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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Will Big Government Make A Comeback?

For his second inaugural address, President Obama defended government as central to harnessing the energy of American individuals.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:16 pm

For years, Democratic politicians have been shy about talking up the virtues of government. It was all the way back in 1996 that President Bill Clinton declared "the era of big government is over."

That may have changed with President Obama's second inaugural address. Obama declared that only through government and "collective action" can the nation achieve its full promise.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Mr. Colbert, Take Down That Box!

Some guy who appears on Comedy Central.
Justin Lane EPA /Landov

Thanks, Stephen Colbert, for calling attention to our Tuesday post about whether Beyoncé did or did not lip-sync the national anthem at Monday's presidential inauguration.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Can An Ex-Prosecutor Make The SEC Tougher On Wall Street?

Mary Jo White, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a May 2001 press conference following guilty verdicts in the trial of four followers of Osama bin Laden that bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. President Obama intends to nominate White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:38 am

President Obama's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted terrorists and mobsters. If she's confirmed, Mary Jo White's next challenge will be tackling reckless behavior on Wall Street.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat: Five Key Questions

Female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range in Fort Campbell, Ky., in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan. The Pentagon announced Thursday that women will no longer be banned from combat roles.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:06 pm

The Pentagon's announcement that it is lifting the ban on women in combat raises a host of questions that the military will have to address. Here's a few of them:

How many combat positions are there in the military?

As in all militaries, U.S. combat troops are a relatively small percentage of the overall force. The U.S. military has 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and women are barred from 237,000 positions, according to the Pentagon. The Pentagon will now be reviewing those positions, and many will be opened up to women.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu January 24, 2013

United Nations Launches Investigation Into U.S. Drone Program

President Obama's use of drones, and his direct involvement in who they target, has both U.S. and international communities questioning the administration's secret drone policy.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:43 pm

The United Nations' special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism launched an investigation Thursday into the United States' targeted killing program.

Ben Emmerson, from Britain, will lead the inquiry, which will focus on the civilian effect of the program as well, as the legal framework governing drone attacks.

Reuters explains:

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National Security
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

The Changing Nature of American Diplomacy

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later this hour, we'll talk about women in combat. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced today that the Pentagon will lift the military ban on women serving in combat roles. So we want to hear from women in the Armed Forces. What changes now?

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NWPR Books
10:30 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Insurgents' Hoped To Change Military From Within

Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

National security reporter Fred Kaplan was the first to publicly link Paula Broadwell to Gen. David Petraeus in last fall's affair scandal, but that's not the topic of his new book. In fact, it's barely an addendum. Instead, Kaplan focuses in depth on counterinsurgency — a cornerstone of Petraeus' legacy.

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NPR Story
10:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

The Self That's Left When Memories Fade

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a piece in The Atlantic, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin describes the day a teacher, a famous neuropsychologist, told the class that his colleague, a close friend, had just called him to say he had a brain tumor, would gradually lose his memory and, the teacher said, would soon no longer understand who he was.

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NPR Story
10:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

A Closer Look at Women In Combat

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:39 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced he will lift rules that barred women from service in units likely to find themselves in combat on the ground.

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NPR Story
10:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: A Look at Its Legacy

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

We didn't have a chance on Monday to get to our opinion page, so now a special Thursday edition of the opinion page. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision. In a recent piece for The New York Times, that newspaper's former Supreme Court correspondent, Linda Greenhouse, wrote that the ruling that legalized abortion across the entire country was much more about the rights of doctors than the rights of women.

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