For more on the vacant U.S. Senate seat, WNYC's Brian Lehrer joins us in the studio for his take on Caroline Kennedy's withdrawal and what it means for New York and for Ms. Kennedy. Was it political blow-back that made her change her name? Or was it the possibility that she flubbed her job interview? Todd Zwillich, from Capitol News Connection, contributes his thoughts on the replacement process from Washington, D.C.
"I don't think it was because her Uncle Ted is sick, I think if anything that would have been an inspiration for her to try to get the seat to follow in the family tradition." — WNYC's Brian Lehrer on Caroline Kennedy's decision to withdraw her name for consideration for the vacant New York senate seat
Yesterday marked President Barack Obama’s first full day in office and he certainly had a full docket. Two wars, an economic recession, government ethics, White House pay freezes. He even took the oath of office. Again. All in a day's work for the 44th President. For more we return to Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich.
President Obama’s cabinet is almost confirmed. Despite a last minute delay, even Hillary Rodham Clinton was able to be confirmed as the new Secretary of State. The latest roadblock? Obama's pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder, had his confirmation postponed, which may not bode well for a cordial working relationship between the President and the Congress. With more on the confirmations and the comings and going on Capitol Hill we turn to Todd Zwillich reporter for Capitol News Connection.
The crowds at the Inauguration as viewed from space. Shot courtesy of NASA.
The streets and sidewalks of Washington, D.C. are filling up with excited people from across the nation and around the world as the final preparation for Barack Obama's swearing in as president get underway. We check in with Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich who is on the podium waiting for the President-elect, Femi Oke who is on the increasingly crowded sidewalks of D.C., and the New York Times' Marcus Mabry.
Chaos has embarked upon our nation's capitol today and no one knows that better than Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich. He joins us from one of the best seats in the business for today’s festivities. Being a Washington insider he used his credentials to secure a prime seat a mere 50 yards from where the soon-to-be President will be sworn in. All he has to do now though is wait and while he waits, he’s met quite a cast of characters.
After a celebratory concert at the Lincoln Memorial, President-elect Obama offered words of inspiration and notes of caution to the nation. He said he needed time to show positive change in the country. Once the pomp of inauguration is done, Congress has a long and strategic list to get through. Here with a look at that list is Todd Zwillich, reporter for Capitol News Connection in Washington.
In 1996 Barack and Michelle Obama were interviewed and photographed for a book on couples in America. The pictures didn’t make it into the book and they were filed away in photographer Mariana Cook’s studio until this week, when one of them appeared in The New Yorker. Photographer and writer Mariana Cook joins Adaora and Todd to talk about the interview and discuss her images.
China's family planning commission has released a survey saying that 70% of Chinese women wish they could have two babies or more partially because they worry that an only child is likely to become lonely or spoiled. The commission just announced the survey, but there is a twist, it was conducted in 2006, but is only being released now. For more on the survey and what it might mean for China's one-child policy, we're joined by Quentin Sommerville, the BBC's Beijing Correspondent.
For three weeks Israeli forces have gouged deep into Gaza in an attempt to rout out Hamas operatives who are accused of firing rockets into Israel. Their offensive has raised the ire of the international community and the pleas for peace have intensified as civilian casualties mount up. Egypt, the United Nations, and the United States have all been working to craft a cease-fire. Today, Israeli government officials are spreading around the world bringing new hope for an imminent cease-fire. But what does Israel need for a durable and lasting peace? To answer that we turn to Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government who joins us from Jerusalem.
"Our goal is a long, sustained, durable quiet in the south that is ultimately good both for Palestinians and Israelis." — Israeli spokesman Mark Regev on Israel's goals for their offensive in Gaza
Christopher Wallace, who is more commonly known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G., was at the height of his hip-hop career in the early 90s when his rise to super-stardom was tragically cut short. Twelve years ago, at the age of 24, he was killed in a now-infamous drive by shooting. "Notorious," a biopic based on Biggie Smalls' life, hits theaters nationwide today. For a look at what this film means for Biggie Smalls' legacy, we are joined by Voletta Wallace. Voletta Wallace is the mother of the late Biggie Smalls and is one of the film's producers.
