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State Of The Union

The Takeaway

Today's Takeaway | February 11, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI to Resign | What Should Americans Be Worried About? | Secretary Napolitano Advocates for Drones on the Border, Despite Lagging Results | Chinese Explore New Perspectives on a Changed Country in the New Year | Six Word Memoirs: Love and Loss

Soundcheck

The State Of American Music Is _______.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Join us at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12 for a live warm-up conversation about the State of American Music.

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Schoolbook

Obama Praises Teachers and Calls for Mandatory Attendance

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Should students be required to remain in school until age 18? That was the one concrete proposal for K-12 students in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. The president, who focused his speech on "leveling the playing field" when it comes to taxes and economic policy, also had high praise for teachers and expressed his support for local authority in public education.

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Transportation Nation

State of the Union -- A Nod to the Auto Industry, and Cutting Construction Red Tape

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two nods to transportation in the State of the Union; to the auto industry, and cutting red tape.

Nothing like last year's SOTU, where the president promised to connect 80 percent of Americans to high speed rail by 2036 and to put a million electric vehicles on the roads.

For an analysis of all of Obama's speeches on infrastructure and transpo, click here.

Here are the relevant passages:

"On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse.  Some even said we should let it die.  With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen.  In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility.  We got workers and automakers to settle their differences.  We got the industry to retool and restructure.  Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker.  Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company.  Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories.  And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.   

"We bet on American workers.  We bet on American ingenuity.  And tonight, the American auto industry is back."

And this:

"Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure. So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges. A power grid that wastes too much energy. An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

"During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our States with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.

"In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home."

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The Takeaway

Obama's State of the Campaign Address

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday night’s state of the union address will be a prime-time assessment of the nation's policy, economy and infrastructure and a laundry list of Administration policy goals set for the future. It will also serve as the opening salvo to President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. To look at the State of the Union as prime time electioneering is Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

SOTU and Debates

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker magazine, talks about the Republican candidates, the president's speech and his New Yorker piece on post-post-partisanship.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tonight's State of the Union Address

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jonathan Capehart tells us what to expect from President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Tom Perriello on Progress and Action

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tom Perriello, former Congressman, discusses his new role as president and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the role of progressives in the 2012 elections and what he wants to hear from tomorrow's State of the Union address. 

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: State of the Union, State of the Economy

Monday, January 23, 2012

This week, President Obama delivers the State of the Union, then travels to five states that promise to be key battlegrounds for this year's election: Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan. As the President begins his swing state tour, Republican candidates will be setting up camp in Florida, preparing for two debates in the next primary state.

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Transportation Nation

INTERACTIVE CHART: From One State of the Union to the Next; A Shift from Building the New to Fixing the Old

Friday, January 20, 2012

President Obama began 2011 arguing in lofty terms for building 21st century infrastructure. He ended it pleading for the maintenance of our 20th century roads and bridges. Transportation Nation analyzed the number of times he mentioned various infrastructure-related words over the course of the year. As the chart shows, he shifted from regularly mentioning ambitious, long term projects like high-speed rail, to calling for repair of our roads and bridges as a means to spur construction jobs.

For a year in review of infrastructure and transportation policy extracted from this data, mouse over the chart month by month. Play with the chart to see how different issues trended over time. Here's the full dataset if you want to make your own charts, just credit us and let us know.

For more news and analysis on the world of transportation and infrastructure follow TransportNation on Twitter, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our RSS feed.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

We Want Your Stories! State of the Union and Story Pirates

Friday, January 06, 2012

»» Tickets Available! Buy tickets for our State of the Union watching party on January 24th

Once again, It's A Free Country, the Brian Lehrer Show, and the Story Pirates are teaming up for our State of the Union watching party. Sam Reiff-Pasarew of the Story Pirates discusses the work they do, and how you and your kids can get involved in writing stories that will be performed at our State of the Union party on January 24th. More information below.

