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Bill Clinton declared the Era of Big Government "over." Well, it's back, with a stimulus package big enough to start re-shaping the economy.  We look at the possible impacts now and in the long term.  What will it mean for free trade and the global economy?  Also, a bumpy road ahead for Obama cabinet picks, and Iraq's elections were peaceful.  Does that mean US troops can leave sooner than currently scheduled?

Banner image: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about the stimulus package. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Predator State

James Galbraith

Making News At Finish Line, Cabinet Game Gets Interesting 6 MIN, 7 SEC

On Capitol Hill today, former Democratic Senate Leader Tom Daschle apologized for not paying all his taxes, and Republican Judd Gregg looked like the likeliest nominee to be Secretary of Commerce.  Chris Cillizza is a political reporter for Washington Post.com.

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post (@thefix)

Main Topic Stimulating the Economy, Now and in the Future 34 MIN, 4 SEC

The President and the Congress are prepared to break records for government spending, with consequences for America and the rest of the world. The stimulus package is supposed to move fast enough to have immediate impact, but not so fast that it's reckless or wasteful. The House bill calls for prohibiting foreign steel and iron from infrastructure projects. The Senate version being debated this week goes further, with few exceptions to the requirement for American-made goods and equipment.  Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, call that "protectionism." Could such provisions lead to foreign retaliation? Do other elements advance the Democrats' social agenda, rather than focusing on creating jobs. What should be the long-term objectives? Can past levels of growth and prosperity be restored or will Americans have to tighten their belts permanently? 

John Murphy, Vice President for International Trade, US Chamber of Commerce
Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing (@ScottPaulAAM)
James Galbraith, University of Texas, Austin
Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal (@hookjan)

Reporter's Notebook Iraqi Elections and US Troop Withdrawal 8 MIN, 28 SEC

Saturday's Iraqi elections went off so well that, "If American forces want to speed up their withdrawal…the Iraqi forces are ready enough."  That's according to a legislator allied with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, quoted in the Chicago Tribune. Liz Sly, the Baghdad Bureau Chief, discusses potential opportunities for trouble when results are made known as well as the possible impact on American troop withdrawal.

Liz Sly, Washington Post (@lizsly)

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