"His ratings on the day he stepped down in 1981 were bigger than all three network news shows put together today."
—Sanford Socolow, former CBS Evening News executive producer, on Walter Cronkite
"We're getting into a really exciting time with the kinds of technologies that are being developed. I'm thrilled to be getting in at the ground floor of Constellation and to be part of the exploration that's coming up."
—future astronaut Kate Rubins
As the NAACP wrapped up the celebration of its 100-year history, President Barack Obama stopped by to address the crowd. Joining us with their reactions to the president's speech and the legacy of the NAACP are Geraldine Sam, the first African-American female mayor of LaMarque, Texas, Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New American Foundation, and Farai Chideya, friend of The Takeaway.
"This is exactly what he's going to be remembered for in 20 or 30 years: His ability to communicate with his community in a very frank and open and tough-minded way."
—Reihan Salam on Barack Obama's speech to the NAACP
If you missed President Obama's speech, you can watch it in its entirety below.
Last night the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama, addressed the NAACP convention. His speech was a poignant capstone for the organization's hundred-year history. Farai Chideya, guest host of The Takeaway, hosted a special broadcast from the anniversary. She was joined by Patrik Henry Bass, Takeaway contributor and editor at Essence magazine, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, an associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University, and Michael Meyers the president and executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition.
This morning, JP Morgan Chase posted a quarterly profit of $2.7 billion. That's a 36 percent jump from a year ago. It comes just two days after Goldman Sachs announced a quarterly profit of over $3 billion. As the two banks weather a harsh economic climate, they have managed to pay back the huge government loans they took last year and proceed to earn record profits. Joining us to discuss Chase's earnings is Eric Dash, banking reporter for The New York Times.
Today the NAACP wraps up its convention celebrating its 100-year anniversary. For a look at what the group's future fights for civil rights should be and how their past accomplishments shaped the nation, we are joined by Lani Gunier. Lani Guinier is the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She is also the first and only tenured black female professor at Harvard Law School.
We’ve been covering the NAACP’s centennial convention all week. Tomorrow we wrap up the conversation with linguist John McWhorter. We’ll look at his vision for keeping the NAACP relevant in the 21st Century.
Read about what was life was like for black Americans in 1909.
The Emmy nominations are out this morning. Some shows or actors were shoo-ins, while others were shut out. Topping the nominees was Tina Fey with a jaw-dropping 22 nominations; the other big nominee was AMC's "Mad Men". On The Takeaway is Kim Potts; she runs the blog TV Screener and is here to talk about the Emmys.
Click through for a complete list of nominations, but here are the headlines:
Drama Series: "Big Love," HBO; "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Damages," FX Networks; "Dexter," Showtime; "House," Fox; "Lost," ABC; "Mad Men," AMC.
Comedy Series: "Entourage," HBO; "Family Guy," Fox; "Flight of the Conchords," HBO; "How I Met Your Mother," CBS; "The Office," NBC; "30 Rock," NBC; "Weeds," Showtime.
Flight of the Conchords made a surprise appearance in the Best Comedy category, and one of it's stars, Jemaine Clement, is vying for Best Actor in a Comedy Series:
The other big nominee was AMC's period drama Mad Men:
As Judge Sonia Sotomayor prepares for another long day in front of the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee, we turn to The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. He was there for all of yesterday's highlights and he joins us with his take on the ongoing confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee. (Todd is Twittering the hearings' highlights; follow him on thetakeaway.org.)
"The way to keep one's sanity in watching these hearings is principally to look at them as markers on our path of constitutional development."
—Columbia University law professor Nate Persily on Sonia Sotomayor's hearings
Here, Sen. Al Franken questions Sotomayor on abortion and the Constitution:
President Obama is aggressively selling his health care plan to both the American people and the U.S. Congress. On Tuesday the House unveiled its health care reform bill and yesterday the Senate got its plan through committee—by a slim margin. Both plans guarantee insurance for most Americans. But they raise taxes on high-income people while providing subsidies to Americans at moderate-to low income levels. Both plans also penalize employers who do not provide health benefits to workers. For a look at how the president is selling the plan, The Takeaway talks to Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist and the president of Lake Research.
