State of the Union January 2009

The Issues

In this series of transcripts from online instant message discussions, experts debate where we stand and what needs to change

Race
Hua Hsu and Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss Obama, football, hip-hop, and the elusive notion of a "post-racial" society.

The Future of Party Politics
Ross Douthat and Matthew Yglesias consider where the two major political parties will be in 2012.

Foreign Policy
James Fallows and Jeffrey Goldberg discuss Hillary Clinton, the Middle East, China, and the possible pitfalls of Obama's rational approach.

Health Care
Virginia Postrel and Shannon Brownlee assess the prospects for health care reform in the midst of a financial crisis.

The Economy
Megan McArdle and Ryan Avent compare recessions and depressions, revisit the housing bubble and the banking crisis, consider the future of the 401(k), and ponder whether Obama can prevent a repeat of the 1930s.

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