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Judging The Health Care Law
1:50 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

TRANSCRIPT: Supreme Court: The Health Care Law And The Individual Mandate

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the second of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Tuesday's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case 11-398, the Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida.

General Verrilli. ORAL ARGUMENT OF DONALD B. VERRILLI, JR., ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS GENERAL VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Boehner Eschews (For Now) GOP's Pile On Of Obama For Open-Mic Comment

For Speaker John Boehner, politics still stops at the water's edge. He refused to criticize President Obama's open-mic comment on missile defense, at least while the president was out of the country.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Listen to any foreign-policy hand who's been in Washington long enough and you'll hear nostalgia for a time when politics stopped at the water's edge.

It was the idea that in the foreign-policy realm, it was best if Democrats and Republicans spoke as one.

At the very least, when an American president traveled abroad, the notion was his political opponents back home should desist from criticizing him was the thinking.

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Health Care
1:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

The Health Law's Individual Mandate Has Day In Court

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case 11398, the Department of Health and Human Services vs. Florida. General Verrilli...

DONALD VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court, the Affordable Care Act addresses a fundamental and enduring problem in our health care system and our economy.

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Sports
1:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Season Ends For Legendary Coach Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011. As her 38th season concludes, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins talks about suspicions that Summit won't return next year.

From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Letters: Mental Health And The Military, 'The Talk'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, after a member of the U.S. military was accused of slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan, we talked about how the military assesses mental fitness. Eman(ph) wrote from Sunnyvale, California to say the entire discussion left him uneasy. I feel very uncomfortable with the shooter-as-victim narrative that seems to be running through the U.S. media's coverage of the Robert Bales case, he wrote.

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Race
1:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin Story Sparks Difficult Conversations

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, has sparked nationwide demonstrations and school walkouts. It has also prompted new conversations about race in America.

The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

With Campaign Struggling, Gingrich Will Charge $50 For Photos

In a sign that his campaign is in need of cash, Newt Gingrich began charging supporters $50 if they wanted him to pose for a picture.

The National Journal first reported the story, saying the campaign began the practice Monday.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

At Supreme Court: Health Care Ruling Still Too Close To Call?

Here's some of the early word about today's Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the nation's new health care overhaul law:

-- Five Justices Were Tough: Five members of the court "beat him up pretty hard," NPR's Nina Totenberg says of how the justices treated the counsel representing the government. But she also says, "I don't think you can call this," when asked about whether the court will or won't strike down the so-called individual mandate in the law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy "seem to be in play," Nina reports.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:27 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Insurance Mandate A Tough Sell To Justices

Supporters and opponents of the health care law rallied in front of the Supreme Court Tuesday, as the court considered the constitutionality of the insurance mandate.
John Rose NPR

Today's arguments hit the core of the Affordable Care Act: the mandate that requires just about everyone to have health insurance starting in 2014.

And the U.S. Supreme Court's justices appeared split on whether the federal government can force people to buy health insurance. The court's conservatives appeared skeptical and unmoved by the government's arguments in favor of the mandate.

"The government had a hard time, and if they win, they win narrowly," NPR's Nina Totenberg reported from outside the court. "I don't think you can call this."

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World
12:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Visiting Cuba, Pope Hopes To Renew Vatican Ties

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 12:04 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, after a successful presidential runoff in Senegal and a military overthrow in Mali, we'll talk about questions of leadership in West Africa. That's coming up.

But, first, we turn our attention to Cuba, where Pope Benedict is continuing his tour of Latin America. He's in the midst of a three day visit to the island. Tens of thousands of people greeted him in Santiago last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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World
12:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Unrest Seen In Once-Stable West African Countries

Senegal and Mali have experienced recent upheaval. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the rebellion and coup d'etat in Mali, as well as the recent news that the Senegalese president conceded a very controversial election.

News
12:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

New Reports Emerge In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 12:04 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, some people say that having an African-American president has changed the way the country talks about race, but has that change been for the better? One columnist doesn't think so. That's in a moment. First we want to get an update on a case that has sparked a passionate debate about race and ethnicity.

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Race
12:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

With A Black President, Harder To Discuss Race?

The Trayvon Martin case is bringing conversations about race to the front pages, the airwaves, and dinner tables. Even the president weighed in on the shooting last week. But freelance journalist Reniqua Allen writes in The Washington Post that having a black president is making those conversations harder to have, not easier.

All Tech Considered
11:31 am
Tue March 27, 2012

To Keep Customers, Brick-And-Mortar Stores Look To Smartphones

A shopper searches on her BlackBerry for coupons inside a Target store. Consumers with smartphones are changing the way stores set prices and track customer tastes.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Best Buy must live in fear of shoppers like Ave Lising. He and a group of friends walk through the Stanford mall in Palo Alto, Calif., their cellphones clutched in their hands.

Lising visited the electronics retailer recently, shopping for a video game.

"I went to Best Buy [and] looked at the price," Lising says. "I was like, 'Ehh — I'm sure I can find this cheaper online.' "

So he whipped out his smartphone and scanned the barcode, found it cheaper and ... no sale for Best Buy.

There's a word for that kind of in-store comparison shopping: "showrooming."

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Election 2012
11:20 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Just How Independent Are Independent Voters?

Voters cast ballots in Dearborn, Mich. Some political analysts say truly independent voters account for just 10 percent to 15 percent of the electorate.
Paul Sancya AP

Lester Wilson doesn't think of himself as a Republican or a Democrat. He's not a card-carrying Libertarian or Green, either.

The one group he does belong to is the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independents — a group now larger than any single political party, according to a recent Gallup survey.

"I like my independent status. I think voting for just one party is a betrayal of my civic duty," says the 38-year-old maintenance worker from Asheville, N.C.

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Media
11:09 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow hosts the nightly news talk show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Bill Phelps Courtesy of the author

For much of the past decade, journalist Rachel Maddow has hosted her own radio and TV shows. And for much of that time, the popular MSNBC host has been thinking about how the United States uses military force — and how it starts and end wars.

Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power traces how U.S. national intelligence agencies have taken over duties that were once assigned to the military, and how this shift has increased the public disconnect from the consequences of war.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Protest By Fire: Why Some Tibetans Choose Self-Immolation

A Tibetan Buddhist monk holds up a candle with other Tibetan exiles during a candlelight vigil for Tibetan Janphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire earlier in New Delhi.
Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:55 am

The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese rule over Tibet is now estimated to be at 30. Most have died.

And more self-immolations are likely.

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The Salt
10:46 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Shad Are Angling To Once Again Be The Tasty Harbinger of Spring

This hickory shad is fun to catch, but its cousin the American shad is the tastiest.
iStockphoto.com

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:41 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Bypass Surgery Edges Stents For Heart Treatment

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 11:09 am

The debate over coronary bypass surgery versus stenting goes back decades.

Studies have been inconclusive, but doctors and patients have voted with their feet in favor of the less-invasive procedure — clearing clogged arteries and propping them open with tiny scaffolds called stents.

U.S. doctors do at least two stenting procedures these days for every coronary bypass operation.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Justice Department's Handling Of Sen. Stevens Case To Be Aired On Capitol Hill

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 9:54 am

The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.

He's due to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Dipped Again In Most Cities, Report Shows

Home prices fell in most major metropolitan areas again in January, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Suicide Vests Found Inside Afghan Defense Ministry, Soldiers Arrested

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:51 am

There are fresh fears about the infiltration of Afghan security forces by anti-government and anti-American insurgents after the discovery of 10 or 11 (depending on the media report) suicide vests inside the headquarters of that country's defense ministry and the arrest of more than a dozen soldiers.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:48 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Insurers Try Rebates To Lead Consumers To Cheaper Care

Would you shop around for a CT scan if you could pocket some of the savings?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:16 am

The way Colin Cooper sees it, people are willing to drive miles out of their way to save a few bucks on gas. Why wouldn't they do the same for health care?

So the CEO of Eastford, Conn.-based Whitcraft, an aerospace component manufacturer, figures his 500 employees will probably be willing to go to a hospital, radiology practice or lab recommended by their health plan if they can take home an extra $50 or $100 for doing so.

In the process, he hopes his company will trim its health care costs.

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It's All Politics
8:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Tuesday Political Grab Bag: Supreme Court Gets To Nub Of Healthcare Issue

Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act entered their second day Tuesday, with the justices moving from the technicalities of the first day to exploring the legal issues at the heart of whether the law is constitutional or not.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Life Looking Much Like Many Teens'

This photo of Trayvon Martin was held by a supporter during a recent rally in the Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford, Fla.
Brian Blanco EPA /Landov

While this morning's Miami Herald concludes that emerging details about Trayvon Martin's life paint "a complicated portrait" of a boy with "a spotty school record," anyone who has guided their child through the teenage years may be more likely to see a fairly typical kid who had some brushes with authority and lots of dreams about the future.

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Art & Design
7:36 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Semi-Nude Painting Smuggled Into Canadian Museum

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
7:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Today At The Supreme Court: 'The Heart Of Health Care Arguments'

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:49 pm

  • Nina Totenberg on 'Morning Edition'

On Day Two of three days focused on the health care overhaul law, the Supreme Court this morning will get to the heart of the arguments over the legislation's constitutionality, NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on Morning Edition and at the Shots blog.

As she says:

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Around the Nation
7:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Misbehaving Parents Ruin Easter Egg Hunt

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Syria Has Accepted Peace Plan, Annan's Spokesman Says

"A spokesman for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says Syria has accepted his plan to end the bloodshed in the country," The Associated Press reports.

Ahmad Fawzi said the news came in a letter from President Bashar Assad's government to Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who has been trying to broker an end to the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent — which the U.N. estimates has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people in the past year.

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Religion
4:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Pope To Meet With Cuban President Raul Castro

Pope Benedict is in Cuba, Latin America's least Catholic country. He arrived Monday in Santiago, where Cuba's revolution began in 1953. He urged Cubans to seek unity and overcome their divisions, but his message wasn't especially political.

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