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Week In The News: The State Of The Union, The GOP Race, SEAL Team 6

Romney-Gingrich, neck and neck in Florida. Obama kicks off his own campaign. SEAL Team 6 back at work, in Somalia. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen at rear.  (AP)

President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen at rear. (AP)

Well, now we’ve got Cayman Island millions and a moon base in the Republican presidential rumble.  Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich squaring off hot this week in Florida.  Going at each other hammer and tongs.  Gingrich wants a space colony.  Romney backers tarring Newt as “erratic.”  A huge vote on Tuesday.

President Obama talks fairness in the State of the Union, and gets a finger wag in Arizona.  A downsize coming for the Army and Marines.  Seal Team 6 strikes again, this time in Somalia.

This hour, On Point:  Hot times.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Major Garrett, White House correspondent for National Journal.

Carl Hiaasen, author and columnist for the Miami Herald.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Journal “President Obama, like every president, wants to be the former. And he began his campaign for reelection with the trappings of a State of the Union address promising to be the latter—to be the fair man. Obama’s address was designed to portray him as a partner who can break a two-decade-long cycle of rising economic output but near-stagnant wages. Not a New Deal, but a Fair Deal.”

The New York Times “The Pentagon took the first major step toward shrinking after a decade of war as it announced on Thursday that it wanted to limit pay raises for troops, increase health insurance fees for military retirees and close bases in the United States. ”

New York Magazine “It’s going to get ugly—it always does, and this year, it already has. But by almost every measure, the 2012 election is going to be the most negative in the history of American politics. In this, the post-hope election, the promise of Obama’s last campaign has been turned inside out. For all the Republicans’ attempts to emphasize the virtues of austerity, the animating force of their party is hatred of Obama, his “Kenyan” ancestry, his “socialism” and Chicago associates, and the charge that he took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and landed us in an anxious, alien landscape that doesn’t feel anything like what people used to call “America.””

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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)

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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.

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