The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Senate Panel Passes Authorization For Force Against Syria

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., listens as the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, speaks before Wednesday's vote.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:05 pm

A Senate panel has voted to approve a resolution giving President Obama the authority to carry out punitive strikes against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the authorization by a 10-7 vote, with one senator voting present. The measure must be passed by a vote of the full Senate to come into force. The vote is likely to take place next week.

The vote marks the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 vote giving President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.

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It's All Politics
12:21 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Skeptical Democrat Takes A Stand Against Striking Syria

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., arrives to register for orientation as newly elected members of Congress descend on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:16 pm

A majority of Congress remains undecided, at least publicly, about President Obama's plan to launch a military strike against Syria.

Not Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan. The 69-year-old Democrat is a firm "no" vote.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

U.S. Won't Enforce Laws Banning VA Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 4:03 pm

The Obama administration will stop enforcing two sections of a law that lays out benefits for U.S. veterans. The sections define marriage as between a man and woman and deny legally married same-sex couples Veterans Affairs benefits like health care and disability payments.

The Justice Department had in 2012 decided not to defend the statute in court. On Wednesday, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the executive branch was going a step further.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Economy Expanding At Moderate Rate, Fed Says

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:59 pm

The U.S. economy held steady with "modest to moderate" growth between early July and late August, as Americans bought more cars and auto factories ramped up hiring.

The Federal Reserve's so-called Beige Book, comprising reports from 12 geographic districts around the country, showed that manufacturing activity "expanded modestly" and that several districts reported that "demand for inputs related to autos, housing, and infrastructure were strong."

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Wed September 4, 2013

S&P Accuses U.S. Of Suing To Retaliate For Credit Downgrade

The Justice Department claims Standard & Poor's knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk but still gave them positive ratings.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:03 pm

In a court filing, Standard & Poor's is accusing the U.S. government of using the Justice Department to retaliate for the agency's decision to downgrade U.S. debt in 2011.

The accusation by S&P was made while it tried to defend itself in a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. government, which alleges S&P knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk, but still gave them positive ratings.

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Parallels
11:31 am
Wed September 4, 2013

How Syria's Neighbors View A Possible Military Strike

Syrian refugees stand in line for food at Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 21. The Syrian civil war has already sparked a refugee crisis in the region. Now, many countries are waiting to see the effects of a possible U.S. military strike.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 7:12 am

Syria's neighbors have all felt the impact of the country's war, and they will be keeping a close eye on any U.S. military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

But, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the reality is that they don't particularly see this [military action] by itself as being that critical."

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Planet Money
11:07 am
Wed September 4, 2013

The Nobel Laureate Who Figured Out How To Deal With Annoying People

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," Ronald Coase told us last year.
University of Chicago

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.

If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.

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Music News
10:57 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Everybody Loves John Fogerty

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John Fogerty teams up with Brad Paisley, whom he calls one of the greatest guitarists alive, in "Hot Rod Heart" on his new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone.
Benjamin Enos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:22 pm

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Book Reviews
10:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

The main character of Alice McDermott's Someone grew up in 1920s and '30s New York.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Endurance, going the distance, sucking up the solitude and the brine: I'm not talking about the glorious Diana Nyad and her instantly historic swim from Cuba to Key West, but of the ordinary heroine whose life is the subject of Alice McDermott's latest novel, Someone. "Ordinary" is a word that's used a lot to describe McDermott's characters, mostly Irish and working class, mostly un-heroic in any splashy way.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Wed September 4, 2013

As Pentagon Adds Bombing Options, Kerry Warns Assad

As Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, "Code Pink" protesters behind him held up "bloody hands" to express their opposition to the prospect of U.S. military strikes on Syria.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:24 am

"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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