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The Russian troops who are holding Crimea won't be sent into Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says. "We have absolutely no intention of - or interest in - crossing Ukraine's borders," Lavrov told a Russian TV station Saturday, according to a translation by Reuters.

The comments from Moscow come after a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to President Obama Friday. The two leaders discussed possible diplomatic solutions to the crisis, which has sparked Western sanctions. And they agreed that Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry should meet "to discuss next steps," as The Two-Way reported Friday.

"The phone call on Friday lasted about an hour, during which Mr. Obama is said to have urged President Putin to stop provocations, like sending troops to the Russian border with Ukraine," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Moscow. "The Kremlin early Saturday said Putin told Obama that he remains concerned about the 'continued rampage of extremists' across Ukraine."

In addition to economic sanctions on Russia, the U.S. should give military support to help Ukraine defend itself, Sen. John McCain tells NPR's Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

Calling the seizure of Crimea "a naked act of aggression by Vladimir Putin," McCain said that the U.S. must realize the Russian leader "is what he is: a KGB colonel that is committed to the restoration of the Russian empire."

Lavrov's remarks Saturday included a promise that Russia would protect "the rights of Russians and Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, using all available political, diplomatic and legal means," the BBC reports.

On Friday, U.S. officials said that Russia has massed from 35,000 to 40,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, according to Reuters.

In a symbolic move, Crimea is switching its time zone today to match that of Moscow, according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency. The region has been two hours behind the Russian capital.

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Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?

A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."

The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.

There's some precedent in the spirits world. A sparkling wine is champagne only if it's from the Champagne region of France, Scotch whisky is from Scotland, and tequila from blue agave grown in Mexico.

The Brown-Forman Corporation, which makes Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey in Lynchburg, likes the law. They credit their founder, Mr. Daniel, with steeping his mash in maple charcoal to "mellow" the drink. Jack Daniel's sells about 90 percent of the Tennessee whiskey in the world, and Jeff Arnett, their master distiller, has said, "We shouldn't do anything that would make Tennessee whiskey an inferior product."

But Diageo PLC — a British company, wouldn't you know, that owns Smirnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker scotch — bought the George Dickel distillery, which has been making what they consider equally Tennessee whiskey since 1870.

A Diageo spokesperson says, "We're in favor of flexibility that lets all distillers, large and small, make Tennessee whiskey the way their family recipes tell them."

There is a history of Tennessee families making whiskey, licensed or not, that goes back to moonshining days. And there are small-craft distillers today — artisanal moonshiners, if you please — who make whiskey "according to our own methods with our own ingredients of choice and our own techniques," as Phil Prichard of Prichard's Distillery says. They believe they're as Tennessee as Mr. Daniel.

So some representatives now have what sounds like lawmaker's remorse for the bill. Rep. Ryan Haynes, who chairs the state government committee, now says, "It's wrong for the government to codify recipes."

This week, they moved the matter to summer study. Sounds like a nice summer. Study Tennessee whiskey on a porch, at twilight, over Lookout Mountain, a small glass in hand — and watch the sheriff chase those artisanal moonshiners.

An Oregon woman was looking at her Halloween decoration last year when she found a letter written by an inmate from one of China's re-education-through-labor camps. The letter spoke of brutal forced labor in the camp.

It was the latest in a series of incidents dating back to at least to the 1990s in which Chinese political prisoners in such camps smuggled out letters in products assembled for export to the U.S.

Early last year, China said it was abolishing these camps, though as NPR's Frank Langfitt noted at the time, "When the Communist Party makes such sweeping policy statements, it pays to be a little skeptical."

And though the U.S. maintains a list of goods made by forced labor in China, including electronics, shoes and clothes, these products still find their way into the U.S. — and American homes.

The U.S. government is trying to address the problem, says Ken Kennedy, the director of the forced labor program under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Progress, however, has been limited. Still, there have been successes: In 1992, a U.S. company paid a $75,000 fine for knowingly importing machine presses that were made in a Chinese labor camp. In 2001, a Chinese manufacturer pleaded guilty to producing metal clips with forced prison labor and paid a $50,000 fine.

