Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:24 am
No one who's been paying attention for, say, the past few decades, needs to be reminded of how extremely polarized Washington is.
So it's usually good news when Democrats and Republicans can come together on an issue, as they did recently to support the idea of creating the new honorary position of "Science Laureate of the United States."
When the Federal Reserve explained its decision to keep pumping money into the financial system, it pointed to stubbornly high unemployment.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
That has long been a concern for the number two official at the Fed, Janet Yellen. She is now considered the leading candidate to replace Ben Bernanke, when he steps down as Fed chairman. His term expires in January.
With all the talk of spying by the National Security Agency, it's easy to forget the government engages in off-line surveillance, too. In the last few years, the feds have expanded efforts to collect tips about people's behavior in the real world; they're called suspicious activity reports.
In the last few days we've learned that Iran has released political prisoners and that its new president and President Obama have written each other. Also suggesting a thaw in the relationship, both leaders expressed a desire to resolve their countries' dispute over Iran's nuclear program. These seeming overtures come as President Hassan Rouhani prepares to fly to New York to address the U.N.