This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Each December, we try to catch up on a few of the important books we missed earlier in the year. "How to Be Black," by Baratunde Thurston is our choice for today; part memoir, part commentary on what it's like to be black in the U.S. right now.
So I'm wondering, how often have you actually counted your chickens before they'd hatched, or maybe thrown up a single stone and then hit two birds, not to mention having one of those critters in your hand that was worth two of them in the bush. Cliches are very often denounced as the most over-used and contemptible phrases in the English language.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington, Neal Conan is away. For centuries, the foundation of human society, the basic building block, was the family: parents, children, grandchildren, passing knowledge and wealth down through generations. But all signs seem to indicate that in many parts of the world, the family is on the decline, and singles are on the rise.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:18 pm
Even as Air Force One was about to land in suburban Maryland this morning — bringing President Obama back from his vacation in Hawaii to resume negotiations aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on the floor of the Senate warning that a dive off that cliff seems inevitable.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:43 pm
The Consumer Products Safety Commission is fed up with the Nap Nanny.
Three models of the infant recliners — Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill — are being recalled voluntarily by some of the nation's biggest retailers, including Amazon.com and Buy Buy Baby. Consumers can get refunds or credit toward another purchase.
The consumer agency says the recliners "contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants."
Rather than a wave moving in one party's favor, crosscurrents have moved the states apart. One political scientist says, "This hardly ever happens, where the blue states get bluer and the red states redder, instead of the whole country going in one direction."
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:10 pm
States in this country are becoming like an unhappy couple. They've always had their differences, but their arguments have gotten so chronic that they're hardly talking to each other.
Whether the topic is abortion, tax policy, marijuana or guns, Democratic "blue" states such as California and Illinois are bound to take a different tack than Republican "red" states such as Georgia and Kansas.