National News

Like Groundhog Day, There's A Routine To White House Budget Debut

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

What's the point of a White House budget besides using up a lot of paper and ink? So the administration can lay out its political priorities and draw contrasts with the Republicans.

» E-Mail This

Low Draft Picks, No-Names Stand Out At Super Bowl

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Many of the stand-out players in last night's Super Bowl were relative unknowns going in to the game. That's all changed now.

» E-Mail This

Despite Political Resistance, Florida A Leader In ACA Sign-Ups

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Florida's governor and its Republican-led legislature opposed the Affordable Care Act and have resisted calls to expand Medicaid. But aided by non-profit groups and strong interest among Hispanics, Florida is one of the leaders in signing residents up for Obamacare.

» E-Mail This

A Look At What's Inside Obama's Budget Proposal

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

President Obama's budget proposes more government spending and more taxes on the wealthy. How will Republicans respond?

» E-Mail This

Cash Is Definitely Not King For Card-Carrying Swedes

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

In a world moving toward cashless economies, Sweden is leading the way. More than 95 percent of transactions are already digital; some churches now pass a card reader instead of a collection plate.

» E-Mail This

Detained Reporter Becomes Unlikely Star Of Venezuela Tourism Ad

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Miami Reporter Jim Wyss tells us why he was surprised to see a Venezuela tourism ad using a photo of himself looking happy. He was happy because at the time the picture was taken in Miami, he'd just been released from 48 hours in detention.

» E-Mail This

Critics Say Abe's 'Interventionism' Made Japan A Target For ISIS

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

The beheading of two Japanese nationals by ISIS has created political problems for Japanese President Shinzo Abe back home, from those who blame his rollback of Japanese pacifist policies in place after World War II.

» E-Mail This

Egyptian Court Condemns 183 To Death In Mass Trial

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:57

Those convicted were accused of attacking a police station, and killing and mutilating at least 11 security officers. But critics of the verdict say many of those arrested were not even at the scene.

» E-Mail This

The budget as a starting point for tax reform

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:30

Republican lawmakers called President Obama’s budget “top down” and “backward looking.” They said it “contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt.” So where is the room for compromise?

"The one point Democrats, Republicans and the president can agree on is the tax system is a mess,” says Richard Kaplan, the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Professor of Law at the University of Illinois. “That you wouldn’t design it this way from scratch, that many of its key features are unjustifiable and that you ought to fix it.”

Kaplan points out you don’t see that kind of agreement on financial reform or healthcare reform. The president’s plan goes after money that companies have made and stashed overseas. He has proposed a one-time tax of 14 percent on that money.

“He’s hitting a popular theme,” says Thomas Cooke, a distinguished teaching professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “I think there is general consensus that we need to do what we can to get money back from offshore.” Cooke also sees says room for compromise on how the government taxes interest on investments.

But it is easy to say you are in favor of tax reform, says  Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “It’s like saying we are all in favor of mother and an apple pie, but what does that really mean?  And it means very different things to the president and congressional Republicans.”

The president wants to raise more revenue through reform, to spend on things like improving infrastructure. Republicans insist tax reform not raise any new revenue. “And that is a point of major disagreement between the president and congressional Republicans,” Gleckman says.

The president’s budget is a starting point. It will be months before we get detailed plans for tax reform from Democrats and Republicans.


Acupuncture May Help With Nasal Allergies, Doctors Say

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:22

Over-the-counter remedies can help a lot if your stuffy, drippy nose is caused by allergies, new guidelines say. Acupuncture might help, too, but there's no evidence that herbal remedies do a thing.

» E-Mail This

Less Than A Day Old, Bahrain News Channel Is Yanked Off The Air

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:12

The new Middle East broadcaster, Al-Arab, went on air Sunday. But it was shut down before dawn on Monday, apparently for airing an interview with an opponent of Bahrain's monarchy.

» E-Mail This

The Super Bowl, Shark Attacks And Monday Morning Quarterbacks

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:07

Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson of Pop Culture Happy Hour sit down for a chat about the game, the halftime show and the adorable, adorable puppy.

» E-Mail This

Journalist Jorge Ramos Takes On Obama, Republicans

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:03

Often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos could play a big role in the 2016 presidential elections.

» E-Mail This

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Jumps Into Vaccine Debate

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 10:48

Amid a Measles outbreak, the Christie said parents need a "measure of choice" when it comes to some vaccines. His office quickly clarified that when it came to measles, "kids should be vaccinated."

» E-Mail This

A nation in agreement: Nationwide's ad was a buzzkill

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-02 10:44

Imagine you are at the biggest party in the world. Katy Perry is there, on a giant, golden robotic puppet lion. She's going to sing and everyone is having a great time, because it's the Super Bowl.

Then an adorable little boy shows up in an ad and tells you he’s dead.

"You’ve been watching the game. Suddenly, someone comes in and puts a downer on it all," says Britt Bulla, a strategy director with international branding agency Siegel+Gale. He echoed a sentiment that's been buzzing all over Twitter. Nationwide's ad was a buzzkill.

Shedding light on childhood deaths is important, Bulla says, but the the ad wasn't handled well.

"Look at the context we’re in. We’re watching a ball game," he says. "And we’re going to go back to watching a ball game."

Say what you want, but that #nationwide commercial is a good reminder to cherish everything you have because you could get fired tomorrow.

— John Ramsey (@jtramsey) February 2, 2015

David Rogers, a professor of digital marketing at Columbia Business School, offers an opinion about as subtle as those popping on Twitter.

"I think their ad agency should be fired. They did a horrible job," he says. "You don’t start a conversation by freaking people out."

The communication strategy made no sense, Rogers says.

”It didn’t even have a direct enough link to their makesafehappen website.”

"We're Nationwide Insurance! EVERYONE DIES. Enjoy the game! Nationwide."

— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) February 2, 2015

An ad for a not-so-peppy topic can be successful during the Super Bowl, just look at the spot that Procter& Gamble's Always brand ran, says Tim Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

“The interesting contrast is what Nationwide did and what Procter & Gamble did," he says. “The two companies were trying to do pretty much the same thing. Which was say 'we’re working on important issues that matter.'”

Amid the post-game day chatter about Nationwide, there's the notion that no publicity is bad publicity. But it’s hard to find too many tweets or marketers who see it as a success.

One big problem says Rogers, is practical.

"They flash at the very end – this hashtag and url," he says. "Your child could die at any minute, and what should you do about it? Tweet our hashtag," he says. "Where are you supposed to go from there?"

Truly proud of our #client @Nationwide and my team @Ogilvy for #makesafehappen. The most brave and the most important film of #SuperBowlAds

— Adam Tucker (@Adman_Tucker) February 2, 2015