This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the end of last month, a line of powerful storms left millions without electricity in the midst of record-breaking heat. The storms killed some as trees fell on houses and cars, then the heat took more lives as people sweltered without fans or air conditioning.
The heat wave's broken, the power's back on for most, but the widespread outages left many frustrated and angry. What took so long? Can't we protect power lines? And what about the crews who arrive to help out?
And now, the Opinion Page. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes famously carried a lantern in daylight in hopes of finding an honest man. In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, Kathleen Hall Jamieson embarked on an even more changeling quest: a search for an honest politician. Now more than ever, she wrote, with a public highly anxious about the economy and worn down after years of promises that things would get better, the time is ripe for a candid candidate.
When we think about improving urban food systems, we tend think about growing more vegetables — densely planted backyard plots and community gardens, with tiny tomatoes ripening in the sun. But according to some experts, we should start thinking smaller — way smaller — as in bugs.
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lance Armstrong that sought to stop a USADA hearing into accusations of doping. The AP reports:
"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled just hours later. He criticized Armstrong's attorneys for filing an 80-page complaint the judge says seems more intended to whip up public opinion for his case than focus on the legal argument.
"Sparks, however, did not decide on the merits of Armstrong's case and said he can refile his lawsuit."
Over the weekend, about 1.7 million Libyans cast a ballot to choose a prime minister. Like Tunisia and Egypt before it, these elections are the first free elections since a revolution toppled the country's dictator.
Moammar Gadhafi ruled since 1969. As Reuters reports, while there were some violent incidents and anti-vote protests, international observers gave the election process a thumbs up.
Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.
For the second month in a row, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his party have raised more money than the Democratic incumbent, President Obama.
Romney and his fellow Republicans hauled in $106 million in June for his presidential campaign, well above the $71 million raised by the president's campaign and Democrats. Both campaigns released their fundraising figures for the month earlier today.