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On Being

Darius Rejali — The Long Shadow of Torture [remix]

Thursday, November 04, 2010

One of the world's leading experts on torture, Iranian-American political scientist Darius Rejali discusses, in particular, how democracies change torture and are changed by it. In the wake of Wikileaks revelations about torture in U.S.-occupied Iraq, we

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On Being

[Unedited] Darius Rejali with Krista Tippett

Thursday, November 04, 2010

One of the world's leading experts on torture, Iranian-American political scientist Darius Rejali discusses, in particular, how democracies change torture and are changed by it. In the wake of Wikileaks revelations about torture in U.S.-occupied Iraq, we

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The Takeaway

Churchillian Advice for President Obama

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Not long after Barack Obama became President of the United States, a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was removed from the Oval Office and replaced with a bust of Abraham Lincoln. During his campaign, President Obama was often compared to Lincoln by pundits. But is it possible Churchill has more to teach the President?

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The Takeaway

What Will Historians See When They Look Back on 2010?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When future generations look back on this election, the first after President Obama's dramatic victory in 2008, will they see it as a repeat of the 1994 Gingrich Revolution? An unraveling of the Obama agenda? Or a chance for the president to rebrand himself?

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Soundcheck

Vote For Me, Shoo-Bop-De-Bop

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Politicians haven't really been listening to the songs they chose. I hope.

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It's A Free Blog

The Day After: the Deficit War

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

On Wednesday morning, a passionate political debate on deficit reduction will begin that will be on par with the health care debate. Both parties must come to a resolution on how to slash the $1.4 trillion debt and put forth policies to reduce the staggering unemployment rate.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Elections, Unemployment, and Asia

Monday, November 01, 2010

One day before the mid-term election and predictions are in. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, looks ahead to election day and forecasts the after-effects of its results.

Voters head to the polls tomorrow, but non-political happenings continue apace: the Fed will meet to discuss what to do about interest rates and the economy. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, doesn't see the interest rate increasing, but sees the Fed pumping more money into the economy, to try and jumpstart it.

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The Takeaway

Outside Groups Spend Big as Elections Approach

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

These mid-term elections are seeing massive amounts of money being raised and spent both left and right, from party committees to outside independent groups — much, much more money than the last mid-term elections in 2006. Over $260 million has been spent by outside groups, who have been able to remain largely anonymous since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, earlier this year. 

But what are contributors expecting in return for their millions of dollars? 

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The Takeaway

Rhode Island's Unique Political Landscape this Midterm Season

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today, we take a deeper look at Rhode Island's political landscape in the run-up to the midterm elections. Rhode Island's unemployment rate, at 11 percent, is one of the highest in the country. Democrats are fighting to hang on to Patrick Kennedy's vacated house seat and President Obama has yet to endorse the Democratic candidate for governor, who is locked in a fierce four-way race. 

We talk to Buddy Cianci, former mayor of Providence and current host of WPRO's talk radio program The Buddy Cianci Show.  

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The Takeaway

Small Indiana City Credits Stimulus With Its Recovery

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In early 2009, Kokomo, Indiana, was emblematic of the bleak state of recession-age America. With an economy dependent on the American auto industry, the city's unemployment rate had risen to 20 percent.

But over a year later, things in Kokomo are looking up. Unemployment is down to 14 percent, and several companies are creating new jobs. While there is much disagreement about the effectiveness of the economic stimulus package, Kokomo residents and politicians are quick to credit it with their city's recovery.

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It's A Free Country ®

What Happens When Government Bailouts Work?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WNYC

Let's do a thought experiment. Let's say that one of the last governors of New York — David Paterson, Eliot Spitzer, George Pataki, or Mario Cuomo — actually had saved an industry. Let's say they'd used the power of the state's purse to keep a company from failing, turned it around, and could reasonably have claimed to have saved a million jobs. Would that have helped either party in upstate New York, where jobs have been hemmoraging for decades? A look at Michigan's electoral situation shows just how hard it is to make that argument, particularly for Democrats.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

30 Issues: Independents

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, says the Democrats need moderates to win in November.

