Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

Job Creation Rising, But Job Losses Continue

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress yesterday, saying he expects to see new jobs appearing near the end of this year or early next year. He warned, however, that it could take a while for the unemployment rate to slow down. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the long wait for work is New York Times magazine writer Roger Lowenstein, who sees the lack of job hiring as more troubling than job losses. Also joining the conversation are Fred Winner, who runs a welding company in Western Ohio and has had to lay off employees and cut hours, and Boreas Van Nouhuys, who lost his job last November as a carpenter in Kauai, and is still looking for work.

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Streaming Music on the Internet

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the last 20 years the music industry has changed a lot: from vinyl to tapes to CDs and now streaming. Streaming is free music available online, but it is not downloaded so you don't have to worry about the RIAA knocking down your door. Joining The Takeaway with an overview of free music is Maura Johnston, editor of the music blog, Idolator.

Need some options for streaming online? Happy listening:

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Anatomy of a News Conference

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last night President Obama addressed the nation during a primetime news conference. The number one item on the president's agenda was health care reform, but other issues popped up, too. The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich was there for it all and he joins the show with his analysis. Also joining the roundtable conversation are Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard, and David Wall Rice, a professor of psychology at Morehouse college and author of Balance: Advancing Identity Theory by Engaging the Black Male Adolescent.

"The standard insurance product that most people have is an umbrella full of holes. That is, if you have a really serious illness you'll still be bankrupted, even if you keep the standard insurance policy."
—Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on health care

Here the president addresses concerns about Medicare in the health care debate:

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America, Still Not 'Post-Racial'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On Monday, Henry Louis Gates Jr, one of the nation's pre-eminent African American scholars, was arrested for breaking into his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The charges have been dropped against the Harvard professor but the racial questions are still swirling. With the election of the first black man to the White House, many people thought American society was becoming "post racial." Joining The Takeaway to discuss race in America is Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor, law professor at George Washington University and author of Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice and our friend David Wall Rice, a psychology professor at Morehouse College.

Read David Wall Rice's blog post, Professor Gates Arrested? No Surprise

"The police engage in these who's-the-man masculinity contests. And you know there are things you can do if you don't want to get locked up: you can not look them in the eye, you can be deferential. But sometimes, when you're a black man who's tried to do the right thing your whole life and still end up getting treated like a you-know-what, you do get loud and tumultuous."
—Law professor and author Paul Butler

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Tough Talk: Secretary Clinton's Message to Iran

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is getting tough on Iran. Speaking from Thailand today she announced that the U.S. is prepared to defend its allies in the Persian Gulf against any threats from Iran, which appears to be moving ahead with its nuclear program. To help us parse what the tough talk means is Jon Leyne, the BBC's Iran correspondent, who has been kicked out of the country and joins The Takeaway from London.

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Air America: The State of the Airlines

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Airlines are starting to release their quarterly earnings reports. The results? Turbulence. While Southwest and United eked out a small profit, Continental announced a slight loss. Charisse Jones, reporter for USA Today, joins The Takeaway to talk about the state of airline industry.

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A Look into the Economic Crystal Ball

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke began two days of testimony before Congress on the state of the economy. He said, “The U.S. economy contracted sharply in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year. More recently, the pace of decline appears to have slowed significantly." Bernanke said there were "tentative signs" of recovery. So is the recession over? And if so, when will there be more jobs? The Takeaway is joined by Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a company that forecasts recessions and recoveries.

"We've been out on a limb since April that the recession ends this summer. I'm sticking with that. Our indicators are soaring."
—Lakshman Achuthan predicting the economic future

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Little Kids, Big Business: Updating the Children's TV Act

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In 1990, Congress enacted the Children's Television Act to promote educational children's television programming and to limit marketing to children. The act addresses only broadcast television, not cable, internet, or games. Gary Knell, the President and CEO of Sesame Workshop (the force behind Sesame Street) has been pushing for an update to the bill. He joins The Takeaway before he heads to the Hill to testify on re-booting the Children's Television Act for the 21st century and beyond. Also joining the conversation is Dade Hayes, a father and author of Anytime Playdate: Inside the Preschool Entertainment Boom, or, How Television Became My Baby's Best Friend.

"We're certainly not going to change Elmo...This isn't really about how Sesame Street is going to change. This is really about shining a spotlight on the issues around children's education and children's health, because media plays just an enormous role in impacting children."
—Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop, on children's programming today

When the original Children's Television Act was being debated, there was one special witness: Mr. Rogers. Here's his testimony:

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The Takeaway's Health Care Roundtable

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Takeaway is hosting a roundtable discussion of what health care reform should look like. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway’s Washington correspondent, sets the scene for the president's press conference with his analysis of the political issues. Then The Takeaway's panel discusses their own wishes for health care reform. Joining today's conversation are Dr. Peter Ubel, physician and behavorial scientist at the University of Michigan, Kristen Rouse, 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and Akin Mckenzie, a visual display artist.

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The President's Prescription for Health Care

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama is hitting the airways tonight to sell his health care reform plan. The Takaway's man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, gives us the behind the scenes report. We then turn to Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public policy at Princeton, to explain the history of presidential attempts to change the American health care system. Mr. Starr was a senior health policy adviser in the Clinton White House and is author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning book The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry.

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Millions of people across Asia were plunged into darkness during the longest eclipse of the century. The total solar eclipse, where the moon blocks the sun, turned day into night for several minutes across southeast Asia. For an eyewitness account The Takeaway turns to Jyotsna Singh, a BBC reporter in Delhi, India.

