90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday February 24, 2010

Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda prepares to testify to Congress on Toyota recalls. (AP)

Toyota CEO Before Congress

Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota, today apologizes for missteps his company made in dealing with safety concerns in Toyota automobiles. Toyoda, known as “the prince” in Japan, is the grandson of Toyota’s founder. He is expected to admit that the company became more interested in sales than safety. Paul Eisenstein, publisher of theDetroitBureau.com, is our guest.

Health Care Check-Up

On the eve of President Obama’s health care summit with Democrats and Republicans in Congress, we take a close look at the details of the plans under discussion with New York Times “Economic Scene” columnist David Leonhardt.

Wyoming Considers A “Cowboy Code”

A proposal to turn the cowboy code into an ethics law is galloping through the Wyoming legislature. It’s based not only on ‘Wild West’ ethics, but also on a book by a Wall Street investor. So we’re turning to a business professor for his perspective. Brent Hathaway is Dean of the College of Business at the University of Wyoming in Laramie; he helped produce a short film about the cowboy code.

The Cowboy Code:
1. Live each day with courage
2. Take pride in your work
3. Always finish what you start
4. Do what has to be done
5. Be tough, but fair
6. When you make a promise, keep it
7. Ride for the brand
8. Talk less, say more
9. Remember that some things are not for sale
10. Know where to draw the line

Rebuilding in Haiti

A drawing of a rural Haitian village compound to be built with Andres Duany's "basic" cabin concept (DPZ)

Hurricane season is approaching in Haiti. So how do you build homes that can withstand a major hurricane and an earthquake? Miami-based architect and urban planner Andres Duany has some thoughts. Duany is a principal with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. Today, he, former NBA player Alonzo Mourning, and InnoVida Holdings LLC of Miami, are announcing plans for rebuilding homes in Haiti.

Good Greens and Long Fairways

The road to recovery has been tough for countries devastated by the 2004 tsunami. But the Indonesian province of Aceh has made a big step in its return to prosperity with the reopening of the Seulewah Golf Course. Chad Bouchard’s reports.

Music From The Show

  • Kar-Kar Madison, “Boubacar Traore”
  • Art Blakey, “C.O.R.E.”
  • Gene Autry, “Back in the Saddle”
  • Freddie Hubbard, “Little Sunflower”
  • Paul Simon, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
  • Joan Kelly

    Can you define “Cadillac” plan?

    Also, can you clarify–currently our health care plan is paid for with pre-tax dollars. By “taxing health care plans” do you meant that these plans will get paid for with post tax dollars? Or is the value of the plan going to be treated as income?

    I’m confused . . .

  • James Lyons

    Hi. I’m looking for pictures of the Seulewah Golf Course?

    Thanks, James.

  • hitesh

    Ms. Kelly–hello, hitesh here, one of the producers.

    At the moment, heath care benefits are not taxed. In the President’s proposal, health care plans with total annual premiums that exceed $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families will be taxed, effective 2018.

    The proposal is actually for insurance companies to pay the tax on amounts above those thresholds, the idea being that it will give insurance companies incentive to drop their prices. Critics say it will just lead to higher health costs for consumers.

    Here’s a link to a story I found useful on the topic.


  • BHA

    I find it amazing that people expect Toyota to quickly find the source of an unintended acceleration problem that has been reported in less than 0.05 percent of all the vehicles they have sold in the last 10 years and NO ONE can recreate the problem even in the cars where the event occurred.

    Regarding the testimony of the woman from Tennessee. She claimed to have put the car in every gear including Reverse and it wouldn’t stop. Is her 2006 Lexus a ‘by wire’ transmission or direct mechanical? To my knowledge, only their hybrids have by wire transmission and therefore she clearly did not put it in Reverse. The car would have slammed to a halt as the transmission tore apart. And did she disclose this problem to the people she sold it to (with 3,000 miles on it) who have had no problem in 3 years and 27,000 miles?

    I’m not saying there is no possibility of a rare combination of events that might cause Toyotas, or vehicles from any other manufacturer, to accelerate without driver intent, but I take issue with Secretary LaHood’s claims that all the recalled cars are unsafe and should not be driven until repaired.

  • Ambrose

    Toyota has a problem…how big?…

    “The complaint cites data compiled by Safety Research and Strategies Inc., showing that sudden acceleration incidents involving vehicles manufactured by Toyota have accounted for at least 725 crashes, 304 injuries, and 18 fatalities.”

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10055/1038086-185.stm#ixzz0gU1rKnIm

    How many more incidents were not reported or did not cause a crash?

  • Bridget

    Thanks for this interview on health care – excellent! Makes so much sense. I always appreciate the NPR shows that can take the time for this kind of detail. Now my kids that had to ride around in the car while I listened might feel differently, but they don’t get a vote :) Thanks again!

  • SO

    I was interested to hear what Paul Eisenstein had to say about the hearings on Toyota, but rather than hear him I had to listen to the interviewer tell what she knew about the issue. The interruption of Mr. Eisenstein was unusually rude and I didn’t feel that we really heard the meat of the story.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 16 7 Comments

Kathy Gunst Explores Community Supported Agriculture

Kathy Gunst joins Cook's Illustrated executive food editor Keith Dresser at his CSA pickup and offers recipes for the seasonal CSA fare.

September 16 11 Comments

Remembering Jesse Winchester

Jimmy Buffett remembers his friend the late songwriter Jesse Winchester, whose posthumous album is being released today.

September 15 26 Comments

A Call To Reject Corporal Punishment As Part Of Black Culture

An incident of child abuse by an NFL player has raised questions about the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline in the African-American community.

September 15 26 Comments

Would You Pay To Get Your Kid Into A Top College?

A San Francisco company charges parents for a consulting package based on the odds their student will get into a certain university, with prices up to a million dollars.