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Former President Obama gives a speech in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Obama is the first guest on a new Netflix original talk show series, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman," launching globally today. The episode was taped last fall:

Why it matters: “One of the things that Michelle figured out, in some ways faster than I did — was part of your ability to lead the country doesn’t have to do with legislation, doesn’t have to do with regulations, it has to do with shaping attitudes, shaping culture, increasing awareness," Obama said, per Politico.

Other highlights:

  • Obama: "The stereotype of former presidents is you’re kind of sitting around your house and waiting for somebody to call — lonely and don’t know what to do."
  • Letterman: "No, that’s me."

Obama turned to "long-term trends that are still a problem":

  • "You still have growing inequality."
  • "The combination of technology and globalization. It means ... categories of jobs that are being eliminated."
  • "The cost of college, the cost of healthcare are still going up, although not as fast, as they were when I came into office.
  • "And so, in that environment, if all the money’s going to a handful of people at the top and they’re investing in all kinds of stuff because they wanna maximize their return, that’s how you start getting bubbles, that’s how you start getting, an overheated financial system."
  • "The challenge that we still have to address is how do we make an economy in this globalized technological environment that’s working for everybody?" 

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

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