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President Barack Obama's announcement that the last American soldiers would leave Iraq by the end of this year capped a momentous week in which he could also take credit for helping dispatch Colonel Moammar Gadhafi. On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, guest host Terrence McNally explores what this will mean in next year's elections. Also, Los Angeles County's troubled Probation Department gets a new chief, and a new study headed by a former skeptic offers confirmation of global climate change.

Banner image: President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 21, 2011. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Making News LA County's Troubled Probation Department Gets a New Chief 9 MIN, 37 SEC

Los Angeles County Supervisors voteed today to appoint Stanislaus County Probation Chief Jerry Powers to take over their embattled Probation Department. The department faces pressure because of a new state law that shifts parolees and nonviolent felons from state to county probation supervision. Staff writer Garrett Therolf, who covers the county for the Los Angeles Times, has an update.

Garrett Therolf, UC Berkeley and Common Sense News (@gtherolf)

Main Topic Will a Sour Economy Trump Obama's Foreign Policy Victories? 34 MIN, 9 SEC

President Barack Obama's on a foreign policy roll: the death of Moammar Gadhafi, the assassinations of Anwar Awlaki in Yemen and Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Obama's withdrawal from Iraq and the successful NATO air campaign in Libya reaffirmed his credentials as a wartime leader. But conventional wisdom holds that none of this will matter because his political fortunes will be determined by the US economy. How will voters weigh his foreign policy victories against a sour economy? Will Republican candidates still try to make the case that he's weak on national security?

Michael Singh, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast (@attackerman)
Robert Baer, former CIA field officer and author
Kristen Soltis Anderson, Washington Examiner / Echelon Insights (@KSoltisAnderson)

The Devil We Know

Robert Baer

Reporter's Notebook Climate Change Skeptic's Talking Points Melt Away 8 MIN, 12 SEC

A scientist known for his skepticism over climate change released a new study this month with surprising results. UC Berkeley astrophysicist Richard Muller and a team of other scientists recently set out to test whether measurements of Earth's temperature are too flawed to show that the Earth is warming. The analysis of more than 1.6 billion temperature measurements led him to write in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, "You should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer. Global warming is real." Muller is a complicated character, writes Andrew Revkin in the Dot Earth blog for the New York Times.

Andrew Revkin, ProPublica (@Revkin)

The North Pole Was Here

Andrew Revkin

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