Yesterday, Ed Liddy, the CEO of embattled insurance giant AIG, went to Capitol Hill to face down a wasps' nest of angry congressmen determined to make him justify the large bonuses company executives received. Todd Zwillich of Capitol News Connection swings by to give us his account of AIG's harrowing day on the Hill.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are busy pointing fingers in the fallout over the $165 million bailout of AIG and the executive bonuses. There's more to come today, as AIG boss Edward Liddy testifies in front of furious U.S. lawmakers at a House subcommittee. The Takeaway talks to Todd Zwillich from Capitol News Connection for the reaction, the political implications and what's ahead.
"You don't have enough fingers on both your hands to count all the fingers that were pointed yesterday in every direction."
— Todd Zwillich or Capital News Connection on reactions to the AIG bonuses
See reactions from Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chuck Grassley in this clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
The Takeaway covers this week's hot button items. Among these are President Obama's lift on restrictions to federally-funded stem cell research, the government's spending bill, politicizing the recession, mortgage crackdown, market research on China, President Obama's visit to Turkey and a "card check" legislation for unions. Joining the discussion is Marcus Mabry, international business editor at the New York Times and Todd Zwillich, a reporter for Capitol News Connection.
"The Obama administration may start to take some hard hits, not just from Republicans but from outside observers who start to say 'Look at these unemployment numbers we saw. Look at the lack of political leadership and ability for the Democrats to get their own agenda through.' Then the Democrats are going to look like they're ineffectual, and I think that is the real danger of this week." — Marcus Mabry of the New York Times on what President Obama has in store for this week
After duking it out for almost 24 hours, Congress finally passed an economic stimulus bill. The final number? $789 billion, which is big, but is a smaller sum than the original House and Senate versions. The bill is expected to be passed by the House and Senate tomorrow and signed into law by President Obama on Monday. We now turn to Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich, who was in the conference committee meeting where the details of the bill were worked out.
The Senate will vote today on the passage of the $838 billion economic stimulus bill. And with Senators expected to pass what has been called President Obama’s New Deal, an old debate about the original New Deal is bubbling up again. Did FDR’s heralded program really drag the U.S. out of the Great Depression or was it World War II that put us back on track? The Takeaway is looking at both sides of that coin with Amity Shlaes, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, and Nick Taylor author of American Made, a history of FDR's Works Progress Administration.
Israelis are heading to the polls today in an election that only a few weeks ago seemed a decisive win for former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, it's too close to call, but Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the Kadima party looks like the likely winner. For more on what Livni's win could mean, we turn to Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief for our partner the New York Times.
Senate Democrats advanced the $800 billion plus stimulus bill yesterday, but just three Republicans voted for the bill in a procedural vote, and no additional Republican support is expected in the final vote today. Even though they don't support the bill, Republican Senators pushed for many changes in it. Takeaway Correspondent Andrea Bernstein and Susanna Capelouto, News Director of Georgia Public Broadcasting, join Todd and Katherine to talk through why that might be.
Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.
This week, New York City hosts the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a showcase for best of the best of each breed of dog. But how breeders create those perfect dogs is the subject of much debate and a new documentary by our partners at the BBC is adding flames to the fire. In fact, their research was so provocative that it prompted big changes at the British Kennel Club. Producer Jemima Harrison joins us to explain why what makes for best in show could be the worst for dogs.
For more, turn to the BBC's report documenting how the methods used to produce breeds like the King Charles spaniel, boxers and pugs could cause debilitating inherited genetic problems for the dogs. Watch here.
Should banks be required to explain how they spend taxpayer dollars? That was the 700 billion dollar question the Bush administration struggled with last fall while constructing the TARP. Today as we anticipate the reworked version of the TARP, it seems the Obama administration has a whole new set of questions, like how to restore public faith in the bailout. David Barstow, a New York Times reporter covering the bank bailout, joins us this morning.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of a momentous event in history: the Iranian Revolution. Thirty years ago, Iran was a monarchy ruled by the U.S.-backed Shah. The revolution saw the overthrow of the Shah and the coming to power of Islamic clerics under Ayatollah Khomenei. But did you know that almost half the current population of modern-day Iran are under the age of 25? That means that a huge percentage of modern Iran don’t remember the revolution at all, because they weren’t there. But that doesn’t mean the revolution of 1979 has not shaped their lives. For more we turn to BBC Correspondent Jon Leyne who joins us from Tehran.
