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President Barack Obama

The Takeaway

The President's Summer To-Do List

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

President Obama's press conference yesterday touched on a lot of issues facing the nation. To help recap the highlights of the speech and forecast what challenges the President will face in the coming months we turn to The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich and Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner.

In case you missed the speech, here it is:

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The Takeaway

Partners: Obama Will Extend Same-Sex Benefits

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum today to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees as far as allowed under the Defense of Marriage Act. It's a surprise move that comes as the president faces criticism from several gay rights leaders over what they suggest has been a failure to live up to campaign promises in the first months of his presidency. For more on what the memorandum might provide, we're joined by Politico's Ben Smith.

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The Takeaway

Obama's Speech: Reaction in the Arab Press

Friday, June 05, 2009

President Obama received a standing ovation after his speech yesterday in Cairo calling for a “new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world. But was the response around the Muslim world as enthusiastic? Asra Nomani, a Professor of Journalism at Georgetown University, and Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian journalist who writes for the International Herald Tribune, join The Takeaway to take a look at what the Arab press is saying about the speech.

The video below shows a reaction from the Al Jazeera network.

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The Takeaway

Muslims React to Obama's Cairo speech

Thursday, June 04, 2009

There are more than seven million Muslims in the United States, and they overwhelming supported President Obama in the election. To learn about what they anticipated, and what they heard, in today's speech, John and Andrea talk with Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, a Takeaway contributor, Hanien Hassan Hannesy, a resident of Egypt, and Asra Nomani, journalism professor at Georgetown University and author of Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam. Peter Awn, director of the Middle East studies program at Columbia University, is also offering commentary.

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The Takeaway

Obama and the Saudis' Mideast Peace Plan

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In 2002, Saudi King Abdullah proposed a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian territories. In exchange for peace with the Arab world, Israel would withdraw from the occupied territories and a Palestinian state would be established. Harvard Law Professor and author of "The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State," Noah Feldman joins The Takeaway for a look at what parts of the so-called Arab Peace Initiative the Obama administration is likely to embrace.

"President Bush was so heavily criticized, regionally and globally for not paying attention to the Middle East, that President Obama has to engage even though his advisers and people in the region all know that the odds of success right now are extremely low."

— Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman

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The Takeaway

A New Hope for Middle East Peace?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Today, President Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the first time since either leader took office. On the agenda will likely be whether Mr. Netanyahu will accept the idea of an independent Palestinian state and how the U.S. and Israel could work together to combat Iran's nuclear threat. Joining The Takeaway is Aaron David Miller, former adviser on the Middle East to both Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State, and the author of The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.
"The media has portrayed this meeting as a meeting between President Yes-We-Can and Prime Minister No-You-Won't. And that notion that we're headed for a confrontation seems to me, provides the background for this meeting."
—Former Middle East adviser Aaron David Miller on Obama's meeting with Netanyahu

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The Takeaway

War in Washington: Budgets and the Supreme Court

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The budget battle is heating up in Washington when House Democrats unveiled a $94.2 billion wartime spending bill yesterday that adds $9.3 billion to White House requests. But the bill also challenges some of President Obama's priorities, especially his plans for closing Guantanamo within a year. Other battle lines are being drawn, too. President Obama has already begun calling senators who will play key roles in the confirmation process of whoever he nominates to replace retiring Justice David Souter. President Obama has said he would like the new justice seated by early October.

To help us map the battle plans, we turn to The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. Also joining the conversation is Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America.

Jeffrey Rosen has started publishing a series of reports in The New Republic about the strengths and weaknesses of the leading candidates on Barack Obama's Supreme Court shortlist. Up first, The Case Against Sotomayor.

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The Takeaway

Voters assess President Obama's first 100 days

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To assess President Obama’s first 100 days, we’re going to the experts—the men and women who thought long and hard about his qualifications: the voters. We’re checking back in with the folks who joined us throughout the election season for a performance review on the man they did—and didn't— cast a ballot for.

Also joining the conversation is our friend, behavioral economist Dan Ariely. Ariely will talk us through what the next 100 days should entail.

