Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 4:20 pm
For months, demonstrations have been popping up on otherwise quiet residential streets across Spain. The protesters form human chains, forcibly blocking bailiffs from evicting residents who've fallen behind on their mortgages. Sometimes the protests turn violent.
The demonstrations are another sign of just how pinched people are feeling as Spain's economic crisis continues to roil. With Spanish unemployment above 25 percent, hundreds of people have been losing their homes each day.
As I'm currently separated from most of my earthly possessions for the rest of this week, some of my cultural intake has been interrupted. (There's this great Hitchcock Blu-ray set I wanted to tell you about, and I will, but it has to come out of storage first.) Also, I don't know if you've noticed, but the news is really weird, and we're coming off a time where it's contentious over very serious things.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 12:29 pm
Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.
And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.
The Washington Post just announced that executive editor Marcus Brauchli is leaving that position to "become vice president of The Washington Post Company with responsibility for evaluating new media opportunities."
His successor has already been hired: Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, will move to the Post on Jan. 2.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:38 am
Picture, if you can, a prehistoric Bobby Flay — an inventive 3 million-year-old version of the Food Network star chef. He's struggling to liven up yet another salad of herbs and twigs when inspiration strikes. "We've got grass here, and sedge," he says. "Grass and sedge, that's what this dish needs!"
His pals take a tentative taste of this nouvelle cuisine. Sedges usually aren't considered gourmet fare, after all, by these human ancestors. They're tough grasslike plants that grow in marshes. But wow! Not only is this a new taste sensation, it's found in many places.
If the government goes over the "fiscal cliff," millions of households could see tax increases because of an obscure part of the tax code, known as the alternative minimum tax. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about exactly what could happen and who would be affected.