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February 06 2014

07:31

Larry Summers’s Stagnation Warning

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is warning of deep economic stagnation, or “secular stagnation.” He’ll explain, plus his thoughts on the debt and deficit, income inequality, Bill Gates and more.

Larry Summers (Courtesy Larry Summers)

Larry Summers (Courtesy Larry Summers)

Guests

Larry Summers, former U.S.  Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton, former director of the White House National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, professor and former President of Harvard University. (@LHSummers)

From Tom’s Reading List

New Yorker: Is Larry Summers Right About “Secular Stagnation”? — “The argument that the economy is currently being held back by inadequate demand isn’t controversial—at least, it shouldn’t be. Since the recovery began, in the summer of 2009, G.D.P. has expanded at an annual rate of just two per cent, which is pretty feeble compared to previous recoveries. This weak growth reflects the decisions, by households and firms, to economize on their expenditures in the wake of a big asset-price bust; at the same time, the government (federal, state, and municipal taken together) has also been trimming budgets and laying people off, after an initial burst of spending during the Obama stimulus. ”

Washington Post: Strategies for Sustainable Growth – “The challenge of secular stagnation, then, is not just to achieve reasonable growth but to do so in a financially sustainable way. There are, essentially, three approaches. The first would emphasize what is seen as the economy’s deep supply-side fundamentals: the skills of the workforce, companies’ capacity for innovation, structural tax reform and ensuring the sustainability of entitlement programs. ”

Wall Street Journal: The Economic Hokum of ‘Secular Stagnation’ — “There are many problems with this neo-secular stagnation hypothesis. First, it implies that there should have been slack economic conditions and high unemployment in the five years before the crisis, even with the very low interest rates—especially in 2003-05—and the lax regulatory policy.”

January 31 2014

08:41

Week In The News: Southern Freeze, State Of The Union, So Long Bernanke

A southern deep freeze. State of the Union. Bye, bye, Ben Bernanke. Our weekly news roundtable goes beyond the headlines.

In this aerial view looking at I-75 north at Mt. Paran Rd., abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (AP)

In this aerial view looking at I-75 north at Mt. Paran Rd., abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta’s snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people.  (AP)

Guests

David Wessel, director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. Contributing correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.  (@davidmwessel)

Kelly O’Donnell, Congressional correspondent for NBC News. (@KellyO)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Interstate-clearing focus turns over 2,000 abandoned cars — “More than 2,000 cars still left abandoned on metro Atlanta interstates as of Wednesday evening, and with road conditions now passable city-wide, state officials were turning their focus Thursday to getting those cars safely off the roads.”

Reuters: Households, trade keep U.S. economy humming in fourth quarter – “Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, in line with economists’ expectations. While that was a slowdown from the third-quarter’s brisk 4.1 percent pace, it was a far stronger performance than had been anticipated earlier in the quarter and welcome news in light of some drag from October’s partial government shutdown.”

The Economist: Praying for peace — “Only  a few weeks ago the dismissal of the Ukrainian government by President Viktor Yanukovych and his offer to appoint an opposition leader as the country’s new prime minister would have had an electric effect. It would have been cheered by protesters on Kiev’s Independence Square (the Maidan) as an important victory. It might even have persuaded them to unblock the roads in the capital. Not any more. On January 28th Mr Yanukovych at last surrendered Nikolai Azarov, a long-serving but ineffectual prime minister. But that was met with a shrug of the shoulders by those manning the barricades in Kiev. “

January 29 2014

06:42

State Of The Union And The State Of The Obama Presidency

We’ll dive into President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Analysis — and where the President stands — with Riehan Salam, Kristen Welker and Amy Davidson.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address in front of the joint session of the U.S. Congress on Jan. 28, 2014. (AP)

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address in front of the joint session of the U.S. Congress on Jan. 28, 2014. (AP)

Guests

Amy Davidson, senior editor at The New Yorker. (@tnycloseread)

Reihan Salam, writer for National Review and Reuters Opinion. Co-author of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” (@reihan)

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent. (@kwelkerNBC)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Obama to Press for ‘Year of Action’ – “The speech repackages many of the policy proposals Mr. Obama has so far failed to achieve, including infrastructure projects, early childhood education programs and plans for making college more affordable. He’s also renewing calls on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, covering all U.S. workers, and pass an overhaul of the immigration system.”

