Washington (CNN) – To those crying out for more substance and less finger-pointing in the news, CNN Radio has an answer.
Beginning today, we’re launching a new podcast, aimed directly at what many people say they want: the news about major issues with none of the Washington nonsense.
Here’s this week’s sound:
We call it "American Sauce," a show that boils down the key questions the U.S. and Congress face, with a look at what issues mean to individuals and towns across the country.
And we do it in a compelling, relatable, hip and thoroughly modern way, naturally.
This week, for example, host Lisa Desjardins will tackle the rescue policy with the vague and medically off-putting name: Quantitative Easing.
With this second round of Quantitative Easing (dubbed "QE2"), the Federal Reserve is pouring $600 billion in new money into the economy. The Fed is not literally printing all those dollars, but in a modern equivalent, it’s creating the added billions in its computers.
In “American Sauce” this week, we lay out the basics of QE2, what it is, how it works and what it means. We'll go over the Fed's hopes: that it lowers interest rates, sparks more lending, sends more money into the stock market and ultimately, creates more jobs. But you will also hear why the policy has fierce critics, from economist Allan Meltzer to Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin: It could produce another speculative bubble on Wall Street, cause significant inflation, infuriate economic allies and it may not work.
Desjardins does this report in a different way (it's a new show, so, yes, we are trying new things): laying out Quantitative Easing, in front of an audience of two, (a business professor and his MBA padawan), selected specifically to make sure she is not oversimplifying or leaving out any important points of view. Yes, we are trying to keep it real.
This week's episode also hits on four stories with big impact that received small headlines:
-More very bad news from the Postal Service
-A similar downer about health insurance
-The Supreme Court punting on a huge issue
-How far Congress has gone toward meeting its major deadlines this month and next (hint: not far).
And as Congress leaves for Thanksgiving break, we ask if it needs to meet in Washington. In Oscar Goldman-voice now: "Do we have the technology for a telecommuting Congress?" It is half-ridiculous, half-intriguing and serious.
In all, the show is dedicated to looking at Washington in a new way: focusing on the substance of issues, asking unexpected questions and relaying what the debates mean to people around the country.