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Executive Branch

The Takeaway

President Obama visits our neighbor in the north

Thursday, February 19, 2009

For his first trip abroad, President Obama decided to stick close to home. He heads to Canada today and while it's a quick visit, there are many issues to discuss with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Joining us from Ottawa is Chris Hall, the national affairs editor for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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The Takeaway

Safe at home: President Obama announces his housing bailout plan

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yesterday President Obama unveiled his $275 billion plan to help millions of homeowners refinance their mortgages or avoid foreclosure. President Obama's plan claims to be simple, but it's not. Luckily we have Alvin Hall, personal finance adviser and Takeaway contributor, who has been up all night reading through the plan. Also joining us for his first-hand account is Carlos Saenz, a homeowner struggling to pay his mortgage in Orlando, Florida.

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The Takeaway

President Obama sends troop surge to Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In what he described as an urgent bid to stabilize a deteriorating and neglected country, President Obama is sending 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. This deployment will double the number of American combat brigades in Afghanistan at a time when tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan are weakening. We turn to Emal Pasarly of the BBC for more.

For more of The Takeaway's recent coverage of Afghanistan, click here, here, and here.

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton takes Tokyo on the eve of Asian tour

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In her first overseas trip as Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would be looking to Asia to help tackle global problems. She started her trip in Japan, which is facing down an economic crisis, from there she heads out on a tour of Southeast Asia, where she is likely to face stiff questions over the foreign policy of the last eight years. The BBC's State Department Correspondent, Kim Ghattas, is traveling with Ms. Clinton and she joins us now from Tokyo.

"This visit shows the new U.S. administration in Washington is very keen to engage with the world. Not only with its traditional partners across the Atlantic, but also, engage again forcefully with its partners across the Pacific."
— Kim Ghattas of the BBC on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's diplomatic trip to Asia

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The Takeaway

The stimulus has passed. Now comes the hard part.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Congress has finally passed the stimulus, but it’s hardly smooth sailing from here. Now federal bureaucracies must adapt to get the money out the door and fast. Neil King Jr., Washington reporter for the Wall Street Journal, joins The Takeaway with a look at the challenges the stimulus presents to the Energy Department and other federal agencies.

For more, read Neil King Jr.'s article, Next Challenge on Stimulus: Spending All That Money in the Wall Street Journal.

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The Takeaway

Car czar no more

Monday, February 16, 2009

As the United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp resumed bargaining yesterday on their restructuring plans to justify the government loans they so badly need to stay afloat, everyone was talking about sacrifice. And it seems the Obama Administration is sacrificing the idea of appointed a "car czar" and will appoint a presidential panel instead. Justin Hyde, reporter for The Detroit Free Press joins The Takeaway for the latest.

Read Justin Hyde's article, New Team will Steer a New Auto Industry, in the Detroit Free Press.

President Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod discusses the stimulus bill on Meet The Press.

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The Takeaway

Seven stimulus lessons

Monday, February 16, 2009

The stimulus plan was Obama's first attempt at pulling together a bipartisan A team and it didn't go so well. It now seems that the Democrats and Republics are no closer to working together after the divisive stimulus plan passed. Glenn Thrush, a reporter for Politico.com, has a few ideas to help President Obama next time around. He joins us with seven lessons that the Democrats and the President can learn from the stimulus.

Read Glenn Thrush's article, The 7 stimulus lessons for the Dems at Politico.com.

"The very nature of the stimulus is helter skelter. That's a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It's kind of a gumbo."
— Glenn Thrush, reporter for Politico, on the stimulus bill

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton heads to Asia

Monday, February 16, 2009

Japan announced today that it is now in the midst of its worst economic downturn since World War II. Since the economies of Asia and the United States are tightly intertwined, it makes perfect sense that Hillary Clinton started her first trip as Secretary of State there. Jonathan Marcus, the diplomatic correspondent for the BBC, joins us now with details.

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The Takeaway

It's not you, it's me: Judd Gregg withdraws nomination

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican who was asked to join President Obama's Cabinet as Commerce secretary, has declined the invitation. He announced his decision at a press conference yesterday, claiming it would be "difficult day in and day out to serve in this cabinet." We are joined by Charles Mahtesian, national political editor for Politico.com for more details on Gregg's decision.

For a look at who is in the president's Cabinet, check out our handy guide.

