New Yorker staff writer Ryan Lizza traces the history of the National Security Agency’s intelligence programs, from 9/11 to today. For his latest article, “State of Deception.” He speaks with key players in the intelligence community, including Senators Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden, and Matthew G. Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and a key member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has for years been fighting to get the N.S.A. to be more forthcoming about domestic spy programs. Lizza looks at how the leaks from Edward Snowden may provide the momentum for changing the law.
Frustration is growing in the White House press corps due to limited access to the "transparency" president. In a piece that originally aired in March, Bob goes to the White House to find out how the role of the press corps is changing under this media savvy administration.
Unlike The Denver Post, High Times is not a new comer to the marijuana game, having covered the beat for 39 years. Bob talks with High Times editor-in-chief Chris Simunek about how the magazine reports on the world of marijuana, and whether pot coverage going mainstream will change High Times.
On January 1st, Colorado will be the first state to allow recreational marijuana use. To cover the story The Denver Post has hired a full-time pot editor to run a dedicated pot page. Ricardo Baca is his name and despite being a longtime, experienced journalist, he's spent the last few weeks enduring joke after joke about his new position. Bob talks with Baca about the new gig and all the jokes.
More than 6 years ago, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared in Iran. He has been presumed to be a hostage of some kind, a designation that the U.S. government has not taken issue with. But now it turns out that Levinson may actually be a casualty of a CIA operation gone wrong. Tim Weiner is a former reporter for our partner The New York Times and author of "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" and "Enemies: The History of the FBI." He joins The Takeaway to discuss Levinson's case.
Dictator Kim Jung Un has executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek—formerly the country's de facto No. 2 official. Earlier this week Kim Jong Un purged his uncle as an adviser and had him literally dragged out of a political meeting by military police. Yesterday the nation announced that he has been tried, convicted and executed for treason. Joining The Takeaway to explain what this decision means is Sokeel Park, Director of Research for Liberty in North Korea, an NGO working with refugees from North Korea.
What has gotten into John Boehner? The normally pliant Speaker looks like he has had enough of rigid Tea Party conditions and attitudes. He fears that these newest members of Congress, and the organizations that back them, are taking the GOP brand over the deep end—and he's fed up with it. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's D.C. Correspondent, helps us understand the sudden shift in Speaker Boehner's perspective.
In October, an early blizzard killed tens of thousands of cattle in South Dakota and Nebraska. Ordinarily after this kind of turmoil farmers can expect disaster relief funding through the Farm Bill—but this year that relief is in limbo. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the importance of the Farm Bill is Gary Cammack, a South Dakota Republican state representative and a rancher who lost more than 100 of his own cows and calves in the storm.
While Sandy victims in New York wait anxiously for government assistance to rebuild their homes, a charity organized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to aid homeowners has steered millions of dollars to two troubled, state-sponsored housing developments in Brooklyn.
Kim Jong Un Executes Uncle, Nation's Defacto No. 2 | After Sandy Hook, Elementary Schools Prioritize Safety | Gun Sales on the Rise a Year After Newtown | New Movie Releases: 'Saving Mister Banks' and 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' | South Dakota Pleads for Farm Bill Extension | ...
A bill mandating speed humps on roads near schools was signed into law today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"A lot of these people are people who had one good year," says Harvard Business Professor Michael Norton on Americans considered "rich."
"I've spent the bulk of my career trying to work on behalf of the poor," Barrios-Paoli said at a press conference Thursday. "It is incredibly exciting for me to be in an administration that really makes that a central tenet."
The U.S. has long supported the effort that encourages the ouster of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad from power. Yesterday, the Obama administration announced that it would stop sending nonlethal aid—like food and medical supplies—to the moderate opposition in Syria, at least temporarily. Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of "In The Lion's Den: An Eyewitness account of Washington's Battle with Syria," joins The Takeaway to discuss these latest developments.
Long-term joblessness is up 213 percent, and some 1.3 million Americans are likely to see their unemployment benefits end this month—Congress has so far failed to include an extension to those benefits in any budget deal. Joining The Takeaway to weigh in on the state of unemployment in the U.S. is Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.