From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
One of the big sticking points in negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff is President Obama's insistence that income tax rates go up for the wealthiest Americans. Most congressional Republicans are against that idea. Here's House Speaker John Boehner yesterday.
Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan with a special broadcast today from the Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Today's show is part of a project called The National Conversation, a joint production of the Wilson Center and NPR.
While the next Congress includes more women than ever before, the sexual ratio remains way below 50-50. And that applies not just to electoral politics, but to the ranks of government officials. Yes, we've seen three women as secretary of State, but what about the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies? Important, argues Jane Harman, the president of our host today - the Woodrow Wilson Center - not just as demographic justice, but because women lead differently.
The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.
But plant breeders and scientists who study the biology and economics of quinoa say that is about to change.
The Bush-era tax cuts are taking center stage on discussions about deficit reduction. But the payroll tax holiday is also at risk, which could cost the typical family $1,000 a year. Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about the fiscal cliff and how the outcome could affect consumers.