It's All Politics
1:03 am
Thu November 14, 2013

6 Ideas Being Floated To 'Fix' Obamacare Sign-Up Woes

On Sept. 28, just days before enrollment opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, this outreach event was hosted by Planned Parenthood for the Latino community in Los Angeles. But in the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website saw just a fraction of those expected to sign up had managed to do so.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas:

1) Fix the website on schedule
This is everyone's favorite idea. The Obama administration says it hopes to have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for most users by the end of November, though it's not clear that target will be met.

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Music Interviews
12:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Omar Souleyman: America's Favorite Syrian Wedding Singer

Omar Souleyman's new album, Wenu Wenu, is out now.
Hisham Bharoocha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

The growing Syrian diaspora streaming out of a country being torn apart includes one of its most popular singers: Omar Souleyman. The musician combines songs of love and desire with driving techno beats, performed on a synthesizer.

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All Tech Considered
5:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Print Your Own Revolutionary War Boat, In 3-D

Gunboat Philadelphia from every angle. But online, viewers can flip the boat in every possible direction using the Smithsonian Institution's new 3-D viewer." href="/post/print-your-own-revolutionary-war-boat-3-d" class="noexit lightbox">
Even visitors to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., can't see the Gunboat Philadelphia from every angle. But online, viewers can flip the boat in every possible direction using the Smithsonian Institution's new 3-D viewer.
Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Have you ever wanted to see a woolly mammoth skeleton? How about Amelia Earhart's flight suit (one worn before her fateful last flight, mind you)?

To see them in person, you can visit the Smithsonian's Natural History and Postal museums, respectively, in Washington, D.C. But now you can take a closer look — in 3-D — on the Smithsonian website, too. The institution has made 20 digitized objects from among its vast holdings available online to the public for viewing from every possible angle.

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Movie Reviews
4:59 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska'

After receiving a dubious letter, the aging Woody (Bruce Dern) heads off on a quest to collect $1 million, dragging his son David (Will Forte) along with him.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. His son David picks him up at the police station, and it turns out Woody was on an 850-mile stroll to Nebraska, to collect the million dollars promised to him in a letter.

David points out gently that the letter is an ad for magazine subscriptions, but he's no sooner got the older man back to his house then he gets a call from his mom: Woody has hit the road again.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Intelligence Officials Aim To Pre-Empt More Surveillance Leaks

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, speaks during a conference at the Ronald Reagan Building, in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:12 pm

NSA officials are bracing for more surveillance disclosures from the documents taken by former contractor Edward Snowden — and they want to get out in front of the story.

In a recent speech, NSA Director Keith Alexander said Snowden may have taken as many as 200,000 NSA documents with him when he left his post in Hawaii. If so, the vast majority of them have yet to be released.

Intelligence officials tell NPR they believe Snowden's secrets fall into four categories:

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies.

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Map Of Gay Marriage: Hawaii Becomes Latest To Legalize

Proponents of gay marriage rally outside state House chambers at the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu on Nov. 8.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:49 pm

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed legislation Wednesday making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Abercrombie, who called a special session in August to address the issue, moved quickly after the state Senate passed the bill, 19-4, Tuesday. The House approved it by a 30-19 vote Friday. Gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii will be eligible for marriage licenses starting Dec. 2.

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Law
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Supreme Court Questions Labor-Management 'Neutrality' Pacts

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, which has been somewhat hostile to unions in recent years, on Wednesday examined a key union organizing tool. At issue: neutrality agreements, under which employers pledge to remain neutral during union organizing campaigns, and in exchange, the union promises not to picket, boycott or strike.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Critics Say Mob Boss's Trial Has Been A Disappointment

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The sentencing hearing of convicted mobster James Whitey Bulger began in federal court in Boston today. Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise going back to the 1970s. Sentencing takes place tomorrow, but no matter what jail time he gets, it's pretty clear that the 84-year-old Bulger will spend the rest of his life in prison.

As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, it is an anti-climactic end to a long, expensive trial that has left many frustrated by what it didn't accomplish.

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