Author Interviews
4:39 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

'Pity The Billionaire': The Right's Unlikely Comeback

How did the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009 give birth to a conservative populist revolt?

That's the question Thomas Frank tries to answer in his new book — and sharp-tongued liberal polemic — Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

After Seven Years, Families Of Slain Blackwater Contractors Settle Suit

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 8:21 pm

Seven years after the suit was filed, the families of four contractors killed in Iraq have settled a lawsuit with Academi, the company formerly known as Blackwater.

If you remember, the 2004 incident produced one of the most gruesome images of the war in Iraq: the charred bodies of two Blackwater guards were hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

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Commentary
4:05 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

On The GOP Trail, The Serendipity Of A Lost Wallet

Aarti Shahani waits for the airport shuttle to take her on her final leg.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 4:44 pm

It's Jan. 1.

I'm en route to Iowa to cover the caucuses. I'm a novice reporter and NPR editors trusted me to tag along.

At my layover in Minneapolis, I reach into my pocket to pay for a chai tea latte and — wait — where's my wallet? I can't find my wallet. I double, triple, quadruple check.

I run back to the gate. "Ma'am, I think my wallet fell out of my coat in overhead. Seat 20B." She checks it out. Negative. It's not there.

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What's in a Song?
3:46 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Group Singalongs Provide Comfort For A Livelihood Lost

Barre Toelken (second from right) at one of his weekly singing sessions with his wife Miko (far right) and friends.
Hal Cannon

For the past several years, a group of friends has gathered every week in the living room of a suburban home in Logan, Utah, to sing long-forgotten songs. It's a fun way to spend the evening, but it's also therapy for a dear friend.

Until several years ago, Barre Toelken was a folklorist at Utah State University. He'd spent much of his life preserving sea shanties and other antique songs, but then he had a stroke and was forced to retire.

"I used to know 800 songs," Toelken says. "I had this stroke, and I had none of these songs left in my head. None of them were left."

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Deceptive Cadence
3:37 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: January 6, 2012

This is all that remains of a violin PayPal asked a buyer to destroy.
Regretsy.com

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 2:04 pm

  • Paypal has confirmed a story that seemed at first to be too wild to be true: They told a customer to destroy a violin after a contentious eBay transaction. The instrument's provenance was disputed (though incorrect labels aren't exactly uncommon in the violin world).
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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Snowy Owls, Rare In North America, Are Appearing All Over The U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:51 pm

Snowy owls are a rare sight in the United States. They usually live in the Arctic but every third or fourth winter some will venture south.

But this year, the AP reports, there is an abundance of the birds, which garnered almost mythical stature when they were featured in the Harry Potter films.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Not Officially Republicans, 'Undeclared' Voters Could Sway N.H. Race

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman shakes hands with voters following a business lunch campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. on Jan. 5.
JESSICA RINALDI Reuters /Landov

In Tuesday's primary, many of those showing up to vote will not be registered as Republicans. In New Hampshire, voters unaffiliated with either party can vote in the primary.

So-called "undeclared" voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats in the Granite State, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electorate. That makes New Hampshire's independent vote a tempting, but elusive target.

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National Security
2:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

U.S. Navy Ship Saves Iranians From Pirates

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 4:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, a story with this you-can't-make-it-up headline: Americans Rescue Iranian's From Pirates. According to the U.S. Navy, yesterday in the North Arabian Sea, a Navy battle group came across a fishing vessel in distress. The crew was Iranian and they'd been held hostage for weeks by pirates. And here's the irony: The American battle group included the same aircraft carrier that Iran's government threatened earlier this week.

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Election 2012
2:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

SuperPACs, Candidates: Dancing Solo Or Together?

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:54 pm

This is the season of the presidential superPACs: They flooded Iowa with attack ads, and now they are looking ahead to primaries in South Carolina and Florida.

SuperPACs (political action committees) can solicit big, corporate contributions — something candidates can't do. And, according to the law, superPACs are barred from coordinating their ads with the candidates they support. But it's not nearly that simple.

A SuperPAC Attacks

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Presidential Race
2:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

N.H. Voters Discuss The GOP Field

Four years ago, Melissa Block traveled several times to Milford, N.H., to talk with voters. Friday, she talks to two of the people she met there: Noreen O'Connell and Steve O'Keefe. They discuss the current GOP presidential field.

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