Streams

Todd Zwillich

Washington Correspondent, The Takeaway

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

The Torture Debate Ensnares the President

Friday, May 15, 2009



Bush administration policies on the treatment of detainees have now embroiled President Obama in a growing controversy.

News broke last night that the U.S. will restart military tribunals for a small number of Guantanamo detainees (fewer than 20 of the 241 detainees in the prison). Obama had suspended the tribunals within hours of taking office in January. The military trials will remain frozen for another four months as the administration adjusts the legal system. Those changes to the system will be announced later today. Obama's new rules for military tribunals will reportedly include a ban on any statements made under so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

The torture controversy has also spread to Congress. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had used waterboarding during interrogation, which is an adjustment from Pelosi's previous statements. She claims the CIA misled the Congress.

Finally, Obama has reversed an earlier decision and said he wouldn't authorize the release of reportedly over 1,000 photos involving abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photographs were scheduled to be released to the American Civil Liberties Union on May 28. Following that story is Scott Shane, a reporter for our partners the New York Times. He joins The Takeaway with a look at whether the president will succeed in suppressing the photos.

For more, read Scott Shane's article, Experts Say Obama May Need to Classify Photos, in the New York Times.

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How to Stop the Climate-Change Bill

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Democratic Congressmen Henry Waxman of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts will unveil a bill on climate change as early as today. Waxman and Markey say the bill will create jobs, help end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and combat global warming. But the bill is facing stiff resistance from Republicans and even some key Democrats. The Takeaway talks about the bill and the political strategy involved with Washington Correspondent, Todd Zwillich.

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Torture On Trial

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This morning Congress will hold the first formal hearing over the so-called torture memos since their declassification by the Obama administration. While President Obama has said he won't seek charges, there are still harsh implications for the former Bush administration lawyers who drafted the memos, which document their justification for waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques." There may also be political repercussions for members of Congress who were briefed on the techniques before they were used and apparently did not protest. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent has all the details.

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Obama's Announcement: Trillions in Health Care Savings

Monday, May 11, 2009

President Obama has gathered all the fronts in the health care debate— doctors, drug makers, hospitals, and insurance companies—and persuaded them to play nice for the sake of the nation's economy. These groups are expected to join President Obama today in announcing their commitment to a sharp reduction in the growth of national health spending. The new plan would potentially save a family of four $2,500 and would save the country $2 trillion over the next ten years. The Takeaway's man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, joins us with a report.

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The Republicans' Secret Weapon

Friday, May 08, 2009

Get ready to start hearing about Rule IV. An arcane regulation among the rules of the Senate Judiciary Committee has emerged as the best, and probably only, hope for the GOP to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee if they choose to try. How will they use their leverage? Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich explains Rule IV and why it could be even more powerful than the “nuclear option” of a filibuster.

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War in Washington: Budgets and the Supreme Court

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The budget battle is heating up in Washington when House Democrats unveiled a $94.2 billion wartime spending bill yesterday that adds $9.3 billion to White House requests. But the bill also challenges some of President Obama's priorities, especially his plans for closing Guantanamo within a year. Other battle lines are being drawn, too. President Obama has already begun calling senators who will play key roles in the confirmation process of whoever he nominates to replace retiring Justice David Souter. President Obama has said he would like the new justice seated by early October.

To help us map the battle plans, we turn to The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. Also joining the conversation is Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America.

Jeffrey Rosen has started publishing a series of reports in The New Republic about the strengths and weaknesses of the leading candidates on Barack Obama's Supreme Court shortlist. Up first, The Case Against Sotomayor.

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An automobile marriage of Chrysler and Fiat

Friday, May 01, 2009

Chrysler is getting another chance to rewrite its business plan and this time it's with Fiat, the Italian car company known for zippy sports cars that are far from that of Detroit V-8 engines. This is Fiat's way of breaking into the American auto industry and Chrysler's way of keeping its cars on the roadway.

On The Takeaway is Nelson Schwartz, the European economics correspondent for the New York Times who wrote the piece "Chrysler Gets an Italian Accent".

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An extended weekend for Mexico as the country shuts down

Friday, May 01, 2009

Mexican officials announced this week a total shutdown of the entire country in response to the outbreak of influenza A H1-N1, better known as the swine flu. Offices, restaurants, schools, and soccer stadiums will be closed from Friday through Tuesday. Joining The Takeaway is Gustavo Arellano, a writer for the OC Weekly in Orange County, California. He also writes the blog Ask A Mexican.

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This week's news that wasn't

Friday, May 01, 2009

This week news congealed around three stories: The swine flu outbreak, Senator Specter’s departure from the Republican Party and President Obama’s first 100 days in office. But in a world where there are over six and a half billion people, why aren't more stories covered?

Joining The Takeaway to talk about the news food chain is Mark Jurkowitz. He is the associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. And to talk about the stories that should have made the headlines is Salon Columnist Glenn Greenwald.

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Keeping Earth cool with cool colors, man

Friday, May 01, 2009

Everybody is trying to do their part to reduce the effects of climate change. But most of us are also probably hoping for some major shifts in our energy infrastructure to make the biggest differences. But a group of scientists in California would like to see the Department of Energy back a relatively simple idea: lightening up the colors of our rooftops and roads to reduce the energy that our homes and land absorb.

