Gwen's Take

Hate Washington? Join The Club

Posted: December 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Welcome to my hometown. There are few places in the world that people hate so much, yet expend such extraordinary effort trying to get to.

Myself, I find much to love about Washington. The monuments are pretty. The green spaces are well-manicured. The museums are astounding (and mostly free). And it is just Southern enough to produce good food and good people.

But if there is one thing that never seems to change, it is that the rest of the country has come to hate the caricature the city has become.

Black Holes and Campaign 2012

Posted: December 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

The scientists at the University of California Berkeley have discovered something awesome: monster black holes – 10 billion times the mass of the sun – that suck in everything around them. Even light

The Tax Cut Debate: The Latest Train Wreck Waiting To Happen

Posted: December 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

As I prepared for a PBS NewsHour discussion about the prospects of extending and expanding the year-old payroll tax holiday, I knew the challenges that lay ahead. And that was before the Senate confirmed my pessimism by rejecting not one, but two, proposals to grant Americans year-end tax relief late Thursday.

This time, I hoped for a little more nuance. After all, both sides say they agree that now is not the time to allow a tax cut to lapse that has saved many families as much as $1,000 this year. Plus, the proposal now on the table would boost those savings to $1,500, while cutting payroll taxes for small businesses as well. What’s not to like at holiday time?

A Little Q&A From The Road

Posted: November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Not many people can boast of having traveled to Providence, R.I., Cleveland, Newark, Madison, WI. St Louis, and Venice, Italy within little more than a month.

In every instance – including the Italian trip, where I got to hang out with PBS supporters at sea – I’ve had the chance to answer lots and lots of questions about politics, Washington, and even the future of public broadcasting itself.

Condoleezza Rice Tells Her Story

Posted: November 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

When former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice walked into our interview at her publisher’s office in New York this week, she was as composed as ever—happy to be out of Washington and now free to tell her side of a tumultuous story.

I’d just spent the past several days living inside her head as I read the memoir of her time in Washington, “No Higher Honor” (Crown Publishers). Rice, the reserved, piano-playing minister’s daughter and Russia expert, occupied center stage during eight critical years in the nation’s history.

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