Election 2012
9:20 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Just How Independent Are Independent Voters?

Voters cast ballots in Dearborn, Mich. Some political analysts say truly independent voters account for just 10 percent to 15 percent of the electorate.
Paul Sancya AP

Lester Wilson doesn't think of himself as a Republican or a Democrat. He's not a card-carrying Libertarian or Green, either.

The one group he does belong to is the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independents — a group now larger than any single political party, according to a recent Gallup survey.

"I like my independent status. I think voting for just one party is a betrayal of my civic duty," says the 38-year-old maintenance worker from Asheville, N.C.

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Media
9:09 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow hosts the nightly news talk show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Bill Phelps Courtesy of the author

For much of the past decade, journalist Rachel Maddow has hosted her own radio and TV shows. And for much of that time, the popular MSNBC host has been thinking about how the United States uses military force — and how it starts and end wars.

Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power traces how U.S. national intelligence agencies have taken over duties that were once assigned to the military, and how this shift has increased the public disconnect from the consequences of war.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Protest By Fire: Why Some Tibetans Choose Self-Immolation

A Tibetan Buddhist monk holds up a candle with other Tibetan exiles during a candlelight vigil for Tibetan Janphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire earlier in New Delhi.
Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:55 am

The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese rule over Tibet is now estimated to be at 30. Most have died.

And more self-immolations are likely.

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The Salt
8:46 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Shad Are Angling To Once Again Be The Tasty Harbinger of Spring

This hickory shad is fun to catch, but its cousin the American shad is the tastiest.
iStockphoto.com

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:41 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Bypass Surgery Edges Stents For Heart Treatment

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 9:09 am

The debate over coronary bypass surgery versus stenting goes back decades.

Studies have been inconclusive, but doctors and patients have voted with their feet in favor of the less-invasive procedure — clearing clogged arteries and propping them open with tiny scaffolds called stents.

U.S. doctors do at least two stenting procedures these days for every coronary bypass operation.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Justice Department's Handling Of Sen. Stevens Case To Be Aired On Capitol Hill

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:54 am

The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.

He's due to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Dipped Again In Most Cities, Report Shows

Home prices fell in most major metropolitan areas again in January, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Suicide Vests Found Inside Afghan Defense Ministry, Soldiers Arrested

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:51 am

There are fresh fears about the infiltration of Afghan security forces by anti-government and anti-American insurgents after the discovery of 10 or 11 (depending on the media report) suicide vests inside the headquarters of that country's defense ministry and the arrest of more than a dozen soldiers.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:48 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Insurers Try Rebates To Lead Consumers To Cheaper Care

Would you shop around for a CT scan if you could pocket some of the savings?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:16 am

The way Colin Cooper sees it, people are willing to drive miles out of their way to save a few bucks on gas. Why wouldn't they do the same for health care?

So the CEO of Eastford, Conn.-based Whitcraft, an aerospace component manufacturer, figures his 500 employees will probably be willing to go to a hospital, radiology practice or lab recommended by their health plan if they can take home an extra $50 or $100 for doing so.

In the process, he hopes his company will trim its health care costs.

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It's All Politics
6:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Tuesday Political Grab Bag: Supreme Court Gets To Nub Of Healthcare Issue

Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act entered their second day Tuesday, with the justices moving from the technicalities of the first day to exploring the legal issues at the heart of whether the law is constitutional or not.

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