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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Rick Perry
11:17 am
Wed December 14, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C., last week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:36 am

The eyes of Texas have been upon James Richard "Rick" Perry ever since he boot-scootin' boogied onto the public-service stage. Now political observers are watching Perry's fortunes fluctuate as a Republican candidate for president.

Political junkies have followed the career of Perry — an Eagle Scout, veterinary student and son of a farmer and a bookkeeper — from his initial election as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives in 1984. They have studied his endorsement of Al Gore for president in 1988. They watched him as he changed parties in 1989.

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News
11:04 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

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Presidential Race
3:36 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Presidential Race
10:05 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

The Tweets, Tics And Turns Of Twitter Politics

Texas Rep. Ron Paul's passionate base of support could explain a new study that finds he received more favorable treatment on Twitter than any other GOP hopeful.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:14 am

The tweet might go something like this:

Political convo on Twitter is more opinionated, more negative. Diff from that in blogs or lamestream media, sez new study by Pew. Like duh!

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Ron Paul
4:03 am
Sat December 3, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:42 pm

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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Mitt Romney
12:01 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Five Things You May Not Know About Mitt Romney

A button from George Romney's 1968 Republican campaign for president.

Will the conventional take on Mitt Romney – that he aims to please everyone – take him to the convention in 2012 and on to the Republican presidential nomination?

Time will tell.

For now, the electorate is getting acquainted (and reacquainted) with the man who has seemingly been in the spotlight his whole life.

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U.S.
8:00 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Occupy America: The Commemorative Game

What began in the fall of 2011 as the amorphous Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City morphed into Occupy America, a nationwide diorama drama containing many elements of a board game — positive steps, punishing losses of turn and, in some cities such as Hartford, Conn., occasional free parking.

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Newt Gingrich
3:55 am
Sat November 19, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, speaks to supporters during a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:38 am

In the crowded race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney may be the tortoise, but Newt Gingrich is the newt. And newts are highly adaptive salamanders that regenerate limbs when wounded and emit poison when challenged.

Conventional — and up-to-the-minute contemporary — wisdom pegs Gingrich as the ascendant favorite, knocking other candidates off their posts and platforms like an Angry Bird.

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Politics
2:24 am
Sat October 15, 2011

The Binge-Purge Politics Of 2012

Rep. Michele Bachmann greets supporters after Tuesday's debate in New Hampshire. She saw her political fortunes rise earlier in the summer but has since fallen back in the polls.

Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Sat October 15, 2011 11:39 pm

In the days following the umpteenth Republican presidential debate — Tuesday night in New Hampshire — America continues to ladle praise on its newfound hero: pizza mogul Herman Cain.

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U.S.
8:53 am
Tue October 11, 2011

No Nukes: Bringing The Right And Left Together

The type of atomic bomb that was used in Japan in World War II, known as the "Fat Man," shown here in a 1960 photo released by the U.S. government. Liberals and conservatives are gathering at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday to call for efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

AP

Finally. Something the right and the left can agree on: nuclear disarmament.

On Tuesday, more than 70 notable people from around the world will convene at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. They will beseech international potentates and personages to seriously work toward eradicating nuclear weaponry from the face of the Earth.

To many observers, the idea of undoing what has been done is like trying to put shaving cream back in the can — or, more to the point, radiation back in the warhead.

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Digital Life
5:33 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: The Link Between Androids And Humans

In his last public appearance after stepping down as Apple CEO, Steve Jobs introduces Apple's iCloud storage system in San Francisco, June 2011.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:21 am

With his black turtleneck, wire-rimmed glasses and conspiratorial grin, Steve Jobs was arguably the best ambassador ever between androids and humans.

When Jobs died Wednesday at 56 after protracted combat with pancreatic cancer, the world lost a valuable shuttle diplomat between computers and tablets and gadgets and animated robots, and the people who so desperately long to relate to them.

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Politics
10:40 am
Wed September 28, 2011

America's Love Affair With Nationalism

Fans of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate during the singing of God Bless America during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Sept. 11 in St. Petersburg, Fl.
J. Meric Getty Images

Picture this: An alternate-reality, suspended-in-space American metropolis where steampunk contraptions –- like propeller-driven dirigibles, squeaky trolley wires and clunky robotic creatures –- operate against a backdrop of clanging liberty bells, red, white and blue powder kegs and jingoistic posters warning: "Patriots! Arm Thyself Against the Foreigners and Anarchists!"

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Politics
10:59 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?

Socialist candidate for the presidency Norman Thomas parades down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee in 1932, where he made a speech.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 2:11 pm

The perennial presidential candidate: Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. Like Old Man River, he keeps on rolling along. And he is held up as a pure example from the high school civics class in which we were taught that in America anyone can run for president.

He is also, like the majority of people who seek office, an also-ran.

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Around the Nation
9:16 am
Wed September 14, 2011

Is Walmart A Magnet For American Mayhem?

