Today's Takeaway: Too Much Corporate Influence in Politics?

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators face off with police after the deadline for their removal from Zuccotti park was postponed on Oct. 14, 2011. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty)

Is There Too Much Corporate Money in Politics?; Inside/Out Project Displays Art on Detroit Streets; The Strike that Changed American Labor; This Week's Agenda: GOP Debate, Dems Vegas Summit, Housing Numbers; Solving Black Unemployment in America; Palestinian Prisoners Set to be Freed; What Kind of a Boss was Herman Cain?; Russell Simmons on 25 Years of Def Jam

Top of the Hour: Poll Finds Most Israelis Support Prisoner Swaps, Morning Headlines

A poll by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth found that nearly 79 percent of Israelis support releasing 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a single Israeli soldier captured by Hamas. Many of the Palestinian prisoners were serving life sentences for committing violent crimes.

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Is There Too Much Corporate Money in Politics?

All over the news — including here on The Takeaway — we've been hearing about Occupy Wall Street and the complaints of the "99 percent" against politicians and big corporate interests. But what exactly is the Occupy Wall Street movement alleging? One of the protesters' main complaints is that the political system is currently in the grips of corporate financial control. They may have a point, but how strong is their argument? Is our political system truly broken by the amount of money injected to campaign financing or by the lobbyists who peddle influence on K Street? Or, have money and special interests always been part of the political process?

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Inside/Out Project Displays Art on Detroit Streets

Great works of art have come to the streets of Detroit as part of a new exhibition called Inside/Out. Proving that art can also be enjoyed outside of museum walls, The Detroit Institute of Arts has brought life-size reproductions of famous masterpieces to the streets, parks and concrete facades of Detroit. This is the second year for the Inside Out project, following its initial success in 2010. But this year, the Institute expanded the program to include more communities, and even more classic paintings.

This is the second year for the Inside/Out project, following its initial success in 2010. But this year, the Institute expanded the program to include more communities, and even more classic paintings. The hope is that the exhibition will surprise, entertain, enlighten and educate the residents. 

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This Week's Agenda: GOP Debate, Dems Vegas Summit, Housing Numbers

Republicans will hold their next debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday. Maggie Haberman, senior political writer for Politico thinks this is a make or break moment for Rick Perry. "If Perry has a bad performance," Haberman said, "it'll be virtually impossible for him to come back." Herman Cain's performance will also be closely watched as he is running very high right in the polls now. If Perry falters, could Cain be a valid challenger to Romney? In response to the GOP's debate, Democrats began their Project New West summit on Sunday, also in Vegas.

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Protests in Rome Turn Violent

The Occupy Wall Street movement went global over the weekend, with protests held in 950 cities in 80 countries around the world. While the majority of the demonstrations were peaceful, protests in Rome turned violent, with 135 people injured and over €1 million in damage. Cars were burned, bank windows were shattered, and a church was desecrated as the protests over austerity measures and irresponsible banking practices degraded into violence. BBC correspondent Hugh Sykes has the latest on the aftermath. 

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Russell Simmons on 25 Years of Def Jam

It’s the story of a record label that defined hip-hop and impacted the music industry forever. In the 25 years since its founding, Def Jam Recordings has built up an incredible roster of recording artists, influencing all areas of culture, fashion, lifestyle, cinema and art, to become the sound of young America, akin to Motown in the sixties. The first single to be released with a Def Jam Recordings logo was T La Rock & Jazzy Jay's "It's Yours."

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Top of the Hour: Occupy Wall Street Goes Global, Morning Headlines

What began as a small group of protesters in Lower Manhattan one month ago today turned into a global movement over the weekend. Protests were held in 950 cities in 80 countries around the world over the weekend. Police arrested hundreds of people, including 70 in New York, and 175 in Chicago.

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477 Palestinian Prisoners to Be Freed

Israel released the names of the 477 Palestinian prisoners it will free on Tuesday in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas since 2006. Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences for violent crimes, including murder. About 200 of the prisoners will not be allowed to return home, and will be exiled to Qatar and Turkey. A poll by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth found nearly 79 percent of Israelis support the swap.

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What Was It Like to Work for Herman Cain?

When Herman Cain announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, many analysts didn't anticipate his campaign would gain the momentum. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has come a long way from August, when he had the support of just 5 percent of Republican primary voters. Today, Cain enjoys the support of 27 percent of Republicans, and discussion of his "999" tax plan dominated the last GOP debate.

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Solving Black Unemployment in America

The national unemployment level continues to hover around 9 percent. But among African-Americans, that number shoots up to about 16 percent. On Friday’s program The Takeaway spoke with Robert Johnson, founder of BET and CEO or RLJ Companies. Johnson, who was the first African-American to become a billionaire, has a new idea for how to get black Americans out of poverty.

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Indy 500 Winner Dan Wheldon Dies in Crash

English race car driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a car crash during a race on Sunday in Las Vegas. Wheldon's car went airborne and smashed into a fence in a 300 mile per hour, 15 car accident. Wheldon was 33 years old. Quinn Klinefelter, senior news editor at WDET in Detroit, knew Dan Wheldon, and covered his career.

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PATCO: The Strike That Changed American Labor

In recent months there has been a resurgence of labor protests across the United States. From Ohio to Wisconsin, union members are taking to the streets once more. Yet despite this apparent resurgence, the power of American unions has declined significantly in recent decades. Today The Takeaway traces it all back to August 1981, when nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers went on strike creating a standoff with Ronald Reagan that ended when he fired the majority of them and de-certified their union, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization. 

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