Afternoon Shift: Cokie Roberts on politics and her new book, “Capital Dames”

AP Photo/Matthew J. Lee
AP Photo/Matthew J. Lee
AP Photo/Matthew J. Lee
AP Photo/Matthew J. Lee

Afternoon Shift: Cokie Roberts on politics and her new book, “Capital Dames”

AP Photo/Matthew J. Lee

Cokie Roberts on politics and her new book, “Capital Dames”

We talk national politics with Cokie Roberts. The NPR and ABC News political contributor is in town to discuss her new book. “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868” is packed with details about women from First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln to the many women who vied for that position, including Jesse Benton Fremont. We also turn to the state of national politics today, candidates running for president in 2016 and the current state of politics.

Guest: Cokie Roberts is an NPR and ABC News contributor and the author of “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868.”

The “Oscars of food” hits Chicago this weekend

This week is the lead up to the first time Chicago has hosted the prestigious James Beard Awards, known as the Oscars of food. Hundreds of chefs and food professionals from all over the nation will descend on the city for this weekend’s parties and Monday’s ceremony. Since it’s the Oscars (think similar level of entry price and access), our Chewing the Fat podcasters, Monica Eng and Louisa Chu tell us how to joinin of the celebration on a budget.


  • Monica Eng is co-host of WBEZ’s Chewing the Fat podcast.
  • Louisa Chu is co-host of WBEZ’s Chewing the Fat Podcast.

Governor Rauner’s budget plan slashes millions in Medicaid funding

Illinois’ Medicaid program is losing $106 million as part of a round of state spending cuts. That’s the amount the program loses over the next couple months. It’s part of Governor Bruce Rauner’s plan to close a $1.6 billion deficit in the short term. The governor’s 2016 budget proposal includes much deeper cuts to Medicaid: $1.5 billion to be exact. Mark Newton is the president and CEO of Swedish Covenant Hospital where more than half of its patients use Medicaid. He joins us with details.

Guest: Mark Newton is president and CEO of Swedish Covenant Hospital.

Crystal-clear waters reveal shipwrecks in Lake Michigan

The ice has finally melted away from Lake Michigan, leaving crystal waters and a surprisingly clear view of some of the lake’s most well-preserved sunken ships. Over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard took aerial photos of the wrecks during a routine plane surveillance. All of the ships are part of the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve in Michigan, which is home to nearly a dozen documented shipwrecks. Lieutenant John Reid from the U.S. Coast Guard was one of the plane’s pilots and he joins us now with more.

Guest: Lieutentant John Reid is a U.S. Coast Guard officer based in Traverse City, Michigan.

Amazon is coming to the windy city

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that Amazon is coming to Chicago. The online retailer has leased a 52,000 square foot warehouse on North Cherry Avenue in Goose Island. The facility could mean speedier delivery for Chicagoans, especially in nearby neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Bucktown. Joining us to explain the move is Howard Wendren. He’s the principal of Dayton Street Partners, a commercial real estate investment and development firm in Chicago.

Guest: Howard Wendren is the principal of Dayton Street Partners.

Tech Shift: Software allows parents to monitor their kids’ smartphones

Would you spy on your kids? What if it kept them out of trouble? There are a number of programs on the market that give you an inside look at your child’s smartphone, like TeenSafe. It allows parents to monitor their kid’s text messages, phone calls, social media posts, and even provides a history of the smartphone’s location. Ameeta Jain is the co-founder of TeenSafe and she joins us to talk about her software.

Guest: Ameeta Jain is the co-founder of TeenSafe.

Lake County coroner rules Zion teen’s death a homicide

The Lake County coroner has ruled that the police-involved shooting of teenager Justus Howell earlier this month in Zion, Illinois was a homicide. WBEZ’s Yolanda Perdomo was out in Zion today talking to residents and a representative for the Howell family, and she joins us our conversation.

Guest: Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ reporter.

Remembering former Illinois Governor, Dan Walker

Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker has died. He was 92 years old. Walker only served one term as governor in the 1970s. And even though he was a Democrat, he had some famous clashes with then-Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. After he left office, Walker went to prison for fraud related to a savings and loan that he owned. Brian Mackey, who covers state politics for WUIS in Springfield, joins us to talk more about Dan Walker’s time in Illinois politics.

Guest: Brian Mackey is a WUIS reporter.

Brookings report shows how much college investments pay off

A new report from the Brookings Institute aims to quantify how much a college investment pays off. It looks at factors like completion rates and alumni earnings to determine a school’s ranking of how much added value that degree provides. One of the authors, Sid Kulkarni joins us to explain the data.

Guest: Sid Kulkarni is a researcher at the Brookings Institute.