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FROM THIS EPISODE

One year ago, Democrats were talking about a new political era. Now, President Obama faces a nation of angry voters. We set the scene for his first address on the State of the Nation. Also, a second day of bombs in Baghdad. On Reporter's Notebook, a parliamentary committee says the Muslim face represses women and challenges the Republic of France.

Banner image: President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, December 1, 2009. Official White House Photo: Pete Souza

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis
Karen Radziner

Making News A Second Day of Bombs in Baghdad 7 MIN, 41 SEC

Another suicide car bomb went off in Baghdad today, killing more than 18 people.  It's the second day of high-profile attacks. Jane Arraf is Iraq correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.

Guests:
Jane Arraf, Al Jazeera English (@janearraf)

Main Topic A Grim Backdrop Ahead of the State of the Union 37 MIN, 19 SEC

With all that's happened during the past year, it's hard to believe that Barack Obama has yet to deliver his first address on the State of the Union. One day before that address, Obama faces a grim outlook on the economy and the mid-term elections. Wall Street's not lending, and unemployment threatens the middle class. The benefits from the stimulus package get less attention than the deficit. The Republican upset in Massachusetts has healthcare reform on life support, and Democrats from other states are declining to stand for re-election. With his own approval ratings on the decline, can one of America's most gifted orators turn things around?

Guests:
John Mercurio, Senior Editor, The Hotline
Jonathan Cohn, New Republic (@CitizenCohn)
Philip Klein, Washington Examiner (@philipaklein)
Tom Schaller, Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland

Reporter's Notebook France Moves Closer to Curb on Burkas, Stops Short of Full Ban 5 MIN, 48 SEC

Women who wear the on Islamic face veil are a challenge to the republic of France. That's the conclusion of a parliamentary committee, which has recommended a ban in hospitals, schools, government offices and on public transport. The recommendation is the product of months of debate and a 200 page report, even though burkas are warn by an estimated 1900 women.  Ben Hall reports from Paris for the Financial Times.

Guests:
Ben Hall, Paris Correspondent, Financial Times

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