims of the tornadoes that swept across the south. However, his sober announcement that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed showed the world his ownership over the title of "commander in chief."

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: How Livery Cabs Set Fares, Obama Administration Looks at Taxing Cars Based on Miles Driven, and Boom Times For Boston Transit

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Illinois got $186 million of Florida's rejected high-speed rail funding. (Chicago Tribune)

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.  (The Hill)

New York's City Council grilled DOT officials over the agency's pedestrian plaza program. (NY1)

Oil prices drop below $110 a barrel; but Marketplace's London correspondent says in his city, gas is "right around $9.00 dollars a gallon. Luckily I take the London Underground everywhere I need to go."

Boston's transit agency had its biggest jump in ridership in two years. (WBUR)

WNYC looks at how livery cabs set fares.

The golden age of airlines' frequent flyer programs is over. (Gannett via Asbury Park Press)

General Motors's quarterly profit tripled; the company also posted its fifth consecutive profitable quarter. (NY Times)

Speaking of GM: the company said (playfully, perhaps?) that it will bring back the El Camino if 100,000 people say they want it; Jalopnik calls their bluff.

1968 Chevrolet El Camino (photo by Useute via Wikimedia Commons)

Can a high-tech bike get kids interested in engineering? (Good)

Blimps rise again! (The Daily Climate)

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In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

--Ray LaHood will announce bus safety measures (link)

--NYC Transit is employing a 'station domination' ad strategy (link)

--Gridlock alert: the president is visiting Ground Zero today (link)

--the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride visited the White House (link)

--airfares rise; NJ has both most and least expensive (link)


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The Takeaway

New York Police Ramp Up Security for Obama's Visit

Thursday, May 05, 2011

President Obama is in New York today to pay his respects at Ground Zero and meet with family members of victims of 9/11. Whenever the president is in town, the New York Police Department is on heightened security. But this time, they will be keeping the status quo. The NYPD’s 35,000 officers have been on alert since Sunday night when the White House announced Osama bin Laden’s death. Officers have been working overtime to protect subways during rush hour and have been commanded to be on the lookout for suspicious packages at landmarks. Police officials say there have been no specific threats against the city, but New York is still a prime target for terrorist attacks. 

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It's A Free Blog

Obama and the Birthers: Conspiracies Are the New Political Norm

Friday, April 29, 2011

Had McCain won in 2008, we wouldn't be hearing about Obama's birth certificate. We'd be hearing wingnuts on the left jabbering on about how McCain's adopted daughter from Banghladesh is really his illegitimate love child, that his (extremely old and faded) birth certificate is a fake, and/or maybe that John McCain was a member of a shadow group that was behind the 9/11 attacks.

- Solomon Kleinsmith describes why partisans love a good conspiracy.

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The Takeaway

National Security Team: Are the Lines Blurred Between Soldiers and Spies?

Friday, April 29, 2011

President Obama announced a reshuffling of his national security team yesterday, appointing CIA director Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense, and General David Petraeus as head of the CIA. Are these appointments a sign that there is a blurred line between the country's soldiers and spies? Loch Johnson, regents professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia and 28-year-CIA veteran, speaks with us. 

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It's A Free Country ®

Morning Fodder: Four Tweetables from the IAFC and BL Show Crews

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From the dirt in our 'backyard' to the 'least disputable thing a politician has ever said,' a look at four stories the IAFC and Brian Lehrer Show folks are perusing on this Thursday morning. 

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The Takeaway

Obama Speaks About His U.S. Birth Certificate

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This morning, the White House released President Obama's U.S. birth certificate. Obama said in a statement that he hoped this would end any debate over his birthplace, and allow those questioning his country of origin to move on to more important issues. Todd Zwillich, the Takeaway's Washington correspondent, spoke about whether or not this will be the death of the birthers. 

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It's A Free Blog

Obama's Relationship to Debt Reality? Downgraded

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What the S&P found was a president un-serious about reducing our nation's crippling debt. While Obama and his supporters seem to think his words have magical properties, the rest of us realize that they're just words, and not particularly effective words at that.

Karol Markowicz, says Obama being "out of touch with reality" on the federal debt.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Fiscal Impact of Obama's Budget Speech

Thursday, April 14, 2011

To those people paying the bill, those people under 55, we say, 'You don't get Medicare. You get something less generous, but we don't have any choice.' I think it's deeply unfair to make that big divide and say, 'I've got this great plan, it's really great, it won't harm you, it will save vast amounts of money—but don't worry: so long as you're 55, you won't have to be any part of it.'

David Leonhardt, writer of the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, discussing Paul Ryan's budget on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Maya Soetero-Ng's 'Ladder to the Moon'

Thursday, April 14, 2011

President Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham died young, at the age of 52. Because of this, her four grandchildren never got to hear her stories, eat her cooking, or experience those other parts of the special relationship many children are able to have with their grandparents. Maya Soetero-Ng, Dunham's daughter, didn't think deeply about this until one of her kids asked her what grandma was like. That question served as the inspiration for a children’s book called “Ladder to the Moon.” The story, illustrated whimsically by Yuyi Morales, imagines a meeting between Maya’s older daughter and her own mother.

