It's time now for your letters. Earlier this week, we remembered Andy Griffith. He died Tuesday at the age of 86. Griffith starred in five different TV series, made more than 30 movies and even won a Grammy for his gospel album. But his most defining role was that of a sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.
ANDY GRIFFITH: We never talked about it, but the backbone of the show and the thrust of the show was love, the deep regard that these people had for one another.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The big news from Washington today may not sound like big new. The unemployment rate remains stuck at 8.2 percent in June. Hiring was virtually flat compared to the prior months, with a meager 80,000 jobs added to the payrolls. But these days, the weak economy is increasingly a political story as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
Time now for our weekly look at politics with columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Good to see you both.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
SIEGEL: Those anemic job growth figures came out. As we heard, President Obama is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, paying special attention, I should add, to auto plants. E.J. first, how does President Obama campaign effectively on a recovery that is sputtering this way?
Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.
At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.
There's been lots of talk about how the Supreme Court's landmark decision to uphold the health care law could affect the federal Medicaid program and President Obama's political standing. But days after the historic ruling, lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.
At first blush, it might seem odd that a case about the Affordable Care Act would send civil rights experts scrambling back to their law books.
The destruction is total. In Jaar, a town in southern Yemen, an entire block has been reduced to rubble by what residents say was a powerful airstrike on May 15.
For the first time in more than a year, the sites of the escalating U.S. air war in southern Yemen are becoming accessible, as militants linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have withdrawn from the area. This retreat follows the sustained American air campaign and an offensive by the Yemeni government forces on the ground.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Demand is up in the car industry. That's great news for U.S. automakers. They're on track to have their best year since 2008 and it's a success that President Obama is seizing on as he campaigns across northern Ohio today. The president began a two-day bus tour that will also take him into western Pennsylvania.
Near the back of the North YMCA in Columbus, Ohio, several men and women line up on a row of beat-up platforms. They take turns practicing the two lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting; the "Snatch," and the "Clean and Jerk."
The goal? To hoist large amounts of weight from the floor into an overhead position.
Among the lifters here is 5-foot-8 inch, 350-pound Holley Mangold. She is the epitome of power, in appearance, attitude and athletic ability.
There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.