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Roundtable: Previewing Obama's Press Conference

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tonight President Barack Obama holds a prime time press conference. The main topic is likely to be health care reform, but topics such as unemployment, the economy, and Afghanistan are all likely to make an appearance. Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner joins The Takeaway to preview the presser. The Takeaway is also joined by Dr. Peter Ubel, physician and behaviorial scientist in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Kristen Rouse, 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and a Veteran of the War in Afghanistan; and Akin Mckenzie, visual display artist

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Breakfast: Keeping Your Cool the Sweet Sicilian Way

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who knew that breakfast could be one sure way to beat the heat? We’re not talking about chugging a frappaccino, we’re talking about breakfast the Sicilian way: ice cream. Gina DePalma joins The Takeaway with some Italian breakfast fare that could change the way you think about how you start your steamy, summer mornings. Gina DePalma is the pastry chef of the world famous restaurant Babbo, in New York. She is also the author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. And you can keep abreast of her culinary thoughts on the blog Serious Eats, where she is a weekly contributor.

Want to make your own coffee granita? Here's Gina's recipe:

Coffee Granita

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for every two cups of brewed espresso or strong regular coffee (You can adjust the sweetness to your taste).
  • Sweetened heavy whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate or ground cinnamon
  1. Whisk the sugar into the hot coffee, and let the mixture cool completely to room temperature before putting it into the freezer in a shallow metal or glass dish.
  2. Monitor the freezing process; as the sides begin to freeze, using a whisk or fork to break it up and move it to the center. Do this every 15 minutes or so, sooner as it freezes more, using a small whisk for aeration and to strategically target the frozen spots. When there is no more loose liquid in the mix, give it a really good whisking and let it freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes more.
  3. To serve, you’ll need some sweetened heavy cream whipped until it mounds softly. In a glass dessert dish or cup, put a generous layer of frozen granita. Add a small shot of ice-cold, brewed espresso for some extra coffee flavor.
  4. Layer on some cream, then repeat the layers, ending with a mound of cream, which you can whip a bit stiffer for holding power.
  5. Top with some shaved chocolate and/or ground cinnamon and serve with brioche on the side.
  6. Dip pieces of the brioche into the mix, or fold pieces of it around spoonfuls of granita and cream.

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Iraq in the Headlines, Al-Maliki in Washington

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In a move to show that Washington is normalizing its relationship with Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is coming to the White House today. The two leaders have plenty to talk about: Iraq's security, continuing ethnic tensions and, of course, oil. Al-Maliki's trip comes just three weeks after the U. S. military withdrew from Iraqi cities after years of occupation. Violence has been increasing across Iraq. The Takeaway talks to Jim Muir, the BBC's Baghdad correspondent, and Alyssa Rubin, the former New York Times Baghdad bureau chief who has just left Iraq.

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Governors Meet to Talk Health Care Reform

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The next two weeks may determine whether President Obama's health care reform plans go through. As the health care battle has gone to the states, many of the nation's governors (who are attending the National Governors Association this weekend) say they worry that Congress will force states to pick up extra health care expenses. Joining The Takeaway this morning with the current status of the bill is Todd Zwillich. And also joining the discussion is the new Chairman of the National Governors Associations, Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of Vermont.

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How California Closed Its Budget Gap

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

California leaders reached a deal late last night to close its $26 billion budget deficit. The deal would end months of political wrangling, but what got cut? To update The Takeaway on the details of the deal is John Myers, the Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED public radio.

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No 'Card Check' in the New Labor Union Bill

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Labor leaders had pinned their hopes on a new bill in Congress called the Employee Free Choice Act. They hoped something called a "card check" would be part of that bill, which would have made it much easier for employees to unionize. But it looks as though Congress will pass the bill without the card check provision. To talk about what labor unions will do without the card check is Anya Kamenetz, writer for Fast Company Magazine. We've also got Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest unions in the U.S.

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We Have Liftoff: When Apollo 11 Left the Lunar Surface

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. We've heard about the trip to the moon, the landing, the first footsteps. But one of the biggest challenges that NASA scientists faced was the liftoff from the lunar surface—something they had never been able to practice. On The Takeaway to talk about the intricacies of lunar liftoffs is Dan Durda, a planetary scientist and "almost" astronaut.

Here is video of the Apollo 17 taking off from the moon.

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A New Anti-Drug Strategy in Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The U.S. government is deploying dozens of Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Afghanistan in a new kind of anti-drug surge. It's the biggest expansion in DEA history, but will it help? Joining The Takeaway is Gretchen Peters, former Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent for ABC and author of Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda.

"I have seen video of parents exhaling opium smoke into the mouths of their infants because they don't have any other medicine to give them."
—Gretchen Peters on drug use in Afghanistan

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Harry Potter and the Staggering Profits

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" premiered last Wednesday. By Sunday, the film had raked in approximately $160 million—$20 million more than the previous Potter film. To deconstruct the Harry Potter juggernaut, The Takeaway talks to Susan Gunelius, president and CEO of KeySplash Creative, a marketing agency, and author of the book Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. We're also joined by Ben Maynard, a 17-year-old die-hard Harry Potter fan.

"It seemed like the marketing was being pushed at us using 'push' marketing strategies, but in reality it was 'pull' marketing — consumers demanding more from the brand."
—Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative, on marketing Harry Potter


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