This week, the Senate blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general chosen by President Obama to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It boils down to yet another partisan fight: Republicans say the agency has too much power, and the White House says they won't weaken an agency that is supposed to protect consumers. Host Scott Simon talks with Joe Nocera, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.
European Union leaders completed a marathon of treaty negotiations overnight to address the continent's debt crisis. Host Scott Simon checks in with NPR's Philip Reeves about how this new plan will impact Europe.
Opposition politicians and press pundits in France warn that the Sarkozy-Merkel plan to save the Euro will make France subservient to Germany. They say France will lose its sovereignty by giving a German-dominated EU control over French fiscal policy. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley pounded the pavement of Paris for days, however, and could not find a single rank-and-file French citizen who shared these fears.
Chung Pei-Ma is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, and she led the team that published the research which appears this week in the journal Nature. She joins us on the phone. Thanks so much for being with us.
DR. CHUNG PEI-MA: Thank you very much.
SIMON: So how inadequate was my explanation of black holes, and...
PEI-MA: No. That was beautiful. That was exactly what I was going to say, and I have nothing more to add.