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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama listens as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain speaks during the presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Hershorn, Pool)

Barack Obama and John McCain during their final presidential debate on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP)

We’re getting used to big, wild news. On Wall Street, epic swings up and down, and Warren Buffet saying it’s time to buy. In the economy, rough headlines all over and warnings of worse to come.

In politics, tough digs, the last head-to-head debate of the presidential campaign, and a welcome respite of humor. Obama concedes he has the ears of Alfred E. Newman. McCain jokes he’s hired Joe the Plumber to work on all seven of his houses.

This hour, On Point: We’ll look at the week. Our news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

You can join the conversation. Is the fog clearing yet for you on the American economy? On the presidential race? What do you see? Tell us.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Liz Halloran, senior writer for U.S. News & World Report, who’s been all over the presidential campaign.

Also from Washington is David Leonhardt, economics columnist for The New York Times.

And with us from Hanover, New Hampshire, is Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

More links:

Here’s the full video of Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain:

And here’s the next night’s comic relief at the Al Smith Memorial Dinner in New York, which featured roasts by the candidates:

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

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Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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