The president laid out his plans for health care reform Wednesday night — or at least he tried to. He woke up Thursday morning to see that the headlines were stolen by an outburst from a little-known congressman from South Carolina. This morning we talk to our man on Capitol Hill, Todd Zwillich, and Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine, about apologies and how the latest uninsured numbers will shape the health care debate from here on out.
South Carolina's had a rough week. It's earning a national reputation for having the most scandalous governor to remain in office and a congressman, Joe Wilson, who treats a presidential address like a college improv comedy show. Mark Quinn, host of South Carolina ETV and Radio’s Public Affairs Program, The Big Picture, tells us what South Carolinians are feeling about their elected officials.
In case you missed it, watch Wilson's outburst in this clip from Wednesday night's address:
The White House announced this week that its $787 billion economic stimulus package has saved or created more than 1 million jobs since it was enacted in February. To help us parse these and other economic indicators, we talk with Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a market analysis company in New York. We also speak with Louise Story, a Wall Street and finance reporter with the New York Times, about what financial troubles at Harvard and Yale mean for higher education and the economy as a whole.
On September 20th, 2001, President George Bush told the American public to expect a lengthy campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the eight years since, however, the war in Afghanistan has turned into a campaign longer and stranger than even those predictions. President Bush's initial resolve has given way to skepticism among many and has created a huge headache for President Obama. Charlie Sennott, executive editor of GlobalPost, joins us with a look back at Afghanistan over the past eight years, as well as current election news there. He has covered Afghanistan and the Taliban since the mid-nineties.
One of our listeners, DJ, called up the other day to point out that America, land of the free, is also the land of the complainer. And this week it definitely showed. From the missed opportunities of summer, to Obama's school speech, and then to the health care debate, Americans are making themselves heard, loud and clear. We're asking: "Hey America! Want some cheese with that whine?" We'll take a listen to what got everyone's goat from the past few days, and maybe some reasons to look on the bright side.
Thousands of people have stories about September 11th, eight years ago. For many of us these are stories that hang on the profound consequences of one life intersecting with another. Today we take a look at two of these stories, where the significance of a perfect stranger grows more pronounced with each passing year. We speak with Sarah Bunting. She’s a writer and publisher of the blog tomatonation.com. We also talk to Jim Dwyer, reporter for the New York Times and author of "102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers," which he co-wrote with New York Times editor Kevin Flynn.
The biggest task for President Obama in his speech on Wednesday night was to take back the health care debate after a chaotic summer where unruly town halls and misrepresentations dominated the headlines. Yesterday, it seemed, some of that chaos continued, much of it centered on two words blurted by Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina): “You lie!” Wilson shouted the words in response to the president’s claim that no illegal immigrants would receive health care under his plan. Yesterday, after a request from GOP leadership, Wilson apologized for his outburst, calling it "spontaneous." For a look at how politics changed for Republicans this week we speak to Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been working on its own health care bill. We also talk to Jackie Calmes, Washington correspondent for the New York Times, about the raucous disagreement between the political parties and what it means for health care reform. (Read the full interview transcript)
In case you missed the presidential address, here it is in its entirety:
It’s been eight years since the terrorist organization al-Qaida attacked the U.S., hijacking airplanes, destroying the twin towers of the World Trade Center, damaging the Pentagon, and killing hundreds on Flight 93 and thousands elsewhere. Although the organization is not as robust as it was in 2001, it remains a serious security threat; its top leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, are still at large. For an insider's take on what the hunt for al-Qaida entails we are joined by former CIA agent Art Keller, who spent the last few months of his career in Pakistan, hunting top al-Qaida operatives. We also speak to Bruce Hoffman, terrorism expert and professor of security studies at Georgetown University.
A year ago this weekend, the U.S. financial system was teetering on the brink of collapse. As we approach the anniversary of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy and Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, we take a look back at the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: the $700 billion federal effort to bail out the U.S. banking system. We speak with Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School professor and the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel monitoring the bailout. (Read the full interview transcript, or check out all the stories in this series.)
"He was not only not right, he wasn't right at the moment he said it, and he knew he wasn't right." —Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, on former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's assertion that there "[was] no reason to believe this [bailout] program will cost taxpayers anything"
Fans of the "The Da Vinci Code" have waited for years for more of Dan Brown's mix of mystery, religion, history and art. At long last (and just a few years overdue) the sequel, "The Lost Symbol," will finally come out next week. It follows Brown's hero-savant Robert Langdon to Washington, D.C. for another mystery. People are hungering for clues as to what's in the new book, so we speak to an expert: Dan Burstein, who has made a career dispelling the myths and interpreting the clues in Brown's work. Burstein even sold over 50,000 copies of "Secrets of the Widow's Son: The Mysteries Surrounding the Sequel to The Da Vinci Code" (edited by Burstein and written by David Shugarts), where he attempted to figure out what might be in the much-anticipated sequel ... despite the fact that it hadn't been published yet. His latest book, "Secrets of The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Guide," is due out in December.
It's Friday, which means new movies are opening nationwide. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, joins us with a few of the films in theaters this weekend. His picks? Tim Burton's return to animation in 9, a remake of the 1956 crime film noir Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, and Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself.
We also hear from Karina Longworth, editor of SpoutBlog, who's at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada. She has the latest on the next flock of films heading this way, starting with The Men Who Stare at Goats, a film with an all-star cast including George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey. (The trailer is above.)
Researchers in the United States and Australia have some good news for the fight against the potential pandemic of H1N1, or "swine flu." Turns out that the vaccine will protect adults with only one dose (and one shot, yay!). This means that the vaccines already in production will go twice as far as previously expected, allowing more people to be inoculated against the flu. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gives us the details.