Something must have been in the tap water in Gloversville, N.Y., during the 1950s when Richard Russo was growing up there — something, that is, besides the formaldehyde, chlorine, lime, lead, sulfuric acid and other toxic byproducts that the town's tanneries leaked out daily.
But one day, a droplet of mead must have fallen into the local reservoir and Russo gulped it down, because, boy, does he have the poet's gift. In a paragraph or even a phrase, Russo can summon up a whole world, and the world he writes most poignantly about is that of the industrial white working class.
A Syrian rebel fighter takes aim at government forces from an apartment in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday. While the fighting rages, the Syrian opposition is holding talks in Qatar in an attempt to create a new, more unified front. The U.S. announced last week that it favors an overhaul of the opposition leadership.
Credit Philippe Desmazes / AFP/Getty Images
Syrian rebel fighters prepare to launch a rocket in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday. The rebels say they have launched a major assault on a government air base in northern Syria.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 4:13 pm
NPR librarians continue to help us keep track of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy and the deadly toll from the storm that blasted New Jersey, New York City and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England one week ago.
-- Number of deaths: At least 115 in the U.S., by NPR's count. The Associated Press reports there were at least 106 fatalities. There were 69 Sandy-related deaths in the Caribbean and two in Canada.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 4:29 pm
This morning a shadowy Arizona group decided to disclose where $11 million in political contributions came from. The money was used to fight for an anti-union ballot measure and against a proposition from Gov. Jerry Brown to raise sales and income taxes.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:44 pm
(Revised at 5:46 pm ET)
On the final day of the 2012 campaign for the White House, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making the last push for votes in states each believes critical to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory.
Obama was scheduled to campaign in three swing states, while Romney had events planned in four. The only overlap was in Ohio, considered the linchpin of the election.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:33 pm
In the end, the election may not settle anything.
If the polls are correct — and there's been heated debate about that — President Obama will be re-elected Tuesday. Even if he is, he'll have to face a Republican House that appears to be no warmer to his agenda than it's been for the past two gridlocked years.
But the polls are still so close that Republican Mitt Romney might be elected. If that's the case, it appears he'll have to contend with a Senate that remains under Democratic control.
In the run-up to Election Day, newspaper readers usually expect to see endorsements on the editorial page, but that tradition's come into question. Last month, the Los Angeles Times received a flurry of criticism following its endorsement of President Obama, and the editorial board responded with a defense of the practice. On the other hand, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is among the papers that's decided to stop endorsing political candidates altogether. We want to hear from you: Should newspapers make political endorsements?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Since this time last week, parts of the Northeast have been transformed. The lights are back on in many areas, the floodwaters retreated, most public transportation is up and running, and most New York City schools reopened this morning. But wreckage still blocks streets, hundreds of thousands still lack power, gas is still short in North Jersey and on Long Island.