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The Washington Report

WQXR's The Washington Report

Monday, October 18, 2010

David Sanger joins Brian Zumhagen to discuss the campaign trail and a big debate among Demcrats.

It's A Free Blog

Boomerang?

Monday, October 18, 2010

An AP poll shows that a quarter of voters who voted for the Democratic Party in 2008 are voting for the Republican candidate in the midterms and half of them may simply stay at home.

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The Takeaway

Previewing Obama 2.0

Friday, October 15, 2010

At what point can we properly judge a president’s legacy? Is it after the first term, the first 100 days, or the first 100 years after they've left the Oval Office?

Over the weekend, our partner, The New York Times, will run "The Education of a President," by Peter Baker. The article begins with an American public poised to hand the president a mid-semester report card, in the form of November mid-term election votes. No matter which way they vote, says Baker, a very new presidential administration will emerge.

Peter Baker writes that “for all intents and purposes the first chapter of Obama’s presidency has ended. On Election Day, the next chapter begins.”

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It's A Free Blog

Don't Tell Me about DADT — I Was There

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is an inane policy, one in which we compel people to lie to their superiors about who and what they are as people. But while many on the left are cheering the ruling by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordering an immediate halt to DADT policy, I am not.

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The Takeaway

What Should Obama 2.0 Look Like?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

As the president heads into the mid-term elections with a reshaped cabinet, we're looking at the next iteration of the Obama White House. Some Democrats say they're disillusioned with the president's term so far. But supporters point to a list of accomplishments (health care reform, stimulus, education policies). Is the president doing all that you expected of him? And what should Obama 2.0 look like?

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It's A Free Blog

Don't Break the Infrastructure Banks

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Obama announced his plan to ask Congress to approve his $50 billion allocation to improve our roads and railways through the Infrastructure Bank, and Andrew Cuomo announced his plans for a State Infrastructure Bank, I was elated. Now the question is: will Congress and the state have the common sense to fund it?

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Transportation Nation

Shovel-Ready Projects? Obama Admits There's No Such Thing

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)  In the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine, journalist Peter Baker's profile of President Obama, "Education of a President," includes this quote:

"There’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects."

No real surprise, as the president has already been saying watered-down versions of this, like the 2009 comment: "The term 'shovel-ready' — let's be honest, it doesn't always live up to its billing." But it's a hard lesson to publicly learn a month before an election which might lose your party the majority.

His full quote, which the paper includes in an online transcript of the interview, reads: "Infrastructure has the benefit of for every dollar you spend on infrastructure, you get a dollar and a half in stimulus because there are ripple effects from building roads or bridges or sewer lines. But the problem is, is that spending it out takes a long time, because there’s really nothing — there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects."

With this week's announcement of the president's hope for a six-year transportation plan (itself a more refined version of last month's $50 billion infrastructure announcement), it's clear that he's trying to take the long view and win bipartisan support.  "I think we have to have infrastructure that keeps up with the demands of the 21st century," he says in the New York Times transcript. "We can’t have a China that has the best airports, the best railways, the best roads, and we are still relying on infrastructure that was built 200 years ago or 100 years ago or even 50 years ago when it comes to things like broadband lines." Not to mention frame it as financially sound and historically popular. "Investing in our infrastructure is something that members of both political parties have always supported," he pointed out on Monday.

It's clear he's trying to implement one of the lessons learned in the first two years of his presidency, at least according to Baker's article: "You can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion."

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WNYC News

Can Democrats Count on Jewish Voters This Year?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

For decades, Jewish voters were reliable members of the Democratic New Deal Coalition that coalesced around President Franklin Roosevelt and continues to define the political landscape. But a new survey suggests that American Jews, despite their longstanding allegiance to Democrats, are not immune to disappointment in President Obama. And Republicans are hoping to capitalize on the trend in the upcoming midterm elections.

 

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