New York Times: Obama Taking Up Economic Issues on His Authority – “Promising ‘a year of action’ as he tries to rejuvenate a presidency mired in low approval ratings and stymied by partisan stalemates, Mr. Obama used his annual State of the Union address to chart a new path forward relying on his own executive authority. But the defiant, go-it-alone approach was more assertive than any of the individual policies he advanced.”

Washington Post: Obama prepared to avoid Congress, go it alone on carrying out modest initiatives – “For the first time since taking office, Obama spoke to Congress on Tuesday evening from a clear position of confrontation. The areas he identified for possible cooperation with a divided Congress have shrunk, leaving an agenda filled out by a growing number of modest initiatives that he intends to carry out alone.”

January 20 2014

07:10

More Iran Sanctions: Leverage, Or ‘A Path To War’?

As a new nuclear deal goes into effect with Iran, a growing number of US Senators call for still tougher sanctions. The White House says that’s the path to war.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, arrives at the 27th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, arrives at the 27th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP)

Guests

Robin Wright, journalist and author, distinguished scholar at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” “The Iran Primer: Power Politics and U.S. Policy” and “The Islamists are Coming: Who They Really Are.” (@wrightr)

Peter Beinart, contributing editor at The Atlantic and The National Journal. Associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York. Author of “The Crisis Of Zionism,” “The Good Fight: Why Liberals — And Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again” and “The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris.” (@PeterBeinart)

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Co-chair of the project on U.S. Middle east Non-Proliferation Strategy. Co-author of nine studies on economic sanctions against Iran. (@dubo1968)

From Tom’s Reading List

TIME: A New Beginning In Tehran — “Since President Hassan Rouhani’s upset victory in last summer’s election, Iran has been consumed with a strategic recalibration. The signing of the short-term nuclear deal in November, which diplomats will spend the next six months trying to turn into an enduring pact, generated tangible change in Iran’s relations with the world. And among ordinary Iranians, it’s no longer off-limits to talk openly about eventual reconciliation with a country long known as the Great Satan.”

Haaretz: U.S. Senate sanctions bill is all about torpedoing a nuclear deal with Iran — “Even if a reasonable time frame were specified, there’s a bigger problem. By insisting that Obama certify an end to Iranian missile tests and support for terrorism, Menendez and company are insisting that a final deal cover subjects it was never meant to cover. The interim agreement makes clear that the sole goal of current negotiations is to “ensure [that] Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful.”

Wall Street Journal: A Bad Agreement Likely to Get Worse — “In the absence of verifiable Iranian commitments not to proceed with nuclear-weapon and ballistic-missile research, there is nothing to stop Iran from having a designed bomb and ballistic missile ready to go. Once Iran completes a dash to weapons-grade uranium, it can insert the warhead and quickly have a deliverable nuclear weapon.”

January 16 2014

07:01

NSA Reform And Resistance

Reforming the NSA. The President prepares to speak. The whole world is waiting to hear. We’ll go to Washington, Silicon Valley and beyond.

The cover story of the February 2014 issue of

The cover story of the February 2014 issue of “WIRED” (shown here) focuses on how NSA push back nearly “killed” public trust in technology. (courtesy WIRED Magazine)

Guests

Siobhan Gorman, terrorism, counter-terrorism and intelligence reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Steven Levy, senior staffwriter for Wired. Author of “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives” and “Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy In the Digital Age.” (@StevenLevy)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wired: How The N.S.A. Almost Killed The Internet — “If the net were seen as a means of widespread surveillance, the resulting paranoia might affect the way people used it. Nations outraged at US intelligence-gathering practices used the disclosures to justify a push to require data generated in their countries to remain there, where it could not easily be hoovered by American spies. Implementing such a scheme could balkanize the web, destroying its open essence and dramatically raising the cost of doing business. Silicon Valley was reeling, collateral damage in the war on terror. And it was only going to get worse.”

The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Debate Overhauls to NSA Spying Programs — “The divide Tuesday on Capitol Hill—over just how far changes should go—raises the stakes for President Barack Obama as he prepares a Friday morning speech on his response to a domestic and international furor over disclosures by former NSA contractorEdward Snowden about U.S. surveillance practices. While Mr. Obama isn’t obligated to accept any of his review panel’s recommendations, its report has defined the range of potential changes. Mr. Obama now is in the position of accepting or rejecting each of the recommendations and explaining his decisions to sharply opposed camps.”

