Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:44 pm
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.
How much extra would you pay for local food? It's a familiar question. We face it practically every time we shop for groceries, either at the store or at the farmers market. But what about food that can save the lives of severely malnourished children?
Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Ben Blier sported a Yoda T-shirt declaring "Go to Kindergarten I Must" on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
Ben Blier, 5, of Washington, D.C., is obsessed with Star Wars, especially the books and Legos, according to his mom, Nancy.
Credit Courtesy of Chronicle Books
"I don't know why I didn't expect this, but kids really like the book, maybe even more than the adult audience," says Jeffrey Brown, author of Darth Vader and Son, a best-selling panel book about Vader's frustrations raising a 4-year-old Luke Skywalker. "A lot of people have said their kids want it as their bedtime book just again and again and again."
And now, we turn to California. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a landmark piece of legislation banning a controversial form of therapy that is meant to change the sexual orientation of children under 18. Supporters of the ban say the so-called gay to straight conversion therapy can psychologically scar patients in the worst possible ways and there's no medical evidence that it works.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, director Lee Daniels is known for provocative movie fare, like his award-winning 2009 effort, "Precious." His latest film, by his own account, will be remarkable to some and stomach-turning to others. It's called "The Paperboy," and we'll talk with him about it in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:56 am
Full confession: This blogger is much more of a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan than a Star Wars junkie. But as long as you fall somewhere along the spectrum of sci-fi geekdom, you'll probably think these pictures are pretty cool.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month by speaking with the first Mexican-American woman to become a college or university president in the U.S. We'll hear her very interesting story in a few minutes.
But first, we turn to last night's presidential debate. An estimated 60 million Americans tuned in to watch the first face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:43 pm
If you think substance trumps style, the analysis of last night's presidential debate might come as a shock. There seems to be a lot more talk today about things like temperament and facial expressions than the facts.
Here's a sampling of opinion:
Writing in Forbes, Frederick E. Allen says President Obama "looked defensive and uncertain," while GOP challenger Mitt Romney "may have said things that were clearly untrue ... but he said them convincingly."
Major League Baseball's regular season ended yesterday with the kind of day that would warm the commissioner's heart: fans cheering from coast to coast, a towering achievement for one very good hitter, and the promise of even more excitement to come as the playoffs begin. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been tracking this season. He's on the line.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, shared a stage last night for the first time in his presidential campaign. The debate in Denver, moderated by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, focused on domestic policy, which meant there was lots to debate, from health care to energy, though much of the time was devoted to taxes.
NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.
The Los Angeles County sheriff says his jails are changing and inmate safety is dramatically improving. Sheriff Lee Baca was responding to a scathing report released last week by a blue ribbon committee. It found a pattern of excessive force by deputies against inmates at the nation's largest jail system. The committee stopped short of calling for the sheriff's resignation, but concluded that the root of the violence was his failed leadership. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Compared with 2008, far fewer American troops are asking for absentee ballots this fall. A new report blames the Pentagon for failing to provide enough help. The Department of Defense says the figures do not reflect the efforts it's making. NPR's Larry Abramson reports.