News From NPR

It's All Politics
7:03 am
Sun May 18, 2014

How A Conservative Darling Could Lose His Conservative State

With his wife Mary by his side, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback addresses supporters before formally filing for reelection on Thursday at the Statehouse in Topeka. Brownback's reelection might have been a slam dunk, but he's managed to anger enough constituency groups that now he faces a real race.
John Milburn AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:39 pm

There's been nothing but bad news lately for Gov. Sam Brownback.

The FBI is investigating close associates of the Kansas Republican, including his former chief of staff, for possible lobbying and fundraising improprieties, as well as sweetheart deals involving state business.

Brownback dismisses it as a "smear" campaign. Nothing may come of it, but it's certainly made for some bad press.

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It's All Politics
5:30 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Do We Need This Government Agency? 'Let Me Google That'

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is a longtime deficit hawk, releasing an annual Wastebook that points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:48 am

Why would anyone pay for something when the exact same thing is available for free? The answer seems obvious, yet the question remains relevant for an obscure federal agency still pursuing its Cold War mission in the age of the search engine.

Say you wanted to know more about supersonic retro-propulsion wind tunnel testing. Or ancient land use in the Maya Lowlands. Or a 1996 hazardous waste characteristics scoping study. OK, you don't really want to know about these things, but someone did, and someone did the research.

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Economy
5:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

The Merits Of Income Inequality: What's The Right Amount?

The Occupy Wall Street movement helped put the issue of income inequality in the spotlight. But economists say there's a balance.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:38 pm

Income inequality is a big problem, many economists agree. But they also say some level of inequality is necessary for capitalism to work.

Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s. The top 1 percent pocket more than 20 percent of the nation's income, and the 400 richest people in the country own more wealth than everyone in the bottom 50 percent.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:27 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive?

Courtesy of Terrace Lodge

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:09 am

Oops.

Someone dropped lime sherbet on the desert — and it's melting. Who's going to clean this up?

Nobody. Because this — believe it or not — is a plant. It may look like a glob of goo, but it's not at all gooey. It's solid to the touch — so solid that a man can lie on top of it and not sink in, not even a little.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Veterans Advocate Says He Fears Loss Of Faith In VA

Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday about holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Advocate and former Army Capt. Tom Tarantino says he's worried that allegations over delayed health care will keep veterans away from services.

"Our biggest fear is that there are veterans out there who are not going to seek help because they lose faith and they lose trust in the VA," he tells Tess Vigeland, guest host of All Things Considered.

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