The stock market hit some major milestones this week: The Standard & Poor's 500 index reached its highest level in more than three years, the Dow Jones industrial average settled in above 13,000 — up about 24 percent since early October — and the Nasdaq rose to its highest level in 11 years. Still, the Federal Reserve has been warning not to get too excited about where the economy is headed next.
David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says there are a bunch of reason for stocks to be rising.
Today, flying is like riding a bus. But it wasn't always that way. Vaulted from the sands of Kitty Hawk and freed from military exigencies by the end of World War I, aviation soared into the 1920s and '30s on a direct course to tomorrow. Here are three flyers who not only helped open the skies, but also brought literary gems back from the cutting edge of progress, from a time when flying was the most exciting thing in the world.
Poor Rutherford B. Hayes. It wasn't bad enough that the 19th president, a Republican, was called "His Fraudulency" by Democrats during his one term in office (1877-1881) because of the unusual circumstances of how he "won."
Now, the current occupant of the White House, President Obama, was spreading a most assuredly inaccurate story, according to experts, about Hayes' reaction to an early telephone.
We're going to follow the money now with our regular Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome back to you both.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
BLOCK: And I want to start with a hypothetical question. What would this primary contest, do you think, have looked like without superPACs and without the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision? David Brooks, a very different race?
The public radio show THIS AMERICAN LIFE has retracted a lengthy story it ran in January. The report painted an ugly picture of working conditions at Chinese factories where they manufacture iPhones and iPads. The story focused on a monologue told by performer and activist Mike Daisey about his interviews with factory workers. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me now. And, David, this was THIS AMERICAN LIFE's most popular podcast. How are they explaining their decision to retract the story?
Here's one more piece of legal news. The U.S. Supreme Court will make same-day audio available of the upcoming arguments on the health care overhaul. The court says it's responding to extraordinary public interest in the case. Here's NPR's Nina Totenberg.
At age 44, Will Ferrell has played an anchorman, championship NASCAR driver, ice skater, an elf, and George W. Bush. What's his next challenge? Making a movie in which he speaks nothing but Spanish. The Mexican-set action comedy "Casa de mi Padre" is directed by Matt Piedmont, who collaborated with Ferrell on his website Funny Or Die. Film critic David Edelstein has a review.
Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 4:16 pm
A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.
Illinois is in the worst fiscal shape of any state in the country.
Its pension system is $85 billion short of what it will need to pay promised retirement benefits, while it's already $8 billion behind on its everyday bills — money for schools, hospitals and private vendors for work already done and approved.
All of that could be good news next week — at least politically — says Illinois state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:14 pm
The "family friend" who told The Oregonian that its editorial page editor was in his car on Saturday when he died of a heart attack turns out to have been another editor at the newspaper. She says she was trying to protect Caldwell's family from the public embarrassment that would come with the truth: that he had been in the apartment of a young woman with whom he was allegedly having sex.
Business and political leaders have repeatedly warned that America's scientists and engineers are in short supply. However, some economists say the numbers indicate the opposite — a glut of high-tech workers. A panel of experts debate whether America's schools produce the scientific workforce needed to compete globally.
The world's tallest peak. It's so iconic. It's so classic. You'd think we'd have learned everything there is to know about it by now, but you'd be wrong. Scientists still can't even agree on the exact height of the mountain. And what's more, they're not even sure what kind of rocks the mountaintop is made of.