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White House

The Takeaway

Obama's "New Deal" raises questions about the success of FDR's original

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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.

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The Takeaway

President Obama pushes his stimulus in prime time

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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.

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The Takeaway

Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on the Obama stimulus plan

Thursday, February 05, 2009

As the President makes his case for his economic stimulus bill, we were wondering what economists thought of the plan to dump $800 billion into the economy. Will it work? What would Keynes think? So many questions! For answers we turn to Nobel Prize winning economist and Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz for his thoughts on the pros and cons of President Obama’s economic stimulus plan.

President Barack Obama discusses his view of the $800 billion stimulus bill.

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The Takeaway

Lessons from 800 years of economic crises

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Our current economic crisis isn’t the first crisis in history or even in recent memory and it most likely won’t be the last. But can events of the past teach us something this time around? To help answer that question, we are joined by Carmen Reinhart, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland and co-author of the forthcoming book “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.”

"Expecting a swift turnaround would be leaving one's self open for an unpleasant surprise."
— Carmen Reinhart, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, on the current economic crisis

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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

In media blitz, Obama touts his stimulus plan

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

President Obama launched a media blitz yesterday, doing so many prime time interviews you would think it was campaign season again. This time, though, he was touting his economic stimulus plan. Every stop on his media tour was peppered with questions about his two failed Cabinet nominations. For a look at the latest on the Obama stimulus and the nagging questions over Daschle, we are joined by April Ryan, the White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks.

"Basically what's happening, the White House and the president are trying to backpedal to make sure that the American public understands that this is not business as usual for the new Obama administration."
— April Ryan, White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, on nominees pulling out of contention because of tax issues

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The Takeaway

White House role in slashing stimulus bill transit funding questioned

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who's responsible for allocations in the stimulus package? Who decided that roads would get $30 billion, transit would get $9 billion, and that the "smart grid" would get $11 billion? According to transit advocates who've talked with House transportation committee chair James Oberstar, D-Minn., it was Lawrence Summers, director of the White House's National Economic Council.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, The Takeaway and WNYC Radio.
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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

The Bush presidency: Your best summaries in eight words or fewer

Friday, January 16, 2009

President George W. Bush leaves office after eight controversial years. We're asking you, Takeaway listeners, to sum up the presidency in eight words or less, vote on other listeners' summaries, then add your own!

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The Takeaway

A plan to reconfigure the global economy

Friday, January 16, 2009

Economist Paul Volcker, chairman-designate of the newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board in President-elect Obama's administration, has unveiled a plan that demands a new way of thinking and restructuring the global financial system. Although it’s theoretical, it could provide clues to the kinds of changes President-elect Obama will push for once he's in office. For an assessment of this plan, The Takeaway is joined by Janet Tavakoli. Tavakoli is founder and president of Tavakoli Structured Finance. She’s also author of the new book, Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 miles from Wall Street.

"I'm sure Wall Street is delighted with this appointment, because it's just Christopher Cox in a dress."
— Janet Tavakoli on the appointment of Mary Schapiro to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission

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The Takeaway

Bushisms: A retrospective

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Since the day he took office, President Bush’s colorful speech has created a stir. Even in his ultimate exit interview, with a flourish of self-deprecation, he said, “Sometimes you misunderestimated me.” Over the years his turns of phrases have been not so much controversial as they’ve been cryptic. Hard to categorize, they sometimes sound like a joke without a punch line or a Zen Koan, imparting indecipherable wisdom. But the best way to describe them comes from Jacob Weisberg, who has coined them Bushisms and for nearly a decade he has been collecting them. Jacob Weisberg joins us for a retrospective of these presidential gems. And like all retrospectives we hope to gain a new appreciation for the man responsible for this body of work. Jacob Weisberg is editor in chief of The Slate Group and author of George W. Bushisms : The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President.

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The Takeaway

Sen. Hillary Clinton's conflict of interest. Or is it Bill's?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Senator Hillary Clinton goes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today for confirmation hearings in the hopes of becoming Secretary of State in the Obama administration. Some analysts predict that Clinton will face tough questions regarding a potential conflict of interest linked to her husband. President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation has accepted donations from governments in the Middle East and wealthy businessmen in India and Nigeria. Will his fundraising activities affect Senator Clinton’s confirmation? The Takeaway talks to Gail Sheehy author of the biography, Hillary's Choice, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

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