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One candidate talks fondly about castrating hogs in her youth and suggests that could be a useful skill in Washington.

Another fires semi-automatic weapons at a 2-foot-high stack of paper representing the Affordable Care Act before feeding it through a wood chipper.

There's this strange story about my family that doesn't often come up in casual conversation. We don't talk about it much. I had to prod them when I donned my headphones and stuck a microphone in their faces to do this story. But as soon as we share, people shout "Why didn't you tell me about that before?"

Here it is: my great, great, great uncle introduced baseball to Japan.

No one in my family knew for generations, and in 2000 a fleet of Japanese people came to our farm in rural Maine and surprised us with an invitation to visit their country to promote the legacy of Horace Wilson: a man my family had more or less forgotten.

We had to enlist our oldest relative just to identify him in the portrait from around 1860 that hangs in our house (and is at the top of this story). We weren't sure which brother he was. Mustache, no mustache? Furrowed brow or contemplative gaze?

Here's what the Japanese told us about our uncle: after he left the farm and fought in the Civil War, Horace traveled to Japan in 1871 for reasons we've never uncovered. He then taught at what would become Tokyo University.

As the story goes, he taught his students a game at recess involving bases and a bat and, with that, brought baseball to the country. While Horace wrote home to Maine every now and then, he never once mentioned baseball, or even Japan.

Instead he spent his time urging his younger brother to keep up his correspondence:

"Your very pleasing letter came when I had not heard from home for a month. It made me smile right out loud."


President Obama's Vatican meeting with Pope Francis wasn't without a dose of irony.

The U.S. president, once the world leader whose vow of "hope" and "change" excited millions, seemed eclipsed Thursday in that department by the pope.

The pope certainly is polling better than Obama among Americans. A recent St. Leo University poll placed the pope's approval rating at 85 percent among Catholics and 65 percent among all Americans. By contrast, Obama's approval rating was 47 percent in the same poll.

Another irony: while the pope's approval ratings are higher than Obama's, Americans, including many Catholics, agree more with Obama on certain social issues than with the pope.

For instance, on reproductive rights, more Americans are closer to Obama's stance than the pope's. Sixty three percent of Americans say they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, according to Pew Research polling. More than a third of U.S. Catholics, 36 percent, say abortion should be legal in most cases, according to an Oct. 2013 Quinnipiac University poll; another 16 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases.

When it comes to same-sex marriage, Quinnipiac reports 60 percent of U.S. Catholics support it — a higher level than the general population.

To some extent, the pope benefits from his relative newness, and from the appearance of being a fresh break from his recent predecessors. His eschewing of papal lavishness and call for the Catholic Church to focus more on social justice have excited millions around the world.

By contrast, the realities of being a U.S. president in the 21st century, of being ultimately responsible for drone attacks and controversial NSA surveillance practices, have left even many of Obama's strongest supporters disappointed that the president hasn't changed the world as much as they had hoped.

As Michael Anthony Novak, a theology professor at St. Leo University told It's All Politics, it's more the rule than the exception that a president and pope wouldn't have much ideological overlap.

"Popes and presidents don't perfectly line up," Novak told me. "Whenever they get together, it's a fairly rare thing that their interests would perfectly align."

The kind of alignment between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II at their first meeting, when they seemed to be of one mind on directly confronting communism, is rare, Novak said.

The U.S. president heads a superpower with vast economic and military might. The pope meanwhile heads the world's smallest country, Vatican City, but as leader of his church he has great moral power even beyond its adherents.

"Obama sounded out the Vatican last year about the idea of intervention in Syria," because the pope's support and moral authority might help the president make his case for action, Novak said.

"Did the Vatican think this fit the concept of just-war theory and so forth? And in that case, Francis seemed to be strongly against the idea of the West intervening in a strong military way," he said.

It was another area in which the president and the pope differed.

One area where the one-time Chicago community organizer and the former Buenos Aires parish priest align, however, is in the need to address economic inequality.

But while they both recognize the problem, the pope is certainly to the left of the president in his critique of capitalism. Still, their concern for social justice represents an opportunity for the two men to work together.

