A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
Despite warnings from Washington about looming budget cuts, Americans seem to be feeling better about the economy. Earlier today, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence spiked upwards this month. We hear this number and others like it reported all the time and that got us wondering: What does it mean to put a number to the concept of consumer confidence, a number like this month's, 69.6.
We're going to put that question to Adam Davidson from our Planet Money team.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Next month, the Supreme Court will take up a highly anticipated challenge to California's Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. Today, a group of prominent Republicans weighed in with a legal brief opposing the ban. That puts them at odds with their party's position. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, it puts them in line with public opinion.
With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.
The current U.S. Embassy in central London was designed by Finnish-born American architect Eero Saarinen in 1960. Saarinen also designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Credit Shaun Curry / AFP/Getty Images
An Italian security policeman checks the main entrance of the U.S. Embassy in downtown Rome in 2008, ahead of a visit by President George W. Bush. The embassy building is over 300 years old and was once the home to the first queen of Italy, Margherita.
Credit Angelo Carconi / AP
View of the entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin in 2009. The new building opened in 2008 and exemplifies the new design standard to maintain security without sacrificing beauty.
Credit Joh MacDougall / AFP/Getty Images
A policeman stands in front of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in 2008. This embassy was built in 1961 and is more in line with the fortress-style embassies.
Credit Marco Ugarte / AP
The U.S. Embassy in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, was evacuated on Dec. 28, 2012, because of security concerns as the CAR government continues to combat rebels.
Credit Sia Kambou / AFP/Getty Images
An Egyptian protester stands above the entry of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012, during a demonstration against a film deemed offensive to Islam.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
A rendering of the new U.S. Embassy in London that is expected to open in 2017. Susan Johnson describes it as a fortress that has been softened and feels more open.
Credit Kieran Timberlake / U.S. Embassy
The embassy in Baghdad features a more fortresslike design.
Credit U.S. Department Of State
Local and foreign journalists visit the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Aug. 5, 2008. This massive embassy is the second-largest in the world after the heavily fortified compound in Baghdad.
There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.
Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:41 pm
You are Barack Obama and you find yourself hacking away in the weeds of sequestration — and some frustration. What's going on?
After all, you won a second term as President of the United States. You withstood the hooks and slices of a nasty campaign. Your approval rating is on the rise. Over President's Day weekend you played golf with Tiger Woods. For an American politician, it probably doesn't get any better than this.