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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 10:15 am

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

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Middle East
3:58 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:54 am

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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National Security
3:34 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

At $130 Million A Plane, Critics Question The Cost Of The F-35

Visitors look at a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow in 2010. The cost of the plane keeps on rising and is now $130 million or more per plane, depending on the model.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:51 pm

Second of two parts

In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.

But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.

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Health
3:04 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Drug Fulfills Promise Of Research Into Cystic Fibrosis Gene

Kalydeco is one of the first drugs that is effective at combating the root causes of a genetic disease.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:53 pm

The promise of genetic medicine is beginning to be fulfilled, but it's been a long, hard slog.

Take the story of Kalydeco. It's designed to treat people with a lung disease called cystic fibrosis. While not quite a cure, the drug is extremely effective for some CF patients.

But the success of Kalydeco has been more than two decades in the making.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:03 pm

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

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World Cafe
1:43 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Ben Sollee On World Cafe

Ben Sollee.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 11:36 am

  • Listen To The Session

There's not much about Ben Sollee's career that could be described as conventional. The singer-songwriter's primary instrument is the cello, and his work ranges from traditional classical music to Asian folk tunes. Even his preferred method of transportation on tour deviates from the norm; he's been known to travel from one show to the next on a bicycle with his cello strapped to the back.

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It's All Politics
1:30 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:12 pm

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

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Economy
1:30 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 9:07 am

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Andrew Sullivan's 'The Dish' Is Leaving 'The Daily Beast,' Going Solo Again

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Saying that he and his team want "to help build a new media environment that is not solely about advertising or profit above everything, but that is dedicated first to content and quality," blogger Andrew Sullivan confirmed today that The Dish is leaving The Daily Beast and striking out on its own again.

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Sports
12:45 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Pa. Gov. Suing NCAA To Stop Penn State Sex Abuse Sanctions

Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett
Matt Rourke AP

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), says the NCAA badly overreached itself when it imposed punitive financial sanctions on Penn State over the handling of sexual predator and former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. Corbett is filing a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the collegiate athletic association, saying it ignored its own disciplinary rules in its rush to castigate the Pennsylvania university.

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Music
12:00 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Gospel Star Vicki Yohe's Shares Songs Of Strength

Vicki Yohe may look like a country western singer with her blond hair and blue eyes. But she's an urban gospel star. Yohe's latest album is titled, I'm at Peace: A Praise and Worship Experience. For Tell Me More's In Your Ear series, Yohe shares the songs that lift her up in tough times.

Health
12:00 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Chastity: Why Wait?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 9:07 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee sitting in for Michel Martin, who is under the weather. Coming up, you either loved him or hated him, but if you ever saw him perform, you certainly remember him and his catchphrase - dyn-o-mite - from the classic sitcom "Good Times." We'll talk to comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker later in the program.

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Wisdom Watch
12:00 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Dyn-O-Mite! Comedian Jimmie Walker Talks Showbiz

Comedian Jimmie Walker is best known for his Good Times sitcom character J.J. Evans. But there's more to Walker than just laughs. For Tell Me More's Wisdom Watch series, host Michel Martin talks with Walker about his long career in showbiz, detailed in his memoir, Dyn-O-Mite: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times.

Remembrances
11:56 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Western Star Harry Carey Jr., 1921-2012

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:57 pm

We'll listen back to a 1989 interview with actor Harry Carey Jr., who died Dec. 27. Carey co-starred with John Wayne in the classic Westerns She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers and 3 Godfathers. He talked to Fresh Air about filming epic cavalry-versus-Indian scenes — and his most challenging stunts.

Movie Interviews
11:48 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Quentin Tarantino, 'Unchained' And Unruly

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino, seen here at a 2009 screening of Inglourious Basterds, tells Terry Gross that the only film violence that truly disturbs him involves actual harm to animals.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:46 pm

Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained is a spaghetti western-inspired revenge film set in the antebellum South; it's about a former slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to target the plantation owner who owns his wife.

The cinematic violence that has come to characterize Tarantino's work as a screenwriter and director — from Reservoir Dogs at the start of his career in 1992 to 2009's Inglourious Basterds -- is front and center again in Django. And he's making no apologies.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:38 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Grrr, Said The Grylloblattid. I'm Not Leaving. Not Yet.

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:01 pm

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Financial Markets Cheer 'Fiscal Cliff' News

Looking up: Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier today.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:08 pm

Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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Asia
11:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

The Tony Soprano Of Karachi: Gangster Or Politician?

Baloch has been the most powerful figure in Karachi's Lyari neighborhood since 2009. His armed men control the area, and police stay away. He's shown here at his home.
Dina Temple-Raston

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Gangsters have been part of life in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, for decades. And nowhere is their rule more notorious than in the slums of Lyari, a dusty warren of low-slung tenement houses in the south central part of Karachi.

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Arts + Life
10:35 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Who's Gay On TV? Dads, Journalists, Investigators And Footmen

Partners Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) decide to use a surrogate to expand their family in The New Normal.
Trae Patton AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:24 pm

The pop culture gay flavor of the minute? White gay dads.

"We're having a baby, Bri!" croons one of the leads on NBC's The New Normal. "This is our family. You, me and that kid forever."

It's a mini-boomlet, says real-life white gay dad and sociology professor Joshua Gamson. Not too long ago, he says, pop culture mainly defined gay men as promiscuous and deviant, rather than monogamous and devoted to their families.

"It does seem like a strong counter-stereotype of how gay men have been portrayed over the past, whatever, 50 years," he says.

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