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It's A Free Country ®

Story Pirates Ask: What Would You Say at the 2012 State of the Union?

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Submission Deadline Has Passed. The Story Pirates will contact those whose stories they would like to include. Thanks for all your entries - we'll see you on the 24th!

»» Tickets Available! State of the Union watching party on January 24th

Once again, It's A Free Country is teaming with the Story Pirates for our State of the Union viewing party. The event is Tuesday, January 24th in WNYC's The Greene Space - stay tuned for ticket information.

The Story Pirates work with kids to write stories, then turn them into plays and musicals. Here are last year's results.

This year we're asking both kids and adults to answer the question:

If you were giving the 2012 State of the Union speech, what would you tell the country?

Parents, have your kids write their answer to the question. Teachers, work with your students. And adults, if you were standing at the podium, tell us what you'd say.

Submit your story in the form below. The deadline is midnight on Sunday, January 15th.

The Washington Report

WQXR's The Washington Report

Monday, February 07, 2011

NYT's David Sanger weighs in on the protests in Egypt and what's next for the U.S. Congress.

Transportation Nation

Interstate of the Union

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) This was the second year in a row that high-speed rail got a prominent place in the State of the Union -- but it got tepid applause. Is America finally ready to support it? Or is it still too politically controversial? Transportation Nation's Andrea Bernstein talked about this on today's Brian Lehrer Show. Listen below!

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Interstate of the Union

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Andrea Bernstein, WNYC reporter and director of the "Transportation Nation" blog, talks about Obama's plans for transport as laid out in the State of the Union address.

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It's A Free Blog

Obama's Silence on Guantanamo

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

WNYC

In the week since the State of the Union, it seems we analyst-types have dissected every word; but perhaps as many people have taken the President to task for words not spoken: poverty, race, gun control.

For me, there were two more words noticeably absent: Guantanamo Bay.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Mix: From Washington To Cairo

Friday, January 28, 2011

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable clips from this week's news and mix 'em up. Remember the State of the Union address? This week felt like it was split in two - pre- and post-game for President Obama's big speech; and then all attention turned to the Middle East, where pro-democracy protests spread from Tunisia to Yemen and then, on Friday, rocked the streets of Egypt.

The Mix reflects this week's two halves, with clips from our coverage of the State of the Union followed by the reaction to the Arab protests from Hillary Clinton; Yemeni blogger Walid Al-Saqaf offering a word of caution;Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign relations talking about the implications of Egypt's protests; and write Mona Eltahawy with an optimistic view of the spread of democracy.

[beats from Sabzi and J. Cole]

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It's A Free Blog

Will Obama Keep His Word on a Government that Lives Within Its Means?

Friday, January 28, 2011

WNYC

The president offered some straight talk during his State of the Union address on the relationship between our deficit, long-term debt problems and social welfare spending. He admitted that there would have to be sacrifices to bring our deficits under control, and that only working on non-military discretionary spending barely scratches the surface of the issue.

But what do the American people want to do about this? Normally you could just look at public opinion polling, but in this case, most polls are asking the wrong questions.

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It's A Free Country ®

Closing Tax Loopholes: Obama's Best Shot?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

By all measures, President Obama began his 2012 campaign on Tuesday night. He used big numbers—not just ones with dollar signs attached, but ones that exist only in imaginations: 2035. 2020. 2015. The thinking was grand, the planning long-term, the rhetoric Sputnik-ed.

And yet, one of the president’s proposals in his State of the Union address was all about the fine print: closing tax loopholes. Absent from the speech was a broad-stroke promise to raise or lower taxes. The closest Obama came to doing so was a thinly-veiled threat to eventually let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, this after agreeing to extend them only last month.

Regardless of what happens to the top tax bracket, focusing on tax loopholes is a shrewd move politically, particularly with the president’s 2012 reelection campaign now in view. It realigns the tax debate on the minutiae of the federal code, getting away from the same old tax-versus-spend back and forth.

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