President Obama will be addressing a house deeply divided when he goes before a joint session of Congress on Thursday night. Many of his fellow Democrats are hoping to hear a speech filled with bold proposals to rally a dispirited nation.
"I hope the president keeps his fighting spirit that he displayed on Labor Day, where it was really clear that he is fighting for the middle class and jobs," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). "If he continues with that spirit and lays out a plan on how to get there, I think it'll be very, very riveting."
We thought it would never happen. When we reported that comedian Ana Gasteyer had spilled the beans on a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor based on a Saturday Night Live skit that pokes fun at NPR, we thought it would never happen.
The Republican presidential debate from the Ronald Reagan library in Southern California will be voters' first chance to see the current frontrunner for the GOP nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on the same stage with Mitt Romney, the previous pack leader.
Yes, there will be other candidates on the stage, all of whom have their various supporters who still believe, more or less.
But it takes a prodigious imagination to see a clear path to the nomination for the two current members of Congress now in the field, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann.
Billy was always outside the San Francisco Giant's ballpark. As the team's manager Bruce Bochy remembers it, on game days, Billy would be there before he arrived and would stay until he came out.
Sometimes that meant waiting until Bochy finished a meeting and emerged at one or two in the morning. Billy was always there — for years — so they became friends, Bochy told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.
Firefighting helicopters dump water and flame retardant after loading up with water from a pond at Lost Pines Golf Club as they fight a fire in Bastrop State Park on September 6, 2011 in Bastrop, Texas.
Rick Perry heats up the atmosphere every time he talks about climate change. He's an avowed global warming doubter who once quipped, "The biggest source of carbon dioxide is Al Gore's mouth."
Perry set off the debate again in New Hampshire recently when he said, "I think we're seeing weekly, and even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change."
That headline may not seem significant, but here's how Pew Charitable Trusts sells its finding that 33 percent of adults who grew up middle class end up sliding downward:
The idea that children will grow up to be better off than their parents is a central component of the American Dream, and sustains American optimism. However, Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking up from the American Dream finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime.
Carie Lemack, pictured in May, lost her mother Judy Laroque in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Ten years later, Lemack is on a first-name basis with Sen. John Kerry as part of her mission to raise awareness so that another Sept. 11 doesn't happen.