The race for baseball's Most Valuable Player is heating up, especially in the American League, where at least four different players are vying for the award. In the National League, it's pretty much all about a man named Albert Pujols. Can anyone defeat this monster of a player? Our sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, gives us his take on the MVP races in baseball.
Bonuses for bankers aren't just a Wall Street problem. Nations from the European Union — mostly led by France — are hammering out an agreement on reforming structures for giving out bank bonuses. The G20 meetings will take place in Pittsburgh in just a few weeks; the E.U.'s goal is to reach an agreement before then... and they hope to get the United States on board, too. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, has the details.
Democratic Senator Max Baucus finally unveiled his plan for health care yesterday. No Republicans have endorsed the bill in its current form, but that doesn't mean they won't. We'll look at what's in a proposal that has been a year in the making and what may or may not be altered to win over moderate Republicans. We speak to Trudy Lieberman, Contributing Editor for the Columbia Journalism Review and healthcare blogger for CJR.org; and Dean Rosen, health care advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
The brave, curious, or wanna-be-health-care-wonks can read the full text of the Finance Committee bill (1.2Mb PDF).
Want to hear what Sen. Baucus thinks of his bill? Watch the video below:
Cities across the U.S. are facing devastating rates of foreclosure. As the numbers of vacant houses increase, another problem has cropped up: banks don't want to keep all those foreclosed properties. In Ohio, Cleveland's Cuyahoga County expects at least 13,000 new foreclosures this year, but state Treasurer Jim Rokakis has a plan – he wants to buy up bad mortgages and sell them back to homeowners in order to keep people in their homes. We ask Rokakis about his plan and speak to Dan Moulthroup, reporter with WCPN in Cleveland, and the host of Sound of Ideas.
Frank Luntz is a long-time Republican operative: a virtuoso of the focus group, a pollster extraordinaire and a master of message. In his latest book, "What Americans Really Want...Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears," Luntz asks what ordinary Americans want – not from their government, but from life. And the results are a little surprising.
Yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that U.S. drug regulators have approved a vaccine against the H1N1 virus, commonly known as "swine flu." The U.S. government has purchased 195 million doses of the vaccine and plans to give them out for free to anyone who wants it. We talk to an expert who says this is one of the largest medical initiatives in the history of influenza: Dr. Richard Wenzel, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.
In addition to free flu vaccines, the federal government is partnering with Elmo to help stop the spread of H1N1:
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday seeking a second term. Although he repeatedly said that no final decision has been made on future troop numbers in Afghanistan, he was clear that more troops and more time will be necessary in order for a successful military outcome. We speak to Thom Shanker, Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times.
As Chicago tries to drum up support for its bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, Paddy O'Connell, host of the BBC radio program Broadcasting House, joins us with a look at the challenges London is facing as the host of the 2012 Olympics. Closer to home, Major League Baseball's season is winding down, and teams from both the American and National Leagues are vying for slots in the playoffs. The Takeaway's sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives us the lowdown on some of baseball's most exciting pennant races.
Most of the debate on health care reform has focused on the federal government and the individuals who might get new coverage. But today we ask a different question: what are individual states looking for from reform, and what are they worried about? We talk to Joy Johnson Wilson, director of health policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
With a roll call vote of 240-179 mainly along party lines, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution of disapproval of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina). Wilson yelled "you lie" in the midst of President Obama's address to Congress last week; the House reprimand said that Wilson had committed a “breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House.” One of the “yes” votes on that resolution came from Rep. Laura Richardson (D-California), who joins us this morning. (click through for a full interview transcript)
For a refresher on Wilson's outburst watch the start of the ruckus below:
For many of us, saying 'so long' to summer is not an easy thing. But there is one way to capture the sunny season in a bottle – or a jar, at least. With the abundance of wonderful fruits and vegetables that are bursting out of our gardens and farmers' markets, canning offers a way to eat summer tomatoes in the dead of winter. We speak to Takeaway food contributor Kathy Gunst, author of "Stonewall Kitchen Breakfast" and "Stonewall Kitchen Winter Celebrations." We also talk to John Forti, curator of historic landscapes at the Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The small East African nation of Somalia is once again becoming a big problem for the United States, this time in the fight against terrorism and al-Qaida. There is enough fear that the nation is becoming a breeding ground for terrorists that the United States launched a preemptive strike yesterday. American troops landed in Somalia and attacked a group of Islamic militants. We're joined this morning by Nick Childs, defense and security correspondent for our partners, the BBC.
NASA has long been the government agency meant to lead the charge to the future, at least in the public's imagination. A report to Congress from an independent body of experts has put NASA's future into question. In a hearing before the U.S. House of Representative's commmittee on science and technology, the panel said the Constellation program, meant to replace the aging space shuttle fleet and drive human space exploration, was "fatally flawed." To explain the issues that the experts found, where the problems come from, and where NASA might go from here is The Takeaway's go-to space expert, Miles O'Brien.
The House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday reprimanding South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson for shouting "You lie!" to the president during his address to the joint session of Congress. While the congressman's outburst last week may not have been as loud as Kanye West's, it still shocked many, including Wilson’s wife, Roxanne. For a look into how the people of South Carolina are feeling about this episode as the repercussions drag on, we speak to Mark Quinn, host of South Carolina ETV and Radio’s public affairs program, The Big Picture.
The regular baseball season is winding down, but the excitement for fans is far from over. Both the American and National League teams are making their big push for the playoffs and then (hopefully) a run at the World Series. The Takeaway's sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives us his picks for teams to watch.
Also on Ibrahim's agenda? For years, Native American groups have been trying to change the name of professional sports teams such as the Braves, the Cleveland Indians, and the Florida State Seminoles. Now, Native American activists are focusing on the Washington Redskins, and they are trying to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our very own sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, brings us up to speed.
Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, joins us with a look at the changing banking regulatory regime in Washington. It's been a year since a complicated crisis of credit default swaps and failing banks threw the U.S. economy into a tailspin. Now Congress seems to want to crack down on the way Wall Street does business.
After over three months of bipartisan negotiations the U.S. Senate's Finance Committee is expected to unveil their much-anticipated plan for reforming the nations's health care system. The Finance committee has been working on the $880 billion proposal for months, but does not appear to have garnered any Republican backing despite the best efforts of the committee chair, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana). Our own Todd Zwillich, long a denizen of Capitol Hill, and Time Magazine's Washington correspondent Jay Newton-Small talk us through the behind-the-scenes wrangling taking place in the halls of Congress.
Ever wonder how a bill becomes a law? Here's an explanation:
President Obama is traveling across the nation to rally people behind health care reform. One of this biggest stops happened yesterday, with a speech in Pittsburgh before hundreds of members of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor union. The labor movement was one of now-President Obama's biggest supporters during his campaign. How does the group feel about the president, and his policies, eight months in? We talk with Cecil Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers of America, and labor journalist Philip Dine about the current relationship between the president and workers.
If you missed the president's speech at the AFL-CIO convention, here it is:
Yesterday, we asked listeners to send us questions about health care. From "insurance co-ops" to "sole proprietorship," our very own Washington correspondent and healthcare whiz Todd Zwillich addresses listeners' queries, conundrums, and confusion over health care reform.
This week, the Senate Finance committee is set to release the first draft of their health care bill. In fact, the proposed legislation was originally slated to be released today ... so what's holding things up? Here to explain the unfinished details is our own Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich. Plus, this bill might contain plans for cooperative health insurance providers. Listeners asked us to explain what these companies look like, so we called up Peter Fallow, CEO of Group Healthcare Cooperative of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Timothy Jost, law professor and health policy expert.