More than a week after Tiger Woods' car accident, the buzz about his personal life shows no signs of waning – and it’s not just in the United States. The debate about privacy, celebrity, and what we have the right to know has gone global. The BBC's Madeline Morris gives us a sampling of the international conversation on Woods from 'World Have Your Say.'
Politico is calling it a "Family Feud" on Capital Hill. Mounting tension between the Congressional Black Caucus and one-time member, now-President Barack Obama, seems to be coming to a head. Yesterday, our guest, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), issued a statement accusing the President of not doing enough to create jobs for people of color. While Lee downplays any friction, the criticism implies growing frustration from the caucus with the country's first African-American president.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release November's unemployment numbers this morning; most observers expect unemployment to rise once again. Millions of Americans are either un- or under-employed, and many are making ends meet with unemployment checks. Some of the state unemployment funds paying those checks, however, are going bone dry. Carl Guzzardi, tax director for the Connecticut labor department, says the state is having to borrow billions of dollars. The Ford Foundation is helping many states overhaul their unemployment systems; Director of Quality Employment Helen Neuborne joins us to describe their efforts. And Georgia's Labor Commissioner, Michael Thurmond, discusses Georgia's attempts to overhaul their unemployment system.
Last night the storytellers at The Moth in Detroit took on the topic closest to Motor City's heart: cars. Alex Trajano, host of the event, shares the winning story with us and some observations on what happens when you make an open call to Detroiters to tell car stories in public.
Watch more from "The Waiting Room" here.
You might call military contractors the absent presence in President Obama’s Tuesday speech announcing his new strategy in Afghanistan. There are currently 104,000 military contractors supporting the American mission there, and those numbers will grow as more troops deploy. Contractors serve meals, deliver munitions, run security for the U.S. Ambassador in Kabul, and help train Afghan police units... and according to an article in Vanity Fair this week, Erik Prince, CEO of Xe – the company formerly known as Blackwater – was involved in assembling hit teams targeting al-Qaida members. Robert Young Pelton, author of "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror," and Allison Stanger, author of "One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy" join us to discuss how much contractors cost the U.S., and how accountable they are to the government who hired them.
In a speech at West Point last night, President Obama announced he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan starting early next year. He also discussed an exit strategy that he hopes to start in July, 2011. In a brief trip through the looking glass, it's the Republicans who (mostly) seem to have Obama's back this time and not the Democrats. Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has reactions on Capitol Hill, from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), to President Obama's Afghanistan policy. We're also joined by Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush's chief speech writer from 2000 to 2006 and now a senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement.
Yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office delivered their report detailing the financial impact the Senate's proposed health care reform bill will have on the average American. The long-anticipated report finds the bill will cost less than its detractors anticipated, but it also says the bill won't bring the dramatic cost drops supporters hope for.
We're joined by Takeaway listener Melanie, who has some concerns about health care reform, and our own Todd Zwillich, who explains the ins and outs of the report.
We're talking about the costs of caring for Grandma, and whether they're going to get any cheaper with health care reform. The CLASS ACT – short for 'Community Living Assistance Services and Support' – is a section of the Senate's health care bill. It was introduced by the late Senator Edward Kennedy to lower the cost of long term care for sick or aging family members, and would allow people to collect daily cash benefits of about $50 to $70 a day to pay for home care, adult day programs or nursing homes after paying premiums for five years. The goal is offer a voluntary long term care alternative to Medicaid and private nursing home insurance.
Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich tells us how likely it is the CLASS ACT will remain in any final bill. Then Paula Span, author of "When the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions," tells us how important this care is; along with Ilze Earner, who cares for her mom at home and her father in a nursing home.
On Saturday night, Democrats in the Senate secured the 60 votes necessary to introduce health care legislation to weeks of debate and amendment proposals. The vote signaled a further advance in the movement to overhaul America's ailing health care system and, by extension, its economy. But it seems that the process of fixing things has been going on for an awfully long time now. We discuss the history of big legislative efforts with Theda Skocpol, professor of government and sociology at Harvard University, and our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich.
The first public hearings on the Fort Hood shootings got underway on Capitol Hill yesterday. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich tells us why the Senate was so focused on the question of terrorism.
Todd also previews an important test vote on health care reform in the Senate happening this weekend. He says there are three holdouts in the party who have not yet said if they'll vote to approve the current bill. Here's who they are:
Attorney General Eric Holder faced energetic questioning from senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday; our own Todd Zwillich was there, and joins us, along with Matthew Waxman, associate professor of national security law at Columbia Law School.