Examining the Tea Party's, and America's, Founding

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell speaks at the Values Voter Summit on September 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

Taking a harder look at the Tea Party's ideas about religion and our nation's founding; a talk with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about Google's ubiquity; the coming week's agenda; memorializing mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot; how religion divides and brings together Americans; rethinking the roots of Black poverty; the changing political landscape in Michigan's 7th congressional district; why banks are winning when ordinary people are losing; what happens to the Washington "outsiders" once they get inside Washington.

Top of the Hour: The Tea Party's Religious Roots, Morning Headlines

As the November elections approach, the rise of the Tea Party is certain. Though Tea Party activists claim to be more interested in fiscal issues like the debt, at its core is the Tea Party a religious movement with the Constitution as its sacred text?

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Examining the Tea Party's Divine Claim to Nation's Founding

One of the key characteristics of Tea Party leaders and candidates is their almost divine claim to the symbolism of our nation’s founding fathers. Politicians have always reshaped the past to meet their own goals. But, with the Tea Party, the message seems more fervent. Fox News host Glenn Beck, for example, has told his viewers on Fox News that "progressives have built up this wall of separation between Church and State and it’s nonsense."

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How Google's Ubiquity Makes Your Life Better

An estimated 300 million people use the internet search engine Google every day. They do more than search the web with Google. They write emails with it, plan their lives with the Google calendar, exchange documents and images, translate from one language to another. And while Google doesn't have a monopoly, but seems to have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

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This Week's Agenda: Elections, Health Care, and Pakistan

Mid-term elections are just two weeks away, and a frenzy of campaigning from President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and the Tea Party express is about to get underway.

Takeaway managing producer, Noel King, and Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, explore what's ahead this week as we get close to election day.


Benoit Mandelbrot Dies at 85

Maverick mathmatician, Benoit Mandelbrot, died yesterday, at age 85 of pancreatic cancer. Considered the father of fractal geometry, he coined the term "fractal," described the Mandelbrot set, and is arguably the most influential figure inside of mathematics within the last half-century. We'll take a look at his impact, and his legacy.


Robert Putnam on How Religion Unites and Divides Americans

"American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" is a exhaustive survey of the role of religion in American public life, and authors Robert Putnam and David Campbell, paint a mostly positive portrait of American religion.

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Top of the Hour: The Complexity of Poverty, Morning Headlines

We re-examine a 45 year old report that attempted to find out why the poor are poor.

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Rethinking The Roots of Poverty

Forty five years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan introduced the idea of a “culture of poverty.” The idea has since been derided for describing the urban black family as caught in a “tangle of pathology.” But it never lost its appeal to conservative thinkers.

And with one in seven Americans living in poverty today, scholars are revisiting the idea.

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The Bank Always Wins

The economy is still struggling, two years after the financial collapse. The unemployment rate still hovers around 9%, and many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. 

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Maliki Visits Iran As He Tries to Secure Second Term

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Iran today as he struggles to keep his job after the dead-locked March election. The BBC's Baghdad correspondent, Jim Muir, analyzes what this visit by Iraq's head of state to a traditional rival means at this time of uncertainty.


What Happens to 'Washington Outsiders' When They Get Inside Washington?

With mid-term elections only weeks away, many Tea Party candidates are campaigning as self-declared "Washington outsiders." U.S. Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell and Ron Johnson are relatively new to politics and are using their lack of experience as a way to sell their candidacy to voters. But once these “outsiders” get to the inside, what do they find, and is it possible to really change Washington, like they promise to do? 

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Gene Epstein Asks Businesses to 'Hire Just One'

Can one man's charitable donations help turn around the nation's unemployment numbers? Philanthropist Gene Epstein thinks so. The 71 year old Philadelphia resident is using $250,000 of his own money to create Hire Just One, an initiative that encourages businesses to hire again by making a $1,000 donation to charity when a business hires an unemployed person and keeps him or her on the payroll for six months. Epstein joins the program to talk about his ambitious program.

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