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The Takeaway

Will You Rent or Buy?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

During the past two years, we’ve heard over and over again that there’s a silver lining to our housing crisis: Now that home prices have dropped, buying property has suddenly become much more affordable.

Prices are low, negotiation opportunities are high, and interest rates are their lowest since the 1950s. But is buying really the right thing for you? Or is renting financially wiser?

What information are you looking for for as you make decisions about your house or apartment? And if you're renting, what would it take you to buy? Tell us what you're waiting for to decide and we'll make it part of the discussion.

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The Takeaway

House to Vote on Major Education Bill to Save Teachers' Jobs

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The House is expected to return from its summer recess for an emergency vote which, if passed, could potentially save tens of thousands of teachers' jobs. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for the emergency vote, some Republicans accused the Congresswoman of pandering to teachers' unions and special interest groups ahead of November’s mid-term elections.  

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The Takeaway

Black Farmers Respond to Latest Settlement Delay

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Senate failed once again to approve the nearly $1.25 billion owed to black farmers. The settlement stems from a dispute between the Department of agriculture and minority farmers over racial discrimination. The payment has been held up in the House, where Republicans recently rejected a plan to pay the settlement. Gary Grant, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association has been fighting to secure the funding; he responds to the latest holdup.

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The Takeaway

Latest Report Shows Worrying Decline in Temp Jobs

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Labor Department's jobs report for July, released last Friday, showed overall unemployment stayed the same at 9.5 percent, but that the economy lost 5,600 temporary jobs. This ended nine months of gradual increases. Concerned economists say temporary jobs can be seen as a leading economic indicator of how businesses will proceed in the hiring of permanent workers. 

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The Takeaway

Head Economic Adviser Christina Romer Resigns

Friday, August 06, 2010

Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers has resigned. She is the second member this summer to leave the president's economic team. Romer, an expert on the Great Depression, was instrumental in crafting the $862 billion economic stimulus package. She will return to U.C. Berkeley, where she is an economics professor. Chrystia Freeland, global editor in chief of Reuter says that it is fairly common to see big moves when there is a midterm election on the horizon.

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The Takeaway

Fears of Deflation Amidst Falling Prices

Friday, August 06, 2010

On the face of it, prices going down seems like it could be a good thing. However, as economists await Friday's monthly jobs report, they're worried about the dreaded deflation. To help get a sense from our listeners, we're looking for your personal jobs report: Do you feel secure in your job, if you have one? If you're still looking, has it gotten any harder? Easier? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The Takeaway

President of the National Organization for Marriage on Prop 8 Ruling

Thursday, August 05, 2010

California's same-sex marriage ban was struck down as unconstitutional yesterday. Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker overturned the voter-approved ban, Proposition 8. The ruling is currently limited to California, but will go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and could eventually end up in the United States Supreme Court.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage speaks out against the judge's ruling.

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The Takeaway

Good News from BP, Uncertain Reactions from the Gulf

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A federal report released yesterday says that 75 percent of the oil in the Gulf has either evaporated or been removed. However, local residents are skeptical and distrustful of the government and BP. There is also uncertainty surounding the environmental future of the region, which directly affects its economic future. New York Times correspondent, Campbell Robertson reports from New Orleans.

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The Takeaway

One Med School, Hold the Pre-Med

Thursday, August 05, 2010

For more than 50 years, students who want to be doctors have dreaded two things above all else: organic chemistry and the Medical College Admissions Test – better known as the MCAT.

But there is one program out there that allows students to skip both of these prerequisites, though it’s been a pretty well-kept secret. The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City admits a quarter of its class without the traditional pre-med background.

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The Takeaway

Proposition 8 Overturned; One California Couple Celebrates

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The fight for same-sex marriage in California has been a long one. In 2004, Gavin Newsom surprised the state by opening marriage licenses to all couples, gay or straight. It was quickly shut down, but it opened up a flood of lawsuits. In June 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned the same-sex marriage ban. However, just a few months after, on November 8, a ballot measure called proposition 8 was passed by 52 percent of voters, and it officially defined marriage in California as between a man and a woman. 

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The Takeaway

Amending the 14th Amendment: If You're Born in the U.S. Should You Be Guaranteed Citizenship?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Republicans have been pushing to have hearings to change the 14th Amendment. The way it stands now, if you're born in the U.S., you're an American citizen. We asked you, the listeners, what you thought about changing the 14th amendment, and we hear what you have to say. We're also joined by The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, who believes that Republicans are just nibbling around the edges of the whole immigration issue.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick Loses Democratic Primary

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

In an upset, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) lost in the primary to Michigan state senator, Hansen Clarke. Kilpatrick had served in Congress for 13 years. She is also the mother of disgraced Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick and wasn't able to effectively distance herself from her son in the primary. WDET news director, Jerome Vaughn has more on why she was defeated.

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The Takeaway

Debate Over Islamic Center in New York Raises Anti-Muslim Sentiments

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The proposal for a new Islamic center to be built just two blocks from Ground Zero could move forward, today. New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission will most likely vote against granting protected status to the 152-year-old building, which would allow the proposed center to replace it.

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The Takeaway

Republicans Strategize Against Health Care Reform

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Republicans are implementing different strategies in different states to challenge key parts of health care reform, specifically the part says, if you don't have insurance, you must buy it by 2014. In Missouri, there will be a ballot in the primaries today, and in Virginia, a judge has allowed the state's attorney general to file suit in court. 

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The Takeaway

The Silver Lining: When Disaster Helps Political Fortunes

Monday, August 02, 2010

All it took was the threat of oil hitting the white beaches of Florida to reignite the political fortunes of Gov. Charlie Crist. Once counted out in the polls and basically chased out of his own party, the now independent Crist is the frontrunner.

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The Takeaway

Adoptees Fight for Access to Original Birth Certificates

Monday, August 02, 2010

There are between six and eight million adopted people in the United States and the vast majority of them will never have access to their original birth certificates. All information on their birth parents is sealed. For decades, several advocacy groups have been trying to change this, claiming that humans have a right to own their own histories.

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The Takeaway

Agenda: Slowing Economy, BP's Dispersants, and Obama's Birthday

Monday, August 02, 2010

We look ahead this week to birthdays, oil in the Gulf and unemployment numbers. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama turns 49; former White House correspondent Helen Thomas turns 90 on the same day. Besides birthdays, there will hopefully be another cause for celebration down on the Gulf coast: BP may have found a way to permanently seal the well that has gushed roughly 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Takeaway

Racial Tensions in Congress?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Two long serving African-American House lawmakers have run into ethics problems, and some in Washington say they are being unfairly targeted based on their race.

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The Takeaway

Rangel’s Future Could Hinge on Ethics Hearing

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today, 20-term congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) faces the House Committee on Official Conduct, also known as the Ethics Committee. We don't yet know what the actual ethics charges against Rangel will be, because that won't be revealed until after the hearings start. Today isn't Rangel's trial, but more like an arraignment before the ethics committee. But he still could be out of Congress by the weekend.

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The Takeaway

When a Solution Becomes a Problem: Doctors and Lawmakers on Opiate Painkillers

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today an FDA advisory panel meets with lawmakers to hammer out voluntary best practices for doctors who prescribe opiates. The regulation of opioid drugs like Oxycontin has loosened in recent years, as patient advocates asked for powerful narcotic painkillers for end-of-life care and cancer treatments. But in loosening restrictions for such cases, the FDA opened a window for wider prescriptions — and for abuse.

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