Las Vegas' World Series of Poker isn't the only high stakes battle being played out right now, there's an even bigger one in Washington, D.C.
And there's a lot of strategy involved when there's so much at stake whether in cards or politics.
If you remove the politics, the talking points and the media from the debt ceiling showdown, you end up with something that looks like a high stakes, no limit Texas hold 'em poker game. You've got posturing, risk taking, betting and, of course, bluffing.
Former two-term Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's campaign for the GOP presidential nomination was always expected to be launched, or extinguished, in next-door Iowa.
But with his once-promising prospects seemingly atrophied, and his first big test at the Iowa GOP presidential straw poll less than a month away, Pawlenty has embarked on an 18-city tour of the state this week to pump up his stuck-in-single-digit support.
He's also plowing about $200,000 into television advertising that will run through the Aug. 13 straw poll — the heftiest candidate buy in Iowa so far.
Many kids crave the freedom to go from place to place alone. But last week in N.Y., an 8-year-old who asked and was allowed to walk home alone was murdered. So at what age should kids be granted more independence, and how do parents know when these kids are ready? Host Michel Martin speaks with moms Jolene Ivey, a Md. state representative; Sue Goodwin, an NPR executive producer; and Lenore Skenazy, author of Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry). Also joining the conversation is the National Crime Prevention Council's Michelle Boykins.
This week's meeting of the International AIDS Society Conference comes with a CDC study showing a major advance in sexual health. Correspondingly, Botswana trials showed the drug Truvada prevented HIV transmissions in more than 60 percent of heterosexuals. The study's author Dr. Michael Thigpen and host Michel Martin discuss how much Truvada costs, why HIV is so pervasive among women in Botswana, and how much people must take the drug for it to be effective.
Check the want ads in just about any city or town in the U.S. and you'll find the words, "Help Wanted." The economy added only a few thousand jobs in June according to the latest jobs report, and 14 million Americans remain out of work.
But, there are jobs in Allentown, Penn. The town used to depend on steel and heavy manufacturing. Those jobs are largely gone, but Allentown has become an important distribution point for goods passing through on their way to New York and Philadelphia. And there are open positions — especially if you can drive a forklift.
As talks continue in Washington about how to cut the budget, reduce expected federal deficits and start shrinking the federal debt, our friends at American Public Media's Marketplace have put together Budget Hero — an interactive game "that encourages players to think through the complexities and challenges of the federal budget."