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FROM THIS EPISODE

Forget the Winter Olympics. One of the most popular sports in Washington these days appears to be the blame game. With the loss of the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and healthcare reform struggling in the final lap, questions are cropping up about who's to blame. Guest host Chery Glaser speaks with some critics of Barack Obama's inner circle who say that  the Obama White House is more focused on campaigning than governing.  Also, NATO and Afghan forces go on the offensive in Helmand Province, and jury duty gets the economic cold shoulder.

Banner image:  President Barack Obama confers with chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Frances Anderton

Main Topic Has President Obama Failed to Match the Potential of Candidate Obama? 36 MIN, 7 SEC

As many Americans take the opportunity sleep in or head to the mall for a little shopping on this Presidents' Day, the mood at the White House may be considerably less festive.  A little over a year after President Barack Obama took office, some of his top priorities —like reforming healthcare and closing Guantanamo — appear to be foundering. Ever since the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, there's been talk about who's at fault and where the Obama Administration has lost its mojo. Are these signs of a new administration just trying to find its feet, or are they indications of bigger problems? Is the man who was hailed as the consummate campaigner struggling to make the transition to governing? If so, who's to blame?

Guests:
Steve Clemons, The Atlantic (@SCClemons)
David Rothkopf, The FP Group (@djrothkopf)
Jay Cost, Weekly Standard (@jaycosttws)
Stephen Hess, Brookings Institution

Reporter's Notebook Uptick in 'Financial Hardship' Excuse to Avoid Jury Service 7 MIN, 4 SEC

Thomas Jefferson called the jury system "the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." While Americans like jury service in principle, more and more are trying to avoid this cornerstone of American democracy, claiming "financial hardship." Now money woes inflicted by the recession have spurred even more hardship claims, especially by those who face a long trial. Carol Williams writes on legal affairs for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Carol Williams, Los Angeles Times (@cjwilliamslat)

Making News NATO and Afghan Forces Go on Offensive in Helmand Province 7 MIN, 48 SEC

A joint NATO-Afghan military operation appears to be succeeding in pushing Taliban fighters from their strongholds in Helmand Province bringing the areas back under Afghan government control. But the operation suffered a setback on Sunday when rockets fired by coalition troops killed 12 civilians. Saeed Shah is in Kabul for McClatchy Newspapers.

Guests:
Saeed Shah, Special Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers

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