Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education, and tax cuts to help create jobs.
In New York City, 80 police officers and fire fighters are facing fraud charges. They're accused of a massive scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration. The scheme ran for over a decade and allegedly cost US taxpayers millions of dollars in false claims.
In a separate action, the-court appointed trustee who's charged with recovering what he can for the investors who were fleeced by Bernard Madoff, today, announced a proposed settlement of his claims against JPMorgan. Trustee Irving Picard submitted two agreements to the bankruptcy court, agreements that add up to $543 million.
Joining us from New York are Mr. Picard and his counsel, David Sheehan. Welcome back to the program.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed with the U.S. government to settle criminal charges that it failed to report suspicious activity in Bernard Madoff's accounts. The settlement comes to $2.6 billion, but a representative for Madoff's victims says the amount is too small. Madoff bilked investors out of many billions of dollars while JP Morgan Chase was his primary bank.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca made a surprise announcement today. He is resigning at the end of the month. A series of department scandals in the past few years and the prospect of a bruising re-election race may have been factors, as NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports.
KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, BYLINE: Ramrod straight, impeccably creased with the five stars of his rank glittering on his collar, Sheriff Lee Baca squinted into the sunlight and told reporters his decision to leave office after 15 years was exactly that, his decision.
Poverty and income inequality have long been staples of the Democratic Party platform, but they haven't often been high priorities. This year, that appears to be changing, and what's more, some Republicans seem eager to join the conversation.
As snowboarders, skiers and skaters finish their qualifying events to get to the Winter Olympics next month, cross-country skiing siblings Erik and Sadie Bjornsen are waiting to find out if their special edge — each other — will get them both to the games.
Sadie has secured a spot on the Nordic team based on her good season; for Erik, the next two weeks will be the clincher.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:37 pm
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a book due out later this month, describes President Obama as "a man of personal integrity" who nonetheless was skeptical of his administration's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan and openly distrustful of the military leadership, The Washington Post and
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:36 pm
It was in the single digits in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, and that seems warm compared with some places around the country. Cities in the northern part of the country, like Minneapolis, saw the temperature dip well below zero — and coupled with wind chills, it felt like minus 60 in some places.
Around the country, flights have been canceled and schools have closed. Even activities people might take for granted in some towns are suffering. Because of the polar vortex:
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the championship game
Florida State and Auburn put on a show Monday night with a college football championship game that went down to the wire and ended with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston throwing a touchdown pass with just 13 seconds to go to bring Florida State the crown.
At one point, the Seminoles were behind by 18 points.
More than 40 years ago, on the evening of March 8, 1971, a group of burglars carried out an audacious plan. They pried open the door of an FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole files about the bureau's surveillance of anti-war groups and civil rights organizations.
Hundreds of agents tried to identify the culprits, but the crime went unsolved. Until now.
The University of Texas introduced Charlie Strong as the school's new head football coach Monday, hoping to usher in a new winning era by hiring a man known for strong recruiting and stubborn defenses.
As he moves from Louisville to Austin, Strong becomes the first black coach of a men's team at Texas. For some, his hiring brings to mind how things have changed at a school that, during the 1960s, fielded teams made up of only white players.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:00 am
Plans for a Christian theme park in Northern Kentucky featuring a 510-foot-long replica of Noah's Ark are likely to sink unless the project raises millions of dollars from investors in the coming weeks.
I've always wondered what it would have been like to be at the White House in 1829 when President Andrew Jackson was inaugurated. He threw open the White House to the public and some 20,000 people stomped through, apparently causing a rowdy mob scene.
So I was intrigued with the fact that New York's new progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio, planned to open Gracie Mansion to the public this past Sunday. He kept calling the official mayoral residence, "The People's House." I decided to go.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:13 pm
The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.
The "Death Master File." It sounds like a ledger the Grim Reaper might keep, but in reality, it's a computerized list containing some 86 million names and other data kept by the Social Security Administration.
An obscure provision tucked into the budget deal that Congress approved last month would limit access to the list — and that has everyone from genealogists to bankers concerned.
Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.
The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:26 pm
President Obama and fellow Democrats, just back from a long holiday break, are immediately embracing a legislative agenda that would increase the minimum wage and extend unemployment insurance benefits to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless in America.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:26 am
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, ended her Wyoming Senate primary challenge Monday, saying in a statement that a family health situation is responsible for her decision. (ABC News reports that sources close to Cheney said one of her daughters has diabetes.)
Even before family health issues arose, Cheney's apparently dimming prospects against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi would have been enough to give pause to many candidates.
Jason Samenow, The Washington Post's weather editor and chief meteorologist of the Capital Weather Gang, tells Robert Siegel about the weather phenomenon known as the "polar vortex." It means frigid temperatures and wind chill in much of the country.
The University of North Carolina is embroiled in an academic fraud case involving students who received high grades for classes that were never held. Many of those students happen to be football players. The case has resulted in the indictment of a professor, who was a department chair. Audie Cornish talks to Dan Kane, an investigative journalist at The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.
The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously granted a stay in the Utah gay marriage case, putting a stop to the weddings until an intermediate appeals court has heard and ruled on the matter. It could be a potentially precedent-setting case.
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a large salvage logging operation in the area affected by last year's historic Rim Fire, which burned 410-square miles of California's Sierra Nevada. The proposal is meeting stiff opposition from environmental groups who say the land is better left untouched.
Maryland has just become one of several states that allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. Such licenses are issued as long as the immigrants show some form of legal ID — such as a passport — and they will have to take road exams. But critics worry about security risks, and costs to the state.
"Historic" — that's one of the terms being used to describe the brutally cold temperatures across the Midwest and other parts of the country. Some temperatures are the lowest recorded in two decades, many in the single digits or below zero with wind chills predicted as low as minus 50.