Well, if like me, you're more than a little mystified by Operation Twist, the Federal Reserve policy that's being extended, join me now for a four-minute tutorial. We've got a very classy tutor, economics professor Alan Blinder of Princeton, who is a former Fed vice chairman. Welcome back to the program.
Pies, before and after the NPR pie contest on Tuesday.
Credit Benjamin Morris / NPR
We are a nation that puts apple pie above all other pies, and yesterday's survey confirms our audience falls right in line when it comes to the forbidden fruit. But that's not the whole scoop on popular pies.
As we reported yesterday, top American pies bought in the store are apple, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry, and Dutch apple.
Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Credit Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images
Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.
And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.
On July 1, 15 California state parks are slated to be closed permanently to the public — the first such closures in the state's history. They're the victim of budget cuts in a state with a $16 billion shortfall.
Over the past year, park enthusiasts have scrambled to save dozens of parks from closure, including Henry W. Coe State Park, California's second-biggest state park, located about 30 miles south of San Jose.
Reprisals after three church bombings on Sunday have continued in Nigeria, and The Associated Press reports the death toll has reached 98.
The AP adds:
"A rescue services official said more than 98 people have died since Sunday after a trio of church bombings sparked reprisals in Kaduna state. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.
The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
The Federal Reserve is ready to take further action — including the purchase of Treasury bonds — "to provide support for the economy," the Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke said during a press conference.
Bernanke also said that the members of the Federal Open Market Committee had "marked down" their outlooks on the economy.
Most expect there to be little change in the unemployment rate through the end of the year. The consensus, said Bernanke, is that the Fed expects "slow progress" on unemployment and most opinions are "weighted toward slower growth" on the GDP.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Credit Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
A new survey of 38 former clerks of current Supreme Court justices and 18 attorneys who have argued cases before the high court found that most of them think the court will rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's signature health care law and it is unknown whether the law can survive without that piece.