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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Politico's 'Take Back America' straw poll results

Mike Allen analyzes the poll of progressive activists and describes its impact on the Democratic presidential race.

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Politico's 'Take Back America' straw poll results

Mike Allen analyzes the poll of progressive activists and describes its impact on the Democratic presidential race.

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The Center for American Progress - Progresssive History

The Center for American Progress A Progressive Think Tank for the 21st Century www.AMERICANPROGRESS.org

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Why the D.C. Gun Ban Is Unconstitutional

Todd Gaziano, director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, explains why D.C.'s extremely restrictive gun control laws are unconstitutional.

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Progressive Bloggers Discuss Blogs Role in Politics, Society

At the 2008 Take Back America conference, a panel of prominent progressive bloggers discuss the role blogs play in elections, politics and society. CQ Politics' Eric Pfeiffer reports.

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The Health Care Crisis- 47 Million Can't Afford to Get Sick

America's health system is in crisis, leaving out too many and costing too much. 47 million Americans lack health insurance. Millions more are struggling to pay premiums that are growing five times faster than wages, but still seeing their benefits shrink. While some Americans have access to the most sophisticated medical care in the world, others are left to overcrowded emergency rooms, under-funded clinics, or no health care at all - all because they lack the insurance it takes to provide for the care they need. This is wrong. It violates America's deep, long-standing commitment to fairness for all of our citizens - old and young, weak and strong. Unlocking our health care system's potential for everyone in America is the great moral challenge of our time. Center for American Progress Health Policy Director Karen Davenport explains what's at stake as President Bush prepares to deliver his final State of the Union address in ASK THE EXPERT, CAP's new video feature. www.AMERICANPROGRESS.org

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The R Word - What do YOU think about the US Economy?

American families are feeling the pressure of a tightening economy from all sides. They are burdened with massive amounts of debt that have become harder to handle due to accelerated house price drops and the stagflationary nature of the downturn. Jobs are going away, wages are flat, and benefits are disappearing, while prices are skyrocketing everywhere. Just like a balloon squeezed from all sides, family finances are increasingly being burst. And the overall economic outlook doesn't help. Massive trade deficits pose a drain on our national resources, slowing innovation means that we are generating less of what we need, and long-term budget deficits due to tax cuts for the rich are preventing the government from addressing the economic needs of America's families. THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS www.americanprogress.org

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Fixing Homeland Security -ASK THE EXPERT- PJ Crowley

What is needed is a new national security strategy and a renewed commitment to homeland security, one that builds capabilities from the ground up rather than imposing unfunded mandates from the top down. Adequate resources must be committed to all dimensions of national power, not just one. Investments should not just enhance our ability to counter the terrorism threat, but also promote far-reaching systemic improvements that will better position the United States to cope with a range of challenges and major disruptions regardless of the origin�terrorism, yes, but also pandemics, natural disasters, and man-made events. This takes on special significance given al Qaeda's recent pattern of strikes associated with elections or political transitions. The United States faces increased risk of another attack over the next year and a half, which will place a burden on the next administration. Iraq may well be the dominant national security issue in the presidential campaign, but homeland security could well present the next president with his or her first national security challenge. This paper provides the framework for the reevaluation of our homeland security policies that the next administration should pursue as part of a balanced national security strategy to make the United States more secure in the years to come. www.americanprogress.org

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Economic Worries - ASK THE EXPERT - CAP's Christian Weller

