Government Shutdown: A Sign of Failure or Success For Democracy? | Chemical Weapons Inspectors on the Ground in Syria | Valerie Plame on the CIA, Current Events

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Yosemite National Park (Steve Dunleavy/flickr)

Gingrich Vs. Clinton & Boehner Vs. Obama: Government Shutdowns, Now & Then | Chemical Weapons Inspectors on the Ground in Syria | Coping With the Closing of the National Parks | Why Americans Abroad are Giving Up U.S. Citizenship | Valerie Plame on the CIA, Current Events, and Her New Crime Novel | Government Shutdown: A Sign of Failure or Success For Democracy?

Gingrich vs. Clinton, Boehner vs. Obama: Government Shutdowns, Then and Now

In the weeks before October 1st, number-crunchers at the Office of Management and Budget prepared for a government shutdown. That day has arrived, as it did twice during the Clinton Administration, in November 1995, and again in December 1995. Sally Katzen served as the OMB's Administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in 1995-1996. She discusses the legacy of the Clinton-era government shutdown, and compares it to the budget showdown today.

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Chemical Weapons Inspectors on the Ground in Syria Amidst Civil War

A team of chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Syria yesterday to begin their mission of securing, removing, and destroying all 1,000 tons of the country’s chemical weapons. Michael Luhan is the spokesperson for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He explains the logistical and political challenges the organization faces as it begins dismantling the Assad regime's chemical weapons stockpiles this week.

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Coping With the Closing of the National Parks

The government shutdown doesn’t just mean the shuttering of offices on Capitol Hill. It also means the closing of the 84.4 million acres that make up the National Park System. This means that many of the 280 million people who visit the parks each year are being forced to modify their plans. Today The Takeaway examines the displacement of international tourists across the U.S., like Matti Puckridge of Australia.

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Why Americans Abroad are Giving Up U.S. Citizenship

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires all financial institutions around the world to report to the IRS the earnings and assets of U.S. citizens living abroad in an effort to crack down on tax evasion. But complying with the law is long, complicated, and expensive—and as a result, more Americans abroad are relinquishing their U.S. citizenship. Ruth Freeborn, an American living in Canada, and Jackie Bugnion, tax team director at American Citizens Abroad, explain why.

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Valerie Plame on the CIA, Current Events, and Her New Crime Novel

Ten years ago, Valerie Plame’s career as a CIA operative came to an abrupt end when her identity was revealed by Washington Post journalist Robert Novak. She’s just completed her first crime novel, which centers on a female CIA agent. In her new book, Plame doesn't just borrow from her own life, she also draws inspiration from real world events. She joins The Takeaway to discuss her new work.

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Government Shutdown: A Sign of Failure or Success For Democracy?

In the Constitution, there is a fundamental tension between the decision-making authority of the majority, and the protections granted to the minority. We take a closer look the assertion that the government shutdown is a sign of a functioning democracy. Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, explores the tension of the American democratic process between minority and majority.

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Italian President Doubles Back on Threat to Bring Down Government

This weekend, five members of Italian President Silvio Berlusconi's party resigned. Today Berlusconi announced that his center-right party would support the fragile coalition government, a dramatic reversal after he had spent days vowing to bring down the government and force new elections. Jim Yardley, Rome bureau chief for our partner The New York Times, has been covering this story and joins us to explain.

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