Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:30 pm
The GOP's roughing up of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, thought to be President Obama's top pick for his second-term secretary of state, brings to mind the last time the Senate rejected a commander in chief's choice for that most crucial position.
It was some six decades ago, and after bitter and tumultuous hearings — think allegations of communism and homosexuality, as well as a high-profile suicide — that senators dumped the president's nominee by a vote of 74-24.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:21 pm
Susan Rice is in many ways a prototypical Obama administration official: young, ambitious and accomplished, with a reputation for being direct and — at times — confrontational.
But unlike her colleagues, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is embroiled in a lingering controversy, over what she knew and what she said in the days after September's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the House, says she's optimistic that Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal that would avoid triggering a wide array of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year and that experts say could send the economy into a recession.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:28 pm
Alexander Murphy recalls visiting a Guatemala museum some years ago and gazing up at a huge relief map of the country. Something about the borders struck the University of Oregon geography professor as out of place.
"And then I realized, 'Wait, all of Belize is shown as part of Guatemala,' " Murphy says. That's when he remembered a decades-old territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbors.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The number of us affected by dementia, nearly five and a half million for Alzheimer's alone, can only go up as the huge cohort of baby boomers ages. Doctors and researchers have thus far made more progress toward early diagnosis than to any effective treatment, but institutions, from long-term care facilities to state and federal agencies to doctors' offices, seem unprepared for what science reporter Stephen Hall describes as the dementia plague.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 2:21 pm
Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, discusses the role of social conservatives in the GOP politics. Incoming congressman Rick Nolan talks about his return to the House after more than thirty years. NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics.
Finally today, some thoughts about so-called Black Friday, which actually started on Thursday this year. You know what I'm talking about, the big-box department stores, mainly: Wal-Mart, Kohls, Target, JCPenney. But also stores like Toys "R" Us and Best Buy opened anywhere from 8 PM to midnight on Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers in with deep discounts on everything from appliances to pillows to computers to cameras.