Election 2012
1:00 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Santorum Finishes Second In Iowa Caucuses

In recent weeks a lot of polls and pundits said the Iowa caucuses might be too close to call. But nobody imagined just how close things would turn out Tuesday night in the first voting of the 2012 presidential nominating season. Mitt Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came in second.

Planet Money
12:36 am
Wed January 4, 2012

A Man. A Van. A Surprising Business Plan.

The Lucky Dragon van. The business helps frustrated visa applicants outside the Chinese consulate office in New York City.
Lucky Dragon

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:14 pm

We've all been there. Trapped in line at the DMV. Or stuck on hold while trying to call a city agency. It's easy to complain about government bureaucracy. But it's the rare person who sees such inefficiency as a business opportunity.

Meet Adam Humphreys. He lives in New York City, and he wanted to travel to China for a vacation. His bureaucratic hassles with the Chinese consulate launched a whole new business.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:47 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Luntz Warns GOP: 'A War Is About To Break Out Within This Primary Field'

At Ron Paul's caucus night event in Ankeny, Iowa, most of his supporters were celebrating. Paul finished a strong third in Tuesday night's caucuses.

But one man in the crowd — famed Republican strategist Frank Luntz — was much more concerned with what happens next.

"I think over the next 24 to 48 hours the campaign's gonna get a little bit meaner, a little darker, and a little bit more personal, as the candidates now fight for their life," said Luntz, who spoke with NPR in between television appearances Tuesday night.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:05 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Gingrich Takes on 'Massachusetts Moderate' As Campaign Moves To N.H.

A volunteer works the phones Tuesday at Newt Gingrich's New Hampshire campaign headquarters in Manchester.
Alex Wong Getty Images

It's on to New Hampshire for at least some of the Republican presidential candidates, and The Associated Press reports that Newt Gingrich will take out a full-page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader Wednesday contrasting himself as a "bold Reagan conservative" against Mitt Romney, who he labels a "timid Massachusetts moderate."

Read more
It's All Politics
10:37 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Rick Perry To Reassess Bid After Loss In Iowa

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he will return to his home state and "assess the results" of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, after getting just 10 percent of the vote.

"With the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry said.

He was originally scheduled to campaign in South Carolina on Wednesday, but those plans were put on hold after his distant fifth-place finish.

The Associated Press adds:

Read more
Middle East
9:01 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Syrian Uprising Raises The Specter Of Sectarian War

Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad still has supporters, particularly among his fellow Alawites, a minority who believe they will suffer if Assad is ousted. Here, Assad supporters rally Tuesday in the capital, Damascus.
SANA handout EPA /Landov

For the past 10 months, Syrians have taken to the streets in large numbers to oppose a repressive regime that has not hesitated to use force. The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 Syrians have died, and it is far from clear how the uprising will play out. President Bashar Assad's regime blames the revolt on Islamist militants and casts the uprising as a threat to Syria's minorities, including Assad's fellow Alawites and the country's Christians.

Read more
Health Care
9:01 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

In Tight Times, Medical Schools Market Themselves

A screen grab of a video ad for Vanderbilt University Medical Center features Dr. Mia Levy (right), an oncologist.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 9:36 am

Hospitals stepped up their advertising in 2011, and some newcomers to the national marketing game are academic medical centers. While the coast-to-coast commercials help attract faculty and students, they're also aimed at getting more paying patients to travel for treatment.

Read more
Business
9:01 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Fiat's First Year Back In The U.S. Marred By Missteps

In its 2011 re-entry into the U.S. market, Italian automaker Fiat opened 130 dealerships — or studios, as the company calls them — that sold only the Fiat 500, displayed here outside the Fiat of Lakeside dealership in Macomb, Mich.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 9:36 am

Read more
Sweetness And Light
9:01 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Why The BCS Is The Holy Roman Empire Of Sport

In the Rose Bowl Monday, Oregon defeated Wisconsin, 45-38. And later that night, No. 3 Oklahoma State beat No. 4 Stanford, 41-38. But despite those wins, neither team has a chance to win the BCS championship.
Jeff Gross Getty Images

The Bowl Championship Series climaxes Tuesday, with a game in New Orleans between Louisiana State and Alabama for the national bragging rights to Dixie.

As there is a joke about the Holy Roman Empire — that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire — so can the same be said about the Bowl Championship Series.

It's not a bowl; it's a game played in the Superdome.

It's not a championship, just an exhibition, because the teams have been appointed to show up without earning the right to challenge for the title.

Read more
Presidential Race
5:14 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Kohut, Continetti Discuss Iowa Caucuses

Robert Siegel talks about the Iowa caucuses with Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center; and Matt Continetti, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard.

Pages