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President Barack Obama

The Takeaway

Making High Speed Rail a Reality

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama proposed the ambitious goal of bringing high speed rail to America. He wants to devote eight billion dollars to be doled out to 31 states to overhaul their mass transit systems.

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The Takeaway

Obama's Next Move

Monday, January 25, 2010

After big setbacks for the Democratic Party, President Obama is reconstituting the political team that helped him win the 2008 election. But will this be enough for the party to stave off losses in the mid-term elections — or even further ahead to 2012? Bruce Reed, the CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council and Reihan Salam, fellow at the New America Foundation assess the president's — and the party's — options.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: State of the Union, Ben Bernanke, Haiti

Monday, January 25, 2010

We give you all you need to know about the news we expect to come in the next seven days. This week, we take a look at what to expect in President Obama's first State of the Union address. We'll also look ahead at how the president  is planning to stop what appears to be a tailspin for the Democrats; Ben Bernanke's confirmation as Fed chairman; the relief effort in Haiti; and the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: State of the Union, Conan's IP, Basketball

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT:  Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich looks ahead to next week's State of the Union address from President Obama and the political context into which he'll be speaking.
  • MONEY TAKEOUT: Conan O'Brien is planning to leave NBC as soon as next week. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story gives us a rundown of the intellectual property he may leave behind.
  • SPORTS TAKEOUT: Takeaway Sports Contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives us a rundown of this weekend's basketball games and the players and teams to watch going forward.

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The Takeaway

How Can the President Earn His Nobel Peace Prize?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The announcement that President Barack Obama would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year came as a surprise to many – including the president, apparently – and inspired criticism that his record thus far hasn't justified such an award. How can President Obama show from this point forward that he deserves the Peace Prize?  To help answer that is David Sanger, The New York Times chief Washington correspondent; and James Fallows, former presidential speechwriter and a contributor for the Atlantic.

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The Takeaway

President Aims to Spur Job Growth With Stimulus Cash

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yesterday, the President unveiled an ambitious plan to spur jobs, cut the national deficit and re-shape the foundations of the American economy. 

Managaging Director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute Lakshman Achuthan joins us to analyze some of the plans Obama outlined in his speech. We also bring in two small business owners who hope to benefit from the initiatives.  Dawn P. Jackson (owner of NuDawn Marketing Group in Maryland) and Walt Rowen (owner of Susquehanna Glass Company in Columbia, PA) discuss how their businesses would be affected by the proposed stimulus package. 

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The Takeaway

President Obama, Jobs, and the Congressional Black Caucus

Friday, December 04, 2009

Politico is calling it a "Family Feud" on Capital Hill. Mounting tension between the Congressional Black Caucus and one-time member, now-President Barack Obama, seems to be coming to a head.  Yesterday, our guest, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), issued a statement accusing the President of not doing enough to create jobs for people of color. While Lee downplays any friction, the criticism implies growing frustration from the caucus with the country's first African-American president.

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The Takeaway

President to Visit Allentown's Main Street

Friday, December 04, 2009

President Obama is making Allentown, PA, the first city to visit after yesterday's White House jobs summit. Our guest, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, attended the jobs summit and is trying to figure out the best ways to remedy high unemployment in his city and the country. Mike Fegley is the marketing director of his family-owned restaurant, Allentown Brew Works; he gives us a read on Allentown's morale and hopes the President stops by for a drink and a bite to eat.

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The Takeaway

Jobs Summits in DC, Cincinnati and On-Air

Thursday, December 03, 2009

On the eve of the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s release of employment numbers for November, President Obama will host 130 business leaders at the White House today for a "Jobs Summit." The President's summit will include a meeting of the minds between CEOs of large corporations and small business owners; economists, labor union leaders and non-profit groups. Newt Gingrich, in response to the president's summit, announced yesterday that he will hold his own meeting, deeming it the "Real Jobs Summit." So with all the summits, we at The Takeaway decided to hold our own, including Dan Gross, senior editor at Newsweek; Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley in Troy, Mich. (Rogers will be attending President Obama's summit later today); and Dave Thompson, news director for Prairie Public Radio in North Dakota, where unemployment numbers are at a nationwide low.

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The Takeaway

President to Send Additional Troops to Afghanistan

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

In a speech at West Point last night, President Obama announced he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan starting early next year.  He also discussed an exit strategy that he hopes to start in July, 2011. In a brief trip through the looking glass, it's the Republicans who (mostly) seem to have Obama's back this time and not the Democrats. Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has reactions on Capitol Hill, from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), to President Obama's Afghanistan policy.  We're also joined by Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush's chief speech writer from 2000 to 2006 and now a senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement.

