UPDATED 7:30 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here on the Sunday shift. We're rolling ahead and getting excited about our Frustration Nation series (see below for details).
We're watching a few different stories that might make it into tomorrow's show or later in the week. For one, the U.S. casualty count in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan has reached 999 according to icasualties.org. We've always felt very strongly on The Takeaway about supporting our troops and giving voice to the military community. Before that number hits the tragic four digit mark we are opening our airwaves to vets, servicemen and families of the fallen (and anyone else, too) to leave a tribute message to someone who has served in Afghanistan. Call and leave a message at 877-8-MY-TAKE and we'll play them on-air soon.
In Washington, governors from around the country met today and are trying to push the White House to let them in on health care negotiations. If that looks like it might change the game in any major way, we're ready to cover that too.
We'll have our usual Olympic update from Vancouver, which tomorrow might involve the gold medal win of Bode Miller, and possibly an answer to the question how many of the little kids spinning around their living rooms faux figure skating, will actually hit the ice and practice ... or maybe how in the world I can practice curling in New York City.
And finally, we will learn about the modern Brady Bunch family and what new research has to say about blended families and raising healthy and happy step children.
Since 1969, Appalshop has chronicled life in the Appalachian mountains in all its beauty and ugliness.
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 7:45 p.m.
A planned segment on a nationwide decrease in the number of illegal immigrants isn't panning out the way we thought, so we're looking around for a second-hour lead story.
UPDATED: 4:57 p.m.
About ten minutes ago, all the networks started showing file footage of former President Clinton behind BREAKING NEWS text saying he's been taken to a New York hospital with chest pains. The afternoon crew has swung into action, calling historians, politicos and cardiologists ... the goal being to be ready no matter how the story progresses.
UPDATED: 12:45 p.m.
Anna Sale here on the day producing shift.
Friday marks one month since the earthquake devastated Haiti. As we've covered this story, we've seen how the quake has affected communities far from the island nation, including the hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in the United States. Tomorrow, we will check in with people in three different Haitian American communities to see how they are coping and how they feel they are faring in their attempts to help back home.
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.
While the Obama administration's proposed changes to the No Child Left Behind law are grabbing all the education headlines, a new court ruling in Washington state highlights tensions brewing in many states capitals. A judge found that by not adequately funding education, Washington was not upholding its constitutional duty to provide "ample" education for all students. He ordered the legislature to figure out how to fix it.
UPDATED 4:30 PM SUNDAY
Alex Goldmark spending Super Bowl Sunday watching the news wires and the TV screen at the same time. Yes, it's quite manageable multi-tasking.
We're monitoring the power plant explosion in Connecticut. It's an interesting study in breaking news. Original reports said "mass casualties" and potentially 250 injured. Those reports have been been scrubbed from websites, but I'm sure they will surface again soon if you're following the story. At The Takeaway, we're waiting to see what the scope of the damage is, both human and material.
And if the Saints win the Super Bowl, we expect New Orleans to party like its Fat Tuesday eight days early. And since we like a party, at least us on The Takeaway night shift, we're lining up someone to shake off the hangover and wake up early to bring us the highlights of the after party. If the Colts win, well, then we'll see how to cover in the morning. Sorry Peyton.
Car trouble continues for Toyota. But was it a problem of outsourcing... to the USA? We'll take a look at how much Toyota's foreign status played a part in the causes, and the exacerbation of their acceleration problems.
Updated at 6:50 PM
Noel King here, filling in on the night shift.
We added a second guest to our coverage of Toyota’s woes in the wake of a worldwide recall of cars with faulty gas pedals. LA Times reporter Ken Bensigner co-authored a series of investigative stories that probe Toyota’s safety record. Bensigner’s reporting has drawn accolades and raised even more questions about how Toyota handles consumer complaints. Observers and analysts are in a frenzy over Toyota's safety problems, but Producer Marine Olivesi reached out to several Toyota owners this afternoon - and couldn't find even one who was concerned about the recall.
We continue our conversation on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell with Michael Hyacinthe, a former member of the Naval Construction Battalion who has some ideas of his own on what the military's policy toward gay and lesbian members should be. And since Hyacinthe’s is just one point of view; we’ll play more of the responses that flooded into our spinvox line.
As Anna wrote earlier, we’re covering the kick-off of the National Tea Party conference in Nashville. Fordham political science professor Tom De Luca joins us to put the Tea Party movement in context. You might be surprised just how many similar movements the US has inspired in its roughly 235-year history.
