Streams

Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

Jobs, the Minimum Wage, and Unemployment Insurance

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Dow posted its highest closing since last November, topping the 9000 mark for the first time since January. And the minimum wage goes up today from $6.25 to $7.25. But some say this will create more joblessness, pushing the nation’s unemployment-insurance system into a severe and long-term test. To talk about all of this is Peter Morici, economist and business Professor at the University of Maryland, and Jason DeParle, a reporter for The New York Times.

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Just for Laughs: Montreal's Comedy Festival

Friday, July 24, 2009

Montreal, Canada, hosts the annual "Just For Laughs" festival this weekend. A swarm of comedians from around the world descends on the city for hundreds of shows. Joining The Takeaway from Montreal to talk about the festival is Steve Heisler, a contributor to The Onion's A/V club, and Andy Kindler, a writer and comedian and a veteran of the festival.

Watch a clip of Andy Kindler performing below.

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Keeping Score with the Week's News

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Takeaway is taking a look at the news scorecard for the week including Obama selling his embattled health care plan, Secretary of State Clinton taking aim at North Korea, and a Harvard professor facing down police from inside his own home. Here to help tally who's up and who’s down is friend of The Takeaway Marcus Mabry, the international business editor at The New York Times, and Reihan Salam, fellow at the New America Foundation and co-author of "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream."

"Right now the Republicans don't have to do anything other than let the train wreck happen as the Democrats debate with the Democrats."
—Marcus Mabry of the New York Times on the health care debate

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The Road to the Future? All About Cars

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The car industry is starting to release its second quarter profit reports. The Ford Motor Company is posting a surprise $2.8 billion profit, but it continues to have operating losses. Since its two biggest competitors, GM and Chrysler, have just emerged from bankruptcy, the report is definitely creating a mixed picture of the company's health. Globally, Hyundai has managed to post a huge profit, while luxury car brand Porsche has big changes in the works. For more we turn to Nick Bunkley, The New York Times auto industry reporter, and Russell Padmore, a BBC business correspondent.

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Call the Police: Racial Profiling and the Law

Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the end of his press conference last night, President Barack Obama discussed the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president said the cops "acted stupidly" in their decision to arrest the nation's preeminent African American studies scholar when he was questioned about a possible break-in at his own home. Law enforcement officers receive sensitivity training in dealing with racial profiling. So why do these incidents continue to happen? Joining The Takeaway to discuss the issue is Phillip Atiba Goff, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Executive Director of Research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, and Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department.

"It can be unintentional biases that people hold that cause this racially-biased policing... A vast majority of the men and women in law enforcement have no intention of being prejudiced."
—Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department

For more, listen to The Takeaway's story, America, Still Not 'Post-Racial' and read Takeaway Contributor David Wall Rice's essay, Professor Gates Arrested? No Surprise.

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Hillary Clinton and North Korea: A War of Words

Thursday, July 23, 2009

North Korea and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have launched a war of words. In a speech in Thailand, where she is attending a regional summit, Secretary Clinton urged North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons; North Korea's official media responded by calling Clinton "an unintelligent funny lady." North Korea also announced that the six-party talks on disarmament were dead. Jill McGivering, the BBC's Asia correspondent, joins The Takeaway to explain what's at stake.

Here is more on Secretary Clinton's trip to the ASEAN summit and her call for changes in Myanmar and North Korea:

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California Dreaming... of a Budget

Thursday, July 23, 2009

After weeks of budget battles and threatened cuts, the California state budget is finally up for a vote today. Or maybe tomorrow. Possibly next week. The Takeaway talks to Dan Walters, a political columnist for the Sacramento Bee, about California's continuing budget crisis.

A very tired looking Gov. Schwarzeneggar thanks people for their budget-solving suggestions in this video:

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Calling All Guinea Pigs: Volunteer for the H1N1 Trials

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The U.S. government is seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to roll up their sleeves for the first clinical trials of an H1N1 flu vaccine. The race is on to test whether a new vaccine really will protect against this virus before its expected rebound in the fall. Will the vaccines work? Will there be enough vaccines for everyone? What are the dangers of the vaccine itself? The Takeaway talks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which will oversee the trials.

"We think the risk is extremely small because we give tens of millions of doses of seasonal flu vaccine every year to adults, the elderly and children, and there's not a significant, at all, degree of adverse effects."
—Dr. Anthony Fauci on the H1N1 vaccine

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President Obama Packs The House in Ohio

Thursday, July 23, 2009

President Obama is heading to Ohio today on a campaign swing—not for the presidency but for his health care plan. Dan Bobkoff, reporter for WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, is getting ready to join the crowds filling the Shaker Heights High School gymnasium this afternoon. He joins The Takeaway with his take.

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Salesman-in-Chief: Obama Pitches Health Care Reform

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last night in a primetime press conference, President Obama pitched his plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system. For a performance review, The Takeaway talks to T.R. Reid. He is a veteran reporter and the author of the forthcoming book: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

Here the president addresses possible sacrifices for health care reform:

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The Very Model of Modern Major Health Care System

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In last night's press conference, President Obama cited several models of health care that he thinks might hold lessons for the nation's health care system. One of those models was the Cleveland Clinic, which President Obama will be visiting today. Other hospitals that are often cited for excellent patient care are the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. What makes these medical centers so noteworthy? To find out, The Takeaway talks to Megan King, a registered nurse at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, and Mark Allan, who studies the health care system and is the director of the health sector management program at the Boston University School of Management.

