And let's turn now to Africa and a story we'll be following this week. Sudan has declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan, the new country there, further raising fears that these two nations are heading toward all-out war. Earlier this month, South Sudan invaded and briefly occupied Sudan's main oil field. This followed aerial bombardments of South Sudan's border regions by the Sudanese air force.
Judge Thurgood Marshall (left) in discussion with President Lyndon Baines Johnson, following Marshall's appointment as a member of the Supreme Court, the first African-American to hold the post.
Credit National Archives / Getty Images
Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office as president of the United States after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Nov. 22, 1963.
Credit Steve Inskeep/NPR
Robert Caro is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes in biography, a National Book Award and two National Book Critics Circle awards, among other honors. He stands in front of the outline of his next book.
Robert Caro writes obsessively about power. Fittingly, it's Lyndon Johnson — catapulted suddenly into the presidency "in the crack of a gunshot" — who consumes him.
The Passage of Power, the fourth volume of Caro's massive biography of Lyndon Johnson, is released this week. Caro has dedicated decades to meticulously researching Johnson's life, and the previous books in the series have been almost universally hailed as a significant achievement in American letters.
A fad that has been sweeping through middle-class India might look familiar to some Americans — it's a craze for fancy gym equipment. But when commentator Sandip Roy visited India's first Mr. Universe (who is known as the "Pocket Hercules") he found that the body builder has little patience for the new trend.
On a recent Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. They were there for speed dating.
The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments.
Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein are no strangers to D.C. politics. The two of them have been in Washington for more than 40 years — and they're renowned for their carefully nonpartisan positions.
But now, they say, Congress is more dysfunctional than it has been since the Civil War, and they aren't hesitating to point a finger at who they think is to blame.
Every presidential nominee going back to 2000 has revealed the names of influential supporters known as "bundlers" because of the way they persuade others to give money to a candidate. Every nominee, that is, until Mitt Romney.
The most anyone can give directly to any presidential campaign is $5,000, and everyone who gives that much is listed in the Romney campaign's monthly disclosures.
When it comes to the bundlers, though, the campaign chooses to keep those names secret.