Today on Here & Now

by Laura Ellis on July 14, 2011

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell took to the airwaves yesterday to try convince fellow Republicans that a U.S. debt default would be a political problem for the GOP because it would be bad for the economy.  House Speaker John Boehner also believes that missing the looming August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling could result in “a real catastrophe.”  But other Republicans, like Congresswoman Michele Bachman, say that’s not true.  We’ll have some analysis of the situation and both sides’ positions.

Each year, shoplifters cost American retailers about $12 billion. That cost gets passed onto consumers, increasing the amount we pay for goods by about $400 a year. But what leads someone to shoplift? Is it from poverty, mental illness or in search of a thrill?  Author Rachel Shteir traces shoplifting through the ages, and she’ll be with us this hour to talk about it. In 18th century England, countless petty thieves went to the gallows. In colonial America, they favored putting people in the stockades. And in the 21st century, shoplifting could land you in jail for life, in states where shoplifting is felony.

Journalist Amanda Little is in town to speak at the Louisville Public Library tonight at 7:00. She’s the author of Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy, and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Grist.org, Salon.com and Rolling Stone, among others. Her book was first published in 2009, and she joins WFPL’s Erica Peterson in our studio this afternoon.

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