It is hard to imagine that after three years of acrimony and debate we could still be so confused about President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Is it actually possible Americans know less about Obamacare now than they did three years ago? Apparently that is the case, and the news comes just as the most sweeping effects of the law are about to kick in.
Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 2:05 pm
Former Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks is jailed in San Bernadino County, Calif., following a high-speed freeway chase with Barstow police and members of the California Highway Patrol. Just hours earlier, Brooks had been kicked out of the lower house of the Nevada State Legislature for making threats and behaving erratically.
Barstow Police Chief Albert Ramirez said the incident began when Brooks summoned a tow truck because of a flat tire, and then had a disagreement with the driver.
Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 1:07 pm
There are still unanswered questions about the politically active 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups. The anonymously funded entities' multimillion-dollar ad budgets helped to clog the airwaves last year.
How much did they really spend to intervene in the 2012 campaign? What kinds of sources supplied their money? What ties do they maintain with other nonprofit organizations or for-profit companies?
The IRS is now trying to address some of the unknowns by asking organizations to fill out a questionnaire about their finances.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Know why I am hoarse? Because it's time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)
SIMON: All that cheering. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles got eaten by the Gators yesterday, but the Cardinals are still flying high. Louisville, Florida, Michigan and Duke move on to men's college basketball Elite 8; and baseball season opens tomorrow when the Texas Rangers face the Houston Astros.
We're now joined by Howard Bryant, of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.
The Environment Protection Agency has proposed new rules that will require cars to run on cleaner gas. The rules are intended to lower sulfur emission and reduce smog, and they'd go into effect in 2017. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports they're similar to standards in place in California.
All this week NPR and our reporting partner, the Center for Public Integrity, has brought us stories about the dangers of grain bin entrapments for farm workers. The last 40 years, close to 500 people have suffocated in grain bins. 2010 was the worst year on record. We also documented the weak enforcement of worker safety laws that regulate grain storage and handling.
NPR's Howard Berkes reported the stories and joins us now. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.
On Monday, thousands of children will descend on the White House lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. They'll walk away with keepsakes: painted wooden Easter eggs made at a small mill in rural Maine.
Drive through Buckfield, home to about 2,000 people in inland western Maine, and you'll see the markers of a typical small town: a library, a general store and a closed business — in this case, a shuttered theater.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and we'll have to wait until June to learn what the U.S. Supreme Court has decided on the two gay marriage cases before it. But this week, the justices heard oral arguments and they gave perhaps some hints of their thinking. One case concerns the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage, the other case is a challenge to what's called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.
We're joined now by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg. Thanks for being with us.
A clean slate, that's what baseball teams and baseball fans have right now with the season about to begin on Sunday night. Or at least that's what fans can imagine as we look ahead at this year's games across the field at fresh grass, blank scorecards in our hands. Enough romance, already. Joining us for a reality check on baseball is sportswriter Stefan Fatsis, who joins us most Fridays. Stefan, who's good? Who are you excited to see this year?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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The NCAA men's basketball tournament resumes today. Most folks will probably be paying attention to the Cinderella team, Florida Gulf Coast University, the first 15 seed to advance this far. It won't be easy for FGCU. They're playing the instate power, the University of Florida. And we are going to check in now with both campuses. We'll start at FGCU with Ashley Lopez of member station WGCU in Fort Myers.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament is back in action on Friday. The Cinderella squad, Florida Gulf Coast University, hits the court against its long dominant in-state rival: the University of Florida. UF knows about post-season success. It won the men's basketball national championship in 2006 and 2007.
Students playing the roles of Roman soldiers lead a man playing the role of Jesus during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in New Mexico on Thursday.
Credit Brian Snyder / Reuters/Landov
The Rev. Julio Gonzalez leads Easter Mass at El Santuario de Chimayo in 2007. Thousands of visitors make a pilgrimage to visit the small chapel annually every Easter weekend. Many people believe that the dirt inside the chapel has healing powers.
Driving in northern New Mexico requires special caution on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of people — some walking all night — are converging on the village of Chimayo to pray inside a 200-year-old chapel before a carved wooden image of Jesus.
As it does every year, the highway department has put out portable toilets, orange barriers, and signs warning motorists of "Santuario walkers."
The steady stream of good news about the recovering housing market isn't without its limits. Thad Salter and his family live in the Phoenix suburb of Maricopa since moving from California in 2006. He's seen his home drop in value by more than half and has been underemployed as an human resources professional since 2008. NPR's Ted Robbins reports that, for the Salters, the housing news isn't as good as reports in the housing industry would suggest.
Calling them "sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses [and lead to] efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive," the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed national rules to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, on Jan. 3, as the 113th Congress began. On Friday, Boehner condemned Young, the second most senior Republican in the House, for using the term "wetbacks," which Boehner called "offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Friday condemned the use of the term "wetbacks" by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, one of the party's most senior members of Congress.
Young's statement, his quick apology, and Boehner's statement that the remark was "beneath the dignity of the office he holds," come at a particularly sensitive time for the Republican Party in its relationship with Hispanic voters.
It's Good Friday, so let's stay with the theme of Easter celebrations. Today, we hear from a woman whose life changed when she volunteered to help plan a simple Easter program for her church in Memphis, Tenn. Earnestine Rodgers Robinson had no musical training, but perhaps by divine intervention, her decision to volunteer actually set her on the path to a career composing classical music.
Traditional Passover and Easter food is sacred to some. But for observers looking for something different than the same-old lamb or gefilte fish, chef Pati Jinich has some ideas to spice up your holiday table.
She's the author of a new cookbook, Pati's Mexican Table, and has a PBS show by the same name.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. North Korea's apparently hot-headed young leader, Kim Jong Un, has put his rocket forces on standby to target nearby U.S. bases. That was his response this morning to a display of U.S. military power over the Korean Peninsula yesterday.
Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.
Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.
"I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will," says the woman, who did not want to be named.
In Washington State, radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is leaking from underground containment tanks. The site contains the leftovers from plutonium production, some from World War II, most from the Cold War. And it turns out the federal budget sequester is slowing the cleanup.
From Richland, Washington, Anna King of the Northwest News Network has that story.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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It has been more than 100 days since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, leaders in Washington have talked a lot about gun violence, but they have not passed a bill. Today, gun control advocates tried to give the process a jolt. They planned events around the country for what they called a national day of action. And as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, President Obama joined in.
This week, we heard two days of arguments at the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage. Yesterday, the court heard Edith Windsor's challenge to DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. It defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I wondered, aside from the man and woman part, what about the one and one part? Polygamy was practiced by the Mormons. Lawyer Paul Clement in his defense of DOMA said this yesterday, although, first, we hear Justice Scalia sneezing.
The state of Michigan is taking over its largest city's finances. Washington, D.C., attorney Kevyn Orr's job is to reverse a death spiral in Detroit, brought on by an eroding tax base, and years of unwise financial decisions — like promising generous retiree benefits with money that wasn't there, and a pension financing deal that backfired in a big way. Now, massive debt service that threatens the city's ability to provide even a modicum of services.
Now to Connecticut, where there is new information today about the young man behind the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Warrants were made public today, detailing items found in the home where Adam Lanza lived, in his car, and in the school. Reporter Jeff Cohen joins us from member station WNPR in Hartford. And Jeff, to start, does this give us a better picture of what was going on in Adam Lanza's life before he committed these murders?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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All this week, we've been talking about the growth in our nation's disability programs. We have explored some of the reasons for that growth: an aging workforce, off-shoring of jobs, the recession and a growing skills gap. As a result, millions of American workers are turning to disability.