Congress, President Obama and Libya

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Libyan anti-Gadafi fighters return from battle some 30 kilometers before the eastern town of Brega on March 31, 2011. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Congress challenges the president on actions in Libya; American wages; the FBI's new public relations campaign to women; Movie Date; China and American railroads; Obama's nation building; debt talks collapse when the House majority leader leaves; gay rights and the New York vote on same-sex marriage; sports; how Americans define terrorism.

Top of the Hour: Stalemates over Libya, Morning Headlines

In Tripoli and in Washington D.C., a stalemate is hardening on Libya.

While the bombs fall in Tripoli, the House debates ending U.S. involvement in the NATO Libya operation.  But if the House chooses to pull out of Libya, will the President stand firm?  And what of Gadhafi?


Congress to Vote on Cutting Funding for Libya

The House of Representatives is set to vote on a resolution to scale back the US military intervention in Libya. House Republicans contend that President Obama violated the War Powers Act, which limits the president's ability to declare war without the consent of Congress. While the proposal will prevent the US military from engaging in direct combat operations in the Libya, it will allow it to continue to supply support and intelligence for our NATO allies.


Workers Take Low-Paying Jobs As Unemployment Increases

How little would you work for? With unemployment here in the U-S hovering at 9.1 percent, and the global economy no better off, the folks at The Daily Beast conducted a social experiment to find out just how little money people would accept in order to do some of the most mundane jobs. How about, for example, listening to an hour of someone read Richard Nixon's old Checkers speech ... and having to count unusual words like 'quintuplet' and 'pathological'? Tom Weber, managing editor and writer at Newsweek and The Daily Beast,  joins us now.

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The FBI's Shrinking Top 10 List

The arrest of fugitive mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger leaves yet another spot open on the top 10 Most Wanted list. Another spot disappeared early this year; Osama bin Laden’s death left a spot that hasn’t yet been filled.


New Movie Releases: 'Cars 2' and 'Bad Teacher'

It’s Friday and, as usual, that means we talk about movies here at the Takeaway. This week’s big openers are the animated Pixar sequel “Cars 2” and “Bad Teacher,” starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.



150 Years on, China’s Rail Role Would Use U.S. Labor

Nearly 150 years ago America built the first transcontinental railroad, and 10,000 Chinese laborers used pickaxes to cut tunnels and rail-lines for just $30 per month. Now, President Obama is promoting high-speed rail, and the Chinese are again involved.  This time, though, they don't just want to swing an axe.  They want to design and part-fund it and have Americans provide the labor. Alastair Leithead, a reporter with the BBC, has been looking at the story for their series "Power of Asia." We also hear from Brian Leung, an associate professor of creative writing at University of Louisville, the author of "Take Me Home" a book about Chinese Americans in the nineteenth century.

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Top of the Hour: Nation building... it's not just for Afghanistan anymore

President Obama and GOP Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman agree on one thing: we need less nation-building abroad, and more nation building here at home.  Both expressed the sentiment, separately, on Thursday.

But will talking lead to doing?  And what would stateside nation building actually look like?


Nation Building at Home: Adding Up the Numbers

President Obama is selling his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan by describing it as an opportunity to refocus on the domestic health of America. His term, "nation building at home" recalls the great American eras like the industrial and gilded ages. They eventually led to new railroads and highways, the infrastructure that powered us into the boom time of the 1950s.


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Hacking Group LulzSec in Spotlight as 19-year old Taken into Custody

British police have arrested 19-year old Ryan Cleary.  They've connected him to Lulz Security, or LulzSec, a hacking group that has been on an Internet crime spree in recent weeks.  The group has attacked sites and networks belonging to the United States Senate, the Central Intelligence Agency and Sony, among others.

British Police have labeled the 19-year old suspect a "criminal mastermind", but Cleary's supporters call him a "hacktivist".  Ravi Somaiya has been covering the story for our partner The New York Times.  He joins the show, to talk about what's next for what he calls the "brazen hacking group".


At Gay Rights Event, Attendees Listen for Obama's 'Evolving' Gay Marriage Position

Barack Obama, as a senator then presidential candidate and now as president, has struggled with his political position when it comes to supporting same-sex marriage. As a candidate for State Senate in Illinois, Obama filled out a questionnaire and wrote, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages." (White House officials have said he was really referring to civil unions.)

In 2004 when he ran for the U.S. Senate, Obama said he would fight for equality for gay couples, but not for gay marriage. And on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, the candidate told Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren that, "marriage is the union between a man and a woman." Since becoming president, Obama has had a strong track record on supporting LGBT issues and has said that his position on gay marriage is "evolving." Last night in New York City, speaking at the “Gala with the Gay Community,” gay leaders were listening to see if the president would come any closer to endorsing gay marriage. 

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Debt Talks Crumble As Top Republican Backs Out

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pulled out of talks with Vice President Joe Biden yesterday on whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Cantor was seen as a crucial Republican to have in the room. The move is seen to put talks on the fritz, with just weeks before the August deadline that could make the US default on trillions of dollars in debt.


Checking in on Summer Sports, with Ibrahim Abdul Matin

At this point in the most summers, Sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin would be turning his attention to the first glimmers of football season, and to Tiger Woods, the shining star of golf.  But with an NFL lockout, a looming NBA stoppage, and a little firecracker from Northern Ireland taking over the links... It's a very different sports summer.  So what DOES a sports-watcher watch?  According to Ibrahim: Dodgeball, Cycling, and Badminton. 

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What is a Domestic Terrorist?

As the adage says, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” But who decides on which terms to use and when? And is the US a mite too eager to define people as terrorists? These questions are posed by two new films, premiering this week at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.