January 2012

Jan 26, 2012

Can Sanctions Alone Get Iran To Negotiate?

By Tom Gjelten, NPR

In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program through economic pain, both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions that should make it harder for Iran to sell its oil. But the global oil business is unpredictable, and sanctions are no guarantee.

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Why Are There So Many Presidential Debates?

By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

In the lore of the U.S. political system, debates are among the most hallowed of rituals. From Lincoln-Douglas on, they have been the moments when voters are supposed to have an opportunity to get to know their candidates, contrast their ideas, evaluate their mettle. But this campaign season, it might be fair to ask: Are Americans getting too much of a good thing?
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President Takes His Economic Message on the Road

By Helene Cooper, New York Times

Fresh from a State of the Union address he used to make his case for re-election, President Obama took to the road on Wednesday to build support for his economic message of fairness, calling for Congress to eliminate tax deductions for companies that move jobs overseas.
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Jan 25, 2012

The Swing States of Our Union Are Strong

By John Dickerson, Slate

In the 2011 State of the Union, the president used the phrase "win the future" or a variant over and over and over again. A year later, the future is not won, but the slogan has lost. "Built to last" was the message for the 2012 State of the Union speech. Despite continued unsteadiness in the economy, the slogan-manufacturing sector is healthy.
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Mitt Romney Tax Returns Make Him a Personal Embodiment of GOP Tax Policy

By Lori Montgomery and Jia Lynn Yang, Washington Post

With the release of his tax returns Tuesday, Mitt Romney has emerged as Exhibit A in a political battle likely to define the 2012 election: how to tax the rich. To Democrats, Romney is benefiting from an unfair tax code that permits a man who made nearly $21 million last year to pay just 15 percent in federal taxes. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama said those earning more than $1 million a year can afford to pay more and should send at least 30 percent of their income to Washington.
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State of the Union? More Like State of the Campaign

By John Harwood, New York Times

Republicans have good reason to believe that President Obama’s goals in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night were more partisan than presidential. Mr. Obama has shifted into full-bore campaigning. He expects little from Congress this year beyond the extension of existing payroll tax cuts. His highest-profile initiatives are designed to enhance his re-election prospects.
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President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address to Congress (CNN)

Gingrich Wants to Hear his Debate Fans Roar

By Sam Youngman, Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, coming off one of his most subdued debate performances of the campaign, signaled on Tuesday he may skip future debates unless his supporters are given full license to clap, cheer and roar. Gingrich complained that NBC News moderator Brian Williams had told the crowd to be silent before Monday's debate in Tampa in an effort to stifle free speech and prevent the audience from turning on the media.
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Obama Makes Populist Pitch

By Laura Meckler and Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama offered Americans a populist economic vision in his State of the Union address Tuesday, seeking to draw a contrast with his eventual Republican rival and demonstrating the widening policy gulf between the two political parties.
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Supreme Court Rorschach Test on Voting Rights

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

As state legislatures have increasingly used sophisticated computers to draw voting maps configured to their political interests, districts have taken on odder shapes and prompted cracks about Rorschach ink blots. Friday’s Supreme Court decision in the Texas voting rights case offered its own kind of Rorschach test.
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SOTU: Obama on the Economy

WIth David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

The President spoke about the state of the American economy Tuesday night in his third State of the Union address.

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Obama Stresses Fairness in Building Durable Recovery

By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

President Obama, accused by his Republican opponents of making a rocky economy worse, used his third State of the Union address to argue to tens of millions of prospective voters that he is the leader with the passion for fairness, and the policy vision, to deliver an "America built to last." The president wrapped that phrase around his efforts to revive an economy still deeply shaken by a housing bubble, corporate excesses pegged to complex financial bets and borrowed money, and rules seemingly rigged against the little guy.
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McCain: GOP Debates are 'Damaging' to Nominee

By Susan Davis, USA TODAY

Former presidential nominee John McCain is part of a growing chorus of leading Republican voices who worry the exhaustive lineup of GOP primary debates will be harmful to the eventual nominee.
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