Kathleen Cahill | WYPR

Kathleen Cahill

Producer, Midday

Kathleen is a producer for Midday With Tom Hall.  Previously, she was a producer for Maryland Morning and, before that,  a freelance radio reporter  for the WYPR newsroom.  She was for many years an editor at The Washington Post – on the Foreign Desk;  at Outlook  (The Post’s Sunday commentary section) and as a special projects editor for the Post’s Financial Desk.

Kathleen lived in Turkey for a couple of years in the ‘90s as Time Magazine’s stringer for the region and as deputy editor of  Dateline Turkey, an English-language weekly newspaper based in Istanbul.   (Sadly, her Turkish is rusty now, but if you know a few words, please stop by and say merhaba.)Early in her career, Kathleen was a frequent contributor to CFO, The Economist’s monthly magazine for financial executives, and a staff writer for Bostonia Magazine.

She is a graduate of Boston University and also attended University College Dublin, in Ireland.  She was a visiting media fellow at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Journalism and Democracy and attended the wonderful Stanford Publishing Course.   She is the editor of two books.

Lloyd Fox The Baltimore Sun

When the Department of Justice issued its report on the findings of their investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department last summer, it stated unequivocally that the Police Department “engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or Federal Law.”

What followed after that report was a series of negotiations between the DOJ and Baltimore City Police that resulted in a consent decree that outlined the ways in which the police could address the problems identified in the report.

The consent decree was announced on January 12th, just a week before the Trump Administration assumed power. It called for, among other things, the creation of a Community Oversight Task Force, new procedures for stops, searches and arrests, new directives concerning use of force, and enhanced training for officers. A judge was appointed to approve and oversee the implementation of the consent decree.

Last week, U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar held a hearing at the federal courthouse in Baltimore. Judge Bredar must sign the consent decree in order for it to be in effect. He asked the parties involved, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, about various aspects of the deal, to determine whether or not it is feasible. Signing the consent decree is one thing. Repairing the damage done to the relationship between citizens and the police is quite another. But the consent decree is seen by many to be an important first step in fixing the distrust that exists between the police and in particular, communities of color here in Charm City.

Today, an update on where things stand so far in this lengthy and complex process. Tom's guests today in Studio A are Ganesha Martin,  Chief of the Baltimore Police Department of Justice Compliance and Accountability. Ray Kelly is a community organizer, an advocate, an activist and the Co-director of the No Boundaries Coalition of Central West Baltimore. Kevin Rector covers, among other things, crime and the courts for the Baltimore Sun. We invited the Dept. of Justice to participate in our conversation today and they declined that invitation. We also reached out several times to the Fraternal Order of Police, who did not respond.

photo courtesy cardin.senate.gov

Tom's guest for the hour today is the Senior Senator from Maryland, Ben Cardin

We are two weeks into a Trump administration that has moved quickly to make good on several campaign promises, but which has also retreated from other positions and aligned with policies long held by previous administrations.  Senator Cardin, a Democrat, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007, and is currently the Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee. He's also an outspoken advocate for the environment, financial ethics, health care reform, and small business development, among a broad range of legislative interests.

Tom asks Senator Cardin about Russia’s latest moves in Ukraine, the new Trump Administration's stance on expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank , its new sanctions against Iran,  its feud with Australia, and the impact of its controversial immigration and travel ban. Other issues Tom explores with Senator Cardin:  What will the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mean for Marylanders? And how would Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as the 9th justice on the Supreme Court impact the nation's most powerful bench?

Those questions and more, plus listener calls, emails and tweets for the hour with Senator Ben Cardin.

Johns Hopkins University

Some people call it “assisted suicide.” Others prefer the terms “death with dignity,” "aid to the dying," or “the right to die.” Whatever the label, nearly 20 percent of Americans now live in places where it’s legal. Washington, DC is one of those places. Maryland is not.  Should it be? 

