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4:24 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Auto Industry Sees Growth In Summer Sales

Today is a good day in the car business. The summer sales season ended this Labor Day weekend, and automakers have released their sales figures.

The big car makers saw double-digit growth this August over the same time last year. It’s the best August since 2007 — before the economic collapse.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton joins us to discuss the most recent sales figures and what they mean for the industry.

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NPR Story
4:11 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

A Push To Bridge The Gap Between Soldiers And Citizens

Members of the armed forces arrive for the national anthem before the baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Detroit, May 27, 2013. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:55 pm

An enormous gap has opened between the all-volunteer U.S. military and the citizens of the country it serves, according to a new book by military analyst Andrew Bacevich, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country” (excerpt below).

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Senate Panel Passes Authorization For Force Against Syria

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., listens as the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, speaks before Wednesday's vote.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 8:05 pm

A Senate panel has voted to approve a resolution giving President Obama the authority to carry out punitive strikes against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the authorization by a 10-7 vote, with one senator voting present. The measure must be passed by a vote of the full Senate to come into force. The vote is likely to take place next week.

The vote marks the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 vote giving President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Skeptical Democrat Takes A Stand Against Striking Syria

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., arrives to register for orientation as newly elected members of Congress descend on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:16 pm

A majority of Congress remains undecided, at least publicly, about President Obama's plan to launch a military strike against Syria.

Not Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan. The 69-year-old Democrat is a firm "no" vote.

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Shots - Health News
3:45 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Inside Story On The Fear Of Holes

Beautiful or creepy? A recent survey found that an image of a lotus seed head makes about 15 percent of people uncomfortable or even repulsed.
tanakawho Flickr.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:25 am

Trypophobia may be moving out of the urban dictionary and into the scientific literature.

A recent study in the peer-review journal Psychological Science takes a first crack at explaining why some people may suffer from a fear of holes.

Trypophobia may be hard to find in textbooks and diagnostic manuals, but a brief Web search will show that plenty of people appear to have it.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

U.S. Won't Enforce Laws Banning VA Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 7:03 pm

The Obama administration will stop enforcing two sections of a law that lays out benefits for U.S. veterans. The sections define marriage as between a man and woman and deny legally married same-sex couples Veterans Affairs benefits like health care and disability payments.

The Justice Department had in 2012 decided not to defend the statute in court. On Wednesday, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the executive branch was going a step further.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Economy Expanding At Moderate Rate, Fed Says

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 6:59 pm

The U.S. economy held steady with "modest to moderate" growth between early July and late August, as Americans bought more cars and auto factories ramped up hiring.

The Federal Reserve's so-called Beige Book, comprising reports from 12 geographic districts around the country, showed that manufacturing activity "expanded modestly" and that several districts reported that "demand for inputs related to autos, housing, and infrastructure were strong."

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

S&P Accuses U.S. Of Suing To Retaliate For Credit Downgrade

The Justice Department claims Standard & Poor's knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk but still gave them positive ratings.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 6:03 pm

In a court filing, Standard & Poor's is accusing the U.S. government of using the Justice Department to retaliate for the agency's decision to downgrade U.S. debt in 2011.

The accusation by S&P was made while it tried to defend itself in a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. government, which alleges S&P knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk, but still gave them positive ratings.

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Parallels
2:31 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

How Syria's Neighbors View A Possible Military Strike

Syrian refugees stand in line for food at Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 21. The Syrian civil war has already sparked a refugee crisis in the region. Now, many countries are waiting to see the effects of a possible U.S. military strike.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:12 am

Syria's neighbors have all felt the impact of the country's war, and they will be keeping a close eye on any U.S. military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

But, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the reality is that they don't particularly see this [military action] by itself as being that critical."

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Planet Money
2:07 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Nobel Laureate Who Figured Out How To Deal With Annoying People

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," Ronald Coase told us last year.
University of Chicago

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.

If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.

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