National Journal: NSA Unleashed, Obama Tells Public, ‘Trust Me’ — “Nearly six months ago, President Obama sought to temper outrage over the nation’s mushrooming surveillance programs by pledging new steps to balance privacy and safety. ‘It’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs,’ he said. ‘The American people need to have confidence in them as well.’ In other words, no government, not even one led by a liberal constitutional lawyer, can shield bad policies with empty promises. It’s not enough to say, ‘Trust us,’ while curbing sacred liberties — and yet that still appears to be Obama’s position.”

January 10 2014

07:11

Week In The News: Polar Vortex, Christie’s ‘Bridge Gate’ And Al Qaeda In Iraq

Polar vortex. Chris Christie and “Bridge Gate.” Al Qaeda in Iraq. Dennis Rodman in North Korea. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie’s second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn’t endorse Christie for re-election. (AP)

Guests

Margaret Brennan, CBS News State Department correspondent. (@margbrennan)

Charles Babington, Associated Press Congressional and political reporter. (@cbabington)

Jack Beatty, On Point News analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Leverage in Iraq Tested As Fears of Civil War Mount — “Iraq’s Shiite-led government paused on Wednesday on the brink of a military assault against al Qaeda-linked Sunni militants that posed the risk of exacting a high civilian toll and plunging the country deeper into sectarian conflict. Senior U.S. officials, including Vice President Joseph Biden, have urged Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to secure the support of local Sunni leaders before attacking to drive the extremists from Fallujah, which sits in the heartland of Iraq’s Sunni minority. Many Sunni tribal leaders, alienated and angered by Mr. Maliki, have refused.”

WNYC: N.J. Gov. Christie Faces Traffic Jam Scandal — “Uncovered emails and text messages link Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to a scandal involving the closing of lanes leading to the country’s most traveled bridge. It snarled traffic for days. The emails add evidence to claims from state Democrats that the closure was political retribution for a mayor who did not endorse Christie for re-election.”

Washington Post: A Deep Dive Into the Polar Vortex — “The polar vortex is really just a large air mass that is extremely cold (temperatures fall below -78C, or -108F, during the Northern Hemisphere winter). This concentrated area of cold is encircled by a fast-flowing river of air called the polar night jet. Basically, the jet – with its swiftly moving air current – traps the vortex over and near the poles, north and south.”

December 27 2013

09:01

Week In The News: 2013 In Review

Our weekly news roundtable –live and lively–in the studio looks back over a whole year, 2013.

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.  (AP)

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. (@ktumulty)

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: White House Tries to Prevent Judge From Ruling on Surveillance Efforts –”The government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.”

Washington Post: Republicans reassess after shutdown debacle — “The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partners. And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.”

Boston Globe: The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev — “Federal investigators have suspected that Tamerlan, the 26-year-old boxer from southern Russia who is believed, along with his brother, to have set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs in April, was motivated, if not deliberately directed, by real life jihadist revolutionaries on the other side of the globe. But an investigation by the Boston Globe suggests that Tamerlan was in the perilous grip of someone far more menacing: himself.”

December 02 2013

15:00

Taking Stock Of HealthCare.gov

Healthcare.gov. It’s December. We’ll look at what’s working, what’s not, and the path now for health care reform.

Victory declared this weekend by the Obama administration in rescuing HealthCare.gov from its calamitous debut.  Critics compared it to George W. Bush’s derided “Mission Accomplished” claim in Iraq.  The website that barely breathed when the Affordable Care Act was rolled out October 1 is now said to be capable of handling 50,000 users at a time.  Small change in the world of cyber-Monday shopping.  A big deal if it ushers millions of Americans into new health care coverage.  The battle is still on. This hour On Point:  HealthCare.gov and health care reform, two months in.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Noam Levey, national healthcare reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)

Dan Schuyler, director at Leavitt Partners, a health-care intelligence business. Former director of technology for the Utah Health Insurance Exchange. (@dschuyler)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), member of Congress representing Tennessee’s seventh district. (@MarshaBlackburn)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), member of Congress representing Maryland’s eight district. (@ChrisVanHollen)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama — “The website, which the administration promised would ‘function smoothly’ for most people by Nov. 30, remains a work in progress. It is more stable, with many more people able to use it simultaneously than just two weeks ago. But it still suffers sporadic crashes, and large parts of the vital ‘back end’ that processes enrollment data and transactions with insurers remain unbuilt. The president, who polls showed was now viewed by a majority of Americans as not trustworthy, has conceded that he needs to ‘win back’ his credibility.”

