President Obama has invited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to the White House Thursday for face-to-face meetings on the budget.
"It's my hope that everybody's going to leave their ultimatums at the door," Obama told reporters at the White House Tuesday. "That we'll all leave our political rhetoric at the door, and we're all going to do what's best for our economy and do what's best for our people."
The president would like to reach an agreement within two weeks, which would leave time to raise the federal debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline.
It's In The Mustache: According to Algeo, President Grover Cleveland believed that if anything happened to his trademark mustache during his surgery at sea, the public would know something was wrong.
Credit A. McCollum Algeo /
Matthew Algeo is a public radio journalist who has filed reports from Minnesota to Malawi. The President Is A Sick Man is his third book.
In the summer of 1893, President Grover Cleveland disappeared for four days to have secret surgery on a yacht. It was the beginning of his second term as president and the country was entering a depression, a delicate time in which a president's health was inextricably linked to that of the nation. So Cleveland decided to keep the surgery a secret — and so it stayed for years.
Today, that secret is the subject of Matthew Algeo's new book, The President Is a Sick Man. Algeo tells NPR's Steve Inskeep about the presidential illness that launched a cover-up:
Mike Vickers runs the group Texas Border Volunteers, which patrols his ranch, and others in south Texas, that complain of illegal immigrants trespassing. Vickers says he has found bodies of immigrants on his land.
Credit Marisa Peñaloza / NPR
Freddy Longoria is a foreman on a South Texas ranch. He says he hears a lot of stories about spillover border violence that make him worried.
Darryl St. George, a Navy corpsman with Weapons Company of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., reads a book as the sun rises over a temporary base nicknamed "Patrol Base Suc" in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
A very small number of Americans are now serving in the military — less than 1 percent. Some are looking for direction; others are inspired by a sense of patriotism or by a family member who served in an earlier war. In the series Who Serves, NPR looks at those who have made a decision few others today have — to fight in America's wars.
Engineers at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station in Mississippi practice disaster and emergency situations in a mock-up control room. Every nuclear plant in the U.S. has control room simulators that are nearly exact replicas of the real facilities.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
The Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station, south of Vicksburg, Miss.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
A shelf in the control room simulator holds binders of protocols for how to handle emergency situations.
Some nuclear industry officials say if Japan had U.S.-style training for its operators, they might have fared better during the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. In Japan, workers train on generic simulators. Here, every nuclear power plant has an exact mockup of its control room so plant operators can practice more realistic disaster scenarios.
Take for example the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station, south of Vicksburg, Miss., on the Mississippi River.