Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke is reportedly President Obama’s pick for Commerce Secretary. His third pick... but hey, who’s counting? In Locke, Obama has found a nominee with extensive U.S.—China trade credentials who is also an Eagle Scout. For more details on this new pick, we are joined by Tom Banse a regional correspondent for Northwest Public Radio who covered Governor Locke from 1996 - 2004.
Today Detroiters head to the polls for a special mayoral primary to replace former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who left office under a hail of crime and scandal. When it comes to Detroit there is no denying that it is time for a change. The city has been burdened by political scandal, it’s facing a deficit that could approach $300 million, and unemployment rates are at a precipitous 10.7 percent. But voter turnout suggests change is beyond reach: Only 10-15 % of Detroit’s registered voters are expected to cast ballots today. For a look at what the stakes are with this special election and the dangers of voter apathy, we turn to Rochelle Riley, the Metro Columnist for The Detroit Free Press.
Takeaway Contributor Stephen Dubner, who co-authors the Freakonomics book and blog, asked his readers to come up with a six-word motto for the United States. Our listeners joined in the fun and now Stephen is here to announce the winner of our poll.
"The American history of mottos is murky. We have a bunch of them: 'E Pluribus Unum,' 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall,' 'One Nation Under God.' But they're not really in use that much."
— "Freakonomics" author Stephen Dubner on a new motto for the country
Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter voted against the stimulus package even though his district west of Detroit is fighting major economic challenges. And since the funds will flow to his district despite his opposition, we'll ask him to describe how he would like to see the stimulus money spent to most effectively help his constituents.
Now that the American Recovery Reinvestment Act has been passed into law, the Department of Education has been given an unprecedented injection of money. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has $100 billion dollars of emergency aid at his disposal. But is the disbursement of this aid, 40% of which is going to avert education cuts, the best way to bring our education system into the 21st century? This week we’re taking a closer look at how the stimulus will affect education in America. We’re kicking off the conversation with Bob Compton. He is a venture capitalist and the executive producer of an education documentary Two Million Minutes. That’s the number of minutes it takes to complete high school. In his film he compares the education system in the U.S. with the school systems in India and China.
What else is in the stimulus bill? Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.
ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you.
"At best this money is going to go into the states, along traditional channels, and it's going to cement American education firmly in the 20th century. But it is going to do next to nothing in moving the American K-12 education into the 21st century." — Venture capitalist Bob Compton on the injection of stimulus funds into public schools
North Korea has announced that it's preparing to launch a long-range rocket. While North Korea swears it is just carrying a communications satellite, the launch is raising fears that the long-range rocket technology, with a theoretical range of over four thousand miles, could eventually be used to target Alaska. For more, the BBC's Jon Sudworth joins us from Seoul, South Korea.
Facing a triple threat from the spiraling economy, mortgage foreclosures and an ailing auto industry, President Obama began his economic counteroffensive this week. He signed a huge stimulus bill, was given a multi-billion dollar plan to restructure car makers and announced a $50 billion foreclosure rescue. All of these moves resonate in Detroit, a city struggling with foreclosures and ground zero of the auto industry meltdown. Jerome Vaughn is the News Program Director at WDET-FM in Detroit and he joins The Takeaway this morning.
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