Episode #81: No Go for the Iowa Straw Poll, Ego for The Donald

The lines are drawn in the Democratic skirmish over the Pacific rim trade bill:  President Obama is for it.  House Democrats are not.  But where is the party’s presidential frontrunner in all of this?  Jim Newell of Salon talks about the cautious role being played by Hillary Clinton. It was never scientific anyway, and it …

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Episode #80: No More Delay For Bush, But Plenty For Tom

He has the most money and the highest name ID. Next up for Jeb Bush:  An official declaration of candidacy on June 15.  Jonathan Martin of the New York Times assesses Bush’s strengths and weaknesses, eight months before the voters begin to have their say. After all, it’s the right to vote that determines who …

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Episode #79: An Unimaginable Scandal, An Unfathomable Tragedy

The Senate has passed the House’s version of the USA Freedom Act, making revisions in government intelligence policy, with the biggest effect on the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program.  The vote was not a complete victory for Senator Rand Paul, a staunch critic of NSA spying, but he made a big difference in …

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Episode #78: The Debate Stage and an Iowa Sage

Fox News thinks it has the right solution for how to handle the unprecedented number of Republican presidential candidates for their debate in Cleveland this summer:  pick the top ten who average highest in five national polls.  That’s good for Fox, which is handling the Aug. 6 debate, but not for the six or seven …

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Episode #77: Political Gaffes and Late Night Laughs

Progressives have been going through some rough times lately, especially with their ongoing battle with President Obama over trade policy.  But they got some good news this week, with the announcement that former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold will try to regain the seat he lost five years ago to Republican Ron Johnson.  Craig Gilbert of …

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Episode #76: Standing Up for America… and Baltimore

With a federal appeals court deciding that the National Security Agency’s pattern of collecting bulk data of Americans’ phone calls is illegal, the task then fell to Congress to modify the Patriot Act — or not.  But, as Josh Gerstein of Politico points out, the real battle is in the Senate — where the issue’s …

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Episode #75: Teflon for Clinton, Velcro for Christie

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Another day, another presidential candidate. Actually, make that two days, and three candidates. The Republican field of White House hopefuls doubled to six this week, as Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive; Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon; and Mike Huckabee, the ex-governor of Arkansas, all made their bids official. One Republican who has yet …

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Episode #74: Weak End at Bernie’s; Will SCOTUS Say ‘I Do?’

It’s become one of the most talked about issues of our time: how to define marriage. For the longest time, politicians of both parties said it was between one man and one woman. But as more and more states recognize same-sex marriage — and as more and more opponents are trying to stop it — …

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Episode #73: Wooing New Hampshire, Kidnapped By Nuns

The thought of 19 Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for president seems a bit overwhelming. Now try and imagine listening to all 19 in one weekend. That’s what New Hampshire Republicans did last weekend at a two-day event in Nashua. It was a combination of who can bash President Obama and Hillary Clinton the most, …

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