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The Takeaway

The Week Ahead in Washington

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today we look ahead to events in Washington, including an update on the health care bill, and the effects of President Obama's media blitz. Our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich drops by to give us a preview of the week ahead on Capitol Hill.

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The Takeaway

'Chimerica' the Beautiful

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our guest, Niall Ferguson, once coined the term "Chimerica" to describe the American-Chinese relationship. What did he mean, and where does he think this weeks' talks between U.S. and Chinese officials will lead? Niall Ferguson, a Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School, joins us.

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The Takeaway

Government in Action: The Health Care Debate

Monday, July 27, 2009

When we talk about health care reform, we're talking about a process of government: it's messy, it's complicated, and the tone changes week to week. For Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, this health care debate is a lesson in exactly the way government should work.

"The Obama administration and the press coverage are both focused now on cost control more so than increasing coverage."
—Kathleen Hall Jamieson on the health care bill

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The Takeaway

A Fatal Train Crash on the D.C. Metro Line

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two subway trains collided in Washington D.C. yesterday, killing seven people. It's being called the worst metro accident in the city's history. The details currently known are that during rush hour on the red line, one of the system's busiest lines, one train ran into the back of a stopped train. The National Transportation Safety Board warned city officials that the type of train involved in the accident needed to be retrofitted for safety, but the city was unable to follow through with the recommendation. Ian Urbina, a reporter for our partner The New York Times, is following the story.

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The Takeaway

Sotomayor, Visiting the (Capitol) Hill

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Judge Sonya Sotomayor started her courtesy calls to Capitol Hill as a Supreme Court nominee. Sotomayor met with key senators, while harsh criticism continued on cable TV about her past statements and rulings. The Takeaway talks to Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich, who followed Sotomayor on the Hill.

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The Takeaway

No Sympathy For "Empathy"

Friday, May 29, 2009

A week is a long time in the politics of a word. And the word that defined the new Supreme Court nominee for Republicans– empathy– has taken on a rapidly different meaning from the one intended by President Obama when he set forth the criteria for the nominee earlier this month. Now Obama seems to have dropped the word, opting for explanations that can't easily pop up on cable talk shows. The Takeaway talks to language columnist Barbara Wallraff to look at the true meaning of the word and its rapid evolution in Washington.

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The Takeaway

Pelosi, Panetta and Feinstein: The California Connection

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Republicans' claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed about the CIA’s "enhanced interrogation techniques" placed her and other California politicians under a microscope. Leon Panetta, head of the CIA and a longtime California politician, has been friends with Pelosi for years, but now the two are pitted against each other. And Dianne Feinstein, the California Senator, is siding with Pelosi, cementing her opposition to Panetta. How will these California rivalries affect the national debate over torture? To help us understand the California trio, we talk to Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle’s Washington Correspondent.
"You can say a lot about Pelosi, but lying is just not really part of her M.O."
—Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle on CIA briefings on waterboarding

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The Takeaway

War in Washington: Budgets and the Supreme Court

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The budget battle is heating up in Washington when House Democrats unveiled a $94.2 billion wartime spending bill yesterday that adds $9.3 billion to White House requests. But the bill also challenges some of President Obama's priorities, especially his plans for closing Guantanamo within a year. Other battle lines are being drawn, too. President Obama has already begun calling senators who will play key roles in the confirmation process of whoever he nominates to replace retiring Justice David Souter. President Obama has said he would like the new justice seated by early October.

To help us map the battle plans, we turn to The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. Also joining the conversation is Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America.

Jeffrey Rosen has started publishing a series of reports in The New Republic about the strengths and weaknesses of the leading candidates on Barack Obama's Supreme Court shortlist. Up first, The Case Against Sotomayor.

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The Takeaway

The week ahead with Marcus Mabry and James Surowiecki

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Monday, which means it is time to take a look at the week ahead. For their educated guesses as to what is on the agenda for the week is James Surowiecki, The Balance Sheet writer for The New Yorker, and Marcus Mabry, international business editor for the New York Times.

What's on this week's agenda?

Monday: GM chief expected to step down

• The chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp. of eight years, Rick Wagoner, is resigning.
• Wagoner's unexpected move is part of an agreement made by GM with the Obama administration.
• We'll learn more about the strings of President Obama's auto bailout plan in a speech by the president Monday morning.
• More: G.M. Chief Is Said to Be Resigning in Deal With U.S. (The New York Times)
• More: GM chairman to leave US car maker (BBC)

Monday: President Obama's auto team is expected to offer aid to GM and Chrysler

• The president's task force on the auto industry is expected to back increasing short-term aid to General Motors and Chrysler in return for concessions that would help the companies survive the economic downturn.
• More: With a Busy Agenda, Obama Turns to Auto Bailout Plan (The New York Times)
• More: Auto Task Force Set to Back More Loans -- With Strings (The Wall Street Journal)

