It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada today, and he's expected to call for a stronger military, as well as no cuts to the defense budget. He's also likely to criticize President Obama's policies on Iran and Syria. Yesterday was President Obama's day at the VFW convention, and NPR's Don Gonyea was there.
Among those on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.
But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices.
Back in February, when the Republican primary was still in full swing and the party's right wing was conspicuously unhappy with the idea of Romney, tax hawk Grover Norquist spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. It's a sort of launching pad for a foreign trip that will take Romney to three countries over the next week: the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.
Romney, a man with a lot of domestic policy experience, is now trying to demonstrate his proficiency with international affairs.
As occurs after seemingly every mass killing that involves firearms, the shootings in a suburban Denver movie theater last week have renewed calls for tougher gun control laws.
Just as predictably, those calls have led to pushback by gun-rights advocates who accuse those calling for stricter legislation of trying to exploit the tragedy to restrict Americans' Second Amendment rights.
Worth noting is that neither of the two major-party candidates running for the White House has engaged in any current gun control debate.
In the days since the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., there's been little discussion of the laws that allowed the gunman to acquire his arsenal.
Authorities say suspect James Holmes, who was arrested at the scene of the shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more, was armed with a modified assault rifle, two pistols, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told CNN this weekend that the guns are not the problem.
Congress created a monster when it decided that the entire government will face across-the-board cuts in January, unless an agreement on deficit reduction is reached.
The deadline for the automatic spending cuts — called sequestration — is now approaching, and the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry say those cuts would be horrible.
The Pentagon, perhaps the world's premier planning agency, views the threat of a 10 percent budget cut like an invasion from Mars. It's too awful, too scary and, as Pentagon press secretary George Little puts it, too "absurd."
This week, President Obama and Mitt Romney are addressing the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The president spoke today; Romney, tomorrow. The VFW is the oldest and largest veterans group. About 5,000 members were on hand today in Reno, Nevada. The president's speech was different from his address the last time he spoke to this gathering, in 2009. Then, his focus was on the two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today, he was cheered when he spoke of the end of combat operations in Iraq, and when he said this:
On Friday, Planet Money's Caitlin Kenney told Morning Edition listeners how public pension plans are going to look a lot less healthy very soon. A new study shows just how bad they might look, even as it offers some caveats to its own results.
Getting politicians to talk about their past and most vulnerable moments is a difficult task. But one man has managed to get more than 60 prominent politicians to talk about their first campaigns. Host Michel Martin speaks with Columbia University oral historian Jeffrey Brodsky, who wrote about this project for the Washington Post Magazine.