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Afghanistan: Quran burning riots force closure of Talokan military base

In Herat, protesters reportedly attempted to storm the US consulate, while others in Kabul marched on the US embassy and NATO headquarters.

Afghanistan: 2 US soldiers reportedly killed by Afghan, as Obama apologizes over Quran burning (VIDEO)

Afghans have been protesting and in some cases rioting since the US government on Tuesday apologized for "improper disposal" of religious books.

Obama v. Romney: They sing. You decide (VIDEO)

The GOP frontrunner is no Obama, at least when it comes to music.

Earlier this month we learned that President Barack Obama can sing a pretty mean Al Green.

Today we learned that Mitt Romney should probably not sing in public

Here's the offending clip, courtesy of the Washington Post's Post Politics blog and CBS This Morning.

And don't say I didn't warn you:

And for comparison, here's Obama at a fundraising event in New York City:

They sing. You decide.

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US Economy: Why Obama's economic recovery is impressive

We can easily identify some huge differences between the conditions that Obama inherited and what Reagan inherited.

Hillary Clinton to quit if Barack Obama re-elected (VIDEO)

Clinton dismissed speculation that she plans to run as vice-president in 2012 or president in 2016, saying that she was tired of being on "the high wire of American politics."

Obama touts another green company in State of the Union. It immediately goes bankrupt.

Maybe President Barack Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. Immediately.
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US President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Leadership Gala in New York, June 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps President Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. 

Every time he does, it seems, they go bankrupt.

It happened again today, according to Bloomberg/Businessweek.

Just two days after Obama touted his adminstration's green energy programs, Ener1, an electric battery maker that received a $118 million grant from the US Department of Energy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Oops.

Here's what President Obama said Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, in reference to Ener1:

“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries."

And here's what Bloomberg/Businessweek is reporting about today's news:

The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

According to an Energy Department statement cited by The Hill:

“While it’s unfortunate that Ener1, the parent company, has entered a restructuring process, the new infusion of $80 million in private capital demonstrates that the technology has merit,” Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said in a statement.

This is the second high-profile embarrassment for the Obama administration's plans to support the US alternative energy industry.

More green energy coverage from GlobalPost: Powerland, adventures in urban energy

Solar panel maker Solyndra, which received $535 million in government loan guarantees, went bankrupt in September.

Don't expect a strategy shift away from green energy, though.

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Obama SOTU speech connects on the economy

Swing voters liked the economic fairness message, anyway.
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US President Barack Obama addresses the nation on Jan. 24, 2012. (Screengrab)

President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech last night was clearly designed to kick off his 2012 reelection campaign by framing his eventual Republican contender — whoever that might be — as a heartless economic Darwinian. (Check out this smart New York Times analysis by Mark Landler that expounds on the point). 

But by making economic equality the centerpiece of his address, Obama was a hit last night with swing voters — those people critical to his success or failure in November.

That's the read, at least, from Democratic pollsters Democracy Corps.

Check out this chart, which shows what swing voters thought of last night's message.

Source: Democracy Corps

Those are some pretty good results, no matter how you cut it. The 24-point swing on the middle class point is particularly arresting. 

Of course, economic fairness is a theme that loyal Macro readers will find familiar.

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Somalia hostages Jessica Buchanan, Poul Thisted freed by Navy SEALs

US Navy SEAL Team 6 stormed the area in central Somalia where hostages Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted were being held by gunmen late last night.

State of the Union: Obama’s top 5 foreign policy messages

“Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama said.

Obama Campaign Starts Buying Ad Time

President Barack Obama's campaign is starting to buy ad time in six key election states
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