Since the beginning of the current business cycle in early 2001, family incomes in the United States have not risen, yet the costs for important consumer items such as housing, health care, transportation, energy, and food all climbed at often breathtaking speeds. To afford these necessities, families piled on record amounts of debt relative to their income�at a rate more than four times faster than that in the 1990s. Families, though, were not the only ones going deeper into debt. The federal government ran up large budget deficits due to massive tax cuts for the rich and a spending spree for an ill-designed Medicare prescription drug benefit and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since March 2001, foreign investors financed close to 80 percent of the federal budget deficit. More importantly, these large capital inflows financed a massive U.S. trade deficit that still remains at an unsustainable 5 percent of gross domestic product. To finance this deficit, the U.S. economy borrowed heavily overseas, selling everything to foreign investors, including home mortgages. The result: a vicious cycle of debt, with foreign investors fueling a housing market boom that required households to borrow money that foreigners were willing to borrow. This process is now going into reverse. Stock market investors are selling off shares tied however tenuously to the U.S. housing market, thus fueling the financial markets downturn. This sell off is also increasing worries about a broader credit crunch that could lead to further deterioration in the U.S. housing market. The largest drawback of the debt boom was that it let U.S. policymakers get away with not addressing the country's underlying economic problems. The fundamental weaknesses of the U.S. economy�a weak labor market, large budget deficits, and massive trade deficits, and an unsustainable housing boom�were masked by record amounts of debt, allowing the federal government to continuously ignore these problems. Center for Americ

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Pakistan Election Video Journal - CAP's Caroline Wadhams

CAP's Caroline Wadhams recently returned from Pakistan where she and CAP Senior Fellow Brian Katulis served as election monitors for Pakistan's parliamentary election. The exclusive footage in this video was taken by Caroline during her trip and features her narration and analysis of the election and current challenges facing Pakistan. What if our most powerful weapons were ideas? THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS www.AMERICANPROGRESS.org

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Real Estate Woes- The Housing Crisis

With each passing release of housing-related data, the picture becomes bleaker for the estimated 1.8 million homeowners with subprime mortgages whose interest rates have reset this year or are due to reset before the end of next year. Many of these borrowers and their families hold the 22 percent of adjustable rate subprime loans currently delinquent or the 3.84 percent of subprime loans that entered foreclosure in the second quarter of this year. For those still current on their loans, they can look forward to increases in monthly payments averaging 30 percent to 50 percent when their rates reset. There have been a number of proposals offered to help these and other troubled borrowers, but the range of solutions suggested to date still leaves a significant number of families without any solution to their problems. For more of CAP's work on the current housing crisis please visit THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS www.AMERICANPROGRESS.org

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Excerpts From Obama's Speech

Excerpts from Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race in the United States.

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Iraq Vets Talk To Candidates

For the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, MTV's "Choose or Lose" presents a special where young Iraq vets sit down with the Democratic presidential candidates. Bianca Solorzano reports.

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Religion, Race, Rhetoric

Rick Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, and Debra Dickerson of Mother Jones discuss Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race in America with Russ Mitchell.

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Interest Rate Cuts And You

For the average consumer the Fed's interest rate cut means lower credit card rates, car payments and favorable terms on home equity loans. But housing is still a weak spot. Deirdre Bolton reports.

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Did Obama's Speech Work?

Jeff Greenfield and pollster Frank Luntz tell Maggie Rodriguez that while Sen. Barack Obama's speech was exemplary on the subject of race, it may not defuse the Rev. Wright controversy.

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Reactions To Obama Speech

Sen. Barack Obama's speech had mixed reactions from the public and pundits alike. Russ Mitchell reports.

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Obama Grapples With Race

Sen. Barack Obama's pastor's remarks forced the candidate to deal with race as an issue in a risky speech he made to the public. Byron Pitts reports.

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MoneyWatch

Alison Harmelin reports that many on Wall Street are worried the Fed's recent interest rate cut will fuel inflation; Visa goes public; and Delta offers nearly half its employees buyouts.

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Day of Protests in DC as Iraq War Turns Five

On the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, activists had a full slate of anti-war protests planned around the nation's capitol. CQ Politics video producer Andrew Satter caught up with a group of DC-area activists in Downtown DC.

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McCAIN- Too Old to Tell Iranians from Al Qaeda???

McCAIN: Too Old to Tell Iranians from Al Qaeda???

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