What Do Women Voters Want?

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Taking a look at the Senate election in Wisconsin, as an outsider threatens the incumbent, Sen. Russ Feingold; taking a look at this weekend's political agenda; Afghan bus drivers tell their tales; viewing "Paranormal Activity 2" with a Paranormal Investigator; is "mean girls" misogynist?; China hikes interest rates for the first time in three years; discussing stereotypes and free speech in the wake of Juan Williams' firing from NPR; memorializing disabled activist Paul Steven Miller; taking a closer look at the reasons behind sexual orientation.

Top of the Hour: Irony in Dairyland, Morning Headlines

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has been in Congress since 1983. His name might be best known as part of McCain-Feingold, the sweeping campaign finance reform bill he co-authored that the Supreme Court struck down earlier this year in the Citizens United case. Now Feingold is facing the toughest re-election bid of his career.

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Will Oskosh Outsider Johnson Oust Incumbent Feingold in Wisconsin?

Russ Feingold has represented Wisconsin in Congress over the last three decades, and has been the Badger State's senator since 1993. Known as a highly principled politician, Feingold has broken with his fellow Democrats by voting against legislation like financial reform and being the lone vote against the USA PATRIOT Act. But perhaps he's best known for a campaign finance reform law that bares his name, McCain-Feingold. That law, which banned "soft money," or unregulated contributions, from elections was struck down earlier this year by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.

But this fall, this longtime incumbent faces the toughest re-election bid of his career. Feingold has been overtaken in the polls by the self-funded political newcomer and millionaire, Ron Johnson.

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This Weekend's Political Agenda, with Todd Zwillich

We're in the top of the ninth in the midterm election season, so it's time for the two parties to send in some pinch hitters. From Michelle Obama to Bill Clinton to Sarah Palin, Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich takes a look at where the big names will be campaigning this weekend.

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'Don't Know Much About History': What Americans Need to Know

Yesterday we asked you what part of U.S. history all Americans need to know, and today we have your answers.

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Afghan Bus Drivers Tell of Roadblocks in War; Karzai Bans Private Security

Perhaps no one has seen the damage wrought upon Afghanistan's infrastructure more than the country's bus drivers, who can often spend hours on the roads traveling just small distances. Our partners at the BBC spoke with several bus drivers and passengers in Afghanistan about how violent and dangerous buses have become since the American invasion of Afghanistan began. On roads in Afghanistan, you're more likely to be caught in the middle of crossfire than running a red light.

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Pension Protests Continue in France

Protests over the French government's pension reform proposals have spurned skirmishes throughout the France. As the French Senate votes today on that hugely controversial reform, we get an update from the BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris.

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'Paranormal Activity 2': Through the Eyes of a Paranormal Investigator

"Paranormal Activity 2" is arguably the most highly anticipated horror movie sequel of the year. Like its predecessor, it follows regular people who are being haunted by menacing spirits. In an attempt to determine what’s really happening, the protagonists set up cameras in their home. But they inevitably find that the truth is scarier than anything they imagined.

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Top of the Hour: Double Standards in Politics, Morning Headlines

Earlier this week, we aired a segment on the GOP's "mean girl" candidates in this fall's elections. Male candidates are thought of as ambitious and aggressive as well, so is calling these women "mean" unfair?

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Is 'Mean Girls' Misogynist?

Earlier this week, we spoke to Gail Sheehy of The Daily Beast about what she and Maureen Dowd have labelled the "mean girls" in this election — Republicans like Linda McMahon, Sharron Angle, and the "Mama Grizzly" herself, Sarah Palin. But is that term fair? Or does it just show that the political, mud-slinging political playing field has been leveled?

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The Recession's Impact on Women

The New York Times' Sewell Chan reports on a new White House study on the impact of the recession on women.

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China Hikes Interest Rates for First Time in 3 Years

China's central bank surprised the global market by increasing its interest rates for the first time since 2007. Being that it's the second largest economy in the world, the decision to increase interest rates has the global economy feeling the effects. Gold and oil prices dropped, while stocks took a negative turn in Europe and the dollar jumped.

Joining us to discuss is Sewell Chan, Washington correspondent for The New York Times.

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You Can't Say That On Television: NPR Correspondent Loses His Job After Making Racially Tinged Remarks on FOX

This week, NPR senior correspondent Juan Williams was fired, after saying on "The O'Reilly Factor" that he was fearful when seeing passengers dressed in Muslim garb aboard airplanes.

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Paul Miller, Disabled Activist Dies at 49

Paul Miller was an accomplished law professor, graduate of Harvard Law, and advisor and liaison to the Clinton and Obama administrations on disability issues. He accomplished all this and overcame his own disability to become an expert on the intersection of disability law, employment discrimination and genetic science. 

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Gay, Straight, and the Reasons Why

What tendencies are we born with? What is a choice? And does it make you feel better or worse to know that certain things – ranging from weight to our intelligence — are one or the other?

Think, for example of sexual orientation. A lot of people have a lot invested in whether we’re born gay or whether it’s a choice. Is it one or the other? Does it even matter?

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Spaceship Dad

Forget NASA and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. One Brooklyn dad and his son went into space on their own. Luke Geissbuhler and his son, Max, built a makeshift spacecraft out of an iPhone 4, an HD camera, a takeout box and a weather balloon and launched it into space. Much to Luke and Max's surprise, the balloon sailed almost 100,000 feet into the ether, taking remarkable video of the earth just above the atmosphere.

Watch Luke Geissbuhler's video after the jump.

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