James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a bit of a sour mood. He led off complaining that he had to speak publicly at all.
"An open hearing on intelligence matters," Clapper said, "is a contradiction in terms." And then, before getting to any international problems Clapper hit a domestic one: the spending cuts mandated under the sequestration package.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:34 am
Although he's been a public figure for three decades, the Rev. Al Sharpton is more visible these days than ever, often in ways even he wouldn't have dreamed when he was leading protests on the streets of New York in the 1980s.
If you watched the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama, you probably saw the dais behind him filled with the usual lot of past presidents, members of Congress and so on. You also may have caught sight of a new, and improbable, addition: Sharpton.
President Obama came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, in the first of three planned visits to court lawmakers on a cluster of issues, from gun control legislation to a so-called grand bargain on tax reform and entitlement spending cuts. He spoke with Senate Democrats. Melissa Block talks to Ailsa Chang.
Ailsa mentioned the House budget, and today, it was presented by a cohort of House Republicans led by Budget Committee Chairman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The budget gives an indication of just how hard reaching a grand bargain will be. There's not a lot of overlap with the president's priorities, and it's almost an exact repeat of Ryan's budget from last year, right down to the title, "The Path to Prosperity." NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith tells us more.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
There's a new element at this year's South by Southwest Festival in Austin - a gaming expo. Austin is a good place for it. The city has strong ties to the video game industry and its home to an estimated 7,000 independent game developers.
Reporter Noah Nelson, of Turnstyle News and Youth Radio, went in search of the indie gaming scene.
A new national survey on gun ownership indicates that 37 percent of U.S. households have guns. The Pew Research Center looked further into who owns guns and why. They surveyed about 1,500 Americans last month and Michael Dimock, the Pew Center's director, joins me to talk about what they found. Michael, welcome back.
MICHAEL DIMOCK: Hi.
BLOCK: Let's look at that 37 percent number first. These are people who report having a gun in their household, a gun either owned by them or by someone else.
Like the famous cherry blossoms forecast to bloom in a few weeks, this time of year is also marked by the arrival of competing, partisan federal budget proposals that political foes immediately declare dead-on-arrival, though not so dead that they can't be used as campaign fodder.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) got the process underway Tuesday by introducing the House Republican budget for the coming fiscal year, DOA because it has no chance of getting through the Democratic Senate or to be signed by President Obama.