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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama is back on the campaign trail, asking crowds to tell fellow Democrats to vote for healthcare reform. Can he rally his own party in the Senate and Congress? Will Republicans seize an advantage, either way? Also, Also, Vice President Biden is in the Middle East, pushing for renewal of peace talks, and unemployment payments began in the Great Depression for temporary relief. Is the Great Recession making them semi-permanent?

Banner image: President Barack Obama delivers a speech on his healthcare plan for the nation on March 8, 2010 at Arcadia University in Glenside, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Main Topic Obama 'All Fired Up' Again, but Is It Too Little, Too Late? 34 MIN, 34 SEC

President Obama is barnstorming for healthcare reform to be passed by Democrats only. But members of his own party still need convincing. Public opinion polls are not encouraging, and Republicans say, come November, any bill Democrats vote for "will be the issue in every race in America." We look at the "fixes" House Democrats are demanding in the bill passed by the Senate. Has the President waited too long to assume a dominant role?  Will compromise be a historic achievement or a political trap for his party?

Guests:
Charles Babington, Associated Press (@cbabington)
Reid Wilson, Washington Post (@PostReid)
Mark Hemingway, Weekly Standard (@Heminator)
Jonathan Chait, New York magazine (@jonathanchait)

The Big Con

Jonathan Chait

Reporter's Notebook Federal Unemployment Benefits to be Extended, Yet Again 8 MIN, 35 SEC

As the Senate prepared to vote on history's longest extension of unemployment benefits, Jim Bunning (R-KY) wasn't the only one raising questions. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) asked why anyone thinks the program is helpful to the economy or the job market. The benefits are a holdover from the Great Depression. Now, workers where unemployment is worst can collect payment for up to 99 weeks. A Washington Post article, co-authored by Dana Hedgpeth, asks whether the "temporary bridge" for laid-off workers has become an expensive entitlement.

Guests:
Dana Hedgpeth, Financial Reporter, Washington Post

Making News Vice President Biden Pushes for Renewal of Peace Talks 7 MIN, 44 SEC

Beginning a five-day visit to the Middle East, Vice President Biden said today that US support for Israel is "unshakeable." But the American effort to re-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians has generated "only the faintest enthusiasm."  That's according to Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem correspondent for the New York Times.  

Guests:
Ethan Bronner, Israel Correspondent, New York Times

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