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6:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 11:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a pat-down throwdown. The Transportation Safety Administration says it did not detain Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. But officials at the agency did stop one of their most outspoken critics while he was going through the airport security line in Nashville yesterday.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Republican senator was going through a body scanner when the alarm went off. Apparently, it was an anomaly. Then, he refused to submit to a pat-down, so he was escorted out of the screening area.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

State Of The Union Preview

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A string of debates and primaries has kept the Republican presidential candidates in the spotlight this election season. Tonight, it's the president's turn to take center stage. President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address, and in many ways kick off his own campaign for re-election. It's a reminder that Mr. Obama is running for president.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney, Gingrich Clash During GOP Debate In Tampa

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: The latest Republican debate - last night in Florida - was more subdued than when the candidates last took the stage, in South Carolina. But still, it contained plenty of sharp jabs. After it was over, another dramatic turn in the race, with new revelations about Mitt Romney's taxes. We'll explore those numbers in depth, in a few minutes.

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World
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

U.S. Ambassador Accused Of Supporting Anti-Putin Forces

David Greene interviews Michael McFaul, the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, about the future of U.S. Russia relations and the rocky reception he's been given by the pro-Putin media.

Business
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with another powerful woman in Brazil.

The Brazilian state oil company has a new chief executive. Her name is Maria das Gracas Foster. Petrobras is the world's fifth-largest oil producer, and Foster becomes the first woman to run a top-five oil company. This comes as the firm looks to double its production by 2020.

The company's stocks surged on news of the appointment. Foster will be the second-most powerful woman in Brazil, after the president. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Election 2012
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney Campaign Finally Releases His Tax Returns

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, so Romney has gone on the attack in Florida, and he'll also be answering a lot of questions today about those taxes that he is releasing. As we heard from Mara, it turns out over the last few years, the effective tax rate Romney has paid is just under 15 percent.

Now, Newt Gingrich has been pressing Romney to publicly disclose the documents. And the former House speaker released his own tax returns, to dramatic effect, during a debate last Thursday.

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Election 2012
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Housing Woes Affect Florida's GOP Primary

One of the biggest issues in the Florida GOP primary race is housing. Mitt Romney is attacking Newt Gingrich's work for the housing giant Freddie Mac. This issue is not just a political talking point though. Three years after the economic collapse, foreclosures continue to affect real people every day in an extremely personal way.

Election 2012
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Florida Tea Party Likes Gingrich's Tough Leadership Style

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As we've been reporting on the program this morning, Mitt Romney went on the attack at the GOP presidential debate in Florida last night. His target was rival Newt Gingrich, who was forced to defend his record as House speaker and later as a consultant to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich denied charges of influence peddling that were leveled by Romney. And Gingrich said he was the type of bold, tough leader Washington needs.

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Politics
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama Supporters Look To State Of The Union Speech

The hotly-contested Republican primary has gotten a lot of attention lately. Tuesday night, President Obama has a chance to reclaim the spotlight. He's delivering his annual State of the Union address. It's a high-profile platform for the president as he tries to frame the choice facing voters in November.

Sports
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Looks To Qualify For Olympics

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You might remember, last summer, the U.S. women's soccer team caught the attention of the nation with its dramatic run to the final of the women's world cup in Germany. Well, this week, the team is playing in an all-important, Olympic-qualifying tournament in Vancouver. And Christine Brennan is there covering the event for USA Today.

Christine, good morning.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Good morning, David.

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Movies
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Academy Award Nominations To Be Announced Tuesday

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Roll out the red carpet. We'll soon know the movies with a shot at Oscar gold. Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced this morning in Beverly Hills. Kim Masters has been watching the Oscar race as editor-at-large for the Hollywood Reporter, and she joined us from NPR West. Good morning.

KIM MASTERS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Around the Nation
3:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Mass. Senate Race To Block Third-Party Political Ads

The two dominant candidates for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts say they want to keep superPAC ads out of the state. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren have signed a pledge requiring that each candidate donate half the cost of any outside ad to charity, if that ad either supports their candidacy or attacks their opponent.

Around the Nation
2:49 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Online Lottery Could Be Coming To A State Near You

Several states — including Illinois and New York — are now pushing forward with plans to offer lotteries on the Internet.
iStockphoto.com

Several states — including Illinois and New York — are now pushing forward with plans to offer lotteries on the Internet. That's in the aftermath of an opinion from the Justice Department, which reverses a long-standing policy and says states are free to conduct online gambling within their borders.

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It's All Politics
12:34 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney Redux: Did The Front-Runner Find A Way Back In?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich debate at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:35 am

On Tuesday, it is likely the presidential campaign's focus will shift to Mitt Romney's tax returns, which show him making $42.5 million in 2010 and 2011. That number may be bigger than he can finesse by saying in essence: Don't hate me because I'm successful.

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