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FROM THIS EPISODE

With the US facing two wars and a flagging economy, are this year’s midterm campaigns facing facts or creating mythologies? Are the media doing their job of keeping politicians honest? Also, the FBI searches UPS planes for suspicious packages, and Google set out to organize the world's information, but there's much more -- wind farms, self-driving cars and Manhattan real estate.

Banner image: A person holds up a sign before the arrival of President Barack Obama at a Moving America Forward rally at the University of Southern California (USC) on October 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Breaking The News

James Fallows

Producers:
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner
Sonya Geis

Making News FBI Searches UPS Planes for Suspicious Packages 7 MIN, 47 SEC

President Obama was notified today about a possible terrorist threat but, as we go on the air, no explosives have been found after searches in Philadelphia, Newark and New York City. It all started with a routine inspection in England. Charlie LeBlanc is President of Security Services for Medex Global Solutions in Houston.

Shortly after the broadcast of today's To the Point, President Obama addressed the nation on "a credible terrorist threat... and the actions that we're taking."

Guests:
Charlie LeBlanc, President of Security Services, MEDEX Global Solutions

Main Topic After Months of Campaigning, What More Do We Know? 36 MIN, 55 SEC

Four days before a potentially game-changing election, voters have been inundated with TV commercials that simplify, and often distort, some painful realities.  The economy is barely creeping along, there's a sense that President Obama's agenda has failed, and Democrats are not defending it in their campaigns. Republicans are long on attacks but short on persuasive alternatives, so both parties are courting the Independents who will decide next week's elections. With the nation facing challenges of mind-boggling complexity, TV commercials simplify more than ever and their rates of accuracy are falling fast. With another rally ready to form up on the Washington Mall, we get several assessments of this year's campaigns.

Guests:
Joe Klein, Time Magazine (@JoeKleinTIME)
David Winston, Winston Group (@dhwinston)
Angie Drobnic Holan, Reporter, PolitiFact
James Fallows, Atlantic (@JamesFallows)

Reporter's Notebook Google Branches Out, Then Out Again 6 MIN, 16 SEC

The rest of the economy may have stalled out, but one company has so much money it's reaching way beyond what seemed to be its core mission. Over the years, Google has invested mountains of cash in ways that have puzzled Wall Street. Sales chief Nikesh Arora says, "We try many things and some of them work." So how about driverless cars and a wind farm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Michael Liedtke covers Google for the Associated Press.

Guests:
Michael Liedtke, Technology Reporter, Associated Press

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