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It's All Politics
4:37 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Why Are Elections On Tuesdays?

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A print in The Illustrated London News of Dec. 3, 1864, depicts Election Day in a wealthy (top) and poor (bottom) neighborhood in New York. The top caption reads: "A polling-place in the 'upper ten.' " The bottom caption reads: "A polling-place among the 'lower twenty.' " Click Here To See A Full-Size Image
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:43 pm

It's Tuesday — exactly two weeks out from Nov. 6, Election Day. Why is voting day for American federal elections always a Tuesday? The answer is a bit obscure and has to do with buggies.

Let me explain.

The story starts all the way back with the Founding Fathers. "The Constitutional Convention just met for a very brief time during the summer of 1787," Senate Historian Don Ritchie says. "By the time they got finished they were exhausted and they hadn't made up their minds on a lot of things."

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It's All Politics
12:54 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Media Circus: Tone Trumps Content In Final Debate

President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney walk away after they greet each other at the end of the third presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:55 am

For most American viewers, including this one, much of Monday night's presidential debate on foreign policy was conducted as though it were in a foreign language.

References to Mali, to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, missile shields in Poland, "status of forces" agreements — could only have befuddled the voting public.

It's not that the candidates invoked unimportant issues. And it's not that the two held so elevated a conversation mere mortals could not understand. It's that they were debating almost entirely in tone rather than content.

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It's All Politics
12:33 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Debate Takeaway: Little Daylight Between Obama, Romney

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama shake hands with audience members following the third presidential debate Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:10 am

In at least one sense, the final presidential debate of the year looked a lot like the previous ones between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Regardless of what they were asked, each offered talking points he had prepared and was determined to make. The candidates, not moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, set both the tone and the pace of the debate.

That included switching gears far from the nominal subject of Monday's debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which was foreign policy. The domestic economy received at least as much attention and verbiage as Iran, Libya or China.

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The Two-Way
12:19 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Giants Beat Cardinals; Head To World Series

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo reacts after the final out in Game 7 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday in San Francisco.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:05 am

It's Tigers vs. Giants at the World Series.

The San Francisco Giants came back to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series Monday.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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It's All Politics
12:15 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Facts Got Bent Again In Last Debate

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:55 am

Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."

"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.

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It's All Politics
7:16 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

In Final Debate: Some Sparks, But Also Points Of Agreement

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at tonight's debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:14 am

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR's Analysis Of The Debate

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

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The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Arlington Cemetery's Gravesites Now Searchable Online

Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery last March. The new online database should make it easier to find specific graves.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:42 pm

Arlington National Cemetery, which has come under intense criticism in recent years because of unmarked graves, misplaced records and mishandling of some veterans' cremated remains, today launched an online database (and apps) that it hopes will allow "family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history."

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Youth Radio
6:25 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Teen Debaters Parse Candidates' Style And Substance

Young debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League in Oakland, Calif., say that there are a lot of differences between the way that they debate the issues and what they see the presidential candidates doing on debate nights.
Jenny Bolario/YouthRadio for NPR

The high school debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League get together every week in downtown Oakland, Calif., to hone their arguments and debating styles. But the young debaters have had a chance during the recent presidential debates to see how it's done on the national stage.

They watch with pen and worksheet, taking notes and analyzing the candidates' debating styles, hoping to glean some lessons from the pros.

There is a lot for these young debaters to observe and compare, but they have also noticed some key differences.

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Around the Nation
6:21 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

For Ex-Felons, Limited Rights Mean A Future On Hold

Former felon Vikki Hankins has been fighting for civil rights for convicts for years. After applying to have her own civil rights restored in 2008, 2009 and 2011, Hankins was recently informed that she will not be eligible to apply again until 2017.
Michael Ciaglo News21

Vikki Hankins wants nothing more in the world than to have her civil rights restored. Hankins, 43, lost the right to vote — and many others — when she went to a federal prison for selling cocaine in December 1990. She spent almost two decades behind bars for her crime.

Today, Hankins is an author and an undergrad who dreams of going to law school. She got out of prison four years ago and quickly applied to have her rights — like voting, serving on a jury and becoming a lawyer — restored.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Lawmakers Demand Update On 'Fast And Furious' Personnel

Two Republican lawmakers investigating the botched gun trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious say they aren't finished yet.

In a letter obtained by NPR, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., are demanding an update on personnel actions taken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives after a lengthy investigation by Congress and the Justice Department inspector general.

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