The cash-strapped city of Colorado Springs is cutting back on services that many people consider basic: things like mowing public parks and picking up the trash. Instead, the city wants residents to pitch in and fill the services gap. We talk to Mayor Lionel Rivera about whether or not Colorado Springs is on its way to becoming a Do-It-Yourself city.
Finally, Haitian American author Edwidge Dandicat shared with us a poignant Haitian tradition – which she says is helping her cope with the devastation caused by a massive earthquake that struck Haiti more than three weeks ago. You’ll hear all about it tomorrow morning.
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.
UPDATED: SUNDAY, 6:31 PM
Alex Goldmark on the Sunday shift.
President Obama's budget comes out tomorrow just as we'll be going live on-air. Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, will be on hand to extract the important implications from the heap of numbers. We expect to see some serious cuts as the president reveals how he will try to reign in spending.
We're also following the murmurs around the Khalid-Sheik Mohammed trial. It appears that a passionate local community board in downtown Manhattan have raised enough of a fight to get the trial moved out of the neighborhood where the twin towers once stood. What's interesting, though, is how they organized and got their way, and why another town not too far away, is lobbying hard to host the trial New York didn't want.
And we're waiting to find out why someone in Juarez, Mexico went on a shooting spree at a high school party leaving 13 dead. When we know, we'll let you know.
All this week, we’ve been focusing on the State of Our Union. President Obama offered his version on Wednesday night. Today in Washington, Jefferson Keel, the president of the National Congress of American Indians and a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, offers his take on the state of the Indian union.
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.
UPDATED AT 7:53 p.m.: Arwa Gunja here on the evening shift.
As Anna wrote about earlier, we're planning some heavy coverage on the Supreme Court decision that came down earlier today that allows unlimited corporate funding for campaign ads. We've booked former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.), who is an interesting player in all this because he authored campaign finance legislation in the House of Representatives that would prevent the very thing the Supreme Court is now allowing.
We also got word a couple of hours ago that Air America, a liberal talk radio network, will cease broadcasting immediately. Brian Stelter, who covers media for our partner The New York Times, wrote a blog posting which has already incited interesting conversation. He'll be joining our show for an update tomorrow.
And we haven't forgotten Haiti. Ken Berger, the president and CEO of Charity Navigator, joins us tomrrow to answer some of the big questions Americans have been having about donating to Haiti. For example, how much should you donate, what's the best organization to give to, and when? Tune in for those answers tomorrow.
It’s W-2 time at work, and with that comes the cruel reminder that tax season will soon be upon us. But Lori Singleton-Clarke's story offers a silver lining.
After the failed attempt to explode a bomb on an American plane on Christmas Day, how and when President Obama responded became the focus in the avalanche of media coverage that followed.
We’ve been mulling over New Year’s resolutions all week. Today, when it is time to finally commit, we talk with someone who has sustained a goal through twelve long months. Author Gretchen Rubin joins us to talk about her book, "The Happiness Project," which chronicles her year-long effort to get happier. Her advice for day one? Make your bed.
Today is New Year's Eve, and that means citizens of the world will be ringing in 2010 when the clock hits midnight. We're leaping through time zones with reporters from across the globe for a look at how some cities are getting ready to celebrate. Tristana Moore is a BBC Correspondent in Munich; Phil Mercer reports for the BBC from Sydney, and Anna Sale is a producer for The Takeaway in New York. Sale called in from Times Square, where many hundreds of millions around the world will watch the ball drop at midnight EST.
Advertisements for extended auto warranties are everywhere on television and in mailboxes, but some customers have been complaining that when the repair bills come due, the warranty guarantors are nowhere to be found. Consumer watchdogs are looking sharply at some of the warranty companies, and reporter Scott Graf, from WFAE in Charlotte, NC, says it looks like the boom times for bogus insurance may be ending.
We begin a new series on the impacts of state budget cuts around the country – governors and legislators are making deep cuts, with effects easily felt by residents. Maryland may cut $1 billion from its budget by the end of 2009. One of the proposed cuts affects a mental hospital in a rural community along the Chesapeake Bay; the governor says closing it would save $9 million. But residents worry there will be no safety net to catch its patients. We hear from reporter Melody Simmons, from our partner WEAA in Baltimore, as well as Tanya Rider, assistant director of nursing for the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center.