The Takeaway

Hospitals Stretched Thin As COVID-19 Surges Across the U.S. 2020-10-28

For transcripts, see individual segment pages.

The Takeaway

Judge Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed for U.S. Supreme Court 2020-10-27

For transcripts, see individual segment pages.

The Takeaway

Politics with Amy Walter: A Look at the SCOTUS Nomination Fight

The U.S. has observed a week of mourning Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, in addition to partisan warfare regarding her replacement. Senate Republicans have decided they will move to confirm President Trump’s nominee ahead of the general election. His announcement is expected Saturday. President Trump has said that the election could be decided by the Supreme Court and has implied that a justice appointed by him would be loyal in any case involving the election. NBC News National Political Reporter Sahil Kapur discusses what we can expect from the nomination process from now through the election.

Wisconsin is among the few states that played a decisive factor in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss. This year, the state made headlines because of a flawed primary election that took place towards the beginning of the pandemic. Election officials struggled to keep up with absentee ballot requests, thousands of mail ballots were ultimately rejected, and when it came to in-person voting, photos of people waiting in line for hours, at the height of the pandemic, went viral.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, Politics Reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Craig Gilbert, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Laurel White dissect Wisconsin’s political landscape and share how seriously we should be taking polling.

Also, Black voters are the backbone of the Democratic Party. They are one of the party’s most reliable voting blocs and failing to secure their votes will have significant electoral consequences. There is also a significant generational gap between younger Black Americans who feel alienated from traditional politics and older Black voters who are typically loyal to the Democratic Party. Vice President and Chief of Campaigns at Color of Change Arisha Hatch shares how Black voters are thinking about the voting process.  

These conversations are part of a series called Every Vote Counts.

The Takeaway

Protests Erupt Around the Country After Grand Jury Announcement on Breonna Taylor Case 2020-09-24

Protests Erupt Around the Country After Grand Jury Announcement on Breonna Taylor Case

Protests erupted around the country last night in reaction to the long-awaited decision in the case of the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Senator Cory Booker on the Fight to Replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senator Cory Booker joins The Takeaway to discuss the battle shaping up over the Supreme Court, as well as what he’s doing on issues including police reform and the racial wealth gap.

As School Year Begins, New Report Examines How Schools Survived Spring

High schools across the country provided a variety of social services in order to meet the needs of lower-income students.

Unpacking the Reporter-Source Relationship

Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, NPR’s Nina Totenberg paid tribute to her longtime friend.  

The Takeaway

Court System Backlogs Leave Foster Families in the Lurch 2020-09-23

Court System Backlogs Leave Foster Families in the Lurch

Although virtual hearings were often substituted, family courts are administered at the local level, meaning responses to the pandemic were inconsistent.

The FinCEN Files: How Banks Move Trillions of Dollars for Organized Crime and Shady Characters

A new investigation from Buzzfeed News and ICIJ reveal the vast network of dark money.

How Senate Races Are Being Impacted By RGB’s Death

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and her now-vacant seat are ratcheting up the pressure in some key Senate races this November.

Examining Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy on Racial Justice

While much Justice Ginsburg’s legal work indicated clear understandings of racial discrimination, some critics have called out her more personal shortcomings when it came to race.

Things That Go Boom

S3 E5 (The Wrong Apocalypse) – Democracy! (Yawn)

As the US reckons with systemic racism and a less-than-democratic past, China is doubling down on its authoritarian ways. Meanwhile, research on the health of democracy from across the globe indicates the patient is not well.

We trace China’s rise from the 1990s, when American pop music held a place alongside patriotic education, to its more recent political assertiveness– not to mention its chokehold on civil rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. As China moves to assert itself on the world stage, is democracy losing?

GUESTS: Connie Mei Pickart, writer and educator; Yascha Mounk, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund


How the World Views American-Style Democracy, Eurasia Group Foundation.

Nationalism Ruined My Chinese Friendships, Connie Mei Pickart.

In Hong Kong, Defiance Gone Quiet, The New York Times.

