All Things Considered

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Parsing The 2012 Party Platforms

Sep 9, 2012

One overlooked part of the convention frenzy was the party platforms. They seemed to cause more embarrassment than excitement at the DNC, where party leaders fumbled at reinserting clauses about Jerusalem and God into their platform. And at the RNC, Rep. John Boehner admitted he'd never even read his party's platform. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the platforms and what — if anything — they mean in 2012.

There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.

We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

Michael Chabon's latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, is named after the famed road between Oakland and Berkeley in California.

In the book, that's also where two couples — Nat and Aviva, who are white, and Archy and Gwen, who are black — are struggling to get by. The two men are friends, partners in a vinyl record shop. Their wives work together as nurse midwives.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the characters deal with threats to their work, to their relationships and their very way of being. Chabon delves deeply into issues of art, race and sexuality.

For 25 years, the London synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have done one thing better than any other duo in the UK: sell records.

In fact, they've sold 50 million records worldwide since Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met at an electronics shop in 1981.

Many people were reminded of the Pet Shop Boys when they helped close out the 2012 Olympic Games in London with their biggest hit, "West End Girls." The duo, however, continues to make new music and has just released their 11th studio album, Elysium.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won nearly all the African-American vote. And this year, a recent poll found that less than 1 percent of black voters will back Mitt Romney. But in Ohio, as NPR's Allison Keyes found out, some black voters are agonizing over whether to vote in November at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

As the NFL's regular season gets under way this weekend, one player is adding another year to an already record-setting career. At 42, Detroit Lions place kicker Jason Hanson is the oldest active player in the NFL.

And despite playing a notoriously tenuous position, Hanson has also been with one team longer than anyone in the history of the league — no small feat in an industry where players often switch teams in search of a bigger paycheck or where a missed kick can cost you your career.

A High-Pressure Position

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor-writer-director Jon Favreau, whose credits include Swingers, Rocky Marciano, The Replacements and Iron Man, the movie he could watch a million times is Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.


INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On when he first saw the film

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, St. Pete.

RAZ: President Obama campaigning today in St. Petersburg, Florida, two days after accepting his party's nomination for president...

OBAMA: I am fired up.

RAZ: ...where his new stump speech emphasizes job creation.

OBAMA: We can keep giving more tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas just like the other side is arguing for.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

Week In News: The Post-Convention Push

Sep 8, 2012

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

MITT ROMNEY: In the last four years, we've seen that promise fade away. Hispanics are hurting.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But Mitt Romney would break that promise, replace your benefits with a voucher.

RAZ: Some of the latest political ads coming out of the Romney and Obama campaigns. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins me now, as he does most Saturdays, for a look behind the headlines. Jim, welcome.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Guy.

For many people, the definitive soundtrack of the mid-1990s was a band out of Virginia with unusual instrumentation and an unmistakable sound. Born and partially raised in South Africa, Dave Matthews was a bartender in the college town of Charlottesville when he founded the Dave Matthews Band in 1991. Two decades on, the group has sold 40 million records and become one of the biggest live acts in the world.

This election season, Three-Minute Fiction is getting political. Weekends on All Things Considered has a new judge, a new challenge and a new prize for Round 9. For this contest, submit original, short fiction that can be read in about three minutes, which means no more than 600 words.

The judge for this round is writer Brad Meltzer. He's the author of seven novels, including the best-seller The Inner Circle. His newest thriller, The Fifth Assassin, will be out in January.

American Paralympian Matt Stutzman won the silver medal in archery this week, a feat he accomplished despite being born without arms. In the men's compound open final, he was narrowly beaten by Finland's Jere Forsberg, who has the use of both arms.

In the gold medal match, Forsberg fired a perfect 10 on his final arrow to avoid a shoot-off with Stutzman.

The Paralympics have helped Stutzman, who is from Fairfield, Iowa, become something of a celebrity, thanks to his competitive spirit and his refusal to let his talents go to waste.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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