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The Obama Justice Department has reversed its support for the Defense of Marriage Act, which has led to a legal battle with conservative groups and their lawyers. And Republicans who want to be president are also focused more on enforcing a congressional enactment than they are on same-sex marriage itself. Also, unemployment dips to a nearly two-year low, and Republicans are adamant about spending cuts and deficit reduction. Is that what voters care about most?

Banner image: Roby Chavez (L) and his partner Chris Roe (R) wait for the beginning of their wedding ceremony August 21, 2010 at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Making News Unemployment Dips to 8.9 Percent, a Nearly Two-Year Low 7 MIN, 48 SEC

Unemployment dropped below 9 percent last month for the first time since April of 2009. It's fallen nearly a full percentage point in the past three months, the most rapid improvement in 28 years. Neil Irwin reports on economics for the Washington Post.

Neil Irwin, New York Times (@Neil_Irwin)

Main Topic Has Same-Sex Marriage Lost Its Political Power? 37 MIN, 6 SEC

In 1996, Congress passed the "Defense of Marriage Act," which limited marriage to a man and a woman. In 2004, state ballot measures on same-sex marriage helped turn out Republican voters. In the first few months of his administration, President Obama's Justice Department supported DOMA. But last month, Attorney General Eric Holder called the law indefensible on constitutional grounds. So, where are the Republicans now? Members of Congress and potential presidential candidates have focused almost entirely on enforcing the law, but not on same-sex marriage itself. Have they decided that "it's the Economy, stupid," after all? We look at the law---and the politics.

Michael D. Shear, New York Times (@shearm)
Walter Dellinger, former Assistant Attorney General and Solicitor General
David Rivkin, BakerHostetler (@DavidRivkin)
Jennifer Pizer, UCLA
Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Reporter's Notebook Are Americans Confused About What They Care About? 6 MIN, 6 SEC

Republicans are preparing for next year's elections by denouncing President Obama as a big spender and demanding cuts in everything but the Pentagon. But despite concerns about big government, recent polls suggest that some key voters would rather pay taxes than lose their benefits. Recent New York Times-CBS News and NBC News-Wall Street Journal polls show contradictory impulses on "big-government" spending, Medicare and Social Security benefits, and the taxes that pay for them. Daniel Indiviglio is Associate Editor at the Atlantic.

Daniel Indiviglio, Atlantic magazine

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