Invisible Rivers of Campaign Money; Rahm to Resign as WH Chief of Staff; 50,000 Foreclosures Suspended; Edwidge Danticat

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Friday, October 01, 2010

spending money vote quote Quote from Anna Lappe at the Danish Design Centre, Copenhagen. (just.in/flickr)

Where the money flowing into this year's political campaigns is coming from; JP Morgan Chase has suspended tens of thousands of foreclosures, due to possible legal problems; President Obama will announce Pete Rouse as the new White House chief of staff, replacing Rahm Emanuel; Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat about her new book, and Rafer Guzman on this weekend's opening of "The Social Network."

Top of the Hour: Following the Money, Morning Headlines

November's election will be the first since the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United v. F.E.C. How has the electoral landscape changed with all the new money in play?

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The Invisible Rivers of Campaign Money

We’re headed into midterm season and today we talk about money: specifically, the money flowing into campaigns this season, including who’s getting it, how they’re getting it and who it’s coming from. The difficulty is, our political system has many different mechanisms that get money to candidates.  

New Supreme Court rulings now let independent expenditure committees, or "SuperPACS" and other political action committees accept and spend unlimited amounts of money on campaign ads that either support or defame candidates. They can do this without having to disclose who their donations are coming from or how much money is donated. 

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Freakonomics: The Movie!

Since its publication in 2005, millions of people have read "Freakonomics." The best selling book, written by economist Steven Levitt and New York Times reporter Stephen Dubner, examines pop culture and everyday life through the economic lens of incentives. The result was unexpectedly funny and popular enough to have spawned a newly emerging media empire, including Freakonomics Radio and "Freakonomics: The Movie."

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Your Accomplishments by Age 26

"The Social Network" hits theatres today. The biopic details the story of how then-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook. Now at age 26, there is a movie out about his life, he’s made it to the Forbes List of richest people in the U.S., and he’s become a household name. What would be the movie of your life at age 26? Listeners tell us what they had accomplished by that age.

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JPMorgan Chase Suspends Thousands of Foreclosures

JP Morgan Chase has suspended the legal proceedings around 50,000 foreclosures because the documents involved may have been processed incorrectly.

Overwhelmed by the housing crisis, mortgage companies hired employees to process foreclosure documents as quickly as possible, without ever reading, reviewing or verifying the cases before them. The process is called "robo-signing," and it accounts for an alarming number of seized homes. By some reports, these hired clerks were approving ten thousand foreclosures a month—some of them in error.

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Rahm, Thanks for the Memories!

Profane, cantankerous, polarizing, and strong-willed, he's perhaps the most out-sized personality to occupy the office of the chief of staff; and now, he's gone. Rahm Emanuel, who has been President Obama's right hand man for the last two years, is leaving his White House digs with his eye on the mayor's office in his hometown of Chicago. John remembers some of Rahm's best moments.

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The Hype Behind 'The Social Network'

"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies," reads the tagline to what is expected to be this weekend's biggest movie, "The Social Network." Directed by David Fincher from a script by Aaron Sorkin, the film chronicles the meteoric rise of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and the people he walked over to get there.

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Top of the Hour: The Next Chief of Staff, Morning Headlines

Rahm Emanuel is stepping down as President Obama's chief of staff today to run for mayor of Chicago.

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Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to Leave White House

President Obama will announce the departure of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel later today. As the right hand man to the president, Emanuel championed Obama’s causes behind the scenes and brokered deals to push through legislation. But his wasn’t a flawless record. Critics argue that Emanuel’s pugilistic nature often attracted negative attention to himself, and that his focus on short term goals squandered some of the political capital the president carried into his first term.  

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Africa's First Ladies Learn To Be More Politically Engaged

First ladies from more than a dozen African countries are taking part in a two-year program to help them address challenges facing their countries. The first ladies and their top advisors convened in Washington, D.C. this week and will learn how to lead their staffs, seek funding for projects and how to define priorities. The BBC's State Department Correspondent, Kim Ghattas, spoke to some of the organizers and participants in the program.

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Curating Your 'Class' Photos with Photographer Karen Marshall

All this week, we've talked about class on The Takeaway. And we gave you an assignment: take a photo of something in or around your house that indicates what class you're in. 

You sent us some great photos, which you can see after the jump — and we've asked photographer Karen Marshall to help curate them. Marshall is a documentary photographer. She's on the faculty at the International Center of Photography, where she is a seminar leader in the photojournalism documentary program.

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AIG and Federal Government Reach Deal on TARP Repayment

Insurance giant AIG has reached an agreement and a plan with the federal government to pay back some $70 billion given to the company in 2008 as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, just before their two-year deadline on October 3. Under the agreement, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will remove it's ties to American International Group, and the Treasury will increase it's stake to 92 percent, gradually bringing the shares it owns from preferred to public to transfer the control back out of government hands. But is the public buying? Louise Story gives us the latest.

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Haitian-American Novelist Edwidge Danticat Looks to 'Create Dangerously'

Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat has been busy, of late.  She has two new books hitting bookstores this fall: Eight Days is a children's book about a boy trapped in the rubble after the earthquake in Haiti, and Create Dangerously is a book of reflections on the task of the immigrant writer.

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Attempted Coup in Ecuador Ends in Violent Rescue of President

The day before yesterday, life was normal in Ecuador. But by this morning, the country had plunged into chaos.

Ecuador is under a state of siege this morning after an attempted coup against President Rafael Correa failed on Thursday. The nation's police force trapped Correa in a hospital, where he was being treated after they shot him with water pellets and tear gas, as well as shut down highways and the international airport in the capital city of Quito. The police were revolting over new austerity measures that slashed benefits for public servants.

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