Today, Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, joins host Tom Hall in the studio to discuss the dilemmas that dying patients, their families, and doctors face.

Every medical or scientific advancement comes with a slew of sometimes complex ethical dilemmas. Dr. Kahn’s regular visits to the Midday studio help us wrestle with the ethical questions faced by researchers and policy makers – and the rest of us. Can ethicists help us frame the questions we need to ask when we are confronted with new research possibilities, or new advances in science and technology? We think so.

Shepard Fairey

Joining Tom today are two journalists who attended the historic Women's March in Washington on Saturday. Mary Rose Madden is a reporter for WYPR. Natalie Sherman is on the line from The Baltimore Sun newsroom.  We also take your calls, tweets and emails about how you experienced this past weekend's historic events. 

Many people are already referring to the Inauguration on Friday and the protests that occurred in Washington and around the world the next day as indicative of a massive paradigm shift, both in the policies of the U.S. government, and in the ways opposition to those policies might be organized moving forward. The President’s election was seen as a celebration of business acumen, triumph of populism, and a rejection of the status quo.

Mr. Trump came to power with the lowest approval rating of any president in history, and his first two-and-a-half days in office were seen by many as a calamitous mess. He signed executive orders that have already shaken the markets for health care, he astonished some in the intelligence community by giving a self-obsessed peroration in what is considered hallowed ground at CIA headquarters, and his press secretary’s debut in the White House briefing room included brazen and false claims about the size of the crowd at Friday’s inauguration. Yesterday, a Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway, asserted the primacy of “alternative facts.”

The fervor of Trump supporters, before and since the election is undeniable. On Friday, they enthusiastically applauded the new President’s brief, forceful inauguration speech in which he promised to put an end to violence in American cities, an end to the corruption that pervades politics, and an end to America’s not winning on the global stage. It was a speech that was short on graciousness, and long on bromides and slogans. It was rapturously received by the large crowd who braved the rain, and who ignored the scattered and sometimes violent protests that took place throughout the day.

And oh, what a difference a day makes. The dichotomy between Friday and Saturday on the Mall in Washington couldn’t have been more pronounced. On Saturday, a crowd estimated to be three times the size of the one that attended the inauguration, gathered on the National Mall to express their distaste for many parts of the perceived Trump agenda, and to stake a claim as an opposition that is energized and determined to thwart the initiatives of President Trump and the Republican-led Congress.

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Flickr/Creative Commons

Today, we continue our week-long look at the Obama years and consider the legacy of the 44th president as he leaves office.  Tom's guests in Studio A today are an historian and a journalist who have closely observed presidents for many years, and who can compare and contrast Mr. Obama's style and impact with some of his presidential predecessors. 

Historian Taylor Branch is perhaps best known for his landmark trilogy about the civil rights era, America in the King Years, the first volume of which, Parting the Waters, 1954-63, won Branch the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1989.  He is also the author of the 2009 memoir, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, which chronicles his eight-year project to gather a sitting president’s comprehensive oral history on tape.

Journalist Michael Fletcher also joins Tom in  Studio A. He is a senior writer at The Undefeated, ESPN’s online journal exploring the intersection of race, culture and sports.  Before joining The Undefeated, Fletcher was a national economics reporter for The Washington Post. Before that, he covered the Obama administration and the Bush White House including Iraq war policy, efforts to restructure Social Security, and presidential trips around the globe.

Fletcher spent 13 years as a reporter at The Baltimore Sun before joining The Washington Post  in 1996.

He is co-author, with Kevin Merida, of the 2007 biography, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas. 

Seth Wenig/AP

(Today's show is abbreviated because President-elect Donald Trump's press conference ran past Midday's usual noon start time.)

Yesterday, CNN reported that U.S. intelligence officials showed President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama a document which claims, without proof, that Russian operatives have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.

