After President Obama's self-described somnolent first debate performance, his female supporters lit up social media and tagged the campaign with complaints about his failure to talk about their issues, from pay equity to health and reproductive rights.

He's been playing catch-up ever since, focusing on shoring up his party's two-decade-long domination with female voters who are key to Obama's hold on the White House.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tonight in Austin, Livestrong, the cancer organization founded by Lance Armstrong, is holding its 15th anniversary gala and Armstrong is scheduled to speak at the event. But it's been a bad stretch for the champion cyclist. In the face of a scathing report linking him to doping, he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and he lost major sponsors, including Nike.

Record-Breaking Bratwurst Story Has A Twist

Oct 19, 2012

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We'd like to take a moment now to recognize greatness. Earlier this month in a grocery store parking lot in Prescott, Wisconsin, the world's largest bratwurst was cooked.

PATRICK PTACEK: Fifty-two feet and two inches.

(APPLAUSE)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The brat was grilled in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ptacek's IGA. Patrick Ptacek co-owns the store. He and his family paid for the massive brat and made it in the store.

SIEGEL: Actually, we should say brats. They made two.

Marriage Law Likely Headed To Supreme Court

Oct 19, 2012

A federal appeals court ruling on Thursday has catapulted a New York case to the head of the line, as the Supreme Court considers which of many cases it should use to decide whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional.

By now, it's no surprise that most Latinos plan to vote for President Obama. They are the nation's largest minority group, often likened to a sleeping giant that could decide the outcome in key swing states.

But will enough Latinos show up on Election Day to make good on the prediction?

As many as 60,000 Hispanics reach voting age every month, but Latinos overall have yet to bring their full force to the voting booth. Two-thirds of eligible whites and African-Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election, while barely half of Hispanics cast ballots.

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

If you've ever been to the Dallas area during the State Fair of Texas, you no doubt have encountered Big Tex.

He's impossible to miss. He wears size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat. His height comes in at a stunning 52 feet. He's an icon, his western shirt dusted off every year since 1952.

The commander of U.S. Forces Japan apologized and announced that all military personnel in Japan would have to adhere to a night curfew beginning today.

The move comes after two Navy sailors allegedly raped a woman in Okinawa. Like the case in 1995, when three servicemen raped a school girl, opposition to U.S. bases swelled after the arrests.

It's All Politics, Oct. 18, 2012

Oct 19, 2012

Presidential debate No. 2 is in the books, and the consensus is that — unlike debate No. 1 — President Obama came prepared for battle. For all the talk about "binders full of women," and what was said when after the events in Benghazi, Libya, Obama and Mitt Romney both made their cases. Now, they prepare for the third and final debate on Monday. We also bid farewell to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political roundup.

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 1, 2012. How to Be Black will be released in paperback on Oct. 30.

It's no coincidence that Baratunde Thurston's new memoir and satirical self-help book How to Be Black was slated for release on the first day of Black History Month.

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