In virtually every county, there is a Walmart open every hour of every day and every one of those Walmarts is being visited by 37,000 people a week — that's 220 people an hour, in every Walmart every hour of the day. Here a Walmart worker pulls carts at a store in Pittsburg, Calif. on June 20.
Paul Sakuma AP

Dispatches from the field: A customer was nabbed by police for sampling raw meat at a Walmart in Pennsylvania. A woman said she had an encounter with a bat at a Walmart in Minnesota. A family of five was living in a car at a Walmart in Florida.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
7:00 am
Thu September 8, 2011

After Sept. 11: The Not-So-Brave New World

An Amtrak Police K-9 watches while commuters depart for rush hour during "Operation Railsafe" at Union Station in Washington, D.C., last October.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 5:56 pm

Midmorning on a recent Tuesday in Washington and life is a-bustling at Union Station, the railroad terminal just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. People come and go, sidestepping the Jersey barriers at the entrance, making for the platform gates, some talking on cellphones, others to each other, still others moving in purposeful silence.

Not a soul seems to be paying attention to the security signs or videos.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:09 am
Tue September 6, 2011

5 Other Surprise Attacks That Changed History

One of the earliest accounts of a surprise attack comes from Greek mythology: the Trojan Horse.
Rischgitz Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The headline writers at USA Today put it this way: "9/11 How One Day Changed Our World." National Geographic observed that the attacks of Sept. 11 would "alter the course of history."

But the shocking assaults in 2001 on the World Trade towers, the Pentagon and the planned hit on the Capitol were not the first surprise attacks that changed the way humans do business.

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Around the Nation
1:55 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

After Quake, A New Round Of Coastal Rivalry Erupts

In the east, they'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. In the west, it's the Golden Gate.
Saul Loeb and Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Even though the Virginia-centered earthquake on Tuesday only resulted in mild damage, it did open up a good-sized, good-natured national chasm – between the East Coast and West Coast of the United States.

"Really all this excitement over a 5.8 quake??? Come on East Coast, we have those for breakfast out here!!!!" California-based comedian Dennis Miller famously quipped. The early salvo was cut-and-pasted throughout the Twitterverse,

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Around the Nation
11:10 am
Mon August 22, 2011

The Trouble With Trillions

$14.4 trillion and counting: The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing U.S. debt, is seen in New York City on Aug. 1.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The news this summer is teeming with trillions. The national debt is more than $14 trillion. In a recent report, the credit rating agency Moody's says the 1,600-plus U.S.-based companies it rates harbored some $1.2 trillion in cash at the end of 2010. The newly minted congressional supercommittee is charged with finding ways to pare the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion in the next decade.

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Politics
9:15 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Obama Takes A Vacation: Getaway Or Gaffe?

As the U.S. economy takes hit after hit, President Obama is taking heat for his 10-day fun-in-the-sun vacation at Martha's Vineyard that began Thursday.

From the left: Colbert I. King, op-ed writer for The Washington Post, observed: "Mr. President, Martha's Vineyard is the last place in the world you should visit. ... You simply don't have time to take time off from America."

From the right: Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, told the Daily Beast that Obama is "acting like the rich guys he wants to raise taxes on."

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Politics
8:24 am
Mon August 15, 2011

Summertime Politics: Bring Out The Flip-Flops

iStockphoto.com

Flip-flops are good. Flip-flops are bad. It's summertime and everybody is talking about flip-flops. Political flip-flops, that is.

As the dust settles from the recent Republican debate and straw poll in Iowa, flip-flops keep cropping up like spent corncobs. In the debate, Newt Gingrich "was asked about his position on military action against Libya," the St. Petersburg Times reported. "We explored whether he flip-flopped and rated it Full Flop."

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Business
8:40 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Beyond Bulls And Bears: A Wall Street Bestiary

A vintage illustration of Wall Street, 1908
Library of Congress/Prints and Photographs Division

Lions and vultures and bears, oh my.

Animal imagery has been used since the early 18th century to describe human behavior on Wall Street, says Charles R. Geisst, a professor of finance at Manhattan College and author of Wall Street: A History.

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Your Money
10:56 am
Thu August 11, 2011

As Markets Roil, A Rush To Gold: A Reported Poem

Lee Jin-man AP

With world markets in turmoil, many investors are turning to an age-old safe haven: gold. While the price has fluctuated this week, it has flirted with record highs. But what, exactly, makes this precious metal so valuable? We decided to explore the issue, in verse:

Economic collapse, adrift without maps, lost in a sea with no rudder,
Wall Street is jaded, the U.S. downgraded, financial reports make us shudder.

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Politics
9:45 am
Wed August 10, 2011

Think You Know Iowa? Five Things You've Got Wrong

unknown iStockphoto.com

Call it what you will — an August Occasion, Summery Judgment, Iowa ... wa ... whatever — the hype is hyperbolic this week as Republican presidential aspirants converge on Ames, Iowa, like storm clouds on an open prairie. The candidates will debate Thursday night at Iowa State University and then be subjected to a straw poll on Saturday.

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Politics
1:23 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Procrastination Nation: The Out Years

President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office after speaking in Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 2, after the Senate passed the debt ceiling legislation.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Ah, the Out Years.

During the recent debt-ceiling debate, the phrase became a recurring motif. "You've got to look at the deficit not just in the next 10 years," White House political adviser David Plouffe told NPR, "but does it also produce savings in the out years."

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told the Los Angeles Times that enforcement of the plan will be the key to its success, but "it's always in the out years and it never happens."

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