It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change.
RAZ: Part of a TV ad paid for by the Republican National Committee co-opting the theme of change from Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and using it against him. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us now as he does most Saturdays. Hello, Jim.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. Congress wrapped up its summer session this week and members headed back to their home district. But with public approval ratings of Congress wallowing in the teens and constant headlines about gridlock, a lot of people might be wondering what exactly did the Congress accomplish anyway? For some answers about congressional actions and what is still unfinished, we are joined by NPR's David Welna. Hiya, David.
That New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is even being considered as Mitt Romney's running mate is somewhat remarkable. After all, New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, and Ayotte has been a U.S. senator — her first elected office — for less than two years.
But if any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot.
The monthly jobs numbers are important — really important. They tell everyone from manufacturers to stock traders how the economy is doing. Billions of dollars ride on the jobs numbers.
Get them early, and you'd have everything you need to make a quick fortune. And once — just once, as far as anyone knows — someone did get them early.
On today's show, we talk to the guy who got the numbers before everyone else. And we learn the crazy lengths the government now goes to in order to keep those numbers secret until it's time to release them.
Job creation in July was better than in the previous months and better than expected. But Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused on the still-high unemployment rate in responding to the report today. President Obama said the report was a sign of progress in the economy.
Here's a way the candidates would like to be able to raise money - donations via text message. It's something nonprofits already do. The American Red Cross, for example, raised $32 million from texts after the earthquake in Haiti. But, for political campaigns, it's not a reality, not yet. In June, the FEC ruled that campaigns can collect donations from text messages, but wireless carriers still aren't onboard.