Harvard professor Laurence Tribe's calendar for March 31, 1989, marks his first meeting with future President Barack Obama. The exclamation point was to remind Tribe how impressed he was with the first-year law student.
From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Obama's time at their shared alma mater.
Harvard professor Laurence Tribe is a sort of legal rock star, particularly among liberals. First-year law students he has never met don't just show up at his door saying, "I want to work for you." At least they didn't until March 31, 1989.
"This is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about."
That's what President Obama said during a press conference in Chicago minutes ago, when he was asked what he thought about Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker's critique of the campaign ad about Mitt Romney's time as CEO of Bain Capital.
A total of 43 Catholic educational, charitable and other entities filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court around the nation Monday, charging that the Obama Administration's rule requiring coverage of birth control in most health insurance plans violates their religious freedom.
As part of a new tech segment, we're starting a social media advice column in which we'll ask experts your questions about how to behave online. This week's experts are Baratunde Thurston, former digital director of The Onion and author of How To Be Black, and Deanna Zandt, author of Share This!
Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, arrive at an apartment complex in New York on Saturday. A number of Chinese activists have become far less prominent after leaving their homeland, but Chen hopes to continue his work and remain relevant in China.
U.S. diplomats were relieved this weekend when China allowed a prominent dissident, Chen Guangcheng, to fly to New York with his family.
China, too, is presumably happy that Chen is no longer in the country doing his advocacy work. Chinese exiles tend to fade into obscurity when they leave the country, and Beijing might be counting on that to happen with Chen.
Katie Beckett fits herself with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs. A nurse comes over to her apartment in Cedar Rapids to help her do this twice a day. On the wall to the right are pictures of Katie as a child with Ronald Reagan. This story starts twenty-nine years ago with an angry President Ronald Reagan. <> We just recently received word of a little girl who has spent most of her life in a hospital. <> The little girl in the hospital was three-year-old Katie Beckett. Because of a brain infection, she needed to be hooked to a ventilator at night to breathe. Her parents wanted her home. Her doctors said she'd be better off at home. And it'd be cheaper, too: Just one-sixth the cost.
Nurse Vicki Hagen comes over to Beckett's apartment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help fit her with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs twice a day. Studies have shown that, almost always, it costs less to care for someone at home than in a nursing home or hospital.
On the wall of her apartment are pictures of Beckett as a child with President Reagan. Reagan created the "Katie Beckett waiver" that changed the Medicaid rules to allow severely disabled children and adults to get government-funded care in their own homes.
Beckett (left) and her mom Julie go to a restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, once a week to catch up. Beckett is now famous among children's advocates and travels the country with her mom working for laws and programs in favor of homecare.
Katie Beckett, 32, inserts a small suction device into her tracheotomy tube to help clear her lungs and throat. Twenty-nine years ago, President Ronald Reagan heard about a little girl who had spent most of her life in a hospital. That little girl was Katie, then just three years old.
A few years ago, I asked a 13-year-old girl who was receiving care for cystic fibrosis on a Medicaid program known as the "Katie Beckett waiver" if she knew who Katie Beckett was. "Probably some kind of doctor," the girl said.
It was a logical guess. But Beckett was another child with a significant disability, and she changed health care policy for hundreds of thousands of other children with complex medical needs. On Friday, Beckett, at age 34, died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of complications from her disability.
This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.
First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.