Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 7:19 am
So who exactly comprises Progress Kentucky, the superPAC linked to the surreptitious recording of a meeting at Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign headquarters? In the recording, an aide is heard disparaging actress Ashley Judd, who was then considering a Senate run to challenge the Senate's top Republican.
This week marked a new step in Michelle Obama's evolution as first lady. In her hometown of Chicago, she delivered one of the most emotional speeches of her career — about kids dying from gun violence.
"I'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world," she said. "I am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home."
On Sunday, voters in Venezuela will head to the polls, and in Caracas, the noise level is as high as voters' emotions. There is a background noise that accompanies everyday life in Latin America, a constant soundtrack: music blaring from food stands and cars, loud automobiles that are so run-down they defy the laws of physics, street vendors yelling product names. I've spoken to many immigrants to the U.S. who, like me, first arrived to live in the suburbs and found the absence of bochinche, or ruckus, maddening.
Hey. Yeah you, in the backseat! I know you're trying to pretend like you're not listening to whatever it is Mom or Dad have droning on through the car speakers, but you should listen up. It might not seem terribly important at the moment, but there are a lot of us working on the other side of that radio, and some day, you might too.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 6:56 pm
Google seems to think of everything for everyone, and the dead are no exception.
On Thursday, the company debuted the Inactive Account Manager: "You can tell us what to do with your Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if your account becomes inactive for any reason," Google explains on its public policy blog. Those services can include YouTube, Google Plus, Google Voice, Blogger and Picasa Web Albums.
Human Rights Watch is calling on Egypt's president to make public a report that documents police and military abuses against protesters from January 2011 to June 2012. Parts of the report have been leaked to a local newspaper Al Shorouk as well as the British publication The Guardian. In the leaked chapters there are descriptions of police violence and military torture of detainees. While a lot of this is already known about the police and military, the report was referred to the presidency in December and so far no action has been taken.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block.
And we begin this hour with a mixed message on North Korea's nuclear threat. Yesterday, we told you about a U.S. intelligence report that suggested North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon small enough to launch on a missile. Well, today, traveling in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry largely debunked that report. He insisted the North has not perfected the technology.
Melissa Block talks to regular political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss gun control legislation, immigration and President Obama's budget.
In the wake of two high profile corruption arrests this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing laws that are supposed to make it easier to catch corrupt politicians. Good government groups say it might also help to take some of the money out of politics in New York — and other states too.
Nearly 500,000 people have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to make publicly-traded corporations disclose their political spending. The question is: How much clout do 500,000 people actually have?
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:43 pm
Joining the Senate, the House of Representatives approved a measure today that repeals a requirement that top government officials post financial disclosures on the Internet.
The House, like the Senate, acted quietly without a vote. Instead, they sent the measure to the president's desk by unanimous consent.
The provision was part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (Stock), which became law in March of 2012. The act was intended to stop members of congress from profiting from nonpublic information.
In the age of hundreds of cable channels, millions of 140-character bulletins and an untold number of cat videos, a fear has been growing among journalists and readers that long-form storytelling may be getting lost.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 6:54 pm
While many in Chicago immediately thought of the famous "Billy Goat curse," when a severed goat's head was delivered to Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts at Wrigley Field this week, I immediately wondered if it was a message from the "Rahm-father," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
After all, Ricketts is in the midst of intense negotiations with Emanuel's administration over renovating the iconic 99-year old ballpark, as I reported last week.
Many office workers will tell you that proximity to a vending machine is both a blessing and a curse.
A walk to the automated food dispenser takes all of 11 seconds for me. It can be a welcome break from hours in front of a computer, or an antidote to absurd deadlines or gnawing hunger pains. But of course, the sugary, salty contents also shout at you, interrupting your writing and editing, in less dire situations — especially when they're so close by.
Mike Brodie's life, when narrated by an outsider, seems a lot like free association — where one thing leads to the next, leads to the next, etc.
Before he discovered trains, Brodie was bagging groceries in Pensacola, Fla., and really into BMX. Then he met a girl. She worked at the Chinese restaurant in the same strip mall and, he says, "she was like a punk rocker."
Vermont became the first state to provide a glimpse, although an imperfect one, of how much individual health insurance might cost under the Affordable Care Act.
Rates made public there last week, while of limited relevance to the rest of the country because of the state's unusual insurance market, showed little change from current prices. The prices reassured health law supporters fearing headlines about sticker shock.
At World Cafe, we recently asked Stephen Bowen of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tenn., to name the five most important country records of all time. The store was founded by country pioneer Ernest Tubb, who had a hit with the early honky-tonk song "Walking the Floor Over You." More than 65 years later, the shop is still known as a hub for country-music fans.
Bowen polled the store's online community to help choose these tracks.