Alex Goldmark here from the night shift, hitting the ground running today.
A few announcements are planned out of Washington that we want to be sure we're ready for. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, is set to comment on rising health care premiums. We're getting responses from some of the health insurance companies most criticized for upping their rates. And, as we are wont to do on this radio show, we're putting out lines to everyday folk about how their lives have been or might be changed by increased health costs and by any potential actions from HHS.
The second political tidbit to keep an eye on is President Obama's new fiscal commission. The Senate wouldn't pass it so he's making it happen by executive order, but still trying to keep the bipartisan mission of debt reduction. What does this new executive style of bipartisanship show us about Washington right now? And will it work?
We would have checked in on the Olympic news anyway, but now that Lindsey Vonn has become the first American to win downhill gold, we will do it with renewed aplomb and national pride. Or love of sport and international fraternity. Or maybe it's just me that has an Olympic obsession this week and the rest of the editorial team will finally tell me to stop watching TV in the office.
UPDATED: 10:25 p.m.
Alex Goldmark (Senior Producer) here, with what's changed recently for tomorrow's Takeaway.
We got to thinking about President Obama's announcement to fund the construction of new nuclear plants that would be the first since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. What we started wondering as we always do, is what is the local impact of this national policy. So we'll check in with the Mayor of Waynesboro, Georgia, near a nuclear plant set to expand.
We've got plenty of Olympic coverage lined up too, from the latest medal count to an expert take on the finer side of sport: the fashion of figure skating. Yes, really. And it will be interesting. Trust us.
Then we'll give you some Chinese new year recipes for a lucky year. Who doesn't want delicious luck?
UPDATED: 8:35 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here on the holiday night shift.
Tomorrow we'll continue our ongoing effort to understand as many ripple effects of the Haitian earthquake as possible. We will hear from two doctors, one of them Haitian-American, about the strains and stresses on the medical community and the medical workers administering necessary care in the battered country.
On an uplifting note, it is Mardi Gras time. We'll get Grammy award winning musician Terence Blanchard to tell us about his favorite carnival time music. Good listening will abound.
UPDATED 7:45 p.m.
Alex Goldmark, Senior Producer here ...
Blizzard shmizzard. We've got a great show set for tomorrow.
The Haitian government has been putting out some changing figures on death toll today. But by any account at least 170,000 people have been buried in mass graves already. It is almost certain that the final death toll will match or surpass the Asian Tsunami of 2004. On the occasion of this grim revelation, we going to check in with a United Nations official in Haiti about the scale and scope of the damage. Each time we have an interview like this we do learn of new hopes and new horrors, don't we?
Besides that, most of the major interviews and planning laid out this morning has held up. (That usually means no breaking news during the day, so maybe the snow actually helped us by smothering the news cycle.) On a weather note, we have booked a snow expert. He literally wrote the history book on weather. But he's also stranded in his West Virginia house without power and no working phone because of the weather. So hopefully we'll get his stormy insight topped off with a touch of his personal snow saga.
For you techies wondering what that new doohickey in gmail is, we're gonna give you the lowdown on Google Buzz. Rumors are already flying about some privacy concerns.
UPDATED 8:45 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here with a night shift update.
The car trouble at Toyota motors on. And we at The Takeaway always like to hear from different perspectives affected by the top news stories, so when we heard that Georgetown, Kentucky was rallying behind the Japanese car maker we wanted to add their voice to the national conversation. Now, we know it's to be expected that a town with a Camry plant will root for Toyota, but we still want to hear how the town is "praying" for the company to get back on its feet. We'll talk to a local community leader and a car expert about how Toyota might bounce back from the recall rut they're in.
UPDATED 9:20 p.m.
Alex Goldmark, the Senior Producer on the night duty here.
Well, after a little investigating we're changing our changes. The producer we put on the explosion story out of Connecticut reported back that there don't seem to be all that many incidents involving natural gas plants and safety issues. We didn't want to treat this like shark attacks where we make a bigger deal out of a high profile incident and create the impression there is a trend or persistent danger worthy of panic.
So instead, we're talking about what we do think is a potential real danger (though on a much longer time horizon). Tomorrow we'll try to evaluate the scope and trajectory of Iranian nuclear ambitions. Are sanctions the answer? Is engagement? And how far along is Iran really?
Our Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich will also bring us a radio obituary of John Murtha, including a list of all the public buildings already named after the Democratic Congressman in his district. It's way way more than you'd expect.
Right now the center of attention for politically frustrated conservatives is Nashville, Tenn., as the Tea Party Convention rolls on to day two. But back in 2008, the Ron Paul for President campaign was the magnet of libertarians who felt left out of their party. We ask the Texas Congressman what he thinks of the Tea Parties, and what future he sees for them.
UPDATED: 5:40 PM
Alex (Senior Producer) here with some changes to tomorrow's show.
We've booked former Presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul to help us cover the energy, enigma and infighting around the Tea Party convention in Nashville. So that should be interesting.
The Tea Party movement has become catch all for anti-Obama and anti-big government ire. But organizers of the first ever Tea Party Convention are finding that not all Tea Partiers want to be under one umbrella, and they certainly don't want to take marching orders from the Republican Party.
This week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said they are prepared to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gay and lesbian service members. We talk with Michael Hyacinthe, who served in a Navy construction battalion from 1997-2005, about why he thinks the policy should be overturned.
UPDATED: 7:55 PM
Alex Goldmark here watching over the night shift.
A few things have changed since Anna's last post. We've been reading between the lines of some interesting comments about Don't Ask Don't Tell today. General Gates told a Congressional hearing: “If legislation is passed repealing the law, we feel strongly we will need time for implementation of that change.” Well, what changes exactly? How does officially recognizing that someone is gay change the way you treat them or the institutions of the military? And what are the potential ripple effects of altering the way gays are treated in the military that might go beyond life in uniform?
