Politics
6:55 am
Sat December 28, 2013

The Ups And Downs Of The GOP Year

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, we'll take a look down the Mall and across the aisle at the Republican Party, which had a pretty tumultuous 2013. NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving is here to give us the GOP's greatest hits of the past year. Ron, Happy New Year, almost.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Almost Happy New Year to you, too, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: Let's start with some good news for the GOP. There is a new poll which was out yesterday. If you could vote today, would you vote for Republicans or Democrats and Republicans got a five-point lead.

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Arts & Life
6:55 am
Sat December 28, 2013

As The Lead Cools, Some See Their New Year Take Shape

Is that a cross? A ship with a figurehead? What future do you see in these lead shapes? In one New Year's tradition, fortune-seekers drop molten lead into cold water and guess what the shapes portend.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 2:31 pm

As we approach the threshold of a new year, it's only human to wonder what's ahead. In Germany and a few nearby countries, the answer to this age-old existential question is found in molten lead.

When Gesine Krätzner had some scraps of lead left over from a roofing project last winter, she knew just what to do with them. Krätzner lives in Portland, Ore., but grew up in Germany. As a kid, she would melt bits of lead with her family for a New Year's Eve tradition called Bleigiessen.

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Politics
6:54 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Other Presidents Had Tough Second Terms, Too

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:35 am

President Obama stopped short of admitting he's had a pretty tough year in his final press conference of 2013. Historian Robert Dallek joins NPR's Linda Wertheimer for a look back at the year, and to put Obama's trying times in context with other presidents who had difficult second terms.

Politics
6:51 am
Sat December 28, 2013

With Congress Gone, D.C. Takes On Effortless Beauty

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

'Twas the week after Christmas and I in my cap and heavy sweater and down vest ventured out to find our beautiful capital city glittering in the winter sunshine, the cold air so clear that the crescent moon looks like a chalk drawing on the deep blue sky. The Capitol Dome and the spike of the Washington Monument all shine, showing their best postcard poses.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Sat December 28, 2013

More Than 1 Million Americans Lose Unemployment Benefits

Job seekers read pamphlets as they wait in line to enter a job fair in San Jose, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 3:04 pm

About 1.3 million Americans lost their long-term unemployment benefits today. This means anyone who has been out of work and getting benefits for than six months will stop receiving their weekly check.

As The New York Times frames the story, beyond drastically curtailing a safety-net for jobless workers, allowing the benefits to expire sets up a "major political" fight for the coming new year. The paper adds:

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
6:37 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Day 4: Mind Your Out-of-Date Manners

Ophira Eisenberg doesn't need your stinkin' etiquette rules. She makes up her own.
Becky Harlan NPR
  • Listen to 'Mad Men's Guide To Etiquette'

This is the fourth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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Music News
6:33 am
Sat December 28, 2013

50 Years Later, TV's Ghoulardi Lives — In Punk Rock

Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson on the set of his show at WJW-TV.
Chuck Schodowski Courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 12:46 pm

Before the Sex Pistols formed in London, before CBGB opened in New York, Cleveland had the Electric Eels.

"Someone asked me what my influences were," says guitarist and founder John Morton, "and I said, 'Among other things, Sun Ra, Ghoulardi and Albert Ayler.'"

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PG-13: Risky Reads
6:08 am
Sat December 28, 2013

A Young Seminarian Found Comfort In 'Giovanni's' Melancholy

I was a shy boy of 11, soon to be withdrawn from a Catholic Seminary where I had been bullied and lonely and unhappy, when I found Giovanni's Room. I was on summer holiday; I used to spend my days reading from my parents' extensive library, usually on the rattan lounger on the second-floor porch of our house in the small town of Afikpo. I remember feeling a kinship with James Baldwin — not so much with his characters, whom I couldn't often relate to, but with this melancholy that seeped through his pages.

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Around the Nation
3:02 am
Sat December 28, 2013

On The Trail Of A Mountain Lion, Hunters Hope To Help

Mountain lion 38F perches in a tree before getting a tracking collar from the Santa Cruz Puma Project.
Peter Lollo KQED

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 5:00 pm

After centuries of hunting and eradication, mountain lions are slowly making a comeback in the lower 48 states. But as their numbers grow, so do conflicts with people.

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Author Interviews
3:02 am
Sat December 28, 2013

'Havisham' Offers A Peek Behind That Decaying Wedding Veil

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:35 am

The enigmatic Miss Havisham has haunted the popular imagination for more than 150 years. She appeared in Great Expectations, one of Charles Dickens' best-loved novels: It's been read widely since its publication, and was made into several immensely popular movies.

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