January 26: American Dream Team

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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Compiled with the help of Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

Obama’s rhetorical shift from hope to teamwork (WaPo)
EJ Dionne writes that Obama’s third State of the Union laid out a reelection narrative as clearly as Reagan’s warnings about the growth of government or Clinton’s eulogy for big government, but with a very different message: government works.

Obama Can Win Big With FDR Formula (HuffPo)
Robert S. McElvaine notes that if Obama wants to do more than squeak out a second term, he has to recognize that it’s better to go bold and make enemies than to constantly seek compromise and reach a consensus that nothing should happen.

A new vision for America: Restoring a country that makes things (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson argues that the president’s calls for a re-industrialization of America reflect a growing belief that the U.S. will never regain its full strength unless its companies start producing something besides crappy jobs in Chinese factories again.

Fed Signals That a Full Recovery Is Years Away (NYT)
The Fed will extend its plans to keep interest rates low by another 18 months, with a majority of its policymakers predicting the economy won’t be strong enough to change course until late 2014. This new transparency thing’s kind of a bummer.

Fear in Davos (Reuters)
Felix Salmon reports that George Soros has managed to dominate the conversation at Davos by openly expressing the inner fears of impending economic turmoil and civil unrest that make it hard for savvy financiers to just sit back and enjoy the caviar.

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New Housing Task Force Will Zero In on Wall St. (NYT)
The Obama administration may have hoped to win over progressives by appointing New York AG Eric Schneiderman to head a new task force on mortgage fraud, but critics worry it’s just a shiny bauble to distract from the foreclosure settlement.

Scratching the Surface of Obama’s Education Rhetoric (The Nation)
Dana Goldstein notes that the education agenda set out in Obama’s SOTU contained some crowd-pleasers (teachers matter!) and some head-scratchers (outlaw high school drop-outs?), but what he didn’t say might matter more.

Timothy Geithner’s last term (Politico)
It looks like we won’t have Geithner to kick around anymore regardless of whether his boss wins reelection. It’s not yet clear what he plans to do next, but maybe he can finally get that job at Goldman Sachs that everyone assumes he already had.

Super PACs not welcome in Massachusetts Senate race (Salon)
Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown have signed a pledge to stem the tide of Super PAC-funded attack ads in this year’s hottest Senate race, so now the campaign can focus on what really matters: the candidates tearing into each other personally.

How Citizens United Created Newt (New York)
Jonathan Chait writes that the Republican establishment may start to understand the need for campaign finance reform now that they’ve decided Gingrich can’t be their nominee and one of Gingrich’s billionaire supporters has decided differently.