On a side note, we're having a fierce debate here on how much humor is appropriate, if any, for this topic. One producer has concientiously objected to pulling and editing some movie clips that others here think might lighten the tone and mood of the interview tomorrow. Tune in to see who gets their way.
We're also going to hear from the Boy Scouts. They are turning 100 years old this year, and in honor of that milestone they are making a special effort to reach out to hispanic youths.
Our deficit explanations (referenced below) that Anna was hunting down before might have to wait until Thursday. So goes live radio.
A report from Miami on the hospitals there dealing with the influx of evacuees from Haiti, how the president wants to overhaul No Child Left Behind, the religion of "Groundhog Day" (the movie).
Alex Goldmark, on the (hopefully not so late) night shift.
So we've found our guests to discuss the life and legacy of legendary author and recluse, JD Salinger: Jonathan Safran Foer and King Dork author, Frank Portman. It is still State of the Union week here on The Takeaway though, so in addition to the state of foreign (military) affairs from General David Petraeus, we'll get a preview of the state of Native America from the man who will give the state of the Indian union speech tomorrow. Right now, that's the update.
But who knows who will call in to The Takeaway tomorrow, it could be anyone.
Alex here (Senior Producer working the night shift) ... and your six word state of the union "speeches" are pouring in, so that should be fun tomorrow. Other than that, not much has changed since Anna's update around lunch time.
To mark the 65th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz we've recorded the story of an 84-year-old survivor now who's speaking out in response to Holocaust deniers; we'll play that for you tomorrow.
And straddling the worlds of business and film, Avatar has surpassed Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time. internationally anyway. Is it just because tickets have gotten more expensive? Also interesting, Avatar's total ticket sales of $1.859 Billion are more than the GDP of these countries: Belize, Greenland, Guyana, Liberia, Cape Verde, Bhutan, Eritrea.
But really, that's just a tiny part of tomorrow's big show, the rest is all laid out below.
Alex here, Senior Producer on the night shift today ... All is going pretty much as planned. We've only added one major addition to the show. We've been curious for a while about the graphic nature of the images coming out of the rubble in Haiti. Our partner The New York Times was too. So we're planning a discussion on the changing norms of photojournalism. Are we bound forever more to see the most graphic pictures on front pages as newspapers are forced to keep pace with amateur photographers and social media distribution? Or is there something special about Haiti and coverage of this earthquake?
UPDATE: Sunday 8:30pmEST
Alex here on the Sunday shift ... and credit to my friends from Friday. Much of what they planned is still as relevant now after the weekend's news. We'll still start our pre-State of the Union analyses as planned with a look at some possible changes President Obama may be preparing to announce on Wednesday. Our Haiti coverage will continue and shift to more forward looking as the grim rescue efforts end with a look at how they might begin to rebuild and compare the obstacles now with past disasters.
The most surprising of our stories on tap for tomorrow may turn out to be our weekly family segment. This week we hear an unexpected but well researched theory on child sexual abuse. We might be understanding the notion of trauma all wrong. And if we get it right, maybe that would encourage more than just 5% of abused children to come forward.
We're also following the rumblings around the re-confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, still hearing and receiving responses to last week's Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance and yes, we'll have a preview of the Superbowl and recap of the NFL championship games last night.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, major U.S. aid organizations have received over $305 million dollars for Haiti. Big photogenic disasters close to home generate big donations, but that’s not always the best way to save the world, says Economist writer Matthew Bishop.
Alex here shepherding tomorrow's show through the night ...
As already posted on this website, John Hockenberry interviewed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen today. We'll run that tomorrow along with our continuing coverage of the political fallout from the electoral upset in Massachusetts. Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY) will tell us why the Dems are OK without a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
We might have heavy hitters from Washington (or right outside Washington in the Pentagon anyway) but we're not letting up on watching the relief efforts in Haiti. After a serious aftershock today a friend of the show wrote us to say "the aftershock was stronger than I realized and we are concerned more buildings have collapsed. People are screaming outside." So tomorrow we'll get the full update live. We're also following a few different 'big picture' angles. For one, we want to know if the medical risks to patients and doctors are evolving or growing over time with so many victims remaining injured and bodies still unburied. And on a political level, three prominent female political leaders were victims of the quake, so we're looking into what that means for gender progress in Haitian politics.
Plus graphic journalist Joe Sacco, how Starbucks bounced back, and an examination of the Apple buzz-making machine.
See ya tomorrow.
It's looking steady here on the evening shift as we wait for the polls to close in the Massachusetts special Senate election.
We've lined up reporters from Boston and political strategists to parse out the final results. One theme on our radar if Republican Scott Brown wins: did the democrats lose it or does the credit go to Republicans for a well-organized, long-shot campaign. No matter who wins, we'll discuss what the outcome and the race mean for Obama's agenda.
Alex here, manning the evening shift.
Always on the hunt for a good conversation with American newsmakers, we'll be talking with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius tomorrow. She'll update as on U.S. relief efforts in Haiti.
In general, our continuing coverage of the aid efforts in Haiti have sparked a slew of questions in our editorial team. After a doctor we reached mentioned treating bloody patients without gloves, we're trying to sort out how Haiti's rate of HIV/AIDS (2.2 percent of the population) hinders or alters aid efforts. That might be on the show tomorrow, or later in the week. We also want to compare mobilization of international relief this past week, with past disasters like the tsunami of 2004, so we're gathering some experts who have worked on, or studied both. We've found some fascinating music from Haiti too, so we'll take some time to share that.
And we love elections. So we'll go live to the polling booths in Massachusetts, where Democrats are getting a shockingly tight run for their money in the race to fill the Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat.
Plus a few surprises, because, hey, this is live radio.