On Tuesday’s NewsHour…

BY Simon Marks  December 8, 2009 at 9:20 PM EDT

First, a note to thank all those of you who have taken the time to send us feedback on the new PBS NewsHour broadcast, and our new Web site. Your comments – the bouquets and the brickbats – are all deeply valued here, as we continue to roll out the latest iteration of “MacNeil/Lehrer” journalism. Please keep your reactions coming – you can always send them to us on our feedback page. If you’re one of our many regular viewers who usually records the program on your Tivo or DVR, you may have found that your machine failed to record yesterday’s broadcast. If that’s the case, there’s a fast fix: simply search for us in the electronic program guide under our new official name – “PBS NewsHour” – and then order up a new season pass to record the broadcast each night. And don’t forget you can always find the full broadcast online by clicking right here. Now for tonight: we’re currently planning to lead this evening’s broadcast with details of today’s co-ordinated bombings in Baghdad which killed more than 125 people and wounded at least 390. Reporter Jane Arraf will update us from the Iraqi capital.
We’ll bring you extensive coverage of the latest Congressional hearings about Afghanistan – today, Gen. Stanley McChrystal told House and Senate panels that he expects to know within 12 months whether the Obama administration’s new Afghan strategy is reversing the Taliban’s momentum. Then, Jim Lehrer interviews two members of the House of Representatives: Rep. Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, and Rep. James McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. Then, the first of Margaret Warner’s in-depth reports from Europe on the mood there toward the Afghan war. Tonight, Margaret reports from Britain on Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s difficulties securing public support for his decision to send another 500 troops to the warzone. President Obama was talking about the economy here in Washington today. He unveiled new proposals aimed at boosting public spending on infrastructure projects and aiding small businesses. Judy Woodruff will moderate a debate on the administration’s proposals between New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who is a Professor of Economics at Princeton University, and Bruce Bartlett, a former U.S. Treasury Department official. Finally on the program tonight: Patchwork Nation, our online and on-air collaboration with the Christian Science Monitor that is painting a weeklong portrait of the recession’s impact on communities nationwide. Tonight, Ray Suarez reports from Ann Arbor, Mich. – a “campus and career center” that, as you’ll see, is literally buzzing with activity. All that, plus Hari Sreenivasan with the other headlines of the day from our newsroom, and, at the end of the program, a tour of what’s on the website. New features include a makeover of Paul Solman’s Making Sen$e series: you can watch a preview of his upcoming story about older workers in search of jobs, and ask him questions about the economy on the Business Desk. Ray Suarez has two video postcards from Ann Arbor, Michigan, one on Zingerman’s Deli, and the other on the rise of digital media. And on Jeffrey Brown’s Art Beat blog, NewsHour correspondents pick their favorite books, movies and performances of 2009.
For Jim Lehrer and the rest of the team, I hope you’ll join us.