With tar balls still fouling Gulf Coastlines, and vitriol aimed at BP Executive Tony Hayward, the oil industry doesn't have many friends in Washington. But while members of Congress may not be taking photos with oil execs, they are taking their money. This election cycle is on track to set a record for contributions from the oil and gas industry. With big energy issues on the docket and the oil industry's image taking a serious hit from the Gulf, the oil industry is eager to change minds and exert influence. That means spending big money. $14 million has been contributed to campaigns so far, and the number is expected to rise to almost $20 million by November. That's according to the sleuths and number crunchers at The Center for Responsive Politics, a group that analyzes campaign contributions for signs of influence.
The Pentagon has created new rules governing the military's interaction with the media, following Gen. Stanley McChrystal's loose-lipped appearance in Rolling Stone. Yesterday, for the first time since the controversial new rules were announced, Defense Secretary Robert Gates faced the press.
When President Obama spoke recently at American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was watching very closely. Ramos is a familiar face at Univision, the spanish-language network, and he's also been pressing the Obama Administration to make good on its campaign pledge to reform immigration laws. It's been an issue for Ramos since 2008, when Obama was fighting for the nomination. Ramos gleaned this pledge from him: “What I can guarantee,” Obama said, “is that we will have in the first year [of the presidency] an immigration bill that I strongly support.” Ramos called it “La Promesa de Obama,” and he's been pressing the administration to make good on it ever since.
When Arizona's controversial immigration law goes into effect at the end of this month, police officers will be under close scrutiny in their enforcement. A new video hopes to make Arizona's police force equal to that scrutiny. The video was required by Jan Brewer at the law's signing on April 23, and it's been mailed out to all 170 police districts the state. We speak with Larry Talvy, a marshal from Tombstone, Arizona, who has watched the video, about what anxieties it reveals and what situations it hopes to prevent.
San Francisco wants to let consumers know about the radiation coming out of their cellphones. On Tuesday, the city's Board of Supervisors passed a measure requiring point-of-sale displays to provide information on the amount of radiation their devices emit. Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the measure into law. But should consumers actually be worried?
At the request of the Obama administration, BP has set aside $20 billion in escrow to be paid out to individuals and communities affected by the oil disaster on the Gulf Coast. The money will be handed out under the supervision of Ken Feinberg, who handled the victims' compensation fund after 9/11, and who helped to determine what executives at bailed-out banks should be paid.
Despite the drizzle, last night's 2010 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall felt like a Hollywood event. Scarlett Johannson, Laura Linney, Jude Law, and the band Green Day walked down the red carpet. The night's biggest awards went to "Memphis," which won in the Musical category, and "Red," which took home the Tony for Musical Revival. Patrick Healy of The New York Times was there and joins The Takeaway to talk about the winners, losers, and surprises from the night.
Recent reports from Afghanistan indicate that the country is at an economic and political turning point. The New York Times reports that $1 trillion in mineral resources lies beneath the surface of Afghanistan. The mineral wealth is so vast that it may drastically change Afghanistan's economy and alter the course of the war.
To illuminate what all of this wealth means for Afghanistan and the U.S., we turn to Christine Fair, political scientist with Georgetown University, and a former political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul. We also speak with lithium market expert Robert Baylis and Afghanistan's Minister of Mines, Ibrahim Adel.
Over 200 bodies may have been misidentified or misplaced at Arlington National Cemetery, the Army said on Thursday. Arlington National Cemetery's superintendent and deputy have been ousted following a newly released Pentagon report revealing misidentified graves and poor record keeping.
Archaeologists have discovered what they say is the world's oldest leather shoe, dating back to around 3,500 B.C. The shoe has laces, is approximately a woman's size 7, and is an orphan: no left shoe was found.
For the first time in U.S. history, women are now the majority of the workforce. They also get more college degrees than men, and two prominent women just won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and governor in California, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, powerful businesswomen who turned to politics beat out male challengers. Women won elsewhere as well - in Iowa, Nevada, Arkansas and South Carolina.
In a Saturday radio address from Grand Isle, La., President Obama promised to "stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole." Making the gulf coast whole, so far, is taking a lot of manpower: 17,500 National Guard troops deployed to aid in the response; 20,000 people cleaning shorelines and beaches; and more than 1,900 vessels laying boom in the gulf. The cleanup may bring a surge of temporary work, but residents of the Gulf Coast worry that the boom will be temporary at best.
Today, or possibly tomorrow, the Falcon 9 rocket is slated for test launch at Cape Canaveral. When the 18-story rocket fires into orbit - or crashes into the ocean - it will be carrying no cargo, no astronauts, just one heavy load: Obama's hopes for space.
Everyone from scientists to political pundits to movie stars to just plain folks seems to have an idea about how to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico these days. Nuclear weapons, hydraulic pipes, bails of hay, and high tech water cleaning systems have all been put on the table. Takeaway listeners join the fray with some of their proposals, including cameo appearances by Bill Gates and Samantha Bee.
The oil industry, Wall Street, and NASA all have this in common: very smart people have the freedom to take huge risks – and those same very smart people are the only ones who can fix it when things go wrong.
According to the latest census numbers, the number of interracial marriages is up 20 percent since the year 2000, to about 4.5 million. That means that eight percent of all marriages in the U.S. are now between people of different races.
Kenneth Starr, financial advisor to Hollywood celebrities like Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone has been charged with defrauding his clients of $30 million since 2008.
Amid criticisms about slow response times and an unclear chain of command, the question has been asked, "Is This Obama's Katrina?" In a press conference yesterday - his first since the gulf oil leak five weeks ago - President Obama sent a clear message: I take responsibility. This is my job. And things should have moved faster.
Even on a bad day, when the Dow closed below 10,000 for the first time since February 8, Apple Inc. managed to have a good one.
Today or tomorrow, the House is expected to vote on a repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. It will be a close vote on a divisive issue. Nancy Pelosi has said that she would only bring the repeal to the floor if it had the votes necessary to pass. Todd Zwillich has been trying his best to count heads to see just how much support there is.