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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama has achieved a lot, but even White House advisors concede that he’s losing the Middle Class vote.  We hear about the stimulus, health care, Bush-era tax cuts and the November elections.  Also, Israel ends another construction freeze on West Bank settlements, and President Hugo Chavez has lost the two thirds majority that allowed him to govern Venezuela at will.

Banner image: President Barack Obama responds to a question during the CNBC jobs town hall meeting at the Newseum in Washington, DC September 20, 2010. Official White House Photo: Pete Souza

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Karen Radziner
Christian Bordal

Reporter's Notebook Chavez's Party Wins Venezuelan Elections by Slim Margin 5 MIN, 31 SEC

Five years ago, parties opposed to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez boycotted congressional elections, allowing his United Socialist Party to gain a two-thirds majority and the power to enact sweeping legislation. Yesterday, after the opposition banded together behind a unified plank, the results were very different. Yesterday's elections were seen as a referendum on Chavez's rule. Dan Molinski is in Caracas for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Dan Molinski, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Main Topic Barack Obama, the Democrats and the Middle Class 37 MIN, 40 SEC

The Democrats' top strategy for the November elections was to extend Bush-era tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, allowing increases for the richest Americans. Now, Democratic leaders say Congress won't vote until the elections are over, with taxes for all taxpayers scheduled to rise on December 31. Republicans say Democrats have abandoned the middle class.  But what is the middle class? Do voters understand who has the money and who doesn't? Has economic confusion helped the Tea Partiers to seize the initiative from both political parties?

Guests:
Joshua Green, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (@JoshuaGreen)
Robert Scheer, Co-host, 'Left, Right & Center' (@Robert_Scheer)
Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University
Mark McKinnon, No Labels (@mmckinnon)

Making News Israel Ends Freeze on West Bank Settlement Construction 7 MIN, 31 SEC

Israel's ten-month moratorium on West-Bank settlement building expired at midnight, with no agreement on how to maintain the peace talks begun three weeks ago at the White House. In Paris today, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said there would be "no quick decision" on whether to withdraw. Edmund Sanders is Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times (@edmundsanders)

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