On the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Tehran Correspondent Jon Leyne, took a look at the new cultural revolution in Iran.
Israelis head to the polls today and the race is too close to call. The election is being very closely watched as the outcome will undeniably influence the prospects for peace in the region. To find out what the Israeli voters are saying, we turn to Ros Atkins, a presenter for the BBC World Service's World Have Your Say, who was staked out all day in a shop in Tel Aviv talking to voters.
Here's a video of World Have Your Say encamped in Israel yesterday
First the U.S. House of Representatives, then the U.S. Senate, now it is our listeners' turn to debate the stimulus package. What do our listeners want and expect from the economic stimulus plan? They are here to tell you.
President Obama gave his first prime time press conference last night. He used the chance to push hard for his economic stimulus plan. Many of us were glued to our television screens, but April Ryan, the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio networks, was actually there. She joins us from Washington.
In Obama's prepared opening remarks, he addressed the economic crisis and pushed for the stimulus bill.
Used to be that stolen bases were the bad behavior of baseball, but America’s pastime balked as Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez admitted to taking performance enhancing substances while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003. Condemnation was swift. Even the President weighed in to express his disappointment. But with so many other athletes admitting to the same, are we really shocked anymore? Takeaway Sports Contributor David Zirin, the author of “A People’s History of Sports in the United States,” joins us for a rundown.
Read Jeff Beresford-Howe's take on A-Rod's admission.
President Obama addressed Rodriguez's steroid use at his press conference on Monday.
Today Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will announce how the second half of the $700 billion Congress approved to bailout troubled banks will be spent. The Bush Administration's implementation of the so-called “Troubled Asset Relief Program,” or TARP, got plenty of criticism. Will Obama and his crew do better? Lizzie O'Leary, Washington-based reporter for Bloomberg News, and Tom McCool, Director of the Center for Economics at the Government Accountability Office, join Todd and Katherine to look at how TARP may be different the second time around.
"What they want to do is essentially provide a government guarantee against loss, but an incentive for private investors to do well on the upside if these assets turn around and start performing." — Bloomberg reporter Lizzie O'Leary on the use of TARP funds
Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb) has a long history of reaching across party lines to reach consensus on pressing issues in the Senate. His ability to bring together Republicans and Democrats to compromise on key policy has been instrumental to passing important legislation in the past. In the face of the partisan bickering over the stimulus, and the President's statement that he wants a bipartisan solution to the economic crisis, Senator Nelson finds himself in the center of the debate.
All eyes were on a California woman who gave birth to octuplets earlier this year. The birth of eight children was a modern medical miracle orchestrated by an enormous team of doctors and nurses, and it is a procedure that would not have been possible in many other countries. To explain why our health care system makes successful multiple births more likely we are joined by Dr. Samantha Butts, an OB/Gyn at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
When it came to light that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003, baseball fans were shocked. His teammates and fellow players were shocked too, but for different reasons. The Baseball Player's Association, the union for ballplayers, held on to the results of voluntary drug tests submitted by the players. If they hadn't, for better or worse, the world would not have known about A-Rod's steroid use. For more we turn to Anthony Reiber of Newsday who joins us from the New York Yankees training camp in Tampa, Florida.
Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Nancy Kilefer, Tim Geithner, and now Hilda Solis. What do all these names have in common? They were all named to top jobs in President Obama's administration. And all of them stumbled (or fell) due to questions that arose during the confirmation process. Does President Obama have a vetting problem? To answer that question we are joined by Kenneth Gross, a vetting expert who worked with President Bill Clinton.
The United States is far from the only nation to develop a plan to get its economy back on track. In fact, at least 33 other countries have done the same. Justin Fox, business and economics columnist for Time Magazine, joins Katherine and Todd to look at how some other nations are approaching this thorny problem and what we might be able to learn from them.
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