That squabble over aid related to Hurricane Sandy comes at a critical time for House Speaker John Boehner. Tomorrow, Congress is sworn in on Capitol Hill. And in the House, majority Republicans will decide if Boehner keeps his post.
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:43 am
Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:
As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.
Our original post â "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
A $60 billion federal aid package for states affected by Hurricane Sandy is moving forward, but it hasn't been an easy political process. There's been hot debate about it within the Republican Party. Last night, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives declined to vote on an aid package, and that infuriated lawmakers across New York and New Jersey.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act is 157 pages long. It's not all about avoiding impending tax hikes. Some of it has to do with tax benefits for ceiling fans and tuna canneries. NPR's Ari Shapiro is here to explain.
And Ari, in spending bills, little weird provisions like this might be called pork-barrel spending or projects. Are we looking at a kind of earmark?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. It's a new year, and on Wall Street and in official Washington, there is the ring of crisis averted. Long threatened across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts did not materialize, but don't breathe too long a sigh of relief. We're about to look forward to the next few months.
If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.
Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.
This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.
In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.
But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:15 am
The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.
So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:03 pm
The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.
For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), says the NCAA badly overreached itself when it imposed punitive financial sanctions on Penn State over the handling of sexual predator and former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. Corbett is filing a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the collegiate athletic association, saying it ignored its own disciplinary rules in its rush to castigate the Pennsylvania university.
Comedian Jimmie Walker is best known for his Good Times sitcom character J.J. Evans. But there's more to Walker than just laughs. For Tell Me More's Wisdom Watch series, host Michel Martin talks with Walker about his long career in showbiz, detailed in his memoir, Dyn-O-Mite: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times.
Vicki Yohe may look like a country western singer with her blond hair and blue eyes. But she's an urban gospel star. Yohe's latest album is titled, I'm at Peace: A Praise and Worship Experience. For Tell Me More's In Your Ear series, Yohe shares the songs that lift her up in tough times.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee sitting in for Michel Martin, who is under the weather. Coming up, you either loved him or hated him, but if you ever saw him perform, you certainly remember him and his catchphrase - dyn-o-mite - from the classic sitcom "Good Times." We'll talk to comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker later in the program.
We'll listen back to a 1989 interview with actor Harry Carey Jr., who died Dec. 27. Carey co-starred with John Wayne in the classic Westerns She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers and 3 Godfathers. He talked to Fresh Air about filming epic cavalry-versus-Indian scenes â and his most challenging stunts.
Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained is a spaghetti western-inspired revenge film set in the antebellum South; it's about a former slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to target the plantation owner who owns his wife.
The cinematic violence that has come to characterize Tarantino's work as a screenwriter and director â from Reservoir Dogs at the start of his career in 1992 to 2009's Inglourious Basterds -- is front and center again in Django. And he's making no apologies.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:08 pm
Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.
Gangsters have been part of life in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, for decades. And nowhere is their rule more notorious than in the slums of Lyari, a dusty warren of low-slung tenement houses in the south central part of Karachi.
After our recent live show, we hung around and took a few questions about the show, our own tastes, what it's like to work in a room where concerts happen, and more.
Glen will explore the question of voice similarity between himself and Trey, Trey and I will speak about our impressions of one of the year's big epics, and Glen will hear a public plea for a repeat of a popular series of tweets. And once again, we prove that we are probably the only podcast you listen to where "German art song" is a running joke.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 12:58 pm
The wayward Kulluk oil drilling platform remains stuck onshore near Kodiak Island, Alaska.
The unmoored platform, owned by Shell Oil, was being towed in the Gulf of Alaska last week when it broke away from its tow lines, as Bill wrote. But seas were so treacherous the crews disconnected the tow lines for their safety. They were later airlifted off the platform. The rig fetched up against Sitkalidak Island, just south of Kodiak Island on New Year's Eve.
The pop culture gay flavor of the minute? White gay dads.
"We're having a baby, Bri!" croons one of the leads on NBC's The New Normal. "This is our family. You, me and that kid forever."
It's a mini-boomlet, says real-life white gay dad and sociology professor Joshua Gamson. Not too long ago, he says, pop culture mainly defined gay men as promiscuous and deviant, rather than monogamous and devoted to their families.
"It does seem like a strong counter-stereotype of how gay men have been portrayed over the past, whatever, 50 years," he says.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:47 am
Blaming the regime of President Bashar Assad for "ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians," the U.N. Human Rights Office today released a report that estimates at least 59,648 people had been killed in Syria through November in the protests and fighting there since March 2011.
This interview was originally broadcast on April 23, 2012.
Actor Jack Black is best known for his comedic performances in films like Nacho Libre and School of Rock. In his film Bernie, Black goes to a darker place: He plays a serious small-town funeral director who murders his live-in companion, a wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine.