Part of the appeal of podcasts is portability: You can listen at the gym, in the car, or on foot. Beyond portability, though, they offer another advantage: In a world of multimedia bombast, they return listeners to an ancient idea – people talking to other people.
Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as TheChicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.
The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.
NPR's business news starts with two new cabinet appointments.
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MONTAGNE: This morning, President Obama appointed Penny Pritzker to run the commerce department.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Pritzker is an heiress to the Hyatt hotel empire. She also served on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and she is a long time financial backer of the president's political campaigns. Forbes ranks her as one of 300 richest Americans.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell raised concerns about the lack of transparency in Kenneth Bae's trial and urged North Korea to him "amnesty and immediate release."
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Ventrell wouldn't say whether the U.S. was considering sending a high-level envoy to Pyongyang as it has done in the past to win the release of U.S. citizens in North Korea.
In this week's New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson writes a dual profile of Larry Summers and Glenn Hubbard, two of the most influential economists in American Politics today. Summers is a Democrat; Hubbard is a Republican. The question that animates the piece: "How did two men, whose work is widely respected, reach such different conclusions from data about the same economy?" Here's an excerpt.