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The Takeaway

100 ways to spend 100 days

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Barack Obama has been President for exactly 100 days, today. It's a milestone that every political site has been counting down to...but why? The Takeaway does you a public service, and shares with you the OTHER things that you can do in 100 days.

For example:
•You can grow a new lion or a leopard. They have gestation periods of just around 100 days.
•Grape juice can be made into wine in as little as 100 days.
•Warranty on a BamBooBat is 100 days.
•You could sail around the world just over 71.5 days, leaving time to recover from seasickness.
•Average waiting time for a lung transplant is 100 days.
•You can train with the Japanese Marathon Monks -- known as Kaihigyo, are spiritual athletes from the Tendai Sect of Buddhism, based at Mount Hiei, which overlooks the ancient capital city of Kyoto. The monks run 40km per day for 100 consecutive days.

To see what President Obama did with his first 100 days in office, the BBC World Service has put together an overview, 100 Days in 100 seconds.

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The Takeaway

Paul Krugman on President Obama's first hundred days

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the brink of his first hundred days in office, President Obama has tackled the economic crisis head on. But how would a Nobel Prize winning economist grade his performance? Paul Krugman joins The Takeaway with his analysis of the President's performance on the economy. Mr. Krugman is a Princeton University economics and international affairs professor, 2008 Nobel Prize winner, and columnist at our partner The New York Times.

Want to hear a song about Paul Krugman? Of course you do!

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The Takeaway

New poll shows President has improved race relations in U.S.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

After President Obama was elected there was much speculation over how his election would affect race relations here in the United States. Already, just one day shy of his 100th day in office, a new poll out by CBS and our partner The New York Times reports that Americans are seeing a big difference in race relations. Sheryl Gay Stolberg is the White House Correspondent for the New York Times and she joins The Takeaway with a report on the new poll.

For more on this story, read Sheryl Gay Stolberg's article, Obama Is Nudging Views on Race, a Survey Finds, and find complete poll results on nytimes.com.

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The Takeaway

This week's agenda with Marcus Mabry

Monday, April 27, 2009

It’s Monday, and time for our weekly agenda segment—a look ahead at important events of the next five days. This week New York Times International Business Editor Marcus Mabry examines some of the tests President Obama will face as he reaches the 100-day mark of his presidency on Wednesday. Among them: On Monday the Administration will push Congress to pass a budget resolution. On Tuesday the World Health Organization will decide whether to raise the flu outbreak alert level. And on Wednesday, figures on the GDP for the first quarter will be released.

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The Takeaway

A focus on regulating the credit card industry

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"More regulation" is the magic phrase some claim is needed to prevent another economic meltdown. It looks like the credit card industry may be the leading front of that new regulation. Today, lawmakers in the U.S. House are working on a bill that would curb some practices that consumer advocates consider the most egregious, like arbitrarily raising interest rates. On Thursday, President Obama is meeting with the heads of the credit card divisions of 14 major banks, and it's widely thought that the he will express his support for the legislation. Anya Kamenetz, a staff writer at Fast Company magazine and the author of Generation Debt joins The Takeaway with a look at what new regulation we can expect for credit card companies, and what that will mean for borrowers.
"This is really about getting you in over your head, making sure that you are paying off more and more every month. And the easy availability of credit from the time that people are starting their freshman year of college, I think it does start a pattern quite a lot."
—Anya Kamenetz of Fast Company Magazine on the cycle of credit and debt

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The Takeaway

President Obama, Operative in Chief, visits the CIA

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yesterday President Obama visited the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia and delivered a message of reassurance and renewal. His speech at the CIA came in the wake of his administration's release of the so-called torture memos. Those documents detailed the "enhanced interrogations techniques" that CIA operatives used to extract information from purported al Qaida operatives. The Obama administration has said these techniques might constitute illegal torture. In his speech, President Obama joined CIA Director Leon Panetta in telling the CIA that they supported them in their mission, but waterboarding and other harsh tactics devalues their work and America’s moral standing in the world. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the CIA's reaction to the President's words is Art Keller, a former CIA case officer.

