Streams

Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

The Takeaway's Health Care Roundtable

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Takeaway is hosting a roundtable discussion of what health care reform should look like. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway’s Washington correspondent, sets the scene for the president's press conference with his analysis of the political issues. Then The Takeaway's panel discusses their own wishes for health care reform. Joining today's conversation are Dr. Peter Ubel, physician and behavorial scientist at the University of Michigan, Kristen Rouse, 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and Akin Mckenzie, a visual display artist.

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The President's Prescription for Health Care

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama is hitting the airways tonight to sell his health care reform plan. The Takaway's man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, gives us the behind the scenes report. We then turn to Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public policy at Princeton, to explain the history of presidential attempts to change the American health care system. Mr. Starr was a senior health policy adviser in the Clinton White House and is author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning book The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry.

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Millions of people across Asia were plunged into darkness during the longest eclipse of the century. The total solar eclipse, where the moon blocks the sun, turned day into night for several minutes across southeast Asia. For an eyewitness account The Takeaway turns to Jyotsna Singh, a BBC reporter in Delhi, India.

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Roundtable: Previewing Obama's Press Conference

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tonight President Barack Obama holds a prime time press conference. The main topic is likely to be health care reform, but topics such as unemployment, the economy, and Afghanistan are all likely to make an appearance. Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner joins The Takeaway to preview the presser. The Takeaway is also joined by Dr. Peter Ubel, physician and behaviorial scientist in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Kristen Rouse, 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and a Veteran of the War in Afghanistan; and Akin Mckenzie, visual display artist

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Breakfast: Keeping Your Cool the Sweet Sicilian Way

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who knew that breakfast could be one sure way to beat the heat? We’re not talking about chugging a frappaccino, we’re talking about breakfast the Sicilian way: ice cream. Gina DePalma joins The Takeaway with some Italian breakfast fare that could change the way you think about how you start your steamy, summer mornings. Gina DePalma is the pastry chef of the world famous restaurant Babbo, in New York. She is also the author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. And you can keep abreast of her culinary thoughts on the blog Serious Eats, where she is a weekly contributor.

Want to make your own coffee granita? Here's Gina's recipe:

Coffee Granita

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for every two cups of brewed espresso or strong regular coffee (You can adjust the sweetness to your taste).
  • Sweetened heavy whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate or ground cinnamon
  1. Whisk the sugar into the hot coffee, and let the mixture cool completely to room temperature before putting it into the freezer in a shallow metal or glass dish.
  2. Monitor the freezing process; as the sides begin to freeze, using a whisk or fork to break it up and move it to the center. Do this every 15 minutes or so, sooner as it freezes more, using a small whisk for aeration and to strategically target the frozen spots. When there is no more loose liquid in the mix, give it a really good whisking and let it freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes more.
  3. To serve, you’ll need some sweetened heavy cream whipped until it mounds softly. In a glass dessert dish or cup, put a generous layer of frozen granita. Add a small shot of ice-cold, brewed espresso for some extra coffee flavor.
  4. Layer on some cream, then repeat the layers, ending with a mound of cream, which you can whip a bit stiffer for holding power.
  5. Top with some shaved chocolate and/or ground cinnamon and serve with brioche on the side.
  6. Dip pieces of the brioche into the mix, or fold pieces of it around spoonfuls of granita and cream.

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Iraq in the Headlines, Al-Maliki in Washington

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In a move to show that Washington is normalizing its relationship with Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is coming to the White House today. The two leaders have plenty to talk about: Iraq's security, continuing ethnic tensions and, of course, oil. Al-Maliki's trip comes just three weeks after the U. S. military withdrew from Iraqi cities after years of occupation. Violence has been increasing across Iraq. The Takeaway talks to Jim Muir, the BBC's Baghdad correspondent, and Alyssa Rubin, the former New York Times Baghdad bureau chief who has just left Iraq.

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Governors Meet to Talk Health Care Reform

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The next two weeks may determine whether President Obama's health care reform plans go through. As the health care battle has gone to the states, many of the nation's governors (who are attending the National Governors Association this weekend) say they worry that Congress will force states to pick up extra health care expenses. Joining The Takeaway this morning with the current status of the bill is Todd Zwillich. And also joining the discussion is the new Chairman of the National Governors Associations, Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of Vermont.

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How California Closed Its Budget Gap

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

California leaders reached a deal late last night to close its $26 billion budget deficit. The deal would end months of political wrangling, but what got cut? To update The Takeaway on the details of the deal is John Myers, the Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED public radio.

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No 'Card Check' in the New Labor Union Bill

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Labor leaders had pinned their hopes on a new bill in Congress called the Employee Free Choice Act. They hoped something called a "card check" would be part of that bill, which would have made it much easier for employees to unionize. But it looks as though Congress will pass the bill without the card check provision. To talk about what labor unions will do without the card check is Anya Kamenetz, writer for Fast Company Magazine. We've also got Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest unions in the U.S.

