The Breakroom: United Airlines, Trump's Vacations, & Batty Salad

Apr 14, 2017

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, filmmaker and podcast producer Kalena Boller, Sam Burnham of the blog “All the Biscuits in Georgia,” and Democratic Strategist Howard Franklin.

 

BREAKROOM TOPICS:

1) We all need a little time away from the office to decompress. Presidents also need time away from the Oval Office, but some say Donald Trump is taking too much of it. Since taking office, he has spent more than $29 million in travel. That’s more than double what President Obama spent in a year’s time. Should there be limits on a president’s vacation expenses?

2) The Georgia Legislature passed a bill giving tax break for yacht repairs of at least $500,000. Many people call that tone deaf and a giveaway to the super rich, but defenders of the bill say it will encourage yacht repair businesses to come to Georgia. What do you think?

3) A physician was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight after the airline said several passengers had to give up their seats for airline personnel. The man identified as David Dao is seen in a video being dragged from the seat and unconscious. He later returns to the flight shaken up with blood coming out of his mouth.

Dao’s lawyers say he lost two front teeth and sustained a concussion and a broken nose, and will need reconstructive surgery.

Needless to say, United is caught up in a public relations storm right now. Do you think there was a way to handle the situation that would avoid a PR nightmare?

4) Fresh Express is recalling its Organic Marketside Spring Mix. That’s after two customers in Florida found a dead bat in their salad.  These were only sold at Walmart stores in the Southeast. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever found in a meal?

5) Everyday, it’s hard to know what is going to happen at a White House Press Briefing. Not so much because of breaking news stories, but more so because of the unexpected things White House press secretary Sean Spicers says to reporters. Earlier this week -- during Passover  -- Spicer addressed the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s president. He made this claim about Hitler:

That is false. Spicer also described concentration camps as the "Holocaust Center." Spicer apologized for misspeaking. Should he be forgiven or should he lose his job?

6) Executives with ABC’s "Scandal" have revealed the network really wanted a white woman to play Olivia Pope on Scandal. Does the show’s success prove audiences are ready to see more people of color in starring roles?

7) A video of white people rapping about marijuana has gone viral, with millions of views.

The music videos shows people from Georgia, and one man who’s wearing a Confederate flag vest, which many have called ironic. Is this an appropriation of black culture?

8) If there was ever a time when Atlanta’s traffic felt congested, now is that time with the I-85 collapse. Even when that’s repaired this summer, our congestion problems may get worse as the metro area’s population climbs. According to Census data, more than 90,000 additional people moved to the area last year. We could be a very crowded city like NYC, but without the subway system. Do you like crowds or will they drive you out?

A congested roadway in Atlanta on April 13, 2017.
Credit Sean Powers / On Second Thought

9) An Emory University student recently won a $100,000 grant for young Iranian innovators. All the money was then donated to the New School in Atlanta, which is a private institution. If you had that kind of money to give away, who would you give it to?