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Vice President Biden has Georgia on His Mind

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden is in Georgia today. The former Soviet republic is an independent nation, but has been at war with Russia in order to keep Moscow at bay. The vice president made it clear that the U.S. stands with Georgia, but it is unclear whether that support extends to selling weapons to the nation, a move that could make Russia very nervous. For more of the story, The Takeaway is joined by Steven Eke, the BBC's Russia anaylst.

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Job Creation Rising, But Job Losses Continue

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress yesterday, saying he expects to see new jobs appearing near the end of this year or early next year. He warned, however, that it could take a while for the unemployment rate to slow down. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the long wait for work is New York Times magazine writer Roger Lowenstein, who sees the lack of job hiring as more troubling than job losses. Also joining the conversation are Fred Winner, who runs a welding company in Western Ohio and has had to lay off employees and cut hours, and Boreas Van Nouhuys, who lost his job last November as a carpenter in Kauai, and is still looking for work.

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Streaming Music on the Internet

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the last 20 years the music industry has changed a lot: from vinyl to tapes to CDs and now streaming. Streaming is free music available online, but it is not downloaded so you don't have to worry about the RIAA knocking down your door. Joining The Takeaway with an overview of free music is Maura Johnston, editor of the music blog, Idolator.

Need some options for streaming online? Happy listening:

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Anatomy of a News Conference

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last night President Obama addressed the nation during a primetime news conference. The number one item on the president's agenda was health care reform, but other issues popped up, too. The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich was there for it all and he joins the show with his analysis. Also joining the roundtable conversation are Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard, and David Wall Rice, a professor of psychology at Morehouse college and author of Balance: Advancing Identity Theory by Engaging the Black Male Adolescent.

"The standard insurance product that most people have is an umbrella full of holes. That is, if you have a really serious illness you'll still be bankrupted, even if you keep the standard insurance policy."
—Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on health care

Here the president addresses concerns about Medicare in the health care debate:

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America, Still Not 'Post-Racial'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On Monday, Henry Louis Gates Jr, one of the nation's pre-eminent African American scholars, was arrested for breaking into his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The charges have been dropped against the Harvard professor but the racial questions are still swirling. With the election of the first black man to the White House, many people thought American society was becoming "post racial." Joining The Takeaway to discuss race in America is Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor, law professor at George Washington University and author of Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice and our friend David Wall Rice, a psychology professor at Morehouse College.

Read David Wall Rice's blog post, Professor Gates Arrested? No Surprise

"The police engage in these who's-the-man masculinity contests. And you know there are things you can do if you don't want to get locked up: you can not look them in the eye, you can be deferential. But sometimes, when you're a black man who's tried to do the right thing your whole life and still end up getting treated like a you-know-what, you do get loud and tumultuous."
—Law professor and author Paul Butler

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Tough Talk: Secretary Clinton's Message to Iran

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is getting tough on Iran. Speaking from Thailand today she announced that the U.S. is prepared to defend its allies in the Persian Gulf against any threats from Iran, which appears to be moving ahead with its nuclear program. To help us parse what the tough talk means is Jon Leyne, the BBC's Iran correspondent, who has been kicked out of the country and joins The Takeaway from London.

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Air America: The State of the Airlines

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Airlines are starting to release their quarterly earnings reports. The results? Turbulence. While Southwest and United eked out a small profit, Continental announced a slight loss. Charisse Jones, reporter for USA Today, joins The Takeaway to talk about the state of airline industry.

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A Look into the Economic Crystal Ball

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke began two days of testimony before Congress on the state of the economy. He said, “The U.S. economy contracted sharply in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year. More recently, the pace of decline appears to have slowed significantly." Bernanke said there were "tentative signs" of recovery. So is the recession over? And if so, when will there be more jobs? The Takeaway is joined by Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a company that forecasts recessions and recoveries.

"We've been out on a limb since April that the recession ends this summer. I'm sticking with that. Our indicators are soaring."
—Lakshman Achuthan predicting the economic future

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Little Kids, Big Business: Updating the Children's TV Act

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In 1990, Congress enacted the Children's Television Act to promote educational children's television programming and to limit marketing to children. The act addresses only broadcast television, not cable, internet, or games. Gary Knell, the President and CEO of Sesame Workshop (the force behind Sesame Street) has been pushing for an update to the bill. He joins The Takeaway before he heads to the Hill to testify on re-booting the Children's Television Act for the 21st century and beyond. Also joining the conversation is Dade Hayes, a father and author of Anytime Playdate: Inside the Preschool Entertainment Boom, or, How Television Became My Baby's Best Friend.

"We're certainly not going to change Elmo...This isn't really about how Sesame Street is going to change. This is really about shining a spotlight on the issues around children's education and children's health, because media plays just an enormous role in impacting children."
—Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop, on children's programming today

When the original Children's Television Act was being debated, there was one special witness: Mr. Rogers. Here's his testimony:

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