Todd Zwillich

Washington Correspondent, The Takeaway

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

The Continuing Mystery of Air France Flight 447

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 30 days ago, leaving its black box somewhere in the middle of the ocean. The device holds important flight data and signals its location, but only for 30 days. Will the mystery of the crash ever be solved? Joining The Takeaway is Todd Curtis, Aviation Safety Analyst and Director of the Foundation. He is also a former air safety engineer for Boeing.


Environment: Climate Bill Narrowly Passes in Congress

Monday, June 29, 2009

It was down to the wire on Friday night when the House passed a bill to curb global warming. It took eight Republicans to tip the balance in the Democrats’ favor. One report said Capitol phones were at capacity with so much last-minute jockeying between Congress members. Joining the show is The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich to explain details of the bill.

"[Liberals] don't want cap and trade. They want cap. Then if you're a polluter, you pay for the right to pollute. And that's not really what this bill does at first."
— Todd Zwillich on the new climate bill


The President's Summer To-Do List

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

President Obama's press conference yesterday touched on a lot of issues facing the nation. To help recap the highlights of the speech and forecast what challenges the President will face in the coming months we turn to The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich and Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner.

In case you missed the speech, here it is:


Your Health: The Cost of Prevention

Friday, June 19, 2009

With all the contentious debate over health care right now, Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing: they want to encourage disease prevention. This stems from the idea that by investing some money up front, you can keep medical costs lower, saving money (and improving quality of life) down the road. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) authored a portion of a health bill focused on prevention and wellness and he sat down with The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich to discuss his take on health care reform.

Then we turn to Louise Russell. Ms. Russell is a research professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her research challenges the idea that preventive medicine lowers the cost of medical care. The money we are investing in prevention may be doing little to improve the nation’s overall health.

"Much of this prevention does save lives, and that's our purpose here: to save lives. But we need to be spending our money as effectively as possible, and that means we need to look at each preventive intervention and say OK, it's usually going to cost us more. If we need to spend more, what's the most important thing to do for people's health?"
— Professor Louise Russell from Rutger's University on preventative healthcare

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Making Sense of the New Healthcare Reform Bill

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office passed judgment on one of the key bills overhauling the health insurance system. Here with a look at who might get insurance, who won't and what it'll cost is Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent.

"We have 47 million people with no coverage at all. So the net gain is still nowhere even close to universal coverage."
— Takeaway correspondent Todd Zwillich on healthcare reform


Healthcare Reform: Obama Meets with Doctors

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today, President Obama goes to Chicago to address the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, and to hear doctors' views about about healthcare reform. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, takes a look at what the president is likely to hear.


[Web Special] The GOP: Slowdown in the Senate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They say time heals all wounds. In Congress, it can cause some too. Congress usually moves slowly. The Senate is designed for just that purpose. But there are signs now that two partisan fights could turn the already slothful Senate pace downright glacial, and even threaten President Barack Obama’s sweeping domestic agenda.

Take the case of early sparring over Sotomayor’s confirmation. GOP senators say Democrats’ July 13th start-date for hearings doesn’t give them enough time to review the roughly 3,600 cases she’s ruled on. (Plenty of cynics add that the more time they keep Sotomayor on hold, the more time GOP investigators have to dig up damaging dirt on her.) But whatever their motivations, Republicans are hopping mad that the hearings are set for about one month from today. And they’re starting to float warnings that Democrats’ moving too fast might just mean Republicans start moving really, really slowly. ...(continue reading)

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Hey, Marlboro Man, the FDA Is the New Sheriff in Town

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This week the Senate is expected to pass a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products. The bill does not ban cigarettes, nor does it restrict sales to consenting adults; it largely concentrates on marketing. Terms like "low tar" and "light" are gone, the Surgeon General's warnings will get much larger and brighter-colored, and except for menthol, there will be no more flavored cigarettes. To talk us through the details of the bill, we turn The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich.


Is the Economy in Recovery? New Unemployment Stats

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the unemployment numbers for May this morning. The numbers may give a sense of how quickly the U.S. can expect economic recovery. David Leonhardt, who writes about the economy for The New York Times, joins The Takeaway with an analysis.
"The history of stimulus packages is they work, they do create jobs, they don't just disappear into the ether. But they're not going to create enough jobs to get rid of the effects of this recession."
—New York Times reporter David Leonhardt on unemployment

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Praise the Lard! A Maligned Fat Makes a Resurgence

Friday, June 05, 2009

Lard was once the most common fat for baking, but came to be seen as dirty and unhealthful. Now, food scientists have shown that home-rendered lard isn't as bad for your health as, say, margarine. And it tastes wonderful! Our guest, discussing the benefits of lard, is food writer Regina Schrambling. Also on the show is chef Zarela Martinez, a self-proclaimed lard crusader. She has been preaching the gospel of lard for over fifteen years and is glad that people are finally listening.

For pie crust and chocolate cupcake recipes, click here. Those recipes come from Southern cooks (and lard fans) Matt and Ted Lee.

