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.
It’s the first Tuesday in November, and voters in New Jersey, Virginia and cities across the country are headed to the polls. As the voting gets underway, we take a look back to this Tuesday one year ago, when Americans went to the polls and elected Barack Obama president.
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter offers his assessment of Obama's policy achievements and missteps since; and Takeaway contributor Patrik Henry Bass gives his take on how one year has changed things, as candidate-Obama became President-elect Obama.
President Obama hits the campaign trail this week, stumping for some vulnerable Democrats. He starts his trip fundraising among Wall Street bankers, a group the White House is simultaneously chastising. Also, with his overall approval rating down to 51 percent, how much will the president's appearances help other candidates? We speak to New York Times Washington correspondent David Kirkpatrick; Bob Hennelly, who covers New Jersey for WNYC; and Ted Mann, political reporter for New London Day in Connecticut.
Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, joins us to do some fact checking on health care reform and Medicare-cost claims from both sides of the Congressional aisle.
Chinese president Hu Jintao told the U.N. that climate change "has a profound impact on the survival and development of mankind," but stopped short of offering specifics on his country's plans to address the problem. Still, Chinese policy expert Taiya Smith tells us the speech is a big deal because it shows the country is moving away from pursuing development at all costs. That's good news for Henrik Fleischer, the CEO of energy technology firm Sargas, who tells about the bright future he sees for his carbon capture technology in the Chinese market.