In the past several months, President Obama has been making a quiet push to change the face of the nation's judicial system with a slow and steady stream of diverse nominees for federal courts. In Florida, he's nominated the first openly gay black man to serve on federal district court. In New York, he nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And in DC, he's nominated the first South Asian to sit on the US Court of Appeals. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund explains what hurdles these candidates may face and what potential these nominations represent.
The classic American "gun guy" is shotgun-toting John Wayne, riding his way through cowboy movies like "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "El Dorado," and "True Grit." Author Dan Baum describes himself as more of a Woody Allen than a John Wayne, and yet he has loved guns since his first successful shoot at the age of five. Baum describes his unlikely passion for firearms in his new book, "Gun Guys: A Road Trip."
The United States is officially in the midst of the sequester. Lawrence White, a professor of economics at NYU's Stern School of Business, explains how sequestration will impact the economy, particularly unemployment and the markets.
The Supreme Court is set to decide whether an important part of the Voting Rights Act is still necessary. Judy Richardson and Charles Cobb, both of whom fought for voting rights on the front lines, explain how the act came to be.
The Supreme Court hears arguments today in what could be a landmark Supreme Court ruling regarding the state of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act, first signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, was a major piece of civil rights legislation aiming to reverse a practice that long disenfranchised black Americans.
The 1893 Columbian Exposition introduced the United States as an industrial power on the world’s stage. As the exposition opened on May 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland illuminated the fairgrounds with the push of a button, the first time most of the exposition's attendees had ever seen a light bulb.
In addition to the Defense Department and other federal employees, the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration would also affect a number of other federally-funded projects, including scientific and medical research.
Elected to Congress in 1995, Jesse Jackson Jr. served Illinois's second district for seventeen years until his resignation last November. Chicago-based political consultant Delmarie Cobb worked for both Jesse Jackson Jr. and Jesse Jackson Sr. in the 1980s and 1990s.
Detroit's financial future may soon be out of the city's hands. Yesterday a review team appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued its final report, and explained what many in the city already knew: that Detroit faces enormous financial problems. Charlie LeDuff, author of "Detroit: An American Autopsy," explains what the future looks like for the city.
As Detroit grapples with financial instability, what lessons can the Michigan metropolis learn from other American cities that have dealt with insolvency? Beset by a declining tax base, sky-high union contracts and rampant financial mismanagement, the City of Brotherly Love barely escaped bankruptcy in the early 1990s. Dave Davies, senior reporter for WHYY, discusses the city's fiscal demise and recovery.
Today, Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique," the book that sparked the feminist movement of the 1960s, celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of publication. Stephanie Coontz, author of "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s," argues that Friedan succeeded in revolutionizing American attitudes about gender, but that concrete policies to enable gender equality in the home and the workplace have stalled.
Senator John Kerry may have sailed through his confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, but a showdown is brewing over Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has the latest from Capitol Hill.
In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama called for universal early childhood education. Why? Because research by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman shows that preschool can make a remarkable difference in children's lives.
President Obama addressed climate change in his State of the Union address last night, but legislation to combat the problem has gotten so little traction in Congress, environmental activists wonder how the Obama Administration can achieve his goals when it comes to the environment.
As Pope Benedict XVI retires, will the church take a brave new step into the 21st century? Charlie Sennott, executive editor of GlobalPost and longtime reporter on the Catholic Church, explains.
In advance of President Obama's speech, The Takeaway is asking the difficult questions the President will likely ignore on Tuesday. In 2013, what should weigh on American minds?
At his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, John O. Brennan tried to restore Americans' faith in the C.I.A. While Brennan expressed his disapproval for torture, he staunchly defended the C.I.A.'s drone program.
If confirmed, how would Brennan shape the C.I.A.? Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues for the Guardian. He explores Brennan's foreign policy influence in the region, and his potential role in Obama's second term.
Before last November's election, few Republicans supported granting undocumented immigrants a path to legalized status. But then President Obama won reelection and 71 percent of the Latino vote. Have Republicans changed their minds about immigration reform?
Congress created the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976, but Barack Obama was the first president to appoint a White House chief technology officer. In 2012, Todd Park became the second person to hold the position.