Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:59 pm
Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.
Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.
Under California's criminal justice realignment program, counties are taking over responsibility from the state for low-level felons. And that has affected how inmates with histories of mental illness move through the system even after they're released.
The Obama administration has named Chimney Rock, in Colorado as a new national monument. The ancient people who lived there were a little bit like modern Americans — they had an elite class and a 99 percent just like us.
Finally this hour, to California, where space shuttle Endeavour made its final flight today. Endeavour left Andrews Air Force Base this morning on the back of a 747. It flew over San Francisco and Sacramento before heading south to Los Angeles. There, it will find new life as an exhibit in a science museum. Before Endeavour touched down, it made a low-level pass over a number of Southern California landmarks. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was with some elementary school students as the shuttle flew by.