Jesse Baker

Jesse Baker appears in the following:

Health Care Battle: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama’s push to reform the nation's health care system is not a new fight. It has been a battle fought by just about every occupant of the Oval Office for the past 75 years. From Roosevelt to Eisenhower to LBJ and Nixon to both Clintons, universal health coverage has been a long-fought campaign. We speak to James Morone, political science professor at Brown University and co-author of The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office, about waging war in Washington.

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Summer Over, Congress Heads Back to Hill

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It’s official: summer vacation is over and Congress is back in session, preparing to pick up where they left off. This week, President Obama will attempt to take back control of the health care debate in a prime-time speech Wednesday night.

Joining us for a round table discussion on what awaits the President this week – from health care to Afghanistan to the overall happiness of the nation – is Peter Baker, White House correspondent for The New York Times; Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine; and Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports.

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Back-to-School With the H1N1 Virus

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tomorrow, children across the country head back to school. Today, however, we’re joined by three health care professionals to talk about what school communities are doing to combat the spread of the H1N1 virus. Dr. William Schaffner is the chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt School, Lisa Swank is a public health emergency preparedness coordinator from Maryland, and Carol Johnson is the superintendent for Boston Public Schools.

"Stay home for 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. And for people, particularly with underlying illnesses, once the systems start, immediately call, you don't visit, but call your doctor because your doctor may want to prescribe an ant-viral medication for you, which will shorten the course of the illness."
—Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt School,for students who start to feel symptoms


Health Care Reform: Beyond the Public Option

Friday, September 04, 2009

The hotly contested "public option" for health care coverage is up for debate on Capitol Hill next week. Some say it's essential for reform while others, such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, say it's not critical.  Sebelius said last month that the public option was “not the essential element” of the president’s health care plan.

For a closer look, we talk to Xavier Becerra (D-California), Congressman from California and the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. (click through for the full interview transcript)

"I believe the president is fighting hard to get reform passed, but he himself has said, to make this meaningful reform, you have to include competition that will give people choices and keep costs down. You can’t do that if you don’t have, inserted into this reform, a real plan that will compete and force others to compete to try to get business from the consumer at the best price." — Xavier Becerra (D-California), Congressman from California and the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus


Will Anyone Trust Afghan Election Results?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke went to Paris on Wednesday for a meeting with more than two dozen of his international peers. But it wasn't a celebration – Holbrooke was there pursuing a fair outcome to Afghanistan's presidential primary election. The meeting was filled with reports of rampant fraud and further allegations of corruption during the country's second-ever presidential election since the fall of the Taliban.

The latest results, with more than 60 percent of the ballots counted, show that incumbent president Hamid Karzai has 47.3 percent of the vote. As Afghanistan braces for a potential runoff election, we look at what Afghanistan can do to clean up their voting process with Noah Feldman, professor of law at Harvard, author of The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State and a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations; and Emal Pasarly, a reporter in the BBC's Pashto section.

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The Dog Days of the Health Care Debate

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will the passing of Senator Kennedy effect the outcome of health care reform? Our guests talk about how they remember the senator as well as how the health care debate rolls on during these dog days of summer. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are looking at one very influential group in particular: senior citizens. And while the Republicans wait for Senator Charles Grassley to decide where he falls on the debate, the Democrats continue to rally around their new poster politician for health care reform, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. To make sense of this week in the health care reform debate is Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine; Jonathan Wilson, public radio reporter for WAMU in Washington; and Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-VA).

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Writing (another) Book on Madoff

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

While newspapers and magazines have lined their pages with details of Bernie Madoff's deceit, the literary world is still trying to cash in on the embezzlement drama. The sixth book on the life and times of the convicted Ponzi schemer hits bookstores today.

The book was penned by Sheryl Weinstein, former CEO of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and one of Madoff’s investors. We speak to Motoko Rich, who covers the publishing industry for The New York Times, along with author and journalist Erin Arvedlund, whose book “Too Good to be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff” just came out this month.


'Cash for Clunkers' Cashed Out

Friday, August 21, 2009

We’ve heard it before, but this time it might just stick: The Department of Transportation announced yesterday that the popular Cash for Clunkers program, which allows you to trade in your old gas-guzzler for up to $4500 towards a new fuel efficient car, is done as of Monday, August 24th. Although Congress added $2 billion to the program just weeks ago, the program's popularity means the money has run out far sooner than expected. To explain what is happening we talk to Micheline Maynard, senior business correspondent for the New York Times. We also talk to Brian Willian, the sales manager at Albany Honda in Georgia. He is awaiting a check from the government to reimburse him for the clunkers he's paid for under the program.


Don Hewitt: TV Newsman's Legacy in the Internet Age

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's no kind of overstatement to say that CBS News legend Don Hewitt invented television news. As a producer he helped shape the careers of such respected news luminaries as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite at a time when broadcast television was just emerging from radio's shadow. He made news into hour-long, genre-spanning programs. Hewitt created 60 Minutes in 1968; the show was a huge success and helped turn correspondents like Morley Safer, Diane Sawyer, and Mike Wallace into household names. His death at 86 comes as another new medium, the internet, looms over the future of existing broadcast and print media. To talk about the life and legacy of Don Hewitt, we talk to New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and Hewitt's long time friend and former CBS producer Jeff Gralnick.


