The theme of last night's State of the Union was "an economy built to last." Vowing to protect the middle class and correct economic inequality, President Obama laid out his plans for financial reform: regulating home prices, penalizing banks that participated in the housing crash, imposing the "Buffet rule," and tightening regulations on private equity and Wall Street.
With spirited rhetoric about protecting the middle class and enforcing fairness in taxation, president Obama abandoned his normally conciliatory tone about non-partisan politics during last night's State of the Union address and instead highlighted the differences between right and left. Although both parties have had the chance for rebuttal, The Takeaway has assembled their own partisan players to comment on the president's remarks.
Last night the University of South Florida hosted a GOP presidential debate, the first of two scheduled in Florida leading up to the state's January 31 primary. The crowd was silenced by a no-applause policy which seems to have muted the effect of Newt Gingrich, who in the past has received accolades from the audience after partisan broadsides. The debate sets the agenda for the next week as candidates prepare for a primary which may ultimately decide the nominee to challenge President Obama in November.
Joe Paterno, the most successful coach in major college football history, the face of Penn State University, and at one point, among the most admired figures in the entire sporting world, is dead at the age of 85. News of Paterno’s death from lung cancer came early Sunday morning. At the center of one of the worst scandals to ever hit the sports world, what JoePa's legacy will be, once the dust clears, is up to more people than just Lions fans.
Rick Perry is out, Rick Santorum actually won Iowa, and Newt Gingrich's second wife says he asked for an open marriage before he filed for divorce. The four remaining candidates debated in Charleston one last time before this weekend's South Carolina primary. We take a look back at what was arguably the wildest day of the 2012 Presidential campaign thus far.
Friday South Carolina will hold the "First in the South" primary. Since 1980 the victor of the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the presidential nomination. But the Palmetto State is sharing the limelight this morning with the Hawkeye State as the miscount in Iowa has skewed the results of the first GOP caucus. Rick Santorum is now declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus by a small margin of 34 votes. But in the end does it really matter?
Three days before the South Carolina Republican primary it seems like time has run out for Mitt Romney’s GOP rivals. The former Massachusetts governor is winning by a large margin in South Carolina polls, and should he go on to win the Palmetto state, he most likely will earn the Republican presidential nomination. But who knows what attacks will be launched, endorsements will be made and what surprises might be in store over the next 72 hours. Chad Connelly, South Carolina's GOP chairman, talks about the political climate in his home state.
Nearly two years ago, a bitterly divided Supreme Court ruled that the American government could not ban political spending by corporations and labor unions during electoral campaigns. The case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, overruled important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations and dramatically altered the way campaigns are conducted.
On Thursday a video showing four U.S. Marines purportedly urinating on the corpses of three dead Taliban fighters went viral on the internet. Defense secretary Leon Panetta called the behavior “utterly deplorable” and Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai decried the video as “completely inhumane.” The video comes at a tense time, as the U.S. tries to foster peace talks between the Taliban and Karzai's government.
According to a Gallup Poll released Monday, 40 percent of American voters identified themselves as poltically independent in 2011. This is the highest yearly yield in the poll's history. But whether independents get burned out after their favorite spitfire candidate doesn't make it past the primaries or if they successfully push mainstream candidates towards the fringe in 2012 is still unclear.
Now that Iowa’s critical caucus is over, attention turns to the nation’s first primary. A predominately Republican state, New Hampshire primary has held many surprises in the past, such as John McCain's overwhelming victory over George W. Bush in 2000. Former Utah Governor John Hunstman has almost solely focused on New Hampshire over the past months, and spent Tuesday evening campaigning in the New England state instead of Iowa.
With five days to go until the Iowa caucus, all six contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are making their rounds in small towns across Iowa. Newt Gingrich's poll numbers continue to fall in the Hawkeye state, opening up the possibility for another candidate to overtake the lead. Hopefuls who have stuck it out since the beginning — like Rick Santorum and Ron Paul — have experienced a recent uptick in popularity.
Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta complicated U.S.-Israeli relations by calling the potential consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities "a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret." The remark resulted in a formal diplomatic protest lodged by Israel's ambassador to the U.S. The Obama administration has since assured the Israelis of the existence of so-called "red lines" — in essence, the White House acknowledges that certain actions undertaken by Iran could trigger U.S. military action against it.
The holidays are typically characterized as a time for joyous celebration with family and friends. But for many Americans, the reality of the holiday season could not be any more different. Over the last twenty-five years, the scientific community has grappled with the concept of loneliness, trying to quantify its presence in society in an effort to better understand the social phenomenon. The consensus seems to be relatively straight-forward: Americans have become increasingly lonely over time.
On Wednesday, eight American soldiers were charged in connection with the death of Pvt. Danny Chen. Chen's body was found lying in a guard tower on an American outpost in Kandahar province in October. The 19-year-old soldier died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. This case echoes the suicide of 21-year-old Lance Corporal Harry Lew in April, another Asian-American who reportedly shot himself while serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. Known as a "minority minority," discrimination against Asian-Americans is frequently goes unreported by victims and the media.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers are tied 2-2 in this year’s World Series, with Game 5 set to be played tonight in Texas. While the Cardinals are trying to cap off one of the most incredible late-season runs in baseball history, the Rangers are trying to make up for a disappointing four games to one loss in last year’s World Series against the San Francisco Giants.
Last week, Bank of America announced that it would begin imposing a $5 monthly fee for checking accounts that use debit cards. Other large banks are expected to follow suit. We asked listeners for their reactions to these new charges, and received many responses, including this from J.B. from Massachusetts:
I am a BofA customer and I am not happy about the fee. I use my debit card all the time instead of a credit card, but that will change based on principle. I wonder, how big were bonuses last year and how big will they be this year? I wish they would look inside BofA for ways to save. Maybe cutting back $1 million from the CFO would help the bottom line as well!