The Takeaway

Relationship Between Police and Media Grows Increasingly Tense 2020-06-18

Relationship Between Police and Media Grows Increasingly Tense

As the uprising for racial justice continues around the country, journalists in the United States are increasingly the targets of direct and hostile confrontations with law enforcement.

Why Are States Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests?

Some states have been quietly passing laws to criminalize fossil fuel protests amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  

COVID19 Budget Cuts Prevent Many from Accessing Subsidized Summer Programs

New York City’s budget proposal has $235 million worth of cuts to public summer programs. Many low income families could be affected without access to these programs. 

What Juneteenth Means At this Moment

Juneteenth commemorates the day when enslaved people in Texas learned about their emancipation, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Takeaway

Politics with Amy Walter: The Tipping Point for the End of Systemic Racism in Policing

How a Legacy of Racist Policies and Police Brutality Contributed to the Mass Disenfranchisement of Black People

The death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis has ignited protests and conversations surrounding the mistreatment of Black Americans at the hands of the state against the backdrop of a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting Black people. Americans in every state have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and chant “Black Lives Matter.” A look at the history of Black disenfranchisement, failures in leadership and policy, and the role ongoing protests will play in the general election.  


Adam Serwer, Staff Writer at The Atlantic covering politics

Elizabeth Hinton, incoming Professor of History, law and African-American studies at Yale and the author of “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America”

Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide”

Mayors, Past and Present

Since George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, demonstrations against police brutality have taken place across the United States. For mayors, listening to the protester’s grievances and balancing them against the responsibility of engaging with police chiefs is a challenging task. 

A conversation with Michael Tubbs, the first Black Mayor of Stockton, California, about addressing police brutality at the local level and what he hopes will come from the protests.

Plus, a conversation with former San Antonio Mayor, Julián Castro. As a candidate for the Democratic nomination, Castro spoke often about the pattern of police brutality and how bias in the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts Black Americans. He reflects on his time as mayor, ending police brutality, and the future of the movement. 


Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, California

Julián Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

How Demonstrations Across the U.S. have changed the Vice Presidential Selection Process

A national conversation about race and the lack of police accountability has shifted the trajectory of the VP selection process for the Biden campaign. With the disparities in health care that coronavirus has underscored and the brutal killing of George Floyd, the selection process faces heightened scrutiny. 


David Siders, National Political Correspondent at Politico

The Takeaway

Politics and Protest: Hitting the Streets in the Trump Era

Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, millions of Americans have taken to the streets. Many have marched in protest of the president, some have walked out of their jobs demanding higher wages, and others have attended rallies in support of the president. This hour, Amy Walter takes a look at the impact of these movements and whether or not the energy they’ve produced will transfer to the polls in November.

David S. Meyer is the Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine and the author of Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America and The Resistance: The Dawn of the Anti-Trump Opposition Movement. He begins the hour with a look at the role of protest in American history and politics.

Moriah Balingit is the National Education Reporter for the Washington Post. She spoke to Amy Walter about why the teacher strikes began and how they are affecting the midterms.

Emily Wendler, an Education Reporter for KOSU, says that educators in Oklahoma are part of a new wave that are shaking up politics in the state this fall.  

Katie Rogers is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. She estimates she’s been to about 15 to 20 Trump rallies in the past year. Amy Walter spoke with her about how the rallies have become a political statement for many Trump supporters.

Matt Deitsch is a Co-Founder and the Chief Strategist for March For Our Lives. And Ramon Contreras is the National Field Strategist for March For Our Lives and Co-Founder of Youth Over Guns. These are two incredibly enthusiastic young men, and they believe we’re in the midst of a major cultural shift.

Special thanks to Corin Cates Carney and Nicky Ouellet from Montana Public Radio for gathering audio from Thursday night’s Make America Great Again rally at Minutemen Aviation in Missoula, Montana.

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The Takeaway

The Top Risks Facing the World in 2018

Jan. 02, 2017: From the global tech Cold War to U.S.-Iran relations, The Takeaway explores the top 10 risks facing the world in the new year. Plus, a look at a wave of protests rocking Iran; the coming fight over entitlement programs; minimum wage increases across the country; legal marijuana and restorative justice in California; and hopes and fears for the #MeToo movement in 2018.