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The Takeaway

Party, Politicians Sliding Along Political Spectrum

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It has been a successful primary season thus far for The Tea Party, especially with a surprising victory for Christine O'Donnell over former two-term governor and nine-term Congressman, Mike Castle, to win the Republican nomination for the Senate race in Delaware, Tuesday night.

What do these Tea Party wins mean for the Republican Party, and is the GOP shifting on the political spectrum?

Kate Zernike is a reporter for The New York Times, and the author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America.

We also want to know from you: Are you moving along the political spectrum this election season? Are you finding yourself moving further left or further right this year? Let us know in the comments or text it to 69866 with the word TAKE.

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The Takeaway

Is the Tea Party Pulling the GOP Too Far Right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Today we consider the conversation happening between the Tea Party and the GOP to see if the two groups can converge on the same page. Delaware resident and leader of the Diamond State Tea Party Kevin Street joins us from the Tea Party. Conservative political journalist and blogger Reihan Salam, of the National Review, considers the fall implications for the GOP.

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The Takeaway

Tea and Taxes in Delaware's Senate Primary

Monday, September 13, 2010

As one of the last states to hold primary elections, Delaware has been the focus of a lot of national political attention. In a recent interview with Fox's Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin flexed her political clout and officially endorsed Tea Party Express-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell.  But what does a Palin endorsement mean for GOP Rep. Mike Castle, the veteran Congressman and former Delaware governor, as he bids for the same senate nomination? 

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It's A Free Country ®

Bullhorn: Goodbye to Summer, Hello to Pundit Echo Chamber

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I tried to bid an official farewell to summer with a dip in the waters at my favorite spot off the Jersey Shore (the place, not the TV show), but swimming was restricted, such were the riptide conditions left over from the hurricane that just skidded past us a few days ago.

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WNYC News

Wall Street Backs Republican Candidates

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wall Street is betting on Republican candidates this election season.  

"Around January, Feburary of this current year, there was a major major shift," said Dave Levinthal, editor of the Open Secrets blog for the Center on Responsive Politics, which analyzes political contributions. "It was a dramatic shift that coincided with financial reform."

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The Takeaway

Alaska Loses Iconic Lawmaker, Ted Stevens in Plane Crash

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alaska lost its iconic lawmaker, Ted Stevens, in a plane crash on Monday night. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican senator in history and served six terms in the U.S. Senate. The former senator lost his re-election bid in 2008, after he was convicted on corruption charges. The charges against Stevens were later dropped at the request of United States Attorney General Eric Holder, who found prosecutorial misconduct during Stevens’ trial.

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The Takeaway

Senate Votes on DISCLOSE Act

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Senate will vote today on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill already approved by the House, that would require corporations to disclose their spending on federal political campaigns and to reveal their identities in any political ads they fund. The bill is being seen as the Democrats' answer to the Supreme Courts's ruling on the Citizens United case, which allowed big corporations, domestic and foreign, to spend unlimited amounts of money on American elections.

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The Takeaway

Bush's Tax Cuts: Not Going Away Without a Fight

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Remember President George W. Bush's tax cuts back in 2001 and 2003, which were met with much hatred by Democrats? Well, those tax cuts are about to expire. However, this is not necessarily good news for Democrats. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, sees Democrats somewhere in between a rock and a hard place. They can't easily allow taxes to go back up when the economy is still struggling; at the same time, they can't watch the deficit continue to rise if the cuts stay. To make things more complicated, these tax cut decisions need to be made during an election year.

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WQXR News

New York GOP Says Dems Must Disclose More Details of State Budget Proposal

Friday, July 09, 2010

The New York state legislature is on hiatus for at least a couple of weeks, and the state budget remains unfinished.

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Transportation Nation

Senate May Drop Key Tax Credit For Biodiesel Industry

Thursday, June 24, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation)  The nation's truckers aren’t likely to start pumping biodiesel any time soon, by the looks of the United States Senate.  That’s because the resurrection of a big biodiesel tax credit is poised to fall victim to a larger tax and jobs bill, which failed tonight on the Senate floor.

The credit is worth $868 million over ten years to refiners who blend biofuel from soybeans, animal fats, restaurant waste oil and other sources into traditional, petroleum-based diesel.  Refiners get a one-dollar tax credit for every gallon they blend, and the savings generally go to making biodiesel more competitive with standard diesel at the pump.

Congress has extended the credit for the last few years, and it still enjoys strong support from both parties. But partisan disagreement over a broader package of tax provisions and unemployment benefits ended the credit.  At least for the time being.

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Transportation Nation

Senators Now Crossing the Aisle for Electric Car

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) Lawmakers are hoping for a chance to give the electric car a jolt in the Senate’s upcoming energy bill.

A bipartisan group of senators are pushing a new round of incentives and cash designed to speed development of long-range batteries and plug-in stations that could finally start to push the US transportation fleet away from fossil fuels.

No one expects it to happen quickly. Most lawmakers and experts expect it will take decades before a significant proportion of Americans are driving plug-in hybrids or electric cars.

The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010 throws $1.5 billion in research and development grants to high-tech battery firms.

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WQXR News

GOP Delegates Select Lazio for Governor

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Delegates at the New York State Republican Convention rebuffed Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy in his bid to get on the September Republican primary ballot to challenge former Congressman Rick Lazio.

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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

Takeouts: Kagan Draws Crowds on the Capitol, Canadiens upset the Penguins in NHL Playoffs

Thursday, May 13, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT: Elena Kagan paid her first visit to Congress as Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court yesterday. She met with some of the Senators who will help decide her fate. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich tells us about this "senatorial version of speed dating."
  • SPORTS TAKEOUT: Ibrahim Abdul Matin recaps an exciting game seven upset in the NHL conference semifinals last night, when the Montreal Canadiens upset the Pittsburgh Penguins to continue their Cinderella streak through the playoffs.

(You can follow Todd on Twitter @Todd_Zwillich)

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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

Is the Tea Party Defining the Future of the GOP?

Friday, March 26, 2010

For the past year, conservatives have coalesced around the number one enemy: health care reform. But now that it's over, we explore what’s next for the GOP. The Tea Party Express III kicks off this weekend and some wonder if that's the future of the Republican party. Is it still possible to be a moderate Republican?


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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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