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President Obama promised to pull US soldiers out of Iraq and send more to Afghanistan. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, can the US afford to defeat the Taliban and stabilize that country? What about de-stabilizing Pakistan, a country with nuclear arms?  On Which Way, L.A.?, tax increases and spending caps in Sacramento.  President Obama, California and Global Warming.  A possible shake-up at the Screen Actors Guild. And Chinese are celebrating the Year of the Ox.

Main Topic Obama to Let California, Other States Have Way on Emissions

President Obama today moved to grant California the option of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, something the state's been asking for since 2002. Under the Clean Air Act, California can ask for a waiver allowing it to impose tougher mileage requirements than the federal government.

Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board (@AirResources)
Dave McCurdy, President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Making News SAG 'Written Assent' Aims to Remove Allen

Last night, the Screen Actors Guild gave out this year's awards.  Today the Board of Directors took an unprecedented step toward a leadership change.  Moderates came up with a "written assent" to replace executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen. Jay Fernandez writes for the Hollywood Reporter.

Jay Fernandez, Senior Film Reporter, Hollywood Reporter

Main Topic Why Are US Troops in Afghanistan?

Eight years after being routed by American forces, the Taliban have regained control of much of Afghanistan.  Military leaders say 70,000 US and NATO soldiers can't secure the population, so President Obama has promised some 25,000 more.  Yesterday, on CBS' Face the Nation, Vice President Biden spoke of America's failure to get a coherent policy among our allies, which resulted in our inheriting "a real mess."

Martin Schweitzer, Colonel and Senate Liaison Division Chief, US Army
Andrew Bacevich, Boston University
Paul Burton, Director of Policy Analysis, International Council on Security and Development

The Limits of Power

Andrew Bacevich

Guest Interview A Thaw Develops in Budget Negotiations

Late last week, some California Republican legislators took a heavy political beating for sounding as if they'd consider an increase in taxes.  Today, it appears the Democrats may be ready to make some concessions.  Steve Harmon is reading the signals in Sacramento for the Contra Costa Times.

Steve Harmon, Contra Costa Times

Reporter's Notebook Chinese New Year, American-Style

Chinese all over the world are celebrating the Year of the Ox, which arrives today.  Charlie Woo, CEO of Megatoys in downtown Los Angeles, is past chair of the Chamber of Commerce.

Charles Woo, CEO, Megatoys

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