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FROM THIS EPISODE

There will be several challenges ahead for President Obama as he deals with a new Congress and a House controlled by Republicans. How will the new political dynamic on Capitol Hill affect the White House? What new faces will Obama bring in to his administration to help shape his policies on the economy and Afghanistan? What can he accomplish with the 2012 election already on the horizon? Also, could record-breaking rainfall bring an end California's drought? On Reporter's Notebook, the story of Vivian Maier, who worked as a nanny for families on Chicago's North Shore for nearly 40 years -- and made what are being called some of the most remarkable street photos of the 20th century. Sara Terry guest hosts.

Banner image: Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images

Producers:
Karen Radziner
Gary Scott

Main Topic A New Year, a New Congress…a New Obama? 33 MIN, 52 SEC

Barack Obama is still on vacation in Hawaii, but it's definitely a working holiday as he and a handful of close advisors are preparing for the year ahead. Next month, for the first time, President Obama will face a Republican-controlled House, a divided Congress on Capitol Hill and an election in 2012. Aides have already said the President plans to spend more time outside the "bubble" of Washington DC, to take his case directly to voters. Obama's team won credit for bi-partisan cooperation in getting important bills passed during the final days of the last Congress, but the Administration angered many Democrats in making a tax deal with Republicans. How will the new political realities on Capitol Hill affect his legislative agenda? Who will be the new players on Obama's team as he enters the second half of his first term and looks ahead to 2012?

Guests:
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times (@sherylstolberg)
Neera Tanden, Senior Policy Advisor, then-Senator Hillary Clinton
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post (@JRubinBlogger)
Justin Elliott, Salon.com (@elliottjustin)

Reporter's Notebook Street Photographer Vivian Maier 8 MIN, 30 SEC

A few years ago, John Maloof was looking for old photos for books he was writing on Chicago's neighborhoods. On a hunch, he bought an auction lot of 30,000 negatives. They were the unknown photos of a woman who'd worked as a nanny for 40 years on the city's North Shore and had spent all that time making photographs. Vivian Maier's images are now being called some of the most important street photography of the 20th century. We hear more from Maloof, who now owns more than 100,000 of Maier's negatives, and from Lanny Silverman, chief curator at the Chicago Cultural Center, where a major show of Maier's work opens next month.

Guests:
John Maloof, photographer and documentary filmmaker (@johnmaloof)
Lanny Silverman, Chief Curator, Chicago Cultural Center

Portage Park (IL) (Images of America)

John Maloof and Daniel Pogorzelski

Making News Could Record-breaking Rainfall End California's Drought? 9 MIN, 54 SEC

One of the wettest Decembers in state history has left behind about twice the amount of water considered normal for this time of year in the snow pack high up in the Sierras. So come spring, a lot of water should come down from the mountains into the reservoirs of drought-plagued Southern California. We get a progress report from Frank Gehrke, chief snow surveyor for the California Department of Water Resources, and from Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Guests:
Frank Gehrke, California Department of Water Resources
Bill Patzert, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@NASAJPL)

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