Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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5:12pm

Sat November 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Nonvoters: The Other Abstinence Movement

iStockphoto.com

To many Americans, the right to vote in a presidential election is a sacred and precious opportunity. To others, the right to not vote is just as meaningful. And they exercise it.

In just-released data, the Pew Research Center reports that about 43 percent of Americans of voting age in 2008 didn't participate in the presidential election.

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12:37pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Election 2012

Why The White House Glass Ceiling Remains Solid

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 2:50 pm

The presidency has remained a male-only office throughout American history. Despite changing demographics and huge gains by women in other walks of life, some experts still don't see a female president on the horizon.
Joshua Roberts Getty Images

Will the United States ever elect a woman president?

When President Obama — or Mitt Romney — leaves the Oval Office, there will be a handful of highly touted female candidates for consideration as top-of-the-ticket nominees for both major parties.

On the Republican side, the list includes Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Govs. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and maybe even Sarah Palin of Alaska.

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3:10pm

Mon October 29, 2012
U.S.

Pumps And Polls: Why Americans Wait In Lines

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:55 pm

People wait to purchase groceries in self-checkout lanes at Safeway in Washington, D.C.
Keith Jenkins NPR

Please line up for this multiple choice quiz:

Days before the deluge descended and the chaos commenced, Americans along the Eastern Seaboard waited patiently in single-file lines to try to influence their destiny. Were they ...

A) Waiting to buy gasoline at a station before Hurricane Sandy hit?

B) Showing up to participate in early voting for the 2012 election?

C) All of the above

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6:03am

Sat October 27, 2012
The Future Of Nonhuman Rights

When A Robot Comes Knocking On The Door

Wall-E fell in love with another robot in the movie named after him. Researchers have yet to create a sentient machine, but a breakthrough could be on the horizon.
John M. Heller Getty Images

Peter Remine says he will know it's time to get serious about rights for robots "when a robot knocks on my door asking for some help."

Remine, founder of the Seattle-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots, says the moment will come when a robot in an automobile factory "will become sentient, realize that it doesn't want to do that unfulfilling and dangerous job anymore, and ask for protection under state workers' rights."

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6:03am

Fri October 26, 2012
The Future Of Nonhuman Rights

Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 7:55 am

According to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants such as chili peppers may be able to "hear" other plants.
iStockphoto.com

If proposals calling for rights for animals are on the table, why not rights for other living things? Plants, for instance.

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9:02am

Thu October 25, 2012
The Future Of Nonhuman Rights

Championing Life And Liberty For Animals

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:49 am

A capuchin monkey riding a dog. Tim Lepard, owner and creator of the Monkey Rodeo, says his animals are treated humanely.
Courtesy of Tim Lepard

Before Sam, a white-throated capuchin monkey, threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Frederick, Md., on a midsummer Friday night, and before Sam and other monkeys — dressed as cowboys and riding shaggy dogs — rounded up longhorn sheep on the baseball diamond as part of Cowboy Monkey Rodeo promotion night, angry animal rights protesters gathered outside the front gate.

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12:48pm

Mon October 22, 2012
Presidential Race

Debates and Debauchery: Drinking Games In 2012

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 3:32 pm

Bar patrons watch the Oct. 3 presidential debate at Bullfeathers, a bar a short distance from the U.S. Capitol. Drinking and debate-watching often go hand in hand — to the point where drinking games have been developed around watching the debates.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Here's a new idea for a Presidential Debate Drinking Game: Every time someone says "Presidential Debate Drinking Game" today, take a drink. Just kidding.

But drinking games have become a familiar part of the American political landscape — like buttons, bunting and bumper stickers. Where there are political rallies, there are protesting groups. Where there are campaign speeches, there are fact checking teams. And where there are presidential candidates' debates, there are drinking games.

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5:46pm

Sat October 20, 2012
Election 2012

Obama And Romney, Metaphorically Speaking

Whatever you think about the candidates, we can all agree both have been punching bags for their opponents.
Chris O'Meara AP

Sometimes it feels like everything that should be said about President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney has already been said.

But maybe there is a way to talk about politicians in a fresher, cleaner way — without talking about politics. Like — or as — poets do it. Speaking metaphorically.

Sometimes you can say more about someone by not really talking about the person, but talking about something else. My love is like a red red rose, Robert Burns wrote. He is a feather in the wind, Led Zeppelin sang.

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1:26pm

Wed October 17, 2012
Election 2012

October Surmise: Predicting The Next President

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 4:07 pm

Fans wear President Obama and Mitt Romney masks at the Atlanta Braves-Miami Marlins game Sept. 25 in Atlanta. One of many quirky election year predictors is based on which candidate's likeness sells better as a Halloween mask.
David Goldman AP

Predicting a presidential winner is one of America's favorite pastimes in an election year.

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7:37am

Wed October 3, 2012
It's All Politics

OMG! A Deb8! What Young People Really Want To Ask Obama And Romney

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:55 pm

Students wait in line to vote last Friday on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, a day after the swing state began in-person early voting.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Generation Y is asking why.

Why is it so hard to find a job? Why is health care so expensive? Smart questions from a smart generation. Their inquiries — and the presidential candidate they think can provide the best answers — could be a decisive factor in the 2012 election. If not the Tipping Point, as least a Tilting Point.

For many millennials, economic prospects are murky.

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1:11pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Election 2012

Secrets Of Winning The Presidential Debates

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:29 pm

Then-Sen. Barack Obama gets makeup applied at a presidential candidate forum in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2008.
Alex Brandon AP

TO: President Obama and Mitt Romney

FROM: NPR News

RE: Prepping (and primping) for debates

With the first 2012 presidential debate slated for Wednesday night, we thought it might be helpful to pass along a few suggestions — some more substantive than others — to the participants.

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1:48pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Election 2012

6 Quirky Tie-Ins To The 2012 Election

Spirit Halloween political masks
Spirit Halloween PR Newswire

This being America, the Galactic Capital of Capitalism, it's no wonder folks try to cash in on just about everything — including the presidential election.

Give us a big event — the Olympics, the World Series, a blockbuster movie — and we will offer you all kinds of foodstuffs and folderol that are linked, however loosely, to the occasion.

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12:12pm

Fri September 7, 2012
Election 2012

The 7 Coolest Presidents In American History

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 3:34 pm

President George W. Bush dances with members of the KanKouran West African Dance Company during a Rose Garden event to mark Malaria Awareness Day at the White House on April 25, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.

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1:19pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Election 2012

A Few Convention Oddities, Pre-Clint Eastwood

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 1:51 pm

Sen. Joe Lieberman appears at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in 2008, just eight years after he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee. His appearance is just one of several notable oddities at recent political conventions.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

From one angle, Clint Eastwood's dialogue with an imaginary President Obama — using a tall chair as a prop — at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Thursday night was sharp-pointed and youthful and edgy and film-schoolish.

From another angle, it could be construed as the meanderings of an older man who is disenchanted by a shaky economy, an ongoing war and the perception of broken promises, but somehow can't put his disgruntlement into words.

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11:33am

Thu August 30, 2012
Participation Nation

Teaching Reading In Clarksburg, W.Va.

Addressing illiteracy in West Virginia.
Courtesy of LVHC

So far this year 21 tutors — under the aegis of Literacy Volunteers of Harrison County — have helped 80 students in and around Clarksburg and Harrison County.

"Many of the adults we tutor have lost their jobs, and now find themselves ill-equipped to find employment in today's job market," says Director Kim Payne. "Most of them are working toward a GED, but many of them have high school diplomas. However, the workplace has changed over the years, and now most jobs require not only higher reading and math levels, but computer skills as well."

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