Wall Street Journal: Insurers Seek to Bypass Health Site — “Federal officials said they had largely succeeded in repairing parts of the site that had most snarled users in the two months since its troubled launch, but acknowledged they only had begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system’s ability to verify users’ identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers. One of the leading states operating its own exchange is considering ways to decouple itself from the federal infrastructure it relies on to confirm residents’ eligibility for federal tax credits. That technology has been affected by planned and unplanned outages.”

Los Angeles Times: Major health website bugs fixed, officials say, but more work needed — “Reporting on its attempts to improve the HealthCare.gov portal, officials said that Web pages on the site now loaded in less than one second, down from eight seconds in late October. The system now operates more than 90% of the time, up from 40% during some weeks in October. The average rate of timeouts or other Web page failures has dropped to less than 1%. It was as high as 6% in October.”

November 25 2013

10:25

‘Historic’ Deal Reached In Iranian Nuclear Talks

Historic nuclear dealer reached with Iran. There are vast implications. We’ll have world-wide reaction.

Guests

Laurence Norman, deputy Brussels bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. (@laurnorman)

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, director of the Middle East Studies Program at Syracuse University, president of the International Society of Iranian Studies.

David IgnatiusWashington Post columnist covering foreign affairs. Author of “Bloodmoney.” (@IgnatiusPost)

Emily Landau, senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, director of the INSS’ Arms Control and Regional Security Project. Author of “Arms Control in the Middle East: Cooperative Security Dialogue and Regional Constraints

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Major Powers Reach Deal With Iran To Freeze Nuclear Program –”Iran will gain relief from Western economic sanctions that U.S. officials believe will provide between $6 billion and $7 billion in badly needed foreign exchange for Tehran over the next half-year. The agreement reached in Geneva is an interim deal for about six months that will allow international powers to try to strike a permanent pact, an effort experts said would be the true test of Iran’s new government, headed by revitalization-minded President Hasan Rouhani.”

Washington Post: Backstage brawl over a deal – “As the Iran deal has taken shape, a backstage brawl is developing with Israel and Saudi Arabia, two countries crucially affected by the deal. The unrelenting attacks on the agreement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which are the culmination of four years of mistrust between him and President Obama, are rumbling the bedrock of the U.S.-Israeli relationship — a consequence neither country wants.”

The Economist: Modest, but still historic –”The deal struck this weekend is not yet even the beginning of the end of the danger to the world posed by the possible (actually probable) military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. It is a modest first step and there is still an awful lot that could go wrong: in particular, there are irreconcilables on all sides who might prefer that it did. Nor can Iran ever be fully defanged unless and until its leaders believe that it is in their best interests for that to happen—and that is still a long way off. But compared with the situation just a few months ago, what happened in Geneva is extraordinary and does properly deserve to be described as ‘historic.’”

November 15 2013

15:00

Week In The News: Typhoon Recovery, Obamacare Reversal, Iranian Stalemate

Typhoon tragedy.  Obamacare reversal. New guidelines for statins. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Big news on health reform this week.  President Obama stands down on a hot portion of Obamacare.  The “you can keep your coverage” promise will be kept, for a while.  It’s a reversal.  And knives are out for more.  In the Philippines, an epic typhoon leaves devastation so deep that relief is hard to deliver, even when it comes.  Now it’s hunger and thirst.  We’ve got Janet Yellen lining up to be Fed chief.  John Boehner saying no to big immigration reform.  Heat over nuclear talks with Iran.  A giant airline merger.  And Amazon does a Sunday deal with the US Mail.  Up next On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@margarettalev)

Ben Pauker, managing editor at Foreign Policy. (@BenPauker)

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Obama Needs His Friends Back — “On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Obama with the lowest approval rating of his presidency. Only 39 percent approved of his performance; 54 percent disapproved. The numbers echoed those of a recent Pew survey that pegged the president’s job approval at 41 percent, with 53 percent disapproving. In situations of this sort, there is always a search for an instant repair. ‘Fix the Web site’ is the most obvious, and it’s certainly necessary. But a tech problem has been compounded by the reality of health-care reform itself. ”

Wall Street Journal: Escape From Obamacare — “The particular irony of this Democratic flight for the exits is that their bill would make ObamaCare even less viable. If people are allowed to choose a competitive insurance alternative, the exchanges are unlikely to survive financially. That’s why the White House is trying to stuff in as many people as possible, however unsuccessfully. House Republicans have the better argument. There’s a substantive difference between letting people keep their plans through deregulation and through a new mandate that is supposed to counteract the damage from the old mandates. They should build on this insight and promote more ways for people to elude ObamaCare if they prefer.”

