Exactly one year ago, the Obamacare insurance exchanges stumbled into existence. Consumers struggled to sign up for its online marketplace — and the Obama administration was pummeled. Eventually, HealthCare.gov's problems were mostly fixed, and two weeks ago, the administration announced 7.3 million people have bought insurance through it so far this year.
So, was the health exchanges' first year a success — or something less?
Ask President Obama, and he says you measure the Affordable Care Act's success this way:
Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am
It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.
Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.
But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?
Once in a while, your past catches up to you. That might not be a good thing if long ago, you were up to no good. But if, as a teenager, you had been part of a talented folk-rock band called Hand, and today you found out that a recording you made back then had become a collector’s item, and that your music was on iTunes, and that music lovers and record-producers were looking for you -- it just might make your day.
Connecticut’s submarine community gathered Tuesday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear powered submarine. The U.S.S. Nautilus is now a historic state ship and a museum on the waterfront in Groton.
Hundreds of sailors and shipbuilders gathered at the ceremony, which remembered the beginning of 25 years of service for Nautilus.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:17 pm
Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.
"We set out to prove that a social network will survive and thrive that doesn't have a business model of selling ads to its users," says CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz.
As an intrepid explorer of the human psyche and inventor of wildly imaginative, convention-defying works, guitarist/composer Michael Musillami on his new release, Pride, reveals himself to be a kindred spirit with the late, great Maurice Sendak, the renowned, wizard storyteller and illustrator of children’s books and long-time resident of Ridgefield.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.
In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:34 am
For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:10 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.
A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.
A proposed rule change seeks to better define what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, the law regulating pollution discharges into American water.
As written, the Clean Water Act currently applies to waters with a "significant nexus" to "navigable waters," a bit of legalese that's made it tough for regulators to crack down on pollution in some small tributaries.
You might say that the two great loves of Edwin Thrall’s life were his wife, Flicka, and his daughter, Janett -- his only child, who he wanted to protect -- so he built his third great love, a square dance hall, a place where his wife could dance, and his daughter could be safe.
In a 1997 documentary, Ed Thrall said that he wanted a place to call square dancing. "I wanted a place for Janett to have her friends, and give them recreation that we thought was civilized, and moral, and helpful, and would last them as long as they lived."
Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 10:49 pm
The five candidates for governor of Massachusetts participated in their first broadcast debate Monday night, the only one scheduled in western Massachusetts.
Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley differed on energy policy, the need for universal pre-school, and indexing the gasoline tax to inflation. Baker said rather than raise the gas tax the state should rein in transportation costs.
"We've got to figure out how to do this stuff better and cheaper and in some cases faster."
Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:29 pm
Update at 9:55 a.m. ET
Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.
The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.
Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 10:34 am
Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET
Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying is appealing to pro-democracy demonstrators who've brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill in recent days to halt their campaign "immediately" because, he says, Beijing won't accede to their demands. But protesters have promised to announce a new phase of civil disobedience if reforms aren't forthcoming.
Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:17 am
The man who jumped the White House fence carrying a knife made it past the front doors, overpowered a guard, and then ran across the East Room before being tackled at the doorway to the Green Room, The Washington Post is reporting.
Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm
Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.
Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.
The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.
The Connecticut Department of Health announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed twelve cases of enterovirus D68 in the state. The most recent confirmation came from cases at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. The virus causes breathing problems but nationally, there are some cases that have other troubling symptoms, as well.