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We Have Liftoff: When Apollo 11 Left the Lunar Surface

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. We've heard about the trip to the moon, the landing, the first footsteps. But one of the biggest challenges that NASA scientists faced was the liftoff from the lunar surface—something they had never been able to practice. On The Takeaway to talk about the intricacies of lunar liftoffs is Dan Durda, a planetary scientist and "almost" astronaut.

Here is video of the Apollo 17 taking off from the moon.

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A New Anti-Drug Strategy in Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The U.S. government is deploying dozens of Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Afghanistan in a new kind of anti-drug surge. It's the biggest expansion in DEA history, but will it help? Joining The Takeaway is Gretchen Peters, former Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent for ABC and author of Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda.

"I have seen video of parents exhaling opium smoke into the mouths of their infants because they don't have any other medicine to give them."
—Gretchen Peters on drug use in Afghanistan

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Harry Potter and the Staggering Profits

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" premiered last Wednesday. By Sunday, the film had raked in approximately $160 million—$20 million more than the previous Potter film. To deconstruct the Harry Potter juggernaut, The Takeaway talks to Susan Gunelius, president and CEO of KeySplash Creative, a marketing agency, and author of the book Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. We're also joined by Ben Maynard, a 17-year-old die-hard Harry Potter fan.

"It seemed like the marketing was being pushed at us using 'push' marketing strategies, but in reality it was 'pull' marketing — consumers demanding more from the brand."
—Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative, on marketing Harry Potter


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Texting While Driving? You Might as Well Drive Drunk

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A study says that if you're using your cell phone while driving, you're just as likely to crash as someone who has been drinking. But most states don't ban texting while driving. And no state has banned driving while talking on the phone. The New York Times reports that federal agencies withheld studies showing how dangerous texting while driving actually is. Joining The Takeaway is Adam Bryant, New York Times Deputy Business Editor.

"Collectively, we're making all these small little decisions, but across the country I think it's pretty clear that adds up to a safety risk."
—Adam Bryant of The New York Times on texting while driving

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The Politics of Selling Obama's Health Care Plan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

President Obama wants Congress to agree to at least the outlines of a health care plan before the August recess. But Republicans hope to delay action until the Fall, figuring public opposition to Obama's plan will increase. We get an update on the health care debate with Takeaway Correspondent Todd Zwillich. Also joining the discussion is Representative Bart Stupak from Michigan’s First District.

"Today is the day they're going to twist arms to get people like me and the blue dogs to just go along with the program. And quite frankly, I just don't think it's going to happen."
—Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan on the health care reform bill

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Around the World, Phony Drugs Infiltrate Pharmacies

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The World Health Organization reports that one in four pharmaceuticals are fake. The problem hits home in the developing world, where scant regulation lets useless and sometimes dangerous medicine land on store shelves. Some of the drugs most commonly faked are malaria medications. Such scamming can lead to drug resistance, scary side effects, and even death. Here to talk about his job using chemistry to ID fake pharmaceuticals is Facundo M. Fernandez, a Chemistry Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Bernanke on the Economy: Is the Recession Over?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give lawmakers an update on the economy. Will he say that the recession is coming to an end? Joining The Takeaway with a preview is Dan Gross, columnist for Newsweek and Slate.com.

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Deciphering the Health Care Numbers

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A large part of the health care debate is about the numbers. How much will health care legislation cost the federal government? Will you be paying more or less? To help figure out what health care would cost for both the average citizen and the U.S. government, The Takeaway talks to David Herzenhorn, congressional reporter for The New York Times.

"The President keeps calling in group after group — the American Medical Association and doctors, the hospitals, the nurses — trying to work out a deal. Every one of these compromises serves to weaken the bill to some degree by pulling it one direction or another."
—David Herzenhorn of The New York Times on the health care reform bill

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Taking the Pulse of America's Community Banks

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Large banks like Goldman Sachs posted record gains recently. Many smaller regional banks will release their earnings with much less fanfare this week. The Takeaway looks at the state of American banking with Mike Menzies, the president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust in Easton, Maryland.

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Escalating Violence in Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taliban attacks today rocked two eastern cities in Afghanistan. In the city of Gardez, Taliban militants dressed as women in burqas tried to set off explosives but were shot before they could do so. The AP reports that 13 Taliban militants and Afghan security forces have died in the attacks. The Takeaway talks to Jill McGivering, a BBC reporter in London.

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Reforming Afghanistan's Bagram Prison

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Pentagon is restructuring the war effort in Afghanistan, flooding the country with more than 20,000 troops. Now the Pentagon is revamping its detention policies in Afghanistan with lessons learned from Iraq. Among the changes: separating extremists from the rest of the Bagram prison population; focusing on education; offering classes on a moderate form of Islam. Is this move good for detainees, or just for the public relations of the U.S. military? To help answer that question The Takeaway talks to Jonathan Hafetz. He is an attorney in the National Security Project at the ACLU who has represented detainees from Iraq and Bagram and Guantanamo.

Taxi to the Darkside is a 2007 documentary about the death of an Afghani taxi driver detained at Bagram:

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