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Arguing Obama: Alter, Kuttner Debate

We take the pulse of the Obama presidency with two big takes on the White House now — from Jonathan Alter and Robert Kuttner.

President Barack Obama, right, and LaFourche Parish president Charlotte Randolph take a tour of areas impacted by the Gulf Coast oil spill on Friday, May 28, 2010 in Port Fourchon, La. (AP)

Barack Obama rode a tidal wave into office, into the White House. Now, a year and a half in, he’s up against a tide of oil lapping in the Gulf of Mexico. 

President Obama has taken on big issues, and battled through, his way, on the economic meltdown, on health care, on financial reform. 

Is he a transformative president, at a time when he promised, and the country needs, transformation? 

The jury’s still out. And now the oil is gurgling, mocking from the bottom of the Gulf.  

This Hour, On Point: Jonathan Alter and Robert Kuttner on the Obama presidency and the oil spill challenge.

Guests:

Jonathan Alter, columnist and senior editor for Newsweek and contributing correspondent for NBC News. His new book is “The Promise: President Obama, Year One.” You can read an excerpt.

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect magazine. His new book is “A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and The Struggle To Control Our Economic Future.” You can read an excerpt.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

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Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

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