All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Melissa Block, Michele Norris & Robert Siegal

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by more than 13 million* people on over 600 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

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Politics
12:52 pm
Sun December 18, 2011

Run Against Gingrich? Cooter From 'Dukes' Did

Supporters put together signs for Jones' campaign in 1994, an effort Jones describes as "quixotic."
Leita Cowart AP

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 5:32 pm

With just a few weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich is leading the pack for the Republican presidential nomination.

Given the possibility that President Obama could be facing Gingrich in the campaign next fall, it seemed like a good time to check in with someone who has experience running against the former speaker of the House.

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Music Interviews
9:58 am
Sun December 18, 2011

A TV Singing Star Champions The Pop Standard

After taking the top honor on America's Got Talent, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has released his debut album, That's Life.
Courtesy of the artist

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. caught a lot of people off guard when he opened his mouth to sing at his televised audition for America's Got Talent. The dreadlocked former car-washer is 6'4" and in his late 30s, but when he belted the first notes of the pop standard "I've Got You Under My Skin" like a certain blue-eyed crooner, audiences and judges alike delightedly voiced their surprise.

Murphy's own social circle was harder to win over. He tells NPR's Guy Raz that at first, his family members laughed at the thought of him singing Sinatra.

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Music Interviews
2:30 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Dessa: A Twin City Rapper Explores A Softer Side

Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree. Her newest album is Castor, the Twin.
Kelly Loverud Courtesy of the artist

Dessa is best known as a member of Doomtree, a hip-hop collective based in Minneapolis. But there's much more singing than rapping on her latest album, Castor, the Twin, which puts a jazzy, melodic spin on some of her previous work.

Dessa says the title refers to the brothers Castor and Pollux from Greek and Roman mythology. Castor, she explains, is the milder of the two.

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Author Interviews
1:55 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

How William F. Buckley Fathered American Conservatism

William Frank Buckley, Jr. was an American conservative author and commentator who founded the political magazine National Review in 1955. He died in 2008.
Bettmann/CORBIS

When William F. Buckley burst onto the national scene in 1955, conservatism was a dead letter in American politics.

"Lots of people thought that it was outdated, anachronistic, prehistoric, foolish, not very intelligent," Carl Bogus tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

Bogus is the author of a new biography, called Buckley: William F. Buckley and the Rise of American Conservatism. He says that back in the 1950s and 1960s, there really was an established liberal elite in America, which controlled both political parties.

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

The Republican presidential contest remains fluid less than three weeks before the caucuses and primaries begin. Nationwide, nearly one in five GOP voters is still undecided. And in Iowa, candidates are making their final push before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday told workers at a metal fabricating plant in Sioux City, Iowa: "I am running in this race because I understand how to get middle-class Americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more Americans back to work."

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Politics
4:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Romney Receives Endorsement From Nikki Haley

The day after the final debate before the primaries, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa. He also picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Food
2:54 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Marshmallows From Scratch: A Simple, Sticky How-To

All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block shows off marshmallows she made from scratch using a recipe from Jennifer Reese's book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.
Jacob Margolis NPR

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 6:42 am

A few years ago, Jennifer Reese lost her job, so she decided it was the perfect time to save money by undertaking "all those exciting Little House on the Prairie cooking jobs" she'd been curious to try. Reese was an ambitious cook, and her enthusiasm knew no bounds: She wasn't just baking bread or grinding peanut butter. She fried potato chips, made Pop-Tarts, stretched curds into mozzarella, infused vermouth, fermented kimchee — and, while she was at it, raised her own chickens, turkeys and goats at her home in the San Francisco Bay area.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Manning Faces First Legal Proceeding Since Arrest

Pfc. Bradley Manning had his first legal proceeding Friday since being arrested in 2010 on charges of leaking classified information on the Internet. The hearing was held at Fort Meade in Maryland, where Manning's attorney immediately challenged the impartiality of the officer conducting the proceeding. Lynn Neary talks to NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Commentary
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Week In Politics: Economy, GOP Primary

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:27 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now we're joined by our regular Friday commentators, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome to both of you.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

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From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Letters: Dakota Meyer, Auto Trends

Melissa Block and Lynn Neary read emails from listeners.

The Record
1:30 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Music In Holiday Concerts Thorny Subject For Public Schools

A choir in Little Rock, Ark., performs.
dlewis33 istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:59 am

Public school music teachers are heroes. They coach tiny fourth graders to play violins. The get 60 restless middle schoolers to play the same music at the same time. But their trickiest task of the year might be making selections for the winter concert.

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Planet Money
11:18 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Why Airlines Keep Going Bankrupt

Scott Olson Getty Images

The airline industry consistently breaks the number one rule of business: The job of the company is to make money.