Foreign Policy: John Kerry’s Iran Briefing Succeeds…In Solidifying GOP Against Him — “In an effort to slam the brakes on a new round of Iran sanctions coming through Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry held a classified briefing with the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. Although the purpose of the briefing was to convey how new sanctions could derail the delicate negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, Republicans stormed out of the closed-door session in opposition to the Obama administration’s message. At the same time, top Democrats remained silent or refused to comment as they exited the Capitol.”

November 11 2013

09:06

The Future Of America’s Military

On Veterans Day, after more than a decade of deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, we take the pulse of America’s military – as it faces big cuts and big changes.

Guests

Tom Bowman, Pentagon reporter for NPR News. (@TBowmanNPR)

Cpt. Rosemary Mariner, scholar in residence at the Center for War and Society and lecturer in history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Cindy Williams, principal research scientist at the Security Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Co-author of “Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays For Its Global Role and Safety at Home.”

From The Reading List

Foreign Affairs: Accepting Austerity: The Smart Way To Cut Defense — “It didn’t have to be this way. President Barack Obama signed the BCA in August 2011. By the end of the year, the super committee established to craft a fiscal bargain that would replace the nine-year automatic budget cuts embedded in the bill had crashed and burned, triggering the nine-year budget cuts that began with the March 2013 sequestration. So the White House and the Department of Defense have had two years to develop a national security strategy consistent with the new budget limits, design forces and programs to match that strategy, point the Pentagon down a somewhat less abrupt budgetary glide path, and institute measures to smooth the downsizing.”

New York Times: Cuts Have Hagel Weighing Realigned Military Budget — “In recent weeks, Mr. Hagel has filled his calendar with an accelerated series of meetings with the service secretaries and Joint Chiefs, and with the global combatant commanders. He is requiring them to explain — and defend — how they contribute to security against current global threats, with the Army viewed as most at risk of even steeper cuts.”

NPR: What’s Changed In The Military, And What’s Next — “After the war in Vietnam, the U.S. military changed in profound ways. A conscript force became all volunteer. Congress changed the rules to force much more extensive use of the National Guard in any future conflict. Training and equipment emphasized fighting at night. And technology made blunt instruments like aerial bombing far more precise. Scarred by the experience of a war lost in the jungles of Indochina, U.S. military focused on conventional combat. Then, many of the lessons of counterinsurgency had to be re-learned these past 11 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. “

November 06 2013

16:00

Mark Halperin And John Heilemann ‘Double Down’ On 2012 Elections

Swap Hillary for Biden? Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are back with “Double Down.” We’ll look at the 2012 campaign, 2013, 2016.

Election results 2013 are all over the headlines today.  Chris Christie, living large as a moderate Republican.  Democrat Terry McAuliffe slipping by Tea Partier Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia.  Tale of Two Cities Bill DeBlasio landsliding progressive in New York.  Political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are watching.  They know the big trends and the juicy stuff.  Wrote “Game Change” on the ’08 presidential campaign.  Now they’re out with “Double Down,” on Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and 2012.    Up next On Point:  all the juice on 2012, 2013, and the political road ahead.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst at TIME Magazine. Co-author of “Double Down: Game Change 2012.” Also co-author of “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.” (@MarkHalperin)

John Heilemann, national affairs editor for New York Magazine. Co-author of “Double Down: Game Change 2012.” Also co-author of “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.” (@JHeil)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Playing the Game Again, With an Insider’s Look at the Players — “The portraits of the players in campaign 2012 — from the candidates to their strategists to their big-money backers — are drawn in this volume with a light and snappy hand. The authors write that non-Mormon Romneyites found the feud between their man and the Republican hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr. ‘as impenetrable as a Tolkien subplot rendered in Elvish.’ They write that the Republican contender Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota had a reputation on the Hill for ‘churning through staffers as if they were disposable razors.’”

