And now to E.J. Dionne and David Brooks, our regular Friday political commentators, both just back from Tampa. Welcome home.
E.J. DIONNE: Thank you.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
BLOCK: I want to talk to you both about what we heard in Mitt Romney's speech last night and also what we didn't hear. We did hear a very explicit appeal to people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Let's take a listen.
A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It's often how we introduce ourselves or describe our friends and parents: "I'm a police officer." "I'm a spot-welder." "My dad was a druggist." "My mom was a teacher." "My wife is a pilot." "My friend is a firefighter." "I sell insurance."
Our work has been a kind of identity stamp, defining us as much as our last name or place of birth. As Studs Terkel wrote in his 1974 classic, Working, "Our jobs give us daily meaning as well as daily bread."
Sophia Greenwalt, 13, is the founder of Helping Hats, a fundraising program in the Reeds Spring School District. Once a month, students and staff can wear a hat to school for a dollar donation. The money raised that day goes to a non-profit organization in the community.
In 2012, Sophia has gotten nine local businesses on board to match the money raised by the school. Helping Hats has raised more than $20,000 for organizations such as the Joplin School District (after a devastating tornado), the Humane Society and others.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:27 pm
Every nation stockpiles vital resources — think of the U.S. Petroleum Reserve, for instance. In Canada, they have warehouses holding millions of pounds of maple syrup. And recently, one of them was the site of what may be "the sweetest heist of all time," as The Vancouver Sun reports.
Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 2:22 pm
You've probably heard of thalidomide, the infamous sedative that ended up causing birth defects in the children of mothers who took it.
Back in the late 1950s, the drug was sold in 46 countries, though not the U.S., and was particularly popular in then-West Germany, the U.K. and Australia. But in 1961, the drug was taken off the market after the link to birth defects emerged.
Corey Sharpe is one of the many people out working to restore electricity in Louisiana. He's a lineman with DEMCO. That's the Dixie Electric Membership Corporation, the state's largest power co-op. We reached him on the job in Denham Springs just outside Baton Rouge.
COREY SHARPE: Right now we actually just pulled up to an outage. A huge oak tree just fell on kind of - by one of our power lines and knocked down a service, the one at someone's house. So that's what we just came up to right here.
Time now for your letters about an interview we aired yesterday. My co-host, Robert Siegel, sat down with Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to talk about women and the GOP, specifically why polls show that women favor President Obama over Mitt Romney.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE: One of the things that is helpful about this convention - and that's why I think Ann Romney's speech resonated - is women do want to know about the whole person, and something about the person that will lead the country.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. Mitt Romney made a last minute change to his travel plans today. On his first day as the official Republican presidential nominee, he and Paul Ryan were supposed to begin a swing state campaign tour. Instead, while Ryan headed to a previously scheduled event in Virginia, Romney flew to Louisiana.
Should Muslims convicted of terrorism be allowed to gather together in prison to pray? That's the question being raised by John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban.
The U.S. citizen converted to Islam as a teenager. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Lindh was caught in Afghanistan. He pleaded guilty to aiding the now defunct Taliban government there and to carrying a weapon.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:38 pm
Brazilian singer Luciana Souza has worked in many genres, from jazz and bossa nova to classical music and even, as a small child, commercial jingles. A graduate of Berklee and the New England Conservatory of Music, Souza has been nominated for four Grammys and worked at a prolific pace. In fact, she's just released two albums of covers, Duos III and The Book of Chet; the latter finds her covering the works of Chet Baker.
President Obama's re-election campaign won a big victory today in Ohio. A federal judge in Columbus has ordered the state to restore early voting in the three days prior to the November election. The state had eliminated it, except for voters in the military, and Ohio's attorney general insists he will appeal.
NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering this story. She joins me now. And, Pam, why is it such a big deal for the Obama campaign?
The Albany Bicycle Coalition started in my backyard in 2003 when a small group of mechanically inclined bike enthusiasts-volunteers gathered to learn bike repair skills and repair bikes that were headed to the dump. The rescued bikes were then donated to local organizations for kids.
Eventually we grew and moved into a community center basement, where the focus is on teaching kids skills while improving community relations.
U.S. student loan debt tops $1 trillion, and young people face disproportionately high unemployment. Writer Joel Kotkin points to these numbers when he claims today's millennial generation is getting the short end of the stick. Kotkin speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his Newsweek/Daily Beast article on what he calls the "screwed generation."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Frederic Yonnet is taking the harmonica to new places. We'll tell you more in just a few minutes.
But first, as we mentioned earlier, the Democratic National Convention starts this week, where the hope is that the president and his party can rally his Democratic base and energize voters, which they did so successfully four years ago.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:12 pm
As a tropical storm was gathering strength last week, fears were growing that the fierce winds might knock out Gulf Coast refineries, send gasoline prices soaring and seriously damage the U.S. economy.
But when Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, it was only a Category 1 hurricane, far weaker than Katrina, the monster storm that hit seven years ago.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:39 pm
If you've paid any attention to the last day of the Republican National Convention, you've no doubt heard about Clint Eastwood's strange performance in which he laid into President Obama, whom he pretended was sitting in an empty chair.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 pm
The Tryon area has been known as "Horse Country" for almost a century. People here take their equine economy seriously, it's a major source of jobs. Drought conditions and the economy have forced many horse owners into a predicament of how to feed their families and their horses.
So the Hay Pledge was born. Horse owners and hay growers "pledge" 10 bales of hay if asked — unless their supplies are too low to share. Calls for assistance are confidential. Some 500 bales have been delivered in 2012, but winter is coming and that number will go up significantly.
NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin discuss highlights of the Republican National Convention — the speeches, the delegates, and what it all means for this year's election. In other news, Rep. Ben Quayle loses the GOP congressional primary in Arizona. Does that signal the end of his political career?
And borrowing from the Republican convention slogan that grew out of a statement from President Obama on the campaign trail, it's the "We Built It" edition of the "It's All Politics" podcast.