Here is one way the plan is being sold—Heartfelt advertising:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been out of the media spotlight lately. But yesterday she staged a coming out party in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her speech focused on Iran and she had forceful words for the Islamic nation. Mark Landler is The New York Times Diplomatic Correspondent and he joins The Takeaway with his analysis of Clinton’s speech yesterday. Also joining the conversation is Afshin Molavi, a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Soul of Iran: A Nation's Journey to Freedom, to help us understand the shifting relationship with the U.S. and a post-crackdown Iran.
Watch Hillary Clinton's speech below:
Four decades ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and "Buzz" Aldrin took off in the Apollo 11 spacecraft, headed straight to the moon. The tour was one small step for man, and one giant leap for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But once you go to the moon, is the only direction to go...down? To reflect on the moon landing, on NASA today and forty years ago, The Takeaway is joined by NASA's current acting administrator, Christopher Scolese.
For more, head over to NASA's Apollo 11 page and take a tour of the landing site.
Here's a slideshow of Apollo 11 photos and memorabilia:
Natalya Estemirova, a prominent journalist and human rights activist, was kidnapped yesterday from her home in the Chechen capital of Grozny. She was found a few hours later, dead of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. She spent her career documenting kidnappings and killings in Chechnya and was working on documenting an arson campaign by government-backed militias. Her work frequently pitted her against the Chechen government. Her death raises larger questions of safety for human rights workers and journalists. Joining The Takeaway with more of the story is Dimitri Babitch, political journalist with the Russian news agency Rio Novosti in Moscow.
It is Day Four of the U.S. Senate's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and The Takeaway is asking: are Senate confirmation hearings a chance to explore the intricacies of U.S. jurisprudence and truly assess the character of the nominee? Or just a chance for senators to impress their constituents and for nominees to tell the Senate what they want to hear? The Takeaway talks to Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University.
Here's Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) taking his turn on the Senatorial stage yesterday:
Somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop is a nifty gadget called a netbook. It allows you to get online, but has no hard drive so it's ultra-portable. These lightweight internet-only devices have been around since 2007, but are getting more attention as both Google and Microsoft unveil new programs designed specifically for netbooks. Joining us now to talk about why the netbook is so popular, and where it fits in among all the other gadgets out there, is Matt Buchanan, contributing editor for the blog Gizmodo.com.
At President Obama’s urging, Democratic congressional leaders made considerable progress this week in reworking the nation’s health care system. On Tuesday, the House unveiled its health care reform bill and yesterday the Senate got its plan through committee. Both plans guarantee insurance for most Americans. They would raise taxes on high-income people while providing subsidies to Americans at moderate to low income levels. Both plans would also penalize employers who do not provide health benefits to their workers.
We turn to Trudy Lieberman for her take on what we could actually end up with. She is the director of the health and medicine reporting program at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism and she is a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. We'll also hear from medical leaders Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital,and Dr. Michael Pramenko. Dr. Pramenko is a family physician. He also serves on the Colorado Medical Society’s Congress for Health Care Reform. We also hear from Michael Fredrich. He is the president of MCM Composites LLCs, who as a small business owner has struggled to provide health care to his employees.
A fatal plane crash in Northwest Iran has left 168 people dead. The Caspian Air flight was headed from Tehran to the Armenian capital of Yerevan; it crashed 16 minutes after departure. Caspian, a 16-year-old commercial airline, operates within Iran and to Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Armenia, using Russian-made Tupolev jets. For more, The Takeaway turns to Borzou Daragahi, Beirut bureau chief for the LA Times. Also joining the conversation is Graham Warwick, senior technology editor of Aviation Week. There have been four major crashes in six weeks: are planes not as safe as we think?
The violence in Mexico has taken a serious uptick. In the last four days, six federal agents have been killed along with a mayor of a small town in Northern Mexico. A series of eight coordinated attacks in Western Mexico has left many more dead and wounded. The violence has increased in response to President Calderón's efforts to crackdown on drug-related crime. He sent 45,000 troops across the country to lessen the grip of organized crime, which reaches into police forces, government institutions, and mountain villas across the country. Some 11,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since 2006. For more of the story The Takeaway turns to Ioan Grillo, Time Magazine's reporter in Mexico City.
Here's a report on the impact of drug violence on the small town of Ascension, Mexico: