Mon August 1, 2011

Education Ballot Backers Turn in Signatures

State Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) is the author of an initiative that would raise the state's income and some sales taxes to fund K-12 education.
Photo by Kirk Siegler

Supporters of an initiative that would raise taxes to fund K-12 education say they’ve gathered more than the required signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. 

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011

House Votes On Debt Ceiling Plan

Originally published on Mon August 1, 2011 6:30 pm

The House is voting on the debt ceiling plan brokered by the White House and congressional leaders. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Andrea Seabrook and David Welna for the state of play.


Mon August 1, 2011
The Two-Way

House Approves Bill To Raise Federal Debt Limit

The House voted Monday to extend the federal debt limit and enact spending cuts. Here, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrives for a meeting with House Democrats and Vice President Joe Biden at the Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The House of Representatives has approved legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling and prevent a possible U.S. default, as the nation moves toward ending a bitter standoff.

The bill passed by a vote of 269 to 161; it required only a simple majority to pass.

A loud round of applause broke out on the House floor as the votes came in — apparently prompted by the sudden appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama, U.N Secretary-General, E.U. Condemn Syria After Deadly Attacks

A pro-Islamic human rights group chants slogans as they call for the removal of Syrian president Bashar al Assad and his regime during a demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy in Ankara.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned Syria's use of violence against anti-government protesters, urging Damascus to halt its military attacks on those unhappy with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In a statement, Ban said that Syrian officials "are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population."

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Killing Bin Laden 'Like Mowing The Lawn,' SEAL Tells Journalist

Policemen stand guard outside the compound used as a hideout by Osama bin Laden, the day after a U.S. raid killed the al Qaida leader in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

The SEAL mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was in doubt for around a full minute after one of its helicopters crash-landed at the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. That and other details are in Nicholas Schmidle's account of the raid, in a piece in The New Yorker.

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011

Landmark School Funding Trial Underway in Denver

A lawsuit that could make Colorado spend billions more on education each year began in Denver District Court Monday.  Parents and school districts are suing to force the state to completely restructure how it funds public education. 

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011
It's All Politics

Carl '60 Cent' Kasell And The Debt Ceiling

Carl "60 Cent" Kasell brings the pain as he explains the debt ceiling.
Illustration by Nelson Hsu

Confused by all the details about the debt ceiling?

NPR's legendary newscaster Carl "60 Cent" Kasell explains everything...in a RAP! (be gentle people, this was a rush job)

We've included the lyrics so that you can sing along:

Here's a little lesson,

Sit back for just a bit

Here's how we make a dollar out of 60 cents

It started years ago,

In 1917

Congress set a limit

On the U.S. Treasury

It capped what they could borrow

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011

Ellison Offers Progressive View Of Debt Deal

Many members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in the House — are furious about the deal that the president has made with Republicans to get an increase in the debt ceiling. Melissa Block talks with Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th Congressional District. Ellison is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.


Mon August 1, 2011

FAA Debate Puts Subsidized Rural Airports At Risk

Construction crews at a new air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told on July 19 to stop working after the U.S. House refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Construction projects at airports around the country have stopped and 4,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration are furloughed, all because Congress couldn't agree on an extension of the agency's authority to operate.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the FAA, indicates he will offer a plan as soon as Monday night to end the shutdown. Rockefeller's plan includes cuts in air service subsidies to some rural communities.

Those subsidies keep commercial aviation service in rural areas that would otherwise be isolated.

Read more


Mon August 1, 2011
From Our Listeners

Summer Sounds: Shakespeare

Oklahoma theater writer Larry Laneer contributes his Summer Sound to our series. He says when he thinks of the season, his thoughts turn to outdoor performances of the Bard's plays.