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Harper’s Thomas Frank on Obama’s Centrist Ideology, and His Distress Over Erosion of Our Rights

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Thomas Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire and lead essayist for Harper's, returns to talk about his recent column and a range of current issues.  Gary Chew on Will Ferrell's new flick, The Campaign;  Will Durst's latest is promised, but we don't have the audio file yet.Via Skype, Tom Frank joins us from his Easy Chair and we have a wide-ranging and, yes, "frank" discussion about the first 3.8 years under Obama.  Springing from his column in the September issue, we talk about Obama's failed efforts at bipartisanship and the damage caused, bad appointments like Geithner, Gates and Bernanke, his cautious approach to judicial appointments, and the way he negotiated in vain with GOP--and himself--on health care reform.  We also whack Romney and Ryan for flips and hypocrisy.  And we get a little bummed out talking about Obama's record on civil liberties and presidential power, from wiretapping to the kill-or-kill program.

Cameo appearances by my dog Chloee and Tom's son Teddy.

At 57:50, Gary Chew reviews The Campaign, and then your humble host apologizes for the missing Durst commentary.