Molly Webster

Molly Webster appears in the following:

The President Talks to Congress, America

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tonight, the president will appear before a joint session of Congress—perhaps the grandest setting for such an event—and deliver a speech on the need for health care reform. Among those watching will be Congressmen and Senators, but far beyond the halls of Congress, he will also be addressing Brad Bynum in Oklahoma and Faith Dow in California. As Americans who are still unconvinced on health care reform, they are who President Obama really needs to convince in his speech.

We also talk to New York Times White House correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg about what might be in the president's speech tonight.

Comments [6]

Amidst Criticism, Obama to Urge Schoolkids to Work Hard

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It has been described as a situation as messy as an 'Animal House' food fight. Obama's decision to talk directly to youngsters today at noon has provoked accusations from critics, including 'indoctrination' and 'politicking' from critics. The fever pitch has gotten high enough that the White House released the text of the speech yesterday in what appeared an attempt to calm critics. This was enough for Newt Gingrich, who said it's a "good speech" and "good for students to hear," but did this quiet the bickering masses? We talk to parents and a public school spokesperson for their impressions. We talk again with Sheri Fowler, from the Rockwall Independent School District in Texas; Brett Curtis, a father of three from Pearland, Texas; and Michael Campo from Chicago, Illinois.

"My reaction is that [the speech] sounds like something a father might say to his child. That's what my job is. I'm a parent and I feel like it's my responsibility to teach my kids the values of education and that my kid goes to school to get the education and not to be lectured by politicians."
—Brett Curtis,father of three in Pearland, Texas after reading text of the President's speech.

"I think that this president just can't cut a break. It's becoming almost offensvive at the way some people are treating [it] and disrespectful to the Office of the Presidency."
—Michael Campo, father of three in Chicago, Illinois


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Back-to-School With the H1N1 Virus

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tomorrow, children across the country head back to school. Today, however, we’re joined by three health care professionals to talk about what school communities are doing to combat the spread of the H1N1 virus. Dr. William Schaffner is the chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt School, Lisa Swank is a public health emergency preparedness coordinator from Maryland, and Carol Johnson is the superintendent for Boston Public Schools.

"Stay home for 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. And for people, particularly with underlying illnesses, once the systems start, immediately call, you don't visit, but call your doctor because your doctor may want to prescribe an ant-viral medication for you, which will shorten the course of the illness."
—Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt School,for students who start to feel symptoms


Melting Arctic North Up for Grabs

Friday, September 04, 2009

The United Nations says that in 30 years, there may be no ice left in the Arctic if we don’t do more to stop global warming. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was in the Arctic Circle this week, to drive that point home. We talk to the director of the Secretary General's Climate Change Support Team, Janos Pazstor, and Anthony Russell of the U.S. Coast Guard. Russell is part of a team that just returned from the arctic north, as part of a U.S. exploration mission.

Listen to the sound made by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy as it manuevers in the Arctic sea ice:

(click through for a map of America's swath of the Arctic.)



Obama to Give Congress Prescription for Health Care

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The White House announced an addition to the president's agenda next Wednesday; he will speak about health care reform before a joint session of Congress. Obama's oration skills have long been considered one of his strengths, but pundits wonder if a few words from the bully pulpit can bring about agreement on the challenging health care bill. Joining us with a preview of what the president might say is Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine. We also speak to presidential historian Allan Lichtman, from American University, for a look at how presidents have waged their battles with Congress in recent decades.

"The president has got to come up with some kind of plan. And the members of Congress have got to zip their lips, and zip their egos and do one thing and one thing only, get that plan through."
—Presidential historian Allan Lichtman on how President Obama can pass health care reform

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Why Are We Afraid to Call in Sick?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

From acetaminophen to gargling with salt water, most people we know will do anything to recover from being sick... except skip a day of work. But this attitude won't jibe with the H1N1 virus: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that Americans who catch swine flu take at least 3-5 days off of work to prevent the illness from spreading. Even the thought of one hour of isolation from our cubicles gives us the jitters, so today, we're sitting down with clinical psychologist Robin Kerner to try to understand exactly why it is that Americans have such a hard time just staying home.

Need additional proof that Americans just don't vacation? Read Why we don't vacation like the French in the American Prospect, Please don't make me go on vacation in the New York Times, and Money vs. Time Off: Why we don't take vacations from The Digerati Life.

Read Robin Kerner's blog post



The Government's Swine Flu Plan: Does it Measure Up?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Yesterday, the president held a press conference to update the nation about the government's preparedness for an impending outbreak of H1N1, or "swine flu." The briefing was lackluster, to say the least, and it came on the heels of some startling news: there's suspicion that three people in Egypt might have independently come down with both avian flu and H1N1 simultaneously, a viral partnership that could allow H1N1 to become more virulent. (For more, read this article from the International Society for Infectious Diseases.) Are we really prepared for that? To read between the lines of dry bureaucratic-speak, we've called in our swine flu guru, Dr. Richard Wenzler.

Click through for a transcript of the president's remarks or watch his speech below:


Finding Emotional Sanity After Years of Captivity

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

After 18 years of being held captive, how will Jaycee Dugard break from the emotional and mental stresses that built up during that time?  We talk to Benedict Carey, science reporter for The New York Times, to look at if and how a person begins to return to normalcy after years of torment.