"The industry in aggregate has lost about $60 billion over the 32 years since deregulation, " says Severin Borenstein, an economist at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkley.

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Best Books Of 2011
6:00 am
Fri December 16, 2011

A Passion For The Past: 2011's Best Historical Fiction

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

Historical fiction invites us to experience the exotic and the unknown while confirming our common humanity. I do not believe that human nature has changed much over the centuries, and it is possible to identify with the emotions, passions, and fears of men and women long dead.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Iowa Gov. Discusses GOP Presidential Field

It's a big night in Iowa: The Republican presidential candidates are holding their final big debate prior to the Iowa caucuses, which take place on Jan. 3. Melissa Block talks with Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad about various candidates' strengths and weaknesses. In short, he says there's a lot of excitement, and he's reserving judgment on who the winner will be.

NPR Story
3:57 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Tracking An Order In Real-Life Santa's Workshops

Javier Polendo, an employee at a largely automated Target.com fulfillment center in Tucson, Ariz., scans items to be shipped to online customers.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 7:23 pm

There's a world of activity between the time online shoppers click the "place order" button and when a holiday package is delivered to their doorsteps. The National Retail Federation estimates that 38 percent of holiday purchases will be made online this year, which is keeping fulfillment centers large and small very busy.

Target.com runs five fulfillment centers. One of them, in Tucson, Ariz., stretches the length of 16 football fields.

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Remembrances
2:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Whitman Held Court For English Speakers In Paris

The founder of a venerable literary institution in Paris has died at 98. George Whitman founded the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, across from the Notre Dame cathedral. The shop was a magnet for English speakers in the French capital.

Presidential Race
2:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

GOP Presidential Hopefuls To Debate In Iowa

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

The Republican candidates gather for yet another debate tonight. This one is in Sioux City, Iowa. It's the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. And it comes as Mitt Romney and other candidates try to stop the surge of Newt Gingrich. Romney and his allies have been launching a furious assault on the former House speaker.

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Animals
2:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Ornithologist Discusses Causes Of Bird Downings

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

They're just everywhere. That's how a wildlife manager describes the mass casualties of Eared Grebes that crash landed in southern Utah on Monday night. Some 1,500 grebes died, another 3,000 have been rescued. The small water birds were migrating and apparently mistook a Walmart parking lot, highways and football fields covered with snow for bodies of water.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

As Holidays Near, Congressional Standoff Continues

The Republican House and Democratic Senate pushed their game of chicken closer to the precipice Thursday, with a government shutdown threat looming at midnight Friday. Both maneuvered to be able to blame the other — should things fall apart and the government actually runs out of money to operate. NPR's Andrea Seabrook joins Lynn Neary with the latest.

Author Interviews
2:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Janet Evanovich On Love, Laughs And Being A Voyeur

Janet Evanovich just published her 18th in a series of crime novels featuring Stephanie Plum.
Roland Scarpa

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 9:04 am

Best-selling author Janet Evanovich has a lot to laugh about: She's sold more than 75 million novels.

Her latest, Explosive Eighteen, is the 18th in a series of crime novels featuring Jersey girl Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with big hair and an even bigger personality. She works for her bail bondsman cousin, has a couple of love interests and many laughs along the way.

Evanovich started out as a romance writer. She tells NPR's Lynn Neary that it was a pretty simple existence.

But then she introduced the world to Stephanie Plum.

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Best Books Of 2011
7:16 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Fired Up: The Year's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

2011 was a good year to be a reader of science fiction and fantasy, although lately every year has been a good year: Not only are the books getting more popular — thank you, Game of Thrones — they're getting more interesting, evolving and morphing in weird, fascinating ways.

They're also interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms, like historical science fiction romances and hard-boiled fantasy detective novels. They're commenting on current events and swapping DNA with literary novels.

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Music
5:44 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums Of 2011

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 8:14 am

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Politics
4:08 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Report: Wealthy 'Elite Donors' Fueling U.S. Politics

A report released by the Sunlight Foundation finds that in the 2010 midterm elections, 26,783 donors nationwide gave more than $10,000 each.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 8:10 pm

A tiny percentage of very wealthy Americans funded a relatively large chunk of the 2010 congressional midterm races, continuing a trend that has been growing for two decades, according to a new analysis of political contributions.

The Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for transparency in politics and government, found that fewer than 27,000 individuals (out of a population of 307 million) each gave at least $10,000 to federal political campaigns in 2010.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Amid Bickering, Risk Of Government Shutdown Looms

After weeks of assurances that there wouldn't be a government shutdown in this round of bickering, now there are threats of a government shutdown.

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