Online news journal BuzzFeed is caught in a storm of controversy after it posted the previously unpublished 35-page dossier, a collection of reports compiled over a period of months by a respected private British intelligence service as "opposition research" for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's American political rivals. The dossier, reportedly well-known for months to US investigative journalists and American intelligence agencies, contains unverified allegations about ties between Mr. Trump and Russia. It also contains salacious details of compromising activities in which Mr. Trump allegedly engaged, which Russian operatives purportedly could use to blackmail the U.S. President-elect. 

Templeton Press

Unemployment is at its lowest in nearly 10 years. However,  almost one in eight men is out of the labor force entirely, neither working nor even looking for work. So who are these men and what’s keeping them out of the job market?

Today, a conversation with Nicholas Eberstadt and Anirban Basu about the historically high number of men in their prime working years who are not in the workforce.

Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). His latest book is Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.

Anirbahn Basu is the Chairman and CEO of the Sage Policy Group, an economic consulting firm and host of the Morning Economic Report on WYPR. 

Mithun

Today, a conversation about State Center, the sprawling office complex in West Baltimore that stretches from Howard St. and Martin Luther King Blvd. in West Baltimore, across both sides of Eutaw St, and all the way north and west to Dolphin St. and Madison Ave.  State Center houses various state agencies. It was built more than 50 years ago, and people who work in and manage the buildings agree that they are in serious disrepair. They’ve agreed about that for a long time. Ten years ago, developers were asked by the administration of Gov. Bob Ehrlich to suggest a plan to upgrade and revitalize the state offices in a way that would also revitalize the surrounding West Baltimore neighborhoods. Gov. Ehrlich got the ball rolling and his successor, Gov. Martin O’Malley, kept it spinning, but it’s been rolling very slowly, and it has encountered more than a few bumps.  Twenty-six million dollars later -- after many public hearings and multiple approvals at various stages by various state agencies, the project is shovel-ready. The Hogan Administration, however, is apparently not ready. Why not?

Tom is joined in the studio today by Caroline Moore. She is CEO and founding partner of Ekistics LLC, the developer that has been working on the State Center project since 2006. John Kyle is here as well. He’s the President of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, which represents the nine neighborhoods surrounding State Center and nearby institutions,  such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the University of Maryland Medical Center. We’re also joined by Natalie Sherman, a reporter who covers real estate and economic development for the Baltimore Sun.  And Tom spoke earlier by phone with Doug Mayer, the Governor’s communications director, so you’ll also hear what the State has to say about the status of the project and the State’s apparent change of heart about proceeding with the plans.

Baltimore Link

Why doesn’t Baltimore have a first-rate public transit system? Why should a major US city have one subway line, rather than an entire subway system?  And why does that single subway line not connect with the light rail? Why does Baltimore have a Streetcar Museum, but no streetcars?

Access to public transit - or the lack of it - can seriously impact the prosperity of a city.  A study at Harvard identified poor transportation options as the number one obstacle for people trying to escape poverty.  In survey after survey, college kids’ biggest compliant about Baltimore is the lack of good public transit. The New Year brings with it a renewed optimism in the future of Baltimore’s public transit.

A group called Transit Choices is a coalition of businesses, community groups, and planners who are trying to coordinate a comprehensive overhaul of Baltimore’s transportation system.  Today, Jimmy Rouse of Transit Choices, and Klaus Philipsen, an urban planner and transportation expert, join Tom in the studio for a conversation about the future of Baltimore's public transit system.

Johns Hopkins University

Every scientific advancement comes with a slew of questions. Take autonomous cars, for example.   In an accident, whose lives should a driverless vehicle be programmed to protect?   Passengers in the car, or people on the street? The field of bioethics addresses the complicated ethical dilemmas that researchers and policy makers face in an ever-changing modern world.

Today, Tom is joined by Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He stops by Midday from time to time to talk about how ethicists help us frame the questions we need to ask when we are confronted with new research possibilities, or new advances in science and technology.

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