While the next Congress includes more women than ever before, the sexual ratio remains way below 50-50. And that applies not just to electoral politics, but to the ranks of government officials. Yes, we've seen three women as secretary of State, but what about the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies? Important, argues Jane Harman, the president of our host today - the Woodrow Wilson Center - not just as demographic justice, but because women lead differently.
The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.
But plant breeders and scientists who study the biology and economics of quinoa say that is about to change.
The Bush-era tax cuts are taking center stage on discussions about deficit reduction. But the payroll tax holiday is also at risk, which could cost the typical family $1,000 a year. Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about the fiscal cliff and how the outcome could affect consumers.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:58 am
As the White House and Congress debate how to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, one obstacle is the president's insistence that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. And one way that could happen is through changing the rules for dividends and capital gains.
If you own a share of stock in a company today, when the company pays out a dividend, the most you're taxed is 15 percent. And if you decide to sell the stock and cash out, you'd also pay 15 percent on your profits — the capital gains.
Here in Washington, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice has been on Capitol Hill this week trying to drum up support for a nomination she doesn't yet have. She's hoping to become secretary of state, but so far it's not looking good. Rice is under fire from Republicans for what she said on Sunday talk shows, about the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya in September.
Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:03 am
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On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
In the latest effort to avoid the automatic fiscal cliff tax hikes and spending cuts, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets today with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.
In so many ways our country seems politically divided. Nevertheless, last month's election left 11 states controlled by supermajorities, meaning one party occupies the governor's mansion and owns the overwhelming majority in the legislature. Let's get a sense for the dynamic in one of these states - Indiana. Republicans seem in command. And yet despite their new leverage, Indiana's Republican lawmakers are preaching caution and a need for increased bipartisanship. Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith reports.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:18 pm
In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.
To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:54 am
Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:30 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 1:21 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.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:19 am
Earlier this week, European Union dairy farmers decided to protest milk price controls by spraying police with high-pressure hoses filled with milk. It certainly wasn't the first time that food has been both subject and symbol of unrest (see food riots). But this one stands out because of the dramatic images.
The 2012 presidential contenders will break bread at the White House on Thursday.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney "will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room," the White House says in a statement sent to reporters. "It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election. There will be no press coverage of the meeting."
Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep talks with Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss about the prospects of negotiating a bipartisan plan to avert the fiscal cliff and whether lawmakers can reach an agreement over how to raise revenue. Chambliss was a member of the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of senators that has tried in the past to reach a long-term deal to reduce the deficit.
After an election in which Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are making overtures about immigration reform.
House Speaker John Boehner says he's sure he can make a deal next year with the White House on a comprehensive bill. A steady procession of prominent GOP leaders are warning that Republicans won't win the White House again without improving their outreach to Latino voters. On Monday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio explained the problem this way.
Despite the Big Ten's expansion, Frank Deford says the conference will struggle to compete with pro football in the Northeast. The conference announced the addition of Maryland and Rutgers earlier this month.
What do anti-abortion beliefs, and patronizing Chick-fil-A, and a devotion to college sports have in common? Hmm.
Well, according to Trey Grayson, the former Kentucky secretary of state and U.S. Senate contender who is now the distinguished head of the Harvard Institute of Politics, those are the trio of giveaway markers to suggest that you are conservative.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with talk of immigration reform. Dealing with the estimated 12 million immigrants now in the U.S. illegally has long been a priority, primarily of Democrats. Three weeks ago, Latinos voted overwhelmingly for President Obama. As NPR's David Welna reports, Senate Republicans weighed in today, unveiling legislation that would give some undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.
Of the 50 million Hispanics in the U.S., nearly two-thirds are of Mexican origin. The second largest group - accounting for about 9 percent - are the nearly five million Puerto Ricans who live in the 50 states and the District of Columbia - that is, not on the island of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. The island has been a U.S. territory since the Spanish-American War.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, touted as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with a small group of Republican Senate critics. They are unhappy with comments Rice made on TV shortly after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the ambassador and three others died. They say she incorrectly characterized the violence as a response to an anti-Islam video. After the closed-door meeting, the senators said they were more troubled than ever, and one promised to block her potential nomination.
A campaign volunteer wears a button as President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Maumee, Ohio. Now that the election is over, the Obama team is trying to keep supporters engaged in the president's second term.
On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with middle-class Americans who will be affected by a tax increase if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The White House put out a call for their stories last week.
That dialogue with the American people is part of a broader White House effort to keep campaign supporters engaged during Obama's second term. It's a big change from the first term — and it's not an easy undertaking.
There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:56 pm
After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.
One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you've probably heard the name Treyvon Martin in connection with the debate about the so-called Stand Your Ground law in Florida but have you heard about John McNeil? He's a Georgia homeowner who's been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a man who'd threatened McNeil's son on McNeil's property.