Watch Zarela Martinez demonstrate how easy it is to render lard at home:

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The Muslim World Parses Obama's Speech

Friday, June 05, 2009

President Obama spoke in Cairo yesterday in an attempt to engage the Muslim world. New York Times reporter Michael Slackman has been collecting responses to the speech and joins The Takeaway from Beirut, Lebanon. What did Palestinians react to? Israelis? Did the president succeed in finding "a new beginning"?

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Now, Fraud Charges Against Countrywide

Friday, June 05, 2009

Countrywide was once the nation’s largest sub-prime mortgage lender. But yesterday, its former CEO, Angelo Mozilo, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC says Mozilo misrepresented Countrywide's shaky business practices to its investors. Joining The Takeaway this morning to go over the details is Tami Luhby, a Senior Writer at


Journalists in North Korea: The Families' Careful Pleas

Friday, June 05, 2009

American Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been detained in North Korea since March, after they were accused of illegally crossing the border from China. Their trial was supposed to begin yesterday. If convicted, they could face 10 years of hard labor. The women’s families remained silent for the first two months of their captivity, but this week family members were on the Today Show, Larry King Live, and other programs, appealing for the journalists' release.

Steve Romano, a Former Chief Negotiator for the FBI and now a Senior Advisor with the Center for Personal Protection and Safety, joins The Takeaway to talk about how experts advise families what to say to the press when a loved one is held captive.

Here is some footage of vigils being held for the captive journalists.


An FAA Whistleblower and the Question of Airline Safety

Friday, June 05, 2009

After Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, flown by Colgan Air, crashed in Buffalo, New York, earlier this year, a federal safety inspector at Colgan Air said he had reported to his supervisors that planes were flying at incorrect speeds, with a broken radio, and failing multiple attempts at landing properly. That safety inspector is Chris Monteleon, who says his complaints were ignored; he was relegated to a desk job.

Monteleon joins The Takeaway to talk about his experience with Colgan Air. Barbara Peterson, a Senior Aviation Correspondent for Conde Nast Traveller, also joins the show to talk about airline safety.


Closing Bad Schools: Is Chicago a Model for the Nation?

Friday, June 05, 2009

In Chicago, Education Chief Arne Duncan's prescription for failing schools is to shut them down and start over again. Duncan wants to do this nationally. Does this approach work? Joining The Takeaway are Don Fraynd, Turnaround Officer for Chicago Public Schools who worked closely with Arne Duncan, and Marilyn Stewart, the President of Chicago's Teacher's Union.

When schools have single digit performance levels on the state tests, very low reading levels, high levels of disorder, and low attendance, they absolutely need quick change. Without it, students drop out and never realize their dreams. I would ask critics to consider if they would want their own children attending these schools and, if they did, would they want slow change for their children? While relationships are disrupted, they can be re-built with deliberate and honest dialogue. We can create new stability and relationships quickly, but we can never make up for lost time in learning how to read and do math!

– Don Fraynd, Turnaround Officer for Chicago Public Schools

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Obama and WWII Veterans, Remembering D-Day

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ceremonies are being held in Normandy today to mark the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. American, British and French veterans will attend a number of events; President Obama will attend a ceremony on Saturday with French President Sarkozy and Britain's Prince Charles. Joining The Takeaway from Normandy Beach is the BBC’s Defense Correspondent Rob Watson to talk about the commemoration.

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Helping Muslims Give to Charity

Friday, June 05, 2009

One of the five pillars of Islam, “zakat,” is the giving of a small percentage of one’s income to a Muslim charity. President Obama, in his Cairo speech, said that he is "committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat." The practice of zakat came under scrutiny under the Bush administration, when seven charities were closed down and jailed leaders accused of helping fund terrorist organizations abroad. Many Muslims fear that if they give to a religious group, they may be accused of funneling money to terrorists. What steps are needed to make it easier for Muslims to practice this important part of their religion?

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Deepening Trouble for Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Friday, June 05, 2009

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet with President Obama on the beaches of Normandy, France, tomorrow in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of D-Day. This happens while an expenses scandal rocks Brown's governing Labor Party as well as the other major British political parties. Joining The Takeaway is BBC's Political Correspondent Nick Childs from Westminster and Michael Goldfarb, London Correspondent of


Obama's Speech: Reaction in the Arab Press

Friday, June 05, 2009

President Obama received a standing ovation after his speech yesterday in Cairo calling for a “new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world. But was the response around the Muslim world as enthusiastic? Asra Nomani, a Professor of Journalism at Georgetown University, and Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian journalist who writes for the International Herald Tribune, join The Takeaway to take a look at what the Arab press is saying about the speech.

The video below shows a reaction from the Al Jazeera network.


Obama in Germany: Debating the Future of Guantanamo

Friday, June 05, 2009

President Obama spoke this morning in a joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He talked about some of the same themes as in his major speech yesterday in Cairo. Obama said he's determined to get peace talks started again. Another major issue on the table: the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The Takeaway talks to Jeff Zeleny, White House Correspondent for The New York Times who is in Dresden.

Watch a clip of President Obama's speech in the video below.