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The Takeaway

Federal COBRA Insurance Subsidies Set To Expire

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

President Barack Obama's stimulus plan cut the price tag for COBRA, the federal program that allows workers to keep their healthcare benefits for 18 months after they leave a job. Under the bill, laid-off workers pay only 35% of the actual cost of COBRA benefits. That provision expires this month, meaning many unemployed workers will face suddenly higher healthcare premiums. We speak with Jody Dietel, chief compliance officer for WageWorks, a company that administers COBRA and other benefits programs. We also speak with Cheryl Fish-Parcham, deputy director of health policy at Families USA.

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The Takeaway

President Lays Out Next Steps for Afghan War

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Last night President Obama laid out his plan for Afghanistan.  The bottom line includes 30,000 more troops, deployed quickly and due to begin returning after 18 months.  We look at what the plan means for Afghanistan, and whether or not it will bring stability to the Afghans. 

We're joined by Clare Lockhart, co-founder of the Institute of State Effectiveness, who has served as an advisor to U.S. military officials.  She worked in Afghanistan on the post-2001 government.  We also speak with Michael Gordon, military correspondent for The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Veterans on Continuing Afghanistan Mission

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

We continue our conversation with veterans about what they expect to hear from President Obama in tonight's speech on Afghanistan, and how they think the strategy will play out on the ground. We speak with Jack Jacobs, retired Army colonel and professor of politics at West Point; National Guard Spc. Marco Reininger, who served in Afghanistan in 2008; and retired Army Sgt. Genevieve Chase, founder of American Women Veterans, who served in Afghanistan in 2006.

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The Takeaway

President to Unveil Afghanistan Strategy

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

President Obama will announce his strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at West Point tonight. He is expected to send roughly 30,000 more troops to the war and discuss the criteria for an exit strategy. Besides America and Afghanistan itself, the country that stands to be most directly affected by these next moves is Pakistan. Hassan Abbas, Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society and senior advisor at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, joins us to discuss our ongoing strategy.

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The Takeaway

The President's Coming Decision on Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he will soon announce his decision on our strategy in Afghanistan. When he says he intends to “finish the job,” what does he mean? Here to help us answer that is David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for our partner, The New York Times. And to help us see what the consequences of finishing the job will be are Charlie Sennott, executive editor and vice president of GlobalPost, and Nadir Atash, former Afghan government official and author of “Turbulence: The Tumultuous Journey of One Man's Quest for Change in Afghanistan

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The Takeaway

Challenges Await President Back Home

Thursday, November 19, 2009

President Barack Obama is finishing his trip in Asia and will soon return to unrest in the Senate over health care reform; pressures from all sides to decide whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan; and rising unemployment. All that and, to top it off – his job approval ratings are slipping, according to a new Quinnipiac survey. For an inside look at how Obama might be dealing with all of this, we talk with David Plouffe, president Obama’s campaign manager last year and the author of a new book, “The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory.”

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The Takeaway

Decades On, Thousands of Troops Still in South Korea

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When President Obama continues his week-long Asia trip today in South Korea, he’ll get a look at the long aftermath of the Korean War. There are still approximately 28,000 United States soldiers stationed in South Korea. That's about 12,00 fewer than six years ago. Joining us now to explain why there are still so many U.S. troops committed is Robert Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a correspondent for The Atlantic.

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The Takeaway

Chinese-Americans Watch President's Visit to China

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

President Obama met with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, today for talks that ran the gamut from climate change to Taiwan to global security. Residents of China watched Obama's visit carefully, as did many Chinese-Americans. Shirong Chen is the BBC's China editor; he joins us from London. We're also joined by members of different generations of Chinese-Americans for their take on how Obama did. David Zhang is an associate professor of pathology and oncological sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Jenny Jiang is a junior, studying marketing at the University of Pennsylvania.

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The Takeaway

In China, President Expected to Talk Currency

Monday, November 16, 2009

President Obama is in China today as part of a weeklong tour of Asian nations. When he meets with government officials, Obama is expected to ask China to revalue its currency. China has long pegged its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar, which means that when the dollar drops — as it did last week — the yuan does also. That ensures that Chinese-made goods remain consistently cheap when compared with American-made products. It's got American manufacturers and some economists up in arms.

For a look at whether or not the president has any bargaining power with the single largest holder of American debt, we turn to David Barboza, Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. Mary Kay Magistad, China correspondent for PRI's The World, has the latest on a town hall meeting that the President held with Chinese students.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda With Marcus Mabry and Jonathan Marcus

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marcus Mabry, international business editor for our partner The New York Times, and Jonathan Marcus, diplomatic correspondent for the BBC, take a look at the week ahead as President Barack Obama continues his trip through Asia, making stops in China and South Korea. They also examine what's ahead this week for health care reform, the start of Hamid Karzai's second term as president of Afghanistan, and the Republican Governors Association's annual conference.

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