Judd Gregg's press conference on his decision to withdraw:

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The Takeaway

Even at $700 billion, is the stimulus bill enough to save the economy?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The question is no longer if will we have an agreement on the stimulus, but rather if the stimulus plan will be enough. Will this trillion dollar infusion save the economy? This morning we’ve invited writer David Leonhardt to the show. He writes the Economic Scene column for The New York Times and he’s agreed to let us pick his brain a little this morning as we try to answer our questions about the stimulus.

For more from David Leonhardt, read his latest Economic Scene article, To Spend or to Save? Trick Question in the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Third times the charm? Judd Gregg withdraws as commerce secretary

Friday, February 13, 2009

There was more upheaval in the formation of President Obama's cabinet yesterday when New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican, withdrew his nomination to be commerce secretary. The Senator cited "irresolvable conflicts" on the stimulus and the census as reasons for his withdrawal. Josh Rogers, reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio, analyzes this latest glitch in the President's efforts to be bipartisan.

For a look at who is in the President's cabinet, check out our handy guide.

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The Takeaway

Richard Holbrooke in Kabul as U.S. reviews Afghanistan policies

Friday, February 13, 2009

Following a four day trip to Pakistan, U.S. Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, is in Kabul on what has been described as a fact-finding mission. As the Obama administration carries out a major review of the policies in Afghanistan, Holbrooke prepares to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the worsening security situation. For more, the BBC's Afghanistan correspondent Martin Patience joins us from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

With $2.5 trillion you can fix anything

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner went to Capitol Hill yesterday to announce his plan to rescue the country's economy. Geithner talked about flooding the financial system with $2.5 trillion dollars, with much of that money expected to come from China. Stephen Labaton, reporter for the New York Times, wrote a front-page article about the bailout plan and Geithner's vision and he joins us now.

For more, read Stephen Labaton's article, Bailout Plan: $2.5 Trillion and a Strong U.S. Hand in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

State secrets rear their head in the Obama administration

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

While campaigning for president, Barack Obama was extremely critical of the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees. But now his administration is invoking the states-secret privilege to uphold the dismissal of a federal lawsuit involving rendition and torture. Here with us to discuss it is ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner, who argued the case for the plaintiffs.

Watch Rachel Maddow's (melo) dramatic reenactment of the hearing and Ben Wizner's appearance on her show:

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The Takeaway

The response to the new bailout from Wall Street to Main Street

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Forget TARP and get used to F.S.P. That's the Financial Stability Plan that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled yesterday and the markets had a clear response: They hated it. To find out what may be bothering the markets, we turn to Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the University of Maryland. But we are also curious how Main Street was reacting to the revamped bailout and we asked John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, PA to join us for his point of view.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you, we're tracking the stimulus bill dollars from Congress to your community.

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.

Timothy Geithner talks about the Financial Stability Plan at his recent press conference.

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The Takeaway

TARP take two

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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

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The Takeaway

The Idiot's Guide to vetting a cabinet nominee

Monday, February 09, 2009

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.

To see more about President Obama's cabinet picks, see our guide to his inner circle.

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The Takeaway

The week ahead in Washington (not to mention Indiana and Florida)

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's Monday morning and we're gazing ahead to the week in Washington. Might we see new evidence that bipartisanship is possible? Where is President Obama headed? And what's going on with the TARP? Helping us gaze into the future is Stephanie Mehta, the assistant managing editor at Fortune Magazine.

The AP has an interesting report on the multi-billion dollar Troubled Assets Relief Program also known as TARP.

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The Takeaway

Stimulus plan set for vote in Senate

Monday, February 09, 2009

The economic stimulus bill faces its key test vote in the Senate today. If the vote goes according to the Democrats' plan, the bill will be finalized tomorrow. But, the vote in and of itself is not a stimulus plan and the road to passage has been bitterly partisan. Here with a road map for the negotiations ahead are David Herszenhorn of the New York Times and Jay Newton-Small, Washington Correspondent for Time Magazine.

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The Takeaway

Wall Street salary caps breaking ground, making waves

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Yesterday President Obama announced that companies receiving federal bailout money must cap their executives no more than $500,000 a year. Is a pay limit helping the economy? Or is it simply a PR move? Compensation experts Nell Minow, editor and co-founder of The Corporate Library, and Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, join Adaora and John to debate the merits of the measure.

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