Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:44 pm
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.
Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Ben Blier sported a Yoda T-shirt declaring "Go to Kindergarten I Must" on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
Ben Blier, 5, of Washington, D.C., is obsessed with Star Wars, especially the books and Legos, according to his mom, Nancy.
Credit Courtesy of Chronicle Books
"I don't know why I didn't expect this, but kids really like the book, maybe even more than the adult audience," says Jeffrey Brown, author of Darth Vader and Son, a best-selling panel book about Vader's frustrations raising a 4-year-old Luke Skywalker. "A lot of people have said their kids want it as their bedtime book just again and again and again."
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, director Lee Daniels is known for provocative movie fare, like his award-winning 2009 effort, "Precious." His latest film, by his own account, will be remarkable to some and stomach-turning to others. It's called "The Paperboy," and we'll talk with him about it in just a few minutes.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month by speaking with the first Mexican-American woman to become a college or university president in the U.S. We'll hear her very interesting story in a few minutes.
But first, we turn to last night's presidential debate. An estimated 60 million Americans tuned in to watch the first face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
And now, we turn to California. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a landmark piece of legislation banning a controversial form of therapy that is meant to change the sexual orientation of children under 18. Supporters of the ban say the so-called gay to straight conversion therapy can psychologically scar patients in the worst possible ways and there's no medical evidence that it works.
Female Marines unload their rifles after a patrol with Afghan soldiers in Helmand province in June. The Marine Corps leadership has started an experiment to determine whether female Marine lieutenants have what it takes to become infantry officers and lead on the battlefield.
Women in the U.S. military have been flying warplanes for years, and recently began serving in artillery and tank units. But they're still barred from direct ground combat.
Now, for the first time in the course's 35-year history, the Marine Corps is putting the first women through its grueling Infantry Officer Course: 86 days crawling through obstacle courses, lugging heavy machine guns, navigating the woods at night.
Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, the top trainer at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia, says there's a good reason the course is so tough that 1 in 5 Marines fail.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 12:47 pm
I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
So many questions lingered:
Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?
Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?
If buying a local wine just isn't local enough for you, then you might consider joining the growing ranks of people making homemade wine this fall.
Some home winemakers make wine with friends for fun, some make wine with family for tradition; some make it "old school," adding nothing, and drink it by Christmas; others do it "new school," adding preservatives, and wait a year or more to bottle.