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Features

President Obama's Sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Publishes Children's Book

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On Wednesday, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, read passages of her new children's book "Ladder to the Moon" to a packed hall at Columbia's Teachers College.

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The Takeaway

Debt Ceiling: What if America Defaulted?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It’s only been a few days since lawmakers in Washington agreed on a budget for the next fiscal year, but Democrats and Republicans are already gearing up for the next big budgetary showdown: raising the nation's debt ceiling. In the coming months, Congress will have vote on whether to raise the debt ceiling, something Tea Party Republicans say they won't support in hopes of forcing President Obama and Congress to cut spending. But for every dollar the government spends, it has to borrow forty cents. In February, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said that the economic results of not raising the debt ceiling and defaulting would be "catastrophic" 

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The Washington Report

President Obama and "Gang of Six" Take on Federal Deficit

Monday, April 11, 2011

NYT's David Sanger weighs in on two plans to reduce the federal deficit, which now stands at more than $14 trillion.

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It's A Free Blog

The Bad Faith of Budget Politics

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Democrats were the less honest actors through much of the run up to last weekend's passage of a federal budget compromise. They had the votes to pass a budget several months ago, before the midterms, but chose not to because of perceived electoral risks.

They balked at an early deal from some of the less extreme Republicans for a thirty something billion package of cuts, then, when the more extreme Tea Party types pushed the GOP to bump that up into the 60s, the Democrats responded by saying they would meet them halfway... with about ten billion in cuts.

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Transportation Nation

How Much High Speed Rail will $2.4 Billion Buy?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

(Matt Dellinger, Transportation Nation) It should be more fun to give away billions of dollars for rail. One of the happiest things a politician gets to do, after all, is fork over cash for transportation projects. All those gold shovels, ribbon cuttings, and bridge-naming ceremonies! And, one could argue, President Barack Obama and SecretaryRay LaHood should feel triply blessed. With today’s politics being what they are, they get to dole out money more than once!

But there’s something of a deflated mood around the bids that came in this week for the $2.4 billion in High Speed Rail funds that Florida rejected in February. The money seems a little tainted, perhaps, and politically heavy. It’s unseemly to celebrate over such federal largess when Washington is on the verge of a shutdown and budget negotiators are contemplating cutting vital programs. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Governor Rick Scott, elected as a budget hawks, decided the safe bet was to show restraint and send back big fat slices of transportation pie. By doing so, they left more for everyone else—but they also made the indulgence more fraught. These are hungry times, though, and money won’t sit around long. By Monday, twenty four states, plus Washington D.C. and Amtrak, had bid for pieces of Florida’s pie.

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What the Administration and rail boosters lost in the Florida debacle—a truly high-speed segment with right-of-way secured and private investors in line, that could have been built in the visible future (the next Presidential term, for instance)—will not be gained back by anything proposed Monday. Among the list of projects there is no item that will similarly turn a rail-less corridor into a futuristic proof-of-concept. The speeds mentioned are all easily imaginable by anyone with a decent car. Without a confidence in messaging that has so far eluded the Administration when it comes to transportation, it will be hard to sell this reapportionment as anything earth-shattering, or even (literally)  ground-breaking.

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The Takeaway

How to Brand Obama 2.0

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The slogans “Yes We Can” and “Change We Can Believe In” transformed then-Senator Barack Obama’s underdog bid for presidency into a frenzied, anti-incumbency movement that launched him to the Oval Office. Fast forward to today, and President Barack Obama has officially begun his re-election bid, though the word “change” is probably the last one he wants to hear.

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The Washington Report

Japan's Radioactive Water and Obama on Libya

Monday, March 28, 2011

NYT's David Sanger weighs in on President Obama's upcoming speech on U.S. military involvement in Libya and radioactive water at Japan's damaged nuclear plant.

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It's A Free Country ®

One Year Later: The Health Care Overhaul's Impact

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One year ago today, President Obama signed the federal health care legislation into law. “Today we are affirming that essential truth, a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself, that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations,” Obama said at the bill signing.

But in the twelve months after its passage, "scale back" has been the name of the game in the rhetoric around the new law, whether in GOP-led efforts to the bill, in two pivotal court decisions, or in the president's own support for giving states more flexibility. But through it all, the health insurance overhaul remains intact and continues to incrementally roll out into the lives of Americans.

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The Takeaway

US and El Salvador's Deep, Not Always Friendly Ties

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

El Salvador is the last stop on President Obama's three-nation tour of Latin America. Mr. Obama's stops in Brazil and Chile were largely overshadowed by events in Libya, but his reasons for visiting the strategically important South American nations were clear: with their galloping economies, Brazil and Chile are emerging as power players in the region and in the world. However, his reasons for visiting El Salvador are less obvious.

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