On The Takeaway is Surabi Menon, a research scientist at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in Berkley, California, to explain how this would work.

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The role Justice Souter played in court

Friday, May 01, 2009

Justice David Souter is planning to retire after more than 19 years on the Supreme Court, giving President Obama his first chance to fill a vacancy. What was Souter known for, and what will his retirement mean for the Supreme Court? To answer these questions on The Takeaway is Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University. He was at the Supreme Court this week watching the events unfurl.
"I think it's likely that he's going to get three pics. I think Justice Ginsberg and Justice Stevens are likely to retire in the next three years. At least those two."
—Columbia law and political science professor Nate Persily on Obama's Supreme Court picks.

Click through for a transcript.

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Schools close due to swine flu outbreak

Friday, May 01, 2009

Hundreds of schools nationwide received unexpected vacation days this week for thousands of school kids because of concerns about swine flu. In Fort Worth, Texas, all 144 schools were closed because of a suspected swine flu case.

Joining The Takeaway is Monica Davey, the Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times, and Clint Bond, spokesperson for The Fort Worth Independent School District to talk about the various reactions nationwide towards how to deal with swine flu concerns that are affecting our daily lives.

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Giddy Up! The Kentucky Derby is not just fancy hats and mint juleps

Friday, May 01, 2009

This Saturday marks the 135th running of The Kentucky Derby. If you don't know anything about the Kentucky Derby, except that women wear big hats and spectators drink mint juleps then you're missing out, because there's so much more to the Derby than that. Like how people choose which horse to bet on, how much a jockey can weigh and why mint juleps are a waste of good bourbon.

Jennie Rees, is a reporter for the Courier Journal, she's covered horse racing for over 25 years and she joins The Takeaway from the back side of Church Hill Downs.

Watch favored horse "I Want Revenge" train for the Derby in the video below.

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Chrysler takes the Studebaker road

Friday, May 01, 2009

Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday. It was the first major automaker since Studebaker in 1933 to attempt to restructure under bankruptcy. Three years later, Studebaker emerged from bankruptcy and managed to stay alive for a few more decades until 1966. Joining The Takeaway is Rebecca Lindland from Global Insight, a financial forecasting company; and Robert Farago, a blogger for The Truth About Cars.
"When you go under the knife and under anesthesia, there's always complications. The longer the surgery lasts, the less likely the patients going to survive.And the same thing can be said about this bankruptcy idea."
—Rebecca Lindland, director of Automotive Research for the Americas, on Chrysler's bankruptcy

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The WHO renames 'swine flu'

Friday, May 01, 2009

The World Health Organization announced yesterday that they no longer will be referring to swine flu as the "swine flu" after receiving constant pressure from the meat industry. Its new name, "influenza A (H1N1)" doesn't necessarily roll off the tongue. Grant Barrett, a lexicographer and the co-host of the public radio show "A Way with Words," joins The Takeaway.

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Supreme Court Justice Souter to retire, leaving open seat for Obama to fill

Friday, May 01, 2009

Justice David Souter has reportedly told the White House that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the court's term in June. Justice Souter's retirement would give President Obama his first pick for the high court. Adam Liptak, the Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, joins The Takeaway to discuss what role Souter played in the high court and who are likely replacements for him.

For more on the Justice Souter story, watch this clip from The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Virus hunter Nathan Wolfe says we could have detected swine flu earlier

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Global health officials are warning that H1N1 swine flu could bloom into a pandemic. Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared a Phase Five alert. Epidemiologist and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe, of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, says it never should have gotten to this point. In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Wolfe argues that if global public health functioned differently, we probably could have detected the virus before it spread so widely.

Still unsure of how to spot swine flu? This video from the Centers for Disease Control explains the symptoms.

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A report on the third stage of India's election from the BBC's Elections Train

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stage three of India's five-stage, month-long election takes place Thursday. BBC India correspondent Tinku Ray reports from Mumbai on BBC's "Elections Train," which has been traveling across the world's largest democratic nation.

And, you can follow the train's journey on an interactive map on the BBC's Web site, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8000645.stm and follow the BBC's Indian election coverage at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/indiaelection09/.

For footage from India's election watch the video below.

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Credit Suisse pays out bonuses in "toxic assets"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The AIG bonus scandal stirred intense anger from the public, the media and the president. Swiss bank Credit Suisse has adopted a creative solution to the bonus paying problem — pay part of employees bonuses in "toxic assets," those repackaged bad loans that are at the center of our economic downturn. Jesse Eisinger, a financial writer who has worked at the Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast Portfolio, explains.

Click through for a transcript.

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Three strikes and you're out, French downloaders!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The French government is on the verge of passing a law that would punish Web users for downloading illegal content. Pushed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the bill proposes that after your third violation you will be banned from the Internet for a year. Some argue that this would violate our fundamental human rights. That's right, the Internet as a fundamental human right. Siva Vaidhyanathan, an associate professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia, joins The Takeaway.

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