Economist Paul Volcker, chairman-designate of the newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board in President-elect Obama's administration, has unveiled a plan that demands a new way of thinking and restructuring the global financial system. Although it’s theoretical, it could provide clues to the kinds of changes President-elect Obama will push for once he's in office. For an assessment of this plan, The Takeaway is joined by Janet Tavakoli. Tavakoli is founder and president of Tavakoli Structured Finance. She’s also author of the new book, Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 miles from Wall Street.
"I'm sure Wall Street is delighted with this appointment, because it's just Christopher Cox in a dress." — Janet Tavakoli on the appointment of Mary Schapiro to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission
Yesterday, the U.S. House Democrats unveiled a stimulus bill that would designate $54 billion to renewable energy. But the problem in creating a sustainable energy source may not lie in funding for green projects, but the manner in which they are implemented. In her latest piece for PBS’s Blueprint America Maria Hinojosa, a senior correspondent for NOW on PBS, explores the issues confronting implementing green energy in California, greenwashing everywhere, and how it may be a reflection for the future of eco-politics.
Don't forget to watch Maria Hinojosa's report "Blueprint America: Power Struggle" airing tonight on PBS's NOW.
Watch a PBS/NOVA report on "The Big Energy Gamble" in California.
Yesterday’s dramatic crash landing of a U.S. Airways jetliner into New York’s Hudson River, and the equally dramatic rescue, had many people glued to their television screens. Fortunately, no one aboard the plane was killed. But the news that a flock of geese may have caused the crash has a lot of people wondering just how worried they should be about so-called “bird strikes.” For that answer we turn to Patrick Smith, pilot and author of Salon.com’s Ask the Pilot.
As Israel's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip heads into its third week, international cries for peace have intensified. The U.S., the United Nations and Egypt continue what has been described as a feverish round of telephone tag in an effort to forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on the 21st day of fighting. For more on what it might take to create a lasting cease-fire between the parties, we turn to Hanan Ashwari, a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar for her insight into the ongoing assault in Gaza.
Scandals like Avandia in 2007 and the recent recall of generic drugs from India have some people wondering if the Food and Drug Administration has been sampling too many free pharmaceuticals. This week in the journal Nature, Dr. Steven Nissen writes about the problems with the FDA, most notably, its "culture of secrecy." He joins us to discuss how the new Obama administration might shake things up a little.
Yesterday, House Democrats released an $825 billion economic stimulus bill designed to create and preserve jobs and get people spending again. At the same time, the Senate released the remaining bailout funds to prop up the flailing financial institutions. The New York Times' David Herszenhorn joins The Takeaway with an analysis.
The Senate has freed up the second half of the bailout funds, which means President-elect Obama’s administration will have money to use to shore up the economy or more specifically the financial institutions. But Senate Republicans wouldn't support releasing the funds without some concessions. Guest host Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich has more details.
In the ongoing offensive in Gaza, Israel shelled the headquarters of the United Nations in Gaza City. While Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said it was a "grave mistake," Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed "strong protest and outrage" to Israel and is demanding an investigation. A U.N. spokesman said at least three people were wounded in the incident. We turn to BBC correspondent Bethany Bell in Jerusalem for more on this developing situation.
Watch CNN footage of the United Nations' headquarters in Gaza.
Since the day he took office, President Bush’s colorful speech has created a stir. Even in his ultimate exit interview, with a flourish of self-deprecation, he said, “Sometimes you misunderestimated me.” Over the years his turns of phrases have been not so much controversial as they’ve been cryptic. Hard to categorize, they sometimes sound like a joke without a punch line or a Zen Koan, imparting indecipherable wisdom. But the best way to describe them comes from Jacob Weisberg, who has coined them Bushisms and for nearly a decade he has been collecting them. Jacob Weisberg joins us for a retrospective of these presidential gems. And like all retrospectives we hope to gain a new appreciation for the man responsible for this body of work. Jacob Weisberg is editor in chief of The Slate Group and author of George W. Bushisms : The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President.
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