The U.S. Supreme Court justices — (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan — pose at the Supreme Court in 2010.
It's a bit less likely now than a week ago that you'll hear people accuse the Supreme Court of being politicized.
That's because this week, the court ended its session with two controversial decisions — neither one of which was decided on the usual and predictable split between the five justices appointed by Republican presidents and the four appointed by Democrats.
But that doesn't make the court any less of a political animal.
NPR's Backseat Book Club is taking a break for the summer months, but we're already making a list of books to read in the fall. Do you have suggestions? Share Your Recommendations!
Credit Jeff Kinney / Abrams
"Let me just say for the record that I think middle school is the dumbest idea ever invented," laments Wimpy Kid protagonist Greg Heffley. "You got kids like me who haven't hit their growth spurt yet mixed in with gorillas who need to shave twice a day." Click Here To Read An Excerpt From Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney is an author, cartoonist and game designer. He lives in southern Massachusetts and has two sons.
We've chosen some popular books for our monthly Backseat Book Club selections, but nothing quite like the boffo best-sellers in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide. And it was our 2009 interview with author Jeff Kinney that originally inspired us to start a book club just for kids.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. For once, we have what looks like good news from the eurozone. At least that's how the financial markets view it. Markets shot upwards today after European leaders reached a deal to help Spain and Italy survive the region's financial crisis.
The agreement came at a summit in Brussels. NPR's Philip Reeves was there.
We're going to try to break down now just what those penalties will be for those who don't buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office projects in the year 2016 four million people will pay the penalty. I'm joined now by Timothy Jost. He's law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and he's been looking into these numbers. We should say, Professor Jost, first off, you are also a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, right?
We're joined now by our regular political commentators, columnist E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of the New York Times. Both of you in Aspen, Colorado today for the Aspen Ideas Festival. Gentlemen, welcome.