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After weeks of grim predictions of hard times to come, President Obama tried to lift the mood of the nation in last night's address to a joint session of Congress.  We hear what he said, how he said it and how Governor Bobby Jindal responded for the Republicans. Also, a decision on Iraqi troop withdrawal may be forthcoming this week. On Reporter's Notebook, Senate debate today on a question that's more than 200 years old: should Washington, DC get a vote in the Congress?

Banner image: White House photo by Pete Souza

White House Ghosts

Robert Schlesinger

Making News Decision on Iraq Troop Withdrawal Expected This Week 5 MIN, 49 SEC

An announcement on troop withdrawal from Iraq in 19 months may come on Friday.  That's from Vice President Joe Biden talking to Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show. Gordon Lubold is Pentagon Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.

Gordon Lubold, Wall Street Journal (@glubold)

Main Topic Obama Addresses a Joint Session of Congress 35 MIN, 33 SEC

Oratorical ability has been a defining characteristic of some presidents. For others, the inability to make a good speech has been a serious limitation. In the past month, President Obama has been criticized for presenting too grim a picture of America's current challenges. Last night, the President painted a grim picture of America's economic crisis and predicted hard times. But in contrast to recent speeches, he insisted that recovery is a certainty. He explained why he wants to give banks more taxpayer money and outlined ambitious plans for healthcare, alternative energy and education. Did the President strike the right note of optimism in perilous times? What did Governor Bobby Jindal say on behalf of the Republicans?


Robert Dallek, Presidential historian
Robert Schlesinger, Deputy Editor at US News and World Report
Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation (@KatrinaNation)
Diane Lim Rogers, Chief Economist, Concord Coalition

Reporter's Notebook DC Closer to Ending 'Taxation without Representation' 7 MIN, 35 SEC

The District of Columbia was carved out of Virginia and Maryland more than 200 years ago in a deal that deprived its residents of a vote in the Congress. Now 600,000 people live in Washington, DC, and they're on the verge of finally getting the franchise. The US Senate agreed yesterday to debate the old question of whether DC residents should have voting representation. The current non-voting congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, says that means, “all lights are on go. There can be no turning back now.” Adam Kurland is a professor of law at Howard University School of Law.

Adam Kurland, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law

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