Politico: The Five Biggest Losers in “Double Down” — “Earlier in this presidency, Obama met with billionaire George Soros at the Waldorf as part of an unsuccessful bid to get him to open up his wallet for outside groups during the 2012 campaign, as he’d done in 2004. Soros talked Obama’s ear off for 45 minutes, giving the president unsolicited economic messaging advice. Obama was ‘annoyed and bored,’ according to the book. ‘If we don’t get anything out of him,’ Obama complained to aides afterward, ‘I’m never f-ing sitting with that guy again.’”

New York Mag: The Intervention — “The president’s advisers were barely more rattled. Yes, Denver had been atrocious. Yes, it had been unnerving. But Obama was still ahead of Romney, the sky hadn’t fallen, and they would fix what went wrong in time for the town-hall debate at Hofstra. Their message to the nervous Nellies in their party was: Keep calm and carry on.”

Read An Excerpt From “Double Down: Game Change 2012″ by Mark Malperin and John Heilemann

October 05 2013

17:35

Compromise in a Polarized Political World | On the Media 2013-10-04

Political scientist Brendan Nyhan says the roots of the shutdown aren’t so much in a failure of leadership from John Boehner or Harry Reid or President Obama. Rather, he tells Bob, all three men are at the mercy of an increasingly polarized political landscape that makes compromise extremely difficult. http://www.onthemedia.org/story/compromise-polarized-political-world/

July 13 2013

00:47

June 28 2013

21:00

September 05 2012

17:28

Transcript: Michelle Obama's Convention Speech : NPR

Transcript of first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention. http://www.npr.org/2012/09/04/160578836/transcript-michelle-obamas-convention-speech

December 29 2011

22:56

Gingrich, Romney, and Obama: Former Senator Alan Simpson on The Political Scene: Audio : The New Yorker

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925 http://www.newyorker.com/online/2012/01/02/120102on_audio_politicalscene

November 07 2011

01:35

RN Rear Vision - 26 October 2011 - Stirring the Pot: the Tea Party Movement in US politics

The Tea Party Movement and its contradictions: the story of a street protest movement with elite origins, a maverick movement with loss on its mind, an outsider group with insider claims, a non-political organisation with clear party connections. Did the Tea Party Movement come into being in February 2009? Or perhaps in response to the civil rights movements of the 1960s, or in the 1840s, or maybe during the French Revolution . . . And what of its claims to a connection to the Revolutionary War? As the US moves towards its 2012 Presidential Elections, the Tea Party Movement remains an influential not-quite-third-party force. On Rear Vision today, we try to get a handle on its origins. Guests: Jenny Beth Martin, Cofounder and National Coordinator, Tea Party Patriots Clare Corbould, Historian. Larkins Fellow, School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies, Monash University Corey Robin, Associate Professor of Politics, Brooklyn College, New York. Author of The Reactionary Mind. Geoffrey Dunn, Investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. Contributor to the Huffington Post. Author of, The Lies of Sarah Palin. Further Information: Corey Robin blog - (http://coreyrobin.com/) Geoffrey Dunn on the Huffington Post - (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn) Tea Party Patriots - (http://www.teapartypatriots.org/) Publications: Title: The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin Author: Corey Robin Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2011 Title: The Lies of Sarah Palin: the untold story behind her relentless quest for power Author: Geoffrey Dunn Publisher: Scribe, 2011 Music: CD title: Music of the American Revolution: The birth of liberty Track title: Track 1: The Brickmaker's March Artist: American Fife Ensemble Composer: trad Publishing/Copyright: New World REcords, NY, 1976 CD title: Soundtrack to Liberty: The American Revolution, PBS TV Series Track title: 'Johny Has Gone for a Soldier' Artist: James Taylor & Mark O'Connor Publishing/Copyright: Sony Classics CD title: We'll Never Turn Back Track title: 'On My Way' Artist: Mavis Staples Publishing/Copyright: ANTI/ Shock Records, 2007 http://www.abc.net.au/rn/rearvision/stories/2011/3340112.htm

June 29 2010

19:27

Elena Kagan’s Confirmation Hearings

Elena Kagan is President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. We're listening in to the confirmation battle.
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