8:30am

Tue January 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Adviser Plouffe: Expect A State Of The Union Heavy On The Economy

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 9:03 am

White House advisor David Plouffe.
AP

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

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7:24am

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Lawmakers Take on Budget Task

Most every lawmaker in Frankfort anticipates a very difficult task in molding a two year budget this session.  Senators and Representatives are now digesting Governor Beshear’s budget suggestions.  Senate Budget Committee Chair, Bob Leeper says the governor proposes cuts and spending more money.  “It’s going to be interesting to see how the folks that are taking the cuts in various areas are gonna feel about additional money going some place else.. I think there was hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cuts…and hundreds of millions of dollars in new programs…so it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” said Leeper.

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7:12am

Tue January 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns Show $43 Million Income In Past Two Years

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, seen at a weekend campaign event in Ormond Beach, Fla., released 2010 tax returns showing he is among the top 1 percent of taxpayers.
Charles Dharapak AP

In releasing details of his tax burden for the past two years, Mitt Romney offered a small window into a vast wealth. The tax records show that the former Massachusetts governor made $42.6 million over the past two years and because most of it came from capital gains, he paid $6.2 million in taxes.

That means that in 2010, his tax rate was 13.9 percent, and in 2011, it's expected to be 15.4 percent, lower than many Americans who pay taxes on wages.

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7:10am

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Disney Alters Facial Hair Policy At U.S. Theme Parks

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. At Disneyland and Disney World, everyone working there has a clean-cut image. It goes back to the 1950s, when Disneyland first opened and facial hair was banned. Even though Uncle Walt Disney had one, moustaches weren't even allowed until 2000. But starting next month, employees will finally be allowed to have beards, as long as they're kept short and trim, unless maybe you're one of the seven dwarves. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:01am

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Worries of Small Kentucky Pharmacies

For only the second time in its history, a Kentucky legislative committee will issue subpoenas...This time over Medicaid managed care and locally-owned pharmacies. The Program Review and Investigations Committee voted today to authorize subpoenas to Kentucky’s three new managed care providers over reimbursement rates to independent pharmacies. Passport, based in Louisville, is exempt from the subpoena.

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7:01am

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Competitive Eater Creates Twinkie-Eating Record

Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi is best known for eating hot dogs. He once ate 69 in 10 minutes. Now he's on to a different food. TV host Wendy Williams invited Kobayashi on her show to set the Guiness record for most Twinkies consumed in a minute. There was no previous record for Twinkie eating.

7:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Politics

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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4:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Mass. Senate Race To Block Third-Party Political Ads

The two dominant candidates for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts say they want to keep superPAC ads out of the state. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren have signed a pledge requiring that each candidate donate half the cost of any outside ad to charity, if that ad either supports their candidacy or attacks their opponent.

4:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Election 2012

Romney, Gingrich Clash During GOP Debate In Tampa

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: The latest Republican debate - last night in Florida - was more subdued than when the candidates last took the stage, in South Carolina. But still, it contained plenty of sharp jabs. After it was over, another dramatic turn in the race, with new revelations about Mitt Romney's taxes. We'll explore those numbers in depth, in a few minutes.

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4:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Politics

State Of The Union To Focus On The Economy

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A string of debates and primaries has kept the Republican presidential candidates in the spotlight this election season. Tonight, it's the president's turn to take center stage. President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address, and in many ways kick off his own campaign for re-election. It's a reminder that Mr. Obama is running for president.

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