4:55pm

Sun September 9, 2012
Politics

Who Benefits In Money Game: Democracy Or Donors?

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 6:07 pm

There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.

We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.

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3:32pm

Sun September 9, 2012
The Two-Way

States' Rights And DOMA Clash On A Shifting Battlefield

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 4:07 pm

Carri Jo Anderson joins the protest in front of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pompano Beach, Fla., in August. As views on homosexuality change, more states are challenging the federal definition of marriage
J Pat Carter AP

The debate over states' rights versus federal power is as old as our country. The latest brush-up comes in a doubly-sticky challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

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2:59pm

Sun September 9, 2012
Election 2012

Critics Say Ryan's Record Belies Tough Deficit Talk

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 5:08 pm

Paul Ryan waves as he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29. Ryan has been celebrated as a deficit hawk with bold vision, but some critics have called his record on deficit-reduction "dismal."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

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2:09pm

Sun September 9, 2012
Author Interviews

Michael Chabon Journeys Back To 'Telegraph Avenue'

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:24 am

Michael Chabon's books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Manhood for Amateurs. He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Jennifer Chaney

Michael Chabon's latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, is named after the famed road between Oakland and Berkeley in California.

In the book, that's also where two couples — Nat and Aviva, who are white, and Archy and Gwen, who are black — are struggling to get by. The two men are friends, partners in a vinyl record shop. Their wives work together as nurse midwives.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the characters deal with threats to their work, to their relationships and their very way of being. Chabon delves deeply into issues of art, race and sexuality.

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10:30am

Sun September 9, 2012
Music Interviews

Pet Shop Boys Leave 'West End' To Explore 'Elysium'

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:40 pm

The Pet Shop Boys' new album is called Elysium.
Ann Suma Courtesy of the artist

For 25 years, the London synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have done one thing better than any other duo in the UK: sell records.

In fact, they've sold 50 million records worldwide since Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met at an electronics shop in 1981.

Many people were reminded of the Pet Shop Boys when they helped close out the 2012 Olympic Games in London with their biggest hit, "West End Girls." The duo, however, continues to make new music and has just released their 11th studio album, Elysium.

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9:53am

Sun September 9, 2012
It's All Politics

For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:34 am

Cristina Saralegui waves at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

If you grew up in a bilingual Hispanic household, listening to the Democratic and Republican conventions may have sounded a lot like home.

It's no coincidence that both parties highlighted politicians like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Rubio, whose parents are from Cuba, introduced Mitt Romney at the Republican convention; Castro, whose grandmother immigrated from Mexico, became the first Latino to give the Democrats' keynote address.

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6:12am

Sun September 9, 2012
All Tech Considered

The Tech Buyer's Dilemma: Timing The Plunge

Amazon Kindle vice president Peter Larsen holds the Kindle Fire HD at the introduction of the new tablet in Santa Monica, Calif., on Thursday.
Reed Saxon AP

If you're one of those people who covet the latest, greatest thing (assuming you can afford it), life's been pretty tough for you lately. The announcements of new handheld electronic gadgets — and rumors of those to come (Apple fans are standing by) — have come so rapidly that it's been hard to keep up with them all.

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5:48am

Sun September 9, 2012
Education

Chicago Teachers May Strike, Teach Political Lesson

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

Members of community group Parents 4 Teachers display pro-teacher posters outside City Hall Friday in Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union has threatened to strike Monday if negotiations fail.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Twenty-five thousand Chicago teachers are planning to walk off the job Monday if they don't have a contract by midnight Sunday. As the Democrats look to unions to help them get out the vote, a strike by Chicago teachers might just put a crimp in those plans.

On Friday during rush hour, a handful of parents and students stood on a bridge over the Eisenhower Expressway, holding signs that read, "Honk if you support teachers." Among them is Rhoda Gutierrez, who has two children in a Chicago public elementary school.

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5:46am

Sun September 9, 2012
Around the Nation

VFW Posts Become Refuge For Women, Too

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

From left, Linda Ausen, Marvin Jansma, Diane Sandberg and David Griffith volunteer during bingo night in July at the VFW post in Rosemount, Minn.
Jennifer Simonson MPR

For decades, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts have played vital roles in small towns throughout America. But in recent years, as World War II veterans have passed away, membership in VFWs has fallen drastically, and many posts have closed. Now, though, some are facing a possible renaissance, thanks to female soldiers returning from overseas.

The main room of the VFW post in Rosemount, Minn., is half-bar and half-bingo hall, with long card tables. In a corner, two men on a stage rotate a round cage of balls and call out bingo numbers.

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5:45am

Sun September 9, 2012
House & Senate Races

GOP Has Rare Shot At Winning House Seat In Mass.

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

Richard Tisei is running for U.S. House in Massachusetts, where he could be the first Republican in that seat in 15 years.
Josh Reynolds AP

U.S. House candidate Richard Tisei is openly gay. He's also openly Republican.

"You know what, in Massachusetts, it's a lot easier to be gay than be a Republican," he says, "as far as trying to get elected to office."

But Tisei could make political history for the Massachusetts GOP. Not just because they could win their first U.S. House seat in 15 years, but also because Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican to be elected to a term in Congress.

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