90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Thomas Friedman And American Democracy At Risk

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on gerrymandering, the shutdown, and our democracy, he says, on the line — right now.

With the federal government out of money and out of time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, meets with House GOP conferees as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate remain at an impasse, neither side backing down over Obamacare, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP)

With the federal government out of money and out of time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, meets with House GOP conferees as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate remain at an impasse, neither side backing down over Obamacare, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP)

In the midst of a federal shutdown that now looks as if it could go on for weeks, House Speaker John Boehner came out of the White House last night saying just talk to us, Mr. President.  Just negotiate.  So far, President Obama is saying no – not under these circumstances.  Not as a hostage.  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is saying hang tough, Mr. President – our democracy itself is at stake.  Big money politics, partisan media and ideologically-rigid redistricting, he says, are threatening to blow up majority rule. Up next On Point:  Tom Friedman, shutdown, and American democracy.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and author of “That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” and “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America.” (@TomFriedman)

Robert Costa, Washington Editor at the National Review. (@RobertCostaNRO)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Our Democracy is At Stake — “When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head — then our democracy is imperiled.”

National Journal: The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter —  “In the process of quarantining Democrats, Republicans effectively purged millions of minority voters from their own districts, and that should raise a warning flag. By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country?”

The Weekly Standard: Stand Pat — “The best thing Speaker Boehner could probably do now is to say it’s obvious Senate Democrats aren’t going to negotiate, that the House GOP remains ready to talk (and the GOP conferees are in town and ready to confer), but that he’s sending the rest of the Republican congressmen home for the next few days in order to talk with their constituents. The members would be liberated from the Beltway bubble, free to make their case where they can best make it, able to fight back against media attempts to exaggerate the consequences of the shutdown, and would have a chance to remind voters, in the exchanges’ first week of operation, of just how bad in how many ways Obamacare is.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment
 
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment