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Friday Flashback: SOTU, income inequality, Waxman and more




US President Barack Obama smiles as he speaks at the Costco in Lanham, Maryland, on January 29, 2014 to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage for all Americans.
US President Barack Obama smiles as he speaks at the Costco in Lanham, Maryland, on January 29, 2014 to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage for all Americans.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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It's Friday, which means it's time for another Friday Flashback -- our look at the week in news. Oh what a week it's been. To help us with that we're joined this week by columnist James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times and Nancy Cook of National Journal.

Earlier this week, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. He hit some pretty big topics, healthcare, education, closing the income gap. What was the takeaway from the speech? 

One of the first things he mentioned was the widening income gap, basically saying that while corporate profits are rising, wages aren't. Seems like this is going to be the big topic here in 2014. How will this topic play out in politics in the months to come? How might the two parties try to leverage it to their advantage?

Let's stay with this notion of wealth disparity.  yesterday we spoke with Ben White of Politico, who wrote a really interesting piece he titled "Why the Rich are Freaking Out". Some of the one percenters are really worried about the anti-rich rhetoric. Some are saying they're even fearing for their lives. Is this just paranoia or is there something deeper going on here?

While the President didn't mention immigration too much, the speaker of the house John Boehner came out and, maybe because this weekend is the Super Bowl, compared hashing out immigration reform to the gridiron:

We can't leave the topic of the State of the Union without covering the GOP response, or should we say GOP response. Or how John Steward dubbed it, Republican open mike night.

Congressman Henry Waxman from California, one of the most powerful and prolific lawmakers announced he would not seek re-election after his term is up. He was on our show yesterday to confirm and explain his decision.

What's his legacy and just how big of an effect will his departure mean for the Democrats?

A number of California representatives have said they're stepping down, including Buck McKeon, and George Miller. They've both been there a long time. What about Pelosi and some of the other long-serving Californians? Will there be big changes coming for the California delegation?

Super Bowl 48 between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks is right around the corner. Some people are referring to it as the Stoner Bowl, Bud Bowl, so named because both states have recently legalized marijuana.

Turns out the name may be more appropriate than some imagined. Outside New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, pro-marijuana activists have put up multiple billboards proclaiming that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Could this mean that in a few years we could have a weed commercial on the Super Bowl?