Richard Kessinger loves to hit the gym. But some days he needs a little something to get him pumped up for his weightlifting routine.
"You might be a little bit sore. You might be tired. You might have had too many beers the day before," says Kessinger, 23, of Arlington, Va. "So you might start putting up a set and you get a few reps in and you're like, 'I'm not feeling this. I can't keep going.' "
One of the more memorable moments in President Obama's State of the Union address this week was his introduction of an elderly woman sitting in the House gallery. The president said that Desiline Victor had to wait three hours last year to vote in North Miami.
"Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her," Obama said. "[Because] Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, 'I Voted.' "
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.
Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.
Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be retiring from his position, but he's not the only prominent Catholic stepping down. Host Michel Martin speaks with top Catholic lobbyist and policy adviser, John Carr, about his own retirement and what's next for him and the Church.
President Obama argued for raising the minimum wage in his State of the Union address, but will it really help keep up with the cost of living? And the manhunt for Christopher Dorner kept the country on its toes for a week. Now that it's over, what questions remain? Host Michel Martin and the guys weigh in.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we've heard President Obama's State of the Union speech, but what about the state of Indian Nations? We'll hear more about the message from Indian Country in just a few minutes.
But first we turn to Los Angeles, where the hunt for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner is now over. Dorner's remains have now been positively identified after they were removed from the mountain cabin that burned down after a fiery standoff with authorities.
As Washington debates changing the immigration system, the demand for immigration attorneys has already jumped, even without new laws in place.
Lawyers such as Jose Pertierra, a veteran immigration attorney, are trained to interpret the law, but Pertierra sees his role as much more.
Every Thursday at 6 p.m. for the past 10 years, Pertierrra is here — on the set of the Spanish language TV studios of Univision in Washington, D.C., near Capitol Hill. He does a segment on immigration where he answers viewers' questions.
The lives of the 26 people murdered by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December were eulogized and celebrated after the tragedy. But many discussions about Lanza's first victim, his mother, Nancy, were marked by both sympathy and suspicion, particularly as the news emerged that she had taken her son to shooting ranges.
Harriet and Louis Caplan's love story began 20 years ago in a college town in Kansas. Harriet was 48 and working at a bank. Louis was a 56-year-old physicist.
Both assumed they'd be single for the rest of their lives — until their paths crossed.
It began with Wednesday evening outings when a group would meet after work.
"We went to football games and concerts, and I still don't quite know how it happened, but instead of going in two separate cars, you and I would start going in the same car," Harriet remembers. "I don't think we ever had a date."
The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.
When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.
At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."
The boards of US Airways Group and AMR have approved the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The resulting company will become the world's largest airline. American is in bankruptcy, so its creditors will own a big chunk of the new company and US Airways shareholders will own the rest.
Following President Obama's State of the Union there was the customary response from the Republican Party, and for the second year there was another response from the Tea Party. Sen. Rand Paul delivered that response and joins Robert Siegel to talk about his differences with the Republican establishment.
Robert Siegel talks to Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. She's chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Senate Majority Conference Secretary, making her the fourth highest ranking Democrat in the Senate. They discuss her hopes to forestall the coming sequester.
On Thursday, President Obama unveiled some of the details of his proposal for universal pre-K education. Robert Siegel talks with University of Chicago economist James Heckman, who's studied the benefits to society of early intervention.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:11 am
There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.
What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago's South Side.
"I went into temporary shock, I grabbed my nearest coworker ... [and said] 'Help me understand what they're saying, because clearly they're not talking about my baby,'" she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. When she got to the hospital, a nurse told her Pendleton had died.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Just ahead, President Obama will be speaking on gun violence in Chicago tomorrow. Some feel this visit is long overdue. We'll speak with two young people who have been working to get the president to come to Chicago. We'll ask them why and what they hope to hear from him in just a few minutes.
The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country, five times as many per capita compared with Britain or Spain.
It wasn't always like this. Half a century ago, relatively few people were locked up, and those inmates generally served short sentences. But 40 years ago, New York passed strict sentencing guidelines known as the "Rockefeller drug laws" — after their champion, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — that put even low-level criminals behind bars for decades.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour in Southern California, where there are more questions than answers about yesterday's gun battle between police and a man thought to be Christopher Dorner. Dorner is the former LAPD officer who's been on the run. He's accused of setting out on a killing spree to avenge his dismissal from the force, and he's blamed for the deaths of four people in the past week.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama has signed an executive order intended to shore up the nation's defenses against cyberattacks. The president acted yesterday. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, similar efforts have stalled in Congress, largely because of concerns over government snooping.
MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: You know you've arrived in the 21st century when the State of the Union includes a reference to hackers.