Read Ben's piece on the psychology of recovery on the front page of today's New York Times: "For Longtime Captives, a Complex Road Home."


Fires Rage Outside of Pasadena

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September begins the official fire season in California, and already, at least eight fires are burning across the state. One in particular, which is blazing on the mountaintops around Pasadena, has fire marshalls worried. California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegar is calling the Pasadena area a disaster area, while fire officials are nervously watching a shifting weather system in fear of increasing winds. Bill Davis, CEO of KPCC public radio in Southern California, gives us an update from his front porch, from where he's watching the fires.

"There are a number of houses in these communities that have been evacuated. And I had an almost surreal experience of going to evacuate a friend’s house, who was on vacation…and going through [it] ... finding wedding albums and things of importance for [my] neighbors." — Bill Davis, CEO of KPCC public radio in Southern California, can see the wildfires from his front porch

KPCC listeners have sent in a series of pictures of the fires:


Health Care Reform: People Who Like Their Coverage

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

We've hosted roundtable discussions about the pros and cons of health care reform, and talked to people who don't have health insurance, and those who do. For today, we're talking to people who not only have health insurance, but are pleased with what they have. A new public opinion poll states that 80 percent of insured people from all walks of life are happy with their current insurance.

Our roundtable guests include:

  • Ebon Soul, a 40-year-old high school history and music teacher from Baltimore, Maryland who is politically independent, but registered as a Democrat.
  • Lori Roman, a 46-year-old non-profit executive and political conservative from Annapolis, Maryland. She is the founder of Regular Folks United, an online forum featuring right-leaning bloggers.

Go back and listen to all the previous health care reform roundtables in this series.

"I pay Medicare, and if I’m paying state taxes which also contribute, if they allocate that: I’m paying for all this anyway, and the bottom line is, I think the Federal government regulating these companies is better." — Ebon Soul, a 40-year-old high school history and music teacher from Baltimore, Maryland

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Taliban Attacks, Pakistan Responds

Monday, August 31, 2009

In Pakistan, local and state authorities were challenged by a spate of attacks over the weekend. NATO oil tankers were set ablaze along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a suicide bomber struck a group of volunteer policemen in the Swat valley, leaving 17 dead, according to reports from Associated Press.  Pakistan's law enforcement say they've responded with a new offensive that has killed at least 30 members of the Taliban.

The border region is considered the main arterial route between Afghanistan and Pakistan. What can be discerned from these events about the ongoing fight against the Pakistani Taliban? Here to lay it out for us is Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and former State Department analyst on Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Alleged California Kidnapper Arraigned

Monday, August 31, 2009

An unsettling case keeps getting stranger. Phillip Gorrido of Antioch, California was arraigned last week for kidnapping then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard, keeping her hostage in his backyard, and sexually assaulting her for 18 years. Police are now investigating whether Gorrido was involved in the murders of several prostitutes in the area during the 1990s. Here with more is Ravi Peruman, reporter for KGO radio in San Francisco.


Hamid Karzai's Notorious Running Mate

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's been surrounding himself with a number of figures with checkered pasts, including his running mate, ex-militia chief Mohammad Fahim. James Risen, investivative reporter for The New York Times, joins us to discuss why the U.S. dislikes Fahim but had no leverage effective enough to prevent Karzai from selecting him as his running mate.


CDC May Recommend Routine Circumcision

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In an attempt to slow the spread of HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might begin recommending circumcisions for all infant boys. The announcement comes out of this week's National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta. The CDC likely won't release a formal draft of the proposal for another four to six months, but speculation on it already has emotions flaring.

For more on the debate, we are joined by Dana Goldstein, public health reporter and associate editor for The American Prospect magazine; and Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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On Your Mark: Running Could be Good for Your Knees

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whereas most people think running is good exercise that aggravates knees and causes long-term damage, a new report reveals that it just might be good for your joints. Last spring, a European study revealed that people who run were actually protected from knee injuries. New York Times Magazine columnist Gretchen Reynolds explains.

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Is Asperger's Hollywood's Disease du Jour?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Name one film that involves someone with Asperger's syndrome. And it can't be Rain Man. Cat got your tongue? Well, after this summer season, the task might get a little easier: from animation (Mary and Max) to a rom-com (Adam), movies — and even some novels — are giving men with Asperger's the leading role. With the new interest in this autism spectrum disorder, The Takeaway is left wondering: how do such films affect the community they portray? We've asked David Corcoran and David Edelstein to help us start this conversation. Corcoran is health editor at The New York Times, where he worked on the piece about Asperger's in today's Science Times, Asperger's Syndrome, On Screen and in Life. Edelstein is chief film critic for New York Magazine.

Here's the trailer for "Max and Mary":

Comments [4]

The D Word: Can Divorce Damage Your Health?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A new study hints that losing a significant other has effects that last well after the Kleenex box has been emptied and thrown away. Linda Waite co-authored a new study on health and marriage and she joins The Takeaway with the details.

"The people who are in the worst health are the people who got divorced and stayed divorced. What we're saying here is that getting divorced increases the risks of some major health problems many years later, compared to people who never got divorced."
—Linda Waite on the health concerns associated with divorce


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.


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.


Sky High: NASA Looks Back at the Moon Landing

Thursday, July 16, 2009

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: