Robert Caro is the author of the multi-volume Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.” The most recent installment is entitled "The Passage of Power." He sat down with John Hockenberry to reflect on how the obstacles and successes of President Johnson's presidency compare to those of President Obama's.
In January 2012, as she imagined the year ahead, Sandra Fluke, then a third year law student at Georgetown, assumed her role in the 2012 campaign would be similar to that of most Americans. "At the beginning of the year, I imagined my influence was going to be my one vote and potentially volunteering for some candidates," she explains. "But it turned out to be somewhat larger than that." Fluke reflects on 2012, and discusses her goals for the year ahead.
In the 15 years since Seinfeld signed off, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has found a niche of comedic gold in Elaine-style roles, portraying intelligent American women who want – or want to maintain – some measure of power, and control over their own lives. The role of Vice President Selena Meyer in the HBO comedy “VEEP” epitomizes the Louis-Dreyfus niche. Louis-Dreyfus discusses her Emmy-winning year, and looks ahead for Selena Meyer in 2013.
While the Olympics may have been the highlight of this year in sports, Lance Armstrong's doping scandal threatens to overshadow the athletic world as we reflect on 2012. Most Americans will likely remember Armstrong as a fraud, but Ellis Cashmore, professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, says that Armstrong’s case demonstrates that it’s time to allow doping in sports.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have just eleven days to strike a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Yesterday, House Republicans failed to reach a vote on Speaker Boehner's "Plan B," while Senate Democrats promised to reject the proposal. Christina Bellantoni, political editor for PBS NewsHour, explains how the two sides might come together, and whether the President and Speaker Boehner have another plan in the works.
President Obama will likely take on immigration reform in his second term, but, for now, it's nearly impossible for undocumented students to attend college in Georgia. That's why University of Georgia professor Betina Kaplan founded Freedom University, a free school that provides classes for undocumented immigrants. Maricela Delgado is one of Kaplan’s students at Freedom University.
For NATO, 2012 has been a key year in Afghanistan, as troops there prepare to hand over power to Afghan security forces next year. As far as the challenges that lie ahead, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he recognizes that countries in the alliance are economically strapped, a condition that could impact their defense budgets.
The firearm manufacturer Freedom Group produced some of the weapons used by the Washington, D.C. sniper in 2002, by James Holmes in Aurora Colorado, and by Adam Lanza in Newtown Connecticut last Friday. Who is behind this company? New York Times reporter Peter Lattman profiles the organization, and explains what the company's future might hold.
Politicians across the political spectrum have proposed new gun control measures since the Newtown shooting, but how would the ideas on the table fit into Supreme Court decisions regarding the Second Amendment? Adam Liptak, Supreme Court reporter for Takeaway partner The New York Times, says, "The main obstacles to the passage of such measures is likely to be politics, not constitutional law."
Tomorrow, Egyptians will go to the polls once again to vote on a referendum for a draft constitution backed by conservative Islamists. Political unrest has rocked Cairo for weeks, and the fate of Egypt's new constitution remains to be seen. Journalist Issandr El Amrani is the founder and publisher of The Arabist, a blog devoted to Middle East political analysis.
On Tuesday, a State Supreme Court jury in Brooklyn convicted 54-year-old Nechemya Weberman on 59 counts of sexual abuse. As an unlicensed therapist in the insular Satmar Hasidic community, Weberman worked with young, Orthodox women. Reporter Sharon Otterman has covered the case and its impact. Deborah Feldman was raised in the Satmar Hasidic community, and she describes her decision to leave the Orthodox world in her memoir, "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots."
Actor Brian Cox says today's conversations surrounding debt and fiscal policy help him get into character for his portrayal of the Dickensian Scrooge. Cox will be playing Ebenezer Scrooge in a radio drama of the Christmas Carol tonight.
As the United States teeters on the edge of the fiscal cliff, Simon Johnson, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, explores America's love affair with debt, our longstanding hatred of taxes, and what lessons we should take from history.
As the bloody conflict in Syria continues, State Department delegates join representatives from 70 nations for a Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco. With more than 40,000 dead, how will the opposition move forward? Lara Setrakian is a journalist and founder of Syria Deeply, a news website that covers the Syrian civil war.
State and local governments are easily stereotyped as bureaucratic and slow-moving, particularly since the recession and its aftermath forced many states to slash budgets and reduce staff. And yet, even in the aftermath of a recession, some states implement new policies much faster than others. Frederick Boehmke, professor of political science at the University of Iowa, measured state innovation in a new study. He and his co-author declared California the most innovative state, and Mississippi as the least innovative.
Twenty years ago this month, Palestinians and Israelis managed to come together in secret talks that concluded with the Oslo Accords the following September. Ron Pundak served as chief negotiator for Israel throughout the Oslo peace process. He says that when talks began in December 1992, Israelis and Palestinians "never thought it would take so long, or that the hurdles would be so huge."
The vote to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities failed in the Senate yesterday by six votes. In recent years, American lawmakers and judges have become increasingly averse to international law. Gabor Rona, international legal director of Human Rights First, explains America's changing relationship to international law and how international treaties function with — or without — American leadership.
On Monday, Majority Leader John Boehner introduced a $2.2 trillion plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. President Obama and the Democrats are looking to cut $600 billion in spending, with $1.6 trillion in tax increases, primarily through increasing taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000 per year. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations, and Diane Lim, chief economist at the Concord Coalition, analyzes the economic details.
The year of 1965 marked a turning point in American history, as the War in Vietnam escalated, Malcom X was assassinated, and the Civil Rights coalition began to fracture. Brown University historian James T. Patterson describes these developments, and how 1965 changed the course of American history, in "The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America."