Miss the President's speech at Langley? Here it is:

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The Takeaway

This week's agenda with Marcus Mabry and Julie Mason

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Monday and we are asking our guests to peer into their crystal balls and foresee this week's agenda. This week Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner, and New York Times' International Business Editor Marcus Mabry, look at President Obama in Latin America, the fallout of the CIA torture memos, bank earnings, and the legacy of the school shooting at Columbine High School.
"Banks are pretty darn healthy. The quarterly earnings are coming out pretty good. Everyone's exceeding endless expectations in the banks."
—Marcus Mabry of the New York Times on the status of banks after the bailout

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The Takeaway

President Obama in Mexico

Friday, April 17, 2009

President Obama landed in Mexico City yesterday, pledging his support to help President Calderon and the Mexican government in its fight against the drug cartels that have ravaged the country. The outburst of crime, turf wars and shootouts killed over 6,000 people last year. Though drug violence tops the agenda, Presidents Obama and Calderon will also discuss energy, the economy and immigration. Later today President Obama will continue the conversation when he heads to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas. For a look at how President Obama’s visit to our northern neighbor is defining U.S. foreign policy we are joined by Andres Martinez. He is the Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Fellows Program for the New America Foundation.

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The Takeaway

The tax man takes Capitol Hill

Thursday, April 16, 2009

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden released their 2008 tax returns last night. President Obama paid $855,323 in federal taxes on a combined household income of $2,656,902. In a press conference yesterday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained President Obama's hefty return as being due to his book royalties. More surprising perhaps is that Joe Biden appears to be the poorest Senator. Biden's tax return showed only $269,256 and paid $46,952 in federally taxes. Our man on Capitol Hill, Todd Zwillich, joins us with a look at the bounty of public disclosures yesterday.

Our partners The New York Times have all 67-pages of the Obamas' tax return. Click here.

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The Takeaway

President Obama's Turkish appeal

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

President Obama is on his second full day of his visit to Turkey. He finished his trip with a town hall meeting with students and an appeal to Turkish youth. The President said he understands the frustrations felt in the Muslim world about some of America's actions and that he wants to turn the page. So how are Turks reacting to the new President? Are they ready to turn the page and renew ties with America? To help answer that question, we are joined by journalist Asli Aydintasbas, who wrote an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times, and Jeff McAllister, BBC political commentator.

For more, read Asli Aydintasbas' op-ed piece, Turkey in Full in the New York Times.

Here is Al-Jazeera's report on the protests that greeted President Obama's visit to Turkey:

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The Takeaway

President Obama revitalizes ties with Turkey during two-day tour

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It is the second full day of President Obama's visit to Turkey, the last stop on an eight-day European tour that included stops at the G-20 summit and the NATO 60th anniversary meeting. He is wrapping up his visit with an appeal to Turkish youth a town hall-style meeting. But arguably the most important thing President Obama did on his trip was his visit to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul today. The Blue Mosque is of huge symbolic value and religious importance to the Islamic world, having survived for through hundreds of years of upheaval in the region. His visit to Turkey is seen as an attempt to renew a flagging relationship with an important Islamic ally, so what does President Obama's action symbolize? We go to Istanbul for the answer with Turkish journalist, Mithat Bereket, formerly of CNN Turkey who is now on Pusula-TV, a private television station.

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The Takeaway

President Obama: King of all media

Monday, March 23, 2009

He’s the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show. He’s been on the cover of GQ and Vanity Fair. His weekly “radio” address airs on YouTube and his emails are still going out regularly to supporters. President Obama is using the media in a way no president ever has. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of Presidents Creating the Presidency, joins John with an analysis of how the President's communication strategy is working.

"Part of the role is functioning as educator-in-chief, explaining to the public what the challenges are and how we're going to get the solution. Mobilizing the public to endorse presidential action is as much a part of the job as taking presidential action."
—Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-author of Presidents Creating the Presidency, on Obama's recent media appearances

Obama's most recent media appearance was on 60 Minutes last night. The first part of that interview is below.

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