WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio | The Mind Is Our Medium

RSS Feed

Senate Democrats Go 'Nuclear' To Curb Filibusters

The Senate changed its rules Thursday to allow approval of presidential appointments to the federal government and judicial bench by a simple majority vote. That simple act represented radical change and was hailed by President Obama.

Federal Bench Could See New Faces After Senate Rules Change

The Senate voted Thursday to change its rules to make it easier to approve judicial and executive branch nominees by curbing filibusters. This so-called nuclear option represents a radical shift in Senate procedure. Democrats had threatened to use after Senate Republicans upheld the confirmation of three judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the action could have a huge impact on the federal bench.

Afghan Elders Begin Debate About Future Of U.S. In Afghanistan

Thursday saw the start of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, where political, tribal and religious leaders are debating the terms of a proposed bilateral accord with the United States.

Here's What You Need To Know About The Afghan Loya Jirga

In Kabul, a body known as a Loya Jirga took up the debate Thursday over a proposed security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. But what is a loya jirga? What are its powers and who appoints members? Melissa Block puts those questions to Thomas Gouttiere, director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

'Nasty Piece Of Work' Makes Spy-Turned-PI Work Well

Alan Cheuse reviews Robert Littell's newest novel of a CIA agent turned private investigator, A Nasty Piece of Work.

Homeless Population Shrinks Again, But Unevenly

The number of homeless people in the U.S. has declined for the third straight year. New numbers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development show a large decrease in the number of homeless veterans. Though there are still large numbers of homeless, mainly concentrated in large cities, including New York City and Los Angeles.

Personhood In The Womb: A Constitutional Question

A study released this year examined cases where law enforcement intervened in the lives of pregnant women who were believed to be endangering their fetuses. State laws are stepping in on behalf of the fetuses' constitutional rights — but what of the mothers' rights? Fresh Air looks at three perspectives in the debate.

In 'Original Local,' Thanksgiving Recipes From The First Americans

Author and poet Heid Erdrich writes about the food-ways of Native Americans in the Upper Midwest in the new book, Original Local. Erdrich tells guest host Celeste Headlee that "eat Local" is more than just the latest foodie trend. She explains that the practice dates back to America's earliest residents — and we're not talking about the Pilgrims.

Kennedy Cousin Skakel Gets Bail As He Awaits New Murder Trial

A judge in Connecticut ordered that Michael Skakel remain in the state and wear a GPS tracking device. Prosecutors are appealing last month's ruling giving Skakel a new trial in the 1975 killing of his neighbor Martha Moxley.
WAMU 88.5

Thomas E. Patterson: "Informing The News: The Need For Knowledge-Based Journalism"

Americans have access to more news sources than ever, but that doesn't mean we are better informed. A Harvard media expert on how journalists could do a better job educating the public.