Former digital editor at The Takeaway, former producer at The Brian Lehrer Show.
Apparently there's a big movie out this weekend, though Rafer and Kristen can barely remember what it is. Kidding! They both saw the new Harry Potter movie, as did The Takeaway's former Digital Editor Jim Colgan — a self-described fan who loves the books and movies equally. The three of them discuss the final big screen installment, ten years later, of J.K. Rowling's cultural phenomenon.
As the summer season comes closer and closer, one question abounds: where are you going for vacation? If you have a large car and a large family, the answer might be closer to home. Gas prices are at a nearly all-time high around the U.S. So, is it really affecting behavior? We've been asking listeners to weigh in with the prices at the pump in their own communities, and whether or not that will have an impact on summer travel. John Manrique, Takeaway listener on WLRN in South Florida talks about his expensive commute. And other listeners weigh in.
Gas prices are at record highs. And we want to know if it's changing what you do. Are you ditching the car? Changing your summer vacation plans? Help us gauge the nation on gas prices. Send your submission below or just text GAS to 69866.
This morning, the White House released President Obama's U.S. birth certificate. Obama said in a statement that he hoped this would end any debate over his birthplace, and allow those questioning his country of origin to move on to more important issues. Todd Zwillich, the Takeaway's Washington correspondent, spoke about whether or not this will be the death of the birthers.
The Associated Press reports this morning that President Obama will name current CIA director Leon Panetta as the replacement for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He'd also make General David Patreaeus Panetta's replacement at the CIA. The changes are expected to take effect this summer, after a Senate confirmation. David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times speaks with us about this news.
Legislatures in more than a dozen states are trying to tighten the laws on abortion. Nebraska passed a law a year ago and 14 others are introducing similar bills. We're talking about this new wave of anti-abortion measures on the air with legal writer Linda Greenhouse. Meanwhile, here's a map showing the current abortion laws in every state, as of January 2011. The information comes from the Guttmacher Institute. Click on each map marker for information on the laws or click the link for detailed information on abortion in that state.
This map details the operating nuclear power reactors in the United States, based on data from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (see full info). It also represents fault information based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey (read more).
The red markers signify nuclear reactors. The blue markers show faults.
Are there reactors near you? Are you concerned about safety?
Tomorrow, Rep. Peter King will drop the gavel on the House Homeland Security Committee's hearing on "Islamic radicalization." The hearing starts while we're on the air and we'll take a close look at what's in store. We'll also look at why the hearings are happening now. King is drawing criticism from American Muslims for singling out Islam, but there was a time when the Long Island congressman had close ties in the Islamic community — even attending one Muslim constituent's son's wedding. But that all changed after 9/11. We'll try to find out why, with Robert Kolker, who writes about it in this week's New York magazine. We'll also hear from Dr. Faroque Khan, who once called King a close friend.
We've also been hearing from a lot of your about the controversial hearing. Most of you say it's nothing but divisive, but today we asked if you think that anything good can come out of it. Here's some of what you said by text message.
Only if all stakeholders are involved in the hearing and I don't think all parties have been given a chance to speak.
Focusing on Islamist radicalism would be a start. Need multi-front approach though. Education of non-Muslims as to true nature of Islam is essential as well. Same goes for radicalism of any ideology.
While some useful information may emerge, I'm expecting more of the empty political theatre the GOP does best to be the outcome.
—Baruch DovBe, Brooklyn, NY
Google is changing the way it ranks websites in search results, by changing its famous, mysterious algorithm so that sites deemed "intuitively low quality" get lower rankings. Takeaway digital editor Jim Colgan looks at what's changing and why Google is doing it now.
Voters in Ireland go to the polls today to decide who should lead a country wrenching from near-economic collapse. The fallout from the banking crisis there is driving unemployment to 13 percent and forcing thousands to flee. The country's statistics office says 100,000 people will emigrate over the next two years — that's two percent of the whole population. But in this election, those people who left get no say in who runs the country. Ireland is one of the few nations that does not give the to vote to citizens living abroad.
To make this point, a website site called BallotBox.ie is letting Irish expats vote in a kind of shadow election. The site was created by John Byrne and Brian Reynolds, who emigrated from Dublin last year.
China's President Hu Jintao has been in Washington this week, and all week we have been looking at the China-U.S. relationship, the economy, and American misperceptions about China. One of the questions we asked was whether or not we should be wary of China's economy in relation to our own. Listener Charles George, who grew up in Washington state and has lived in China for ten years, wrote to us on our website. He says that fears of economic competition from China are overblown. Charles joins us from Yantai, in eastern China, to talk more about his experience and views living in that country.
In the run up to the president's State of the Union address, we're taking on a listener's idea to get the state of your union: Open up your refrigerator and show us the state of your refrigerator.
Take a photo or video and send us a snapshot of what's inside the fridge and what it says about your life. Is the fridge full? Is it bare? Why did you pick what's in there? Is there anything you're embarrassed about?
John from Brooklyn, Conn., showed us the state of his union by opening up his refrigerator (see video below).
On the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia, we're looking at how useful the user-generated encyclopedia is by giving you a quiz about public radio. Answer the following questions as best you can using Wikipedia. We'll announce results on the air. Thanks!
We turn the show over to you, with a topic that you've been talking about a lot this week: What do you call yourself, if you come from a mixed-race background? Is "biracial" okay, or is it just "black"? And what about other races or ethnicities? Keep the conversation going here or text START to 69866 to get involved every day.
“Get over it!” is the advice from Justice Antonin Scalia. Ten years ago this weekend, the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to the recount in Florida, which gave the state's electoral votes to George W. Bush. A decade on, it seems it's hard for some people to forget.
We're revisiting the case that determined who would occupy the White House in 2000 and asking, what if Gore had won?
Checks for almost two million Americans are starting to come to an end today after Congress decided not vote to extend unemployment benefits. And unless it passes a bill soon, benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks will come to an end this month.
However, there was some good news on the job front today. Private sector employment posted its biggest increase in three years, according to a report by payroll company ADP. Payrolls for private employers rose by 93,000 in November, the company reported.
We'll talk about this tomorrow, and we want to talk to you if you're affected by either of these news stories: Are you collecting unemployment and worried about your benefits ending? Or have you just gotten hired?
As the year winds down, we invite you to share a picture and sound of what stood out most to you in the past 12 months.
Takeaway digital editor Jim Colgan sets up the assignment, and shares a moving story we got for our last assignment, What Home Means to You. It's from Steve in Troy, Mich. and it gives the image and sounds of his family's last Thanksgiving in the house that they've owned for 20 years.
As the year winds down, we invite you to share what stood out most to you in the past 12 months. Take a photo or record audio or video of the person or thing that summed up your year.
It could be bad or good. It could be the big ticket item you bought — or the one you weren't able to buy. It could be an event that changed your life (new baby, wedding). The one event that defined this year for you.
In honor of Thanksgiving, all this week we’re talking about what makes a home, a home. And we’ve been hearing from lots of you via our iPhone app. Some of the latest submissions feature chickens in a back yard, a construction project next door and four-legged companions.
The Department of Homeland Security is recommending a more specific system to inform the public of potential threats. And we’ve been asking for your suggestions of what to replace it with. And you delivered in droves.
Dagel from Fairhaven, Mass. said:
“How about using characters from horror movies? It’s going to be a Jason kind of day today when you’re traveling.”
Aaron Champion called from Oklahoma, City to suggest:
"I think we should convert the terror alert system to the varying levels of humiliation you have to go through at the airport screening facility.”