Shortly after four o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, 2011, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner walked down the hall from his office toward a large conference room facing the building’s interior. He was surrounded by a retinue of counselors and aides. When they arrived in the room—known around Treasury simply as “the large”—four people were seated at a long walnut table on the side near the door. Geithner and his entourage greeted them, then walked around to the far side and took their seats.
It all started with dinner.
In 2004 my husband, John, and I were celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. That night we were the only Black people at Tru, a five-star restaurant in Chicago’s ultra-exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood. Instead of enjoying the romance of the moment, though, I ruined it by bringing up the discouraging status of Blacks in America. Although we moved on to other topics, they all seemed to lead us back to how fortunate we were and how we should be doing more to help improve the situation— The Black Situation.
Excerpted from ENEMIES by Tim Weiner Copyright © 2012 by Tim Weiner. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
45: "If We Don't Do This, People Will Die"
On the day after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt gave J. Edgar Hoover the power to monitor all telecommunications traffic in and out of the United States. Three weeks after 9/11, President Bush handed Robert Mueller an authority almost as strong. For twenty-nine months following Bush’s order, the FBI had tracked thousands of telephones and Internet addresses in the United States under the aegis of the National Security Agency.
This year's Oscar nominations have been announced. Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" lead the pack with 11 nominations including one for best picture. Also nominated for best picture was the silent film "The Artist"; the George Clooney film "The Descendants"; the 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"; the Southern story of domestic workers "The Help"; the romantic fantasy "Midnight in Paris"; the sports blockbuster "Moneyball"; the family chronicle "The Tree of Life"; and the World War I epic "War Horse."
Here are the Oscar-nominated and Oscar-associated actors, directors, producers, and writers we've had on The Takeaway:
As the GOP field narrows itself down we wanted to take a closer look at each candidate's economic plan for the 2012 election. Which candidate is addressing your concerns about the economy, and what initiatives will have a positive impact on the size of your wallet? American Public Media's Marketplace has a good shapshot of each candidate's economic plan. We've put a more comprehensive view of the candidates' positions below.
On Thursday's show, Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will try to explain the difference between each economic vision. Have a question about who will address your concerns? Tell us what issue you'd like the next president to tackle at 1-877-8-MY-TAKE.
The rise and fall of Michele Bachmann in Iowa has brought to light an uncomfortable truth about Iowa politics. The state, which holds the first caucus in the nation, has never elected a female to the U.S. Senate, Congress, or the governorship
Czech writer, anti-Communist, and first president of the country Vaclav Havel died this weekend during surgery for respiratory ailments stemming from cancer. The former dissident playwright led Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution" in 1989, leaving him as one of the heroes of Eastern Europe's struggle with Communism. He died at 75. Takeaway producer Kateri Jochum spoke with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright earlier today about Havel's death and legacy.
Virginia Tech freshman Kelsey Starr, of Avon, Conn., has been live tweeting her experience on campus in the wake of a shooting incident Thursday that left a police officer and one other person dead. Starr, who writes for the university's newspaper, the Collegiate Times, told Takeaway producer Mythili Rao that the campus was under strict lockdown. "They don't know exactly where he is and everyone's on lockdown," she said. "Everyone's scared and I'm actually in one of the academic buildings here. I locked myself in a room with 3 other girls." Listen to the interview:
Economically, Detroit is arguably a city fighting to diversify, reimaging itself everyday as a hub of entrepreneurship. But socially, some say, Motown is stuck in neutral, still weighed down by decades of racial divisions and a reputation as one of the most segregated cities in America.
"Racism continues to cast a shadow over southeast Michigan, and we are still feeling the impact,” said Thomas Costello. Costello is CEO of The Michigan Roundtable, a human rights group that’s come up with what it considers a bold idea to tackle issues of race in Detroit: an independent truth commission on racial inequality.
Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy movement protests have made headlines this week — both in New York and elsewhere around the country. Tuesday and Today, protesters clashed with police in disputes over their right to occupy parts of lower Manhattan. We want to know: Has your view of the Occupy movement evolved in light of recent events? How? Answer our poll.
"Melancholia" is being called perhaps director Lars von Trier's most commercial work, but that doesn't mean it's not a bit of a downer. Focusing on a pair of sisters contemplating the end of the world — a "rogue planet" named Melancholia is on a collision course with earth — von Trier ponders whether one sister's depression actually makes her better-equipped to deal with existential emergency.
Anyone watching the American economy might question what it means to have job security 2011. In Detroit this week, a group of national community organizers will be taking the question to the extreme as they ponder: What does it mean to work? The traditional answer—get a job and keep it—is suddenly beyond the reach of so many Americans, that the very definition of work must be re-imagined; say organizers of the Reimagining Work conference.
Earlier this week we asked our listeners to participate in a flash poll about GOP candidates participating in the 10th presidential debate. With so many Republican debates so far (Wednesday was the 10th), and so may to go (12 more), we wanted to see how listeners might thin the herd. We wanted to know: of the four candidates polling the lowest, who would you "vote off" the next debate? The choices were Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), and Jon Huntsman. Who did you choose?
America’s shrinking cities might want to take note of a new alternative bubbling up from Detroit’s ongoing battle with blight. In truth, the idea is more old school than new: Why demolish when you could deconstruct and re-purpose the remains of ruin into a job creation tool?
Detroit is besieged with at least 60,000 reasons to consider the question. That is the number of abandoned homes and buildings around the city, depending on who’s counting. In fairness, the question belongs to a number of American cities where demolition has long seemed the only alternative. But the concept of deconstruction is rising to challenge that conventional notion in the city perhaps most synonymous with decay.
If Michigan legislators have their way, the state could soon be home to some of the most permissive charter school regulations in the nation.
Michigan, and Detroit in particular, is widely seen as one of the epicenters for a number of experimental school reforms. The recently introduced legislation aiming to relax the cap on charter school growth, follows a move, earlier this year, that essentially placed the worst performing schools in the Detroit Public School system into a separate district. The city and the state have been rallying to overcome U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s declaration, last year, that DPS was “arguably the worst urban school district in the country.’’
But in the push to implement sweeping school reform, some veteran educators say Detroit and the state may be missing an opportunity to make student and classroom-centered changes.
As Occupy Wall Street has spread from a rag tag group of protesters to a nationwide movement and media fixation, Takeaway listeners have been sharing with us their photos from the demonstrations. We want the sights and sounds of protest in your own city. Use the Takeaway iPhone app to take a picture, record video, or interview one of the demonstrators. Don't have an iPhone? Send your submissions to MyTake@TheTakeaway.org, or call us at 877-8-MY-TAKE.
Today we spoke with Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Middlesex" and "The Virgin Suicides." His new book is called "The Marriage Plot," and an excerpt from the first chapter is below.
Excerpted from THE MARRIAGE PLOT: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, to be published in October 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2011 by Jeffrey Eugenides. All rights reserved.
Detroit and Berlin both know something about abandoned buildings. After the fall of the wall when the former east opened up, parts of Berlin looked a lot like Detroit today, where scores of buildings stood unclaimed, their purpose unclear. While officials worked on a city’s future, Germans like Dimitri Hegemann, relished in exploring the relics of Berlin’s industrial past.
"We were very curious...so when I could go in… I was curious like a young boy," he says. "What is this building? Oh, it’s empty? Let’s look inside. And this happened 1,000 times. We just invaded. This was, you must understand, the frame of these days. The atmosphere was burning. It was an amazing situation."