The Political Effects of the Health Care Debate

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health care, health care, health care. It’s all you see on the news, read in the papers, and hear on the radio. Will it pass? When? What will it look like if it does? What will things look like if it doesn't? We've been looking both at the broad strokes and picayune details of the various plans; today, we take a look at the potential ramifications of this debate on the political landscape.

The Democrats practically swept the 2006 elections and handily won the 2008 presidential elections, while the Republicans struggled with an identity crisis. But with this health care battle, has the G.O.P. found the grounds for a resurgence? Joining us with their take are Reihan Salam, from the New American Foundation, and Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University.

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Presidential Medals of Freedom Awarded Today

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This afternoon, President Barack Obama will present 16 people with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is the highest honor that can be awarded to a civilian. Among this year's honorees are Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stephen Hawking, U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Also receiving a medal tonight is Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest breast cancer awareness organization in the world. She has just been appointed as the first "Cancer Ambassador" to the World Health Organization and she tells about her work and the award.

Want to watch the awards ceremony? The ceremony with President Barack Obama will begin at 2 p.m. central time and be carried on a live stream at

For a full list of recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, click through.


Business Take: Will Interest Rates Rise?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Fed meets today to consider raising interest rates. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, helps us forecast the possible results if and when the Fed does change rates.

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Barney Frank on Bonuses

Friday, July 31, 2009

A report from the New York Attorney General’s Office says top-dog bankers are rolling in huge bonuses, and the House of Representatives is set to vote on a pay-reform bill today that aims to put a cap on some of those compensation packages. Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank is leading the fight in the House and joins The Takeaway to talk about the bonuses.

Click through for a transcript of the conversation with Rep. Frank.

Watch Rep. Barney Frank discuss single payer health care in the video below.

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Cash for Clunkers Cashed-Out

Friday, July 31, 2009

Last week we reported on the Obama administration's “cash for clunkers” program—where you can trade in your old beater for a credit on a new, more fuel efficient car. The rewards program was supposed to last well into the Fall, but news late last night says "cash for clunkers" may have already been cashed out. Joining The Takeaway this morning with more is Louise Story, a reporter for The New York Times.

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The Legacy: Reactions to Obama's NAACP Speech

Friday, July 17, 2009

As the NAACP wrapped up the celebration of its 100-year history, President Barack Obama stopped by to address the crowd. Joining us with their reactions to the president's speech and the legacy of the NAACP are Geraldine Sam, the first African-American female mayor of LaMarque, Texas, Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New American Foundation, and Farai Chideya, friend of The Takeaway.


"This is exactly what he's going to be remembered for in 20 or 30 years: His ability to communicate with his community in a very frank and open and tough-minded way."
—Reihan Salam on Barack Obama's speech to the NAACP

If you missed President Obama's speech, you can watch it in its entirety below.


Do-It-Yourself Fireworks (Safely)

Friday, July 03, 2009

This weekend, many of us will be enjoying fireworks as we celebrate the Fourth of July —from the safety of a public park with professionals handling all those explosives. But our guest Bill Gurstelle believes that the best fireworks are the ones you make at home. He's the author of Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously and Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices.

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Smooth Criminal: John Dillinger's Legend, 75 Years Later

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Many people know the legends of Jesse James or Bonnie and Clyde, but lesser known is one of the greatest bank robbers in history – John Dillinger. Nicknamed "The Jackrabbit" for his swift moves, he terrorized banks throughout the Midwest in 1933 before being shot by FBI agents at a movie theater in Chicago. Johnny Depp portrays him in the new movie “Public Enemies,” bringing his life (and legend) to the big screen.


South Carolina Women Stand with Jenny

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Over the past week we have become way too familiar with the affairs of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. But if you think the nation is consumed, just imagine how it is for South Carolina's First Lady Jenny Sanford. Luckily for Jenny, the women of South Carolina have rallied around her and offered their support — most recently in an online campaign called “Stand with Jenny.” Joining The Takeaway to discuss the campaign is Cindy Mosteller, former chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party, part of the evangelical organization that is spearheading “Stand with Jenny,” as well as Beccie Robbins, communications director for South Carolina Progressive Network.

Click here to Stand with Jenny.

"It's now to the point that I think there's strong consensus that he's unable to govern—not only within himself—but who in this state would be willing to be governed by a man acting like this?"
— Cindy Mosteller, on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

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The Enigma of Michael Jackson

Friday, June 26, 2009

From his obsession with plastic surgery to his legal and financial troubles, Michael Jackson led a complicated life. What will he be remembered for: his work as a musical artist or his latter-day weirdness?

Bill Wyman is the former arts editor for Salon and now writes for the blog, “Hitsville.

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Gail Collins vs. the "Love Govs"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The situation of admitted adulterer Governor Sanford is not unique. From Illinois to New Jersey to South Carolina to New York echoes the sound of gubernatorial apologies. New York Times columnist Gail Collins joins The Takeaway as we take an historical tour of the worst governors and their best antics.

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