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President Barack Obama spoke out forcefully against gun violence for the first time following the Colorado movie theater shooting. Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined his plans for a more aggressive foreign policy just before he began a weeklong trip to Britain, Israel and Poland. The Senate narrowly passed an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, which House Republicans have said they will not accept. Ari Shapiro of NPR, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and syndicated columnist Steve Roberts join Diane for analysis of the week's top national news stories.
The panel discussed the legacy and career of astronaut Sally Ride, who died Monday at age 61. Ride's family disclosed that she was gay in an obituary. "I don't often put on the designated homosexual hat, but as a kid who grew up without a lot of gay role models on the national stage, I think it's incredible that teenagers wondering what it means to be gay could now know that it could mean you're the first American woman in space," Ari Shapiro, White House correspondent for NPR, said. Steve Roberts, syndicated columnist and professor at George Washington University, said it's important to respect Ride's decision to come out in her own private way. Karen Tumulty, national political reporter for The Washington Post, said she met Ride and was struck by how she wanted to make her extraordinary accomplishments seem ordinary.
Ride appeared on The Diane Rehm Show in 2010 to talk about science education. Listen to that conversation here.
Lawmakers in Virginia continue to resist the $9.6 billion Medicaid expansion on offer from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.