What does the growing income gap between the richest and poorest Americans mean for social mobility? An academic study published last week found that, contrary to popular perception, it has not gotten harder to climb the income ladder in the U.S. in the last two decades.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the charges faced by former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and the upcoming State of the Union address.
Tuesday night is the State of the Union Address — the biggest opportunity the president gets all year to speak to the American people about his priorities. There's also another speech that night — the GOP response. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner announced Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington State would deliver the official rebuttal.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors brings together the country's mayors for three days to discuss budgets, crime, water and infrastructure. Mayors of big cities usually don't have any trouble making their voices heard. But mayors from the country's smallest towns and cities are also trying to make an impression.
The retirement of Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss has unleashed a scramble for the job. Eight Republicans are trying to out-conservative one another in battling for the nomination. And Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, has emerged as the likely Democratic nominee.
In his second week in the job, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that his office will no longer defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Herring says he has concluded that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and is therefore unconstitutional.
2014 marks the first time Republican senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has had to run for office since the emergence of the Tea Party. Graham's heading into a primary with already four Republican challengers who say he's not conservative enough for the Palmetto State. NPR's Ailsa Chang traveled down there to check in on a race voters say has become a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in South Carolina.