It hasn't been a banner year for either President Obama or Congress, and there's still the prospect that 2013 could end with yet another budget impasse. Lisa Benson blames the president for failing to appreciate the complexity of the problems he faces, while Chuck Legge thinks things have gone according to plan for House Speaker John Boehner.
December 6, 2013 Detroit was found eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which could allow the city to avoid billions of dollars in pension and other retiree benefits. Rick McKee blames the city for ignoring the gravity of its situation, while Signe Wilkinson fears that the decision is a bad sign for all retired government employees.
December 6, 2013 A ship called the Daniel J. Morrell was making its last haul of the season when it broke apart in a heavy storm on Lake Huron in November 1966. A few crew members struggled to stay afloat in the driving wind and waves, but ultimately, Dennis Hale was the shipwreck's sole survivor.
December 5, 2013 President Obama says the federal health exchange website is now "working well for the vast majority of users," but Republicans say it has security problems. Steve Kelley questions whether the site is too easy for some to use, while Lee Judge refuses to go with the flow of Obamacare critics.
December 4, 2013 Smartphones and the Internet have made it easier than ever for people to share photos of their friends, family, pets and children. But sharing personal photos raises technological and ethical questions. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal recently became a father and has some tips for navigating the world of online photo sharing.
December 4, 2013 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the company hopes to someday use drones to deliver packages. Mike Smith thinks America's online shoppers will be eager customers, while Chip Bok expects employment to drop like a stone.
December 4, 2013 The fresh herb adds wintry zip to butternut squash, cranberry sauce and a traditional cocktail, while mint extract mixes with chocolate in a cool dessert.
December 3, 2013 China has established a new air defense zone that overlaps similar defense zones of its neighbors South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Deng Coy Miel fears China is seeking a confrontation, while Jeff Danziger thinks Japan has been too quick to interpose the United States in its territorial disputes with its neighbor.
December 2, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry sent a video to members of Congress urging them not to impose any further sanctions against Iran, lest it upset his newly negotiated accord. Jeff Danziger doubts Republicans will give the deal a chance to work, while Gary Varvel thinks Kerry is giving it all away.
December 1, 2013 Pope Francis recently issued an 84-page paper criticizing the excesses of capitalism, stating "it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric." Mike Luckovich doubts some will hear him, while Rainer Hachfeld believes the Holy Father has joined the company of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
November 30, 2013 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says things are on track to meet today's deadline for fixing the HealthCare.gov website. Steve Sack thinks the Band-Aids mask a larger problem, while Darrin Bell finds it absurd that some Republicans claim that nuclear negotiations with Iran were intended to distract from the website woes.
November 29, 2013 NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and surgeon David Reines ran into each other not long after their spouses had passed away. Soon — despite a couple of unforeseen events — the pair realized it was kismet that they had found each other.
November 29, 2013 Traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday brings out shoppers hurrying after deals. Gustavo Rodriguez thinks some bargain hunters take things way too far, while Sandy Huffaker notes there's always another shop-pertunity waiting in the wings.