All Things Considered on 89.5-1

Weekdays 4-7 pm & Weekends 4-5 pm
  • Hosted by Melissa Block and Robert Siegel

In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features. To hear the most recent broadcast, or search the All Things Considered archives, click here.

The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.

But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.

From pregnancy on, parents often keep a stack of bedside reading full of advice on raising children — survival tips from the terrible toddler years through annoying adolescence. Los Angeles comedy writer Gail Parent figured she'd be done with all that once her kids turned the magical age of 21.

"Because I didn't tell my parents anything bad or negative," she says. "I let them be very peaceful about me when I was an adult. But I had told my kids to tell me everything when they were young."

President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.

Supercommittee Fails To Reach Debt Deal

Nov 21, 2011

The bipartisan supercommittee says it failed to reach a deficit-reduction deal. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

Yo-Yo Ma's Bluegrass-Inspired 'Goat Rodeo'

Nov 21, 2011

A sense of humor comes through The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest Americana exploration for the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

One night last September, Roger Craig, a computer scientist from Newark, Del., was about to make history.

In his second appearance on Jeopardy!, he'd given one of the most dominant performances ever seen on the show.

Bill Maher Lays Down The (Mostly Silly) Law

Nov 20, 2011

Comedian Bill Maher wraps up every installment of his TV show, Real Time, with a segment called "New Rules." That's where he takes potshots at whatever's bothering him — from wrappers on ice cream cones, to red light cameras, to more serious subjects like war and economic ruin.

His new book, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, sports a title we can't say on the radio and a mix of rules both lighthearted and serious, some of which never appeared on television.

Scott Vener is the music supervisor for How to Make It in America, which air its season finale Sunday night on HBO.

"I would say primarily a lot of the music I'm finding is sort of like what is bubbling on the Internet," Vener says.

Week In News: Obama Wraps Up Asia Tour

Nov 19, 2011

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.

MAHMOUD SHAMMAM: What we can confirm now that Saif al-Gadhafi has been arrested and he should be tried in front of the Libyan court, by Libyan people and by Libyan justice.

SULLIVAN: That's Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's National Transitional Council's information minister, announcing that Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam had been captured. The U.S. State Department hasn't confirmed it yet.

Perhaps Scientists Like Lab Mice TOO Much

Nov 19, 2011

The lab mouse is the most ubiquitous animal in biomedical research, but that doesn't mean it's always the best subject for researching disease.

In a series of articles for Slate magazine, Daniel Engber looked into why the mouse is such a mainstay of science — and whether that's a good thing.

Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.

Kurt Vonnegut Was Not A Happy Man. 'So It Goes.'

Nov 19, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.

"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.

"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."

A.A. Bondy: Making His Own World

Nov 18, 2011

One Friday night at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Neb., more than 150 people are milling around waiting for A.A. Bondy to take the stage. His new album, Believers, came out two months ago and caught fans like Andre Steinbergs by surprise.

'Managed' Apple Creates A Buzz

Nov 18, 2011

Melissa Block talks with John Seabrook, staff writer at The New Yorker. His latest article, "Crunch," delves into the world of the SweeTango — a new hybrid apple that is part Honeycrisp, part Zestar. It's sweet and tangy. There's a hint of cinnamon, a hint of pineapple and a whole lot of crunch.

Army Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missile

Nov 18, 2011

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Imagine flying from L.A. to New York in about 30 minutes. That's roughly eight times the speed of sound. And yesterday, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command managed to launch a missile that flew at that speed. The test missile was sent from Hawaii to hit a site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific about 2,400 miles away, and within a half hour, the missile struck its target. And the military is hoping to speed it up even more.

Week In Politics: Gingrich, Debt Panel

Nov 18, 2011

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times.

While the professional basketball season is on the verge of collapse, Major League Baseball and its players wrapped up a new contract. Guy Raz talks with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about what's next in the NBA negotiations and what's new for baseball with this agreement.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama arrived in Indonesia today, the latest stop in a 10 day trip across the Pacific. He's used the trip to send a message that the U.S. is shifting its attention to the Asia Pacific region, both for economic and security reasons. That includes the announcement yesterday that the U.S. will deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia.

When Barron Lerner was writing his book on the history of drunk driving in America — and efforts to control it — he carried out an experiment at home that involved a bottle of vodka, a shot glass and a Breathalyzer. He was the guinea pig.

"I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely," says Lerner, a professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University, who wrote One for the Road. He decided to drink and test his levels — but he didn't actually get into a car.

A Televised Singing Competition With A Mission

Nov 17, 2011

Auditions are now underway for next May's Eurovision Song Contest — that often-ridiculed television spectacle that has drawn millions of viewers around the world every year since 1956. In 2012 the host country will be Azerbaijan, since that country fielded last year's winner.

The ancient texts can be seen up close — right in the middle of New York City. There are some theatrics, but NPR's Margot Adler reports that the exhibit is happily understated.

Obama Learns 'Lazy' Is A Four-Letter Word

Nov 17, 2011

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

President Obama has spoken for hours during his specific tour this week to CEOs, world leaders and military troops. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, one brief remark caught the ear of Republicans and you're likely to hear a lot of it in the months ahead.

Pelosi Makes Joke At Perry's Expense

Nov 17, 2011

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi poked fun at GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry when she responded to his challenge to debate her next Monday. Pelosi said she had three other engagements that day — but forgot the third.

National Book Award Winner Tells Tale Of Katrina

Nov 17, 2011

Jesmyn Ward's novel, Salvage the Bones, won this year's National Book Award in fiction.

When you live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, stories of hurricanes are passed down through generations. For my parents the storm was called Camille, and on Aug. 17, 1969, it made landfall.

R.E.M., R.I.P.

Nov 16, 2011

They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.

"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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