The Takeaway for Monday, March 9, 2009 (Early Edition)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Headlines; This week's agenda
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Farai and fans' instant reviews of Watchmen

Monday, March 09, 2009

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Jimmy Fallon's week in review

Friday, March 06, 2009

Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click "watch in high quality" for best quality).

Jimmy Fallon now sits in the throne of late-night giants Conan O'Brien and David Letterman, but it's been a tough week for the former Saturday Night Live star. Troy Patterson, the TV critic for Slate, reviews the first week of NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Listen to the full Takeaway segment with Troy Patterson here.
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The Takeaway for Friday, March 6, 2009 (Final Edition)

Friday, March 06, 2009

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The Takeaway for Friday, March 6, 2009 (Early Edition)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Headlines; News on Sudan
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Producer's Notes: War along the border

Friday, March 06, 2009

In Mexico, the national army and federal police have gone to war with drug cartels. It's a conflict on a dizzying number of fronts that doesn't lend itself to easy explanation. Over the past week on The Takeaway, we turned to people along the U.S.-Mexican border to help us all understand not just what's happening, but how and why.

In December, a few stories out of West Texas caught my eye. They said that right across the border from El Paso, in the city of Ciudad Juarez, the private armies of Mexican drug cartel leaders were terrorizing Juarez residents. After talking to El Paso Times reporter Diana Washington Valdez, it became clear that the Mexican drug war is no longer entirely confined to Mexico. When El Paso city councilman Beto O'Rourke told me that there's hardly a person in El Paso that doesn't have relatives or friends or colleagues affected by the often gruesome violence, I became intrigued and surprised I hadn't seen more about it.

But of course, that was only the beginning of the story, and there's much more here than a campaign of brutality by the cartels.

Continue reading...
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Takeaway guest host Farai Chideya on the art of staying connected to her audience

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click "watch in high quality" for best quality).
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Recovery.gov numbers due "this week"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

OMB doesn't want "perfect to be the enemy of the good"

So now we know. The numbers are coming this week -- if not exactly "every dollar." The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says the public will be able to see the March 3rd agency reports "this week". These reports detail the spending and actions on the stimulus money to date. But in a letter, the spokesman is defending the limited transparency requirements.

Click here for the full statement by spokesman Thomas E. Gavin.
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The Takeaway for Thursday, March 5, 2009 (Final Edition)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

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The Takeaway for Thursday, March 5, 2009 (Early Edition)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Headlines; News on housing policy
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Senate holding hearings on stimulus transparency

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Senate is getting ready to grill the Office of Management and Budget on transparency and accountability...

OMB Deputy Director Robert L. Nabors is on the hot seat this morning as Senator Joseph Lieberman's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs digs into recovery act spending. Committee Spokeswoman Leslie Phillips praises OMB — "what they're doing is revolutionary" — but acknowledges this kind of tracking "has been tried before [usaspending.gov] and it is not easy to do."

Maybe they'll find out just how far down we'll get to follow the money. Listen here, beginning at 10 a.m., live on Thursday, March 5, 2009.
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Tell us: Why is Watchmen so great?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


The acclaimed graphic novel "Watchmen" is now a movie (opening Friday), and we love it, but we're having trouble convincing all of our listeners how great it really is. Can you help us convince everyone — in one minute of audio or video?

Call us at 1-877-8-MY-TAKE and we'll play back the most convincing phone messages. Or, link to your YouTube video in the comments section below...
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The Takeaway for Wednesday, March 4, 2009 (Final Edition)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

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The Takeaway for Wednesday, March 4, 2009 (Early Edition)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Headlines; Syrian envoys
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Your food may be organic, but that doesn't mean it's safe

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click "watch in high quality" for best quality).

Over the past few years a rash of food-related illnesses caused by everything from tomatoes to spinach to peanut butter has sparked nationwide concern over food safety. Conventional wisdom has always said you can assure your food is safe by buying organic. But New York Times reporter Kim Severson did some digging and she found that organic certification has nothing to do with food safety.

Listen to the full Takeaway segment with Kim Severson here
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Environmentally friendly solar flashlight brings light to Africa's poorest villages

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In undeveloped nations such as Eritrea, Haiti, or Cameroon, light is a luxury. Mark Bent thinks that's unacceptable.

Bent, a former American diplomat and Houston oilman, is CEO and founder of SunNight Solar, a company that has created solar powered flashlights that they are now spreading throughout the world by way of private donors, the United Nations and organizations such as Direct Relief International.

The Takeaway ran into Bent at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City on February 27th, where he happily pulled apart his product for us. The flashlights, the shape of which reminded me of a Pantene-Pro V shampoo bottle, are made of LED lights and a plastic case. They nab their power from three recyclable batteries that are re-charged by a solar panel that graces the side of the flashlight. In total, the panel provides power for up to 2,000 nights, and the batteries last about two years.

Bent was at the conference to participate in an expert panel titled, "Green Design For Good." When asked about using plastic in his product (a material that doesn't scream sustainability) Bent replied, "I'm willing to live with ABS plastic because I can get people to read." The former Navy man's flashlight do more than help people read. They cut down on the need for kerosene lanterns, which improves lung health, as well as allow villages and refugee camps to function safely after dark. Women are protected from sexual assault, refugees can use the lamps to deter thieves, and farmers can keep away wild animals.

Bent sat down with us post-conference to dish on how his flashlights promote gender equality and safety around the world, and why pink is his favorite color.
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Tracking every dollar (redux)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

You can find every dollar on recovery.gov, right? Not exactly. But you can find your state's recovery Web site.

The reporting on the recovery act funds begins today, with agencies being required to report "funding, major actions taken to date, and major planned actions." The Office of Management and Budget memo detailing the requirement doesn't say how quickly those reports will make it to recovery.gov, and an OMB spokesman is only promising they'll go up "as soon as they are made available."

(And, in case you forgot, that memo ONLY requires reporting down two levels. If money goes to a state, then a city, that's it. Where the city spends its dollars is beyond the reporting requirements.)

In the meantime, recovery.gov has a pretty cool map of state recovery sites.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you, we're tracking the stimulus bill dollars from Congress to your community.

Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.


Listen to more from Andrea Bernstein here.
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The Takeaway for Tuesday, March 3, 2009 (Final Edition)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

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We're all about The Watchmen today on The Takeaway

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Watchmen movie comes out on Friday and we are just SO excited! If you don't know about the graphic novel that started the entire trend of graphic novels, you are in for a treat. Head here to buy the book and start cramming for the opening. Obviously we haven't seen the movie yet, but the trailers have us all atwitter. Here they are for your review.



Ready for another? Here you go:



Are you excited yet? Of course you are.
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