Tuesday: Election Tuesday symbolizes judgment on president

• Tuesday's election for the successor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., pits Republican Jim Tedisco against Democrat Scott Murphy who has the backing of President Obama
• Leaders say the selection will be a judgment on the president, stimulus plan and strength of the political parties
• More: NY House race seen as first test of Obama's power (The Associated Press)

Tuesday–Thursday: President Obama and the First Lady begin their first overseas tour

• Mr. Obama will meet with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, British Queen Elizabeth II, and heads of state from Saudi Arabia, India and South Korea.
• President Obama will seek support for his new Afghanistan-Pakistan plan from European nations and deal with the issue of Iranian nuclear ambitions. • The president will also seek to maintain Chinese support for purchasing U.S. government debt and ease tensions with Russia over energy and missile defense.
• He will also be seeking help to enlist Iran in the U.S. effort to stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• President Obama will be attending the G-20 summit, as well as a 60th anniversary summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and a European Union-U.S. summit.
•More: Regulation Goals Replace Stimulus Push (Wall Street Journal)
• More: Barack Obama: 'Every decision we're making counts' (The Telegraph)

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The Takeaway

Washington D.C. HIV/AIDS infection rate hits 3%

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new report funded by the Center for Disease Control says the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Washington D.C. has hit three percent. The rate is higher than in many West African countries and comes as a surprise to many who thought the disease was waning. For more on what those numbers mean, we turn to Jose Antonio Vargas, a reporter for The Washington Post who is covering this issue closely for the paper. We also chat with Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of CARE.

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The Takeaway

This week in Washington

Monday, March 02, 2009

Today President Obama is set to officially announce Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as his choice to head up the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary of State Clinton is on her way to the Middle East, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit Washington. The Daily Beast's Ana Marie Cox and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC join John with a look at these and other events of the week ahead.

"Mr. Obama is, if you like, veritably the lamp that the genie rubs at the moment. "
— The BBC's Jonathan Marcus on President Obama's photo op appeal to visiting foreign dignitaries

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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

New family in the neighborhood: The Obamas and Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The election of Barack Obama brought, for the first time, a black family to the White House. But more than that: there’s a new black family in the neighborhood. Long a haven of ambition, achievement, community and art, Washington D.C.’s black community hasn’t always had an easy relationship with the White House. To take a look at how the new residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might interact with D.C.’s black community we are joined by Patrik Henry Bass, Books Editor at Essence Magazine and author of Like a Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963.

The photographer Patrik Henry Bass mentioned? Addison Scurlock. And the National Museum of American History has an impressive online archive of his work.

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The Takeaway

Obama's first day on the job

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Newly-minted President Obama had a full day of work yesterday firing off executive orders left and right. Richard Wolffe, the senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, joins us for his inside-the-Beltway view of Obama's first day in office.

Part of President Obama's busy day was a do-over of his Presidential Oath of Office after Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the line during the Inauguration.

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The Takeaway

Back to the streets of Washington with Femi Oke

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We return to The Takeaway's Femi Oke who is staked out on the crowded streets of Washington, D.C. She is shoving her microphone in front of anyone who will talk to her (and some who won't) in order to get the pulse of the scene.

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The Takeaway

An update from the crowded sidewalks of Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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.

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The Takeaway

An audio postcard from Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We are listening in on the conversations happening in Washington, D.C. and across the nation as Barack Obama's inauguration brings millions of together from every corner of the country. Amy from Concord, New Hampshire shared her story and it speaks to both the optimism and sense of hope for today.

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The Takeaway

Getting ready for the Inauguration

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As the nation prepares for the inauguration, the excited attendees are already streaming onto the National Mall. The Takeaway's Andrea Bernstein is there to report on the mood of those lucky enough to be in D.C. today. We are also joined by The Takeaway's contributor Patrik Henry Bass with his thoughts on the day when America will swear in the first African-American to lead the nation. Patrik Henry Bass is the Senior Editor of Essence magazine and the author of Like A Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963.

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The Takeaway

Another busy day in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

While one president is on his way out and the other is on his way in, Congress is busily moving ahead with legislation. The Democrats want to have an expanded child health care program and a stimulus package all ready for Obama to sign the moment he takes office. Then there are the ongoing confirmation hearings and the man who would be Treasury Secretary hit a snag. For more we go to our man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, reporter for Capitol News Connection.

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The Takeaway

Congress is back and ready for a fight

Monday, January 05, 2009

Today marks the first session of the 111th Congress and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid knows he's got a full plate of serious issues to handle, and handle quickly. On top of all the pressing matters there are still vacancies in the U.S. Senate and a whole lot of hullabaloo over who is going to be filling them. To mull over these issues with us is Todd Zwillich from Capitol News Connection and our man on the ground in Washington D.C.

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