Novak notes that Obama met with the pope for a longer time than the Vatican usually allots for such meetings, even with other heads of state: "I don't know what it says yet but it says something."

Still, he says, the Vatican knows Obama is closer to the end of his presidency than its start.

It has the makings of a great mystery: Artwork stolen from a prominent museum, plus the FBI, a beautiful woman and an intrepid reporter. But this isn't fiction, it's a strange, true tale of how a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir has now safely returned home to Baltimore.

At first it was known as the Renoir found at a Baltimore flea market — a woman took the painting to an auction house where they concluded that it was, indeed, On the Shore of the Seine — a Renoir that had been purchased in Paris in 1925 by American art collectors Herbert and Saidie May. In a press release, the auction house said it could sell for up to $100,000.

The flea market story intrigued Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira. He knew that Saidie May was a major donor to the Baltimore Museum of Art, but when he called the BMA, they told him they had no record of the painting. Shapira went to the museum to look through May's papers anyway, just days before the auction opened.

"I found some documents showing that the museum had actually owned this painting and then the museum discovered documents on its own showing that the staff back in the 1950s had actually reported the painting stolen," Shapira says.

It was stolen — possibly in the middle of the night — in November, 1951. Once the Baltimore Museum of Art confirmed the Renoir belonged to them, they immediately contacted the auction house. The auction house contacted the FBI, and the FBI seized the painting.

Read Ian Shapira's Stories

Flea-market Renoir allegedly was stolen from Baltimore museum; auction canceled

Authorities in Turkey are reportedly going ahead with a ban on access to YouTube days after a similar move in the country to block Twitter.

The Turkish telecommunications authority TIB is quoted in Turkish state media as saying it has taken an "administrative measure" against YouTube.

The news follows earlier reports that a recording, allegedly of a meeting among top Turkish officials discussing military intervention in Syria, was posted on YouTube.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday lashed out against the post:

"They even leaked a national security meeting," he told a crowd of supporters in Diyarbakir. "This is villainous, this is dishonesty.

"Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?" Erdogan said as he campaigned for March 30 elections.

Reuters quotes Google Inc, who owns YouTube, as saying it's looking into reports that Turkish users are unable to access the video-sharing site.

"There is no technical issue on our side and we're looking into the situation," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

As we reported last week, Turkey moved then to ban Twitter, a move that was quickly circumvented by a text-to-tweet function that bypassed the ban.

As we reported at the time, "the #TwitterblockedinTurkey hastag quickly spread upon news of the ban, and the country's own president tweeted his disdain.

In the wake of the latest reports, a new hastag, #youtubeblockedinturkey, has sprung up.

Protesters in Taiwan are angry. They've taken over the island's parliament, blocking the doors with piles of furniture. They also stormed the offices of the Cabinet, where they clashed with riot police armed with batons and water cannons.

The source for all this hostility? A proposed trade deal with mainland China that would open up more than 100 service sectors, ranging from banks and telecommunications to travel agencies and hospitals.

But like the protests in Ukraine a few months back, the discontent in Taiwan is about much more than Chinese investors setting up travel agencies on the island. It's about Taiwan's future and how it preserves its identity — and relevance — in the shadow of China and its growing economic, political and military clout. Many see it as a battle for Taiwan's economic and political survival.

"The Taiwanese are having a kind of anxiety," acknowledged Lung Ying-tai, Taiwan's first minister of culture, during a meeting earlier this month with a group of U.S. journalists.

"Everybody gets very edgy [about China's economic strength]," she said. "But the Taiwanese are even edgier than other people, [who] don't have missiles stationed right across the strait."

Losing Its Economic Edge

The two sides split in 1949 during the Chinese civil war. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province and remains committed to the goal of eventual reunification — and hasn't ruled out the use of force to do so.

When I lived in the capital Taipei a decade ago, anxiety about China was already palpable. But then, Taiwan — one of the Asian Tigers — was thriving economically, boasting vigorous growth and leading-edge high-tech companies that made semiconductor, personal computers and notebooks.


Candy Crush is played by trying to line up at least three of the same color candies.

In February, an average of 144 million daily active users got sucked in to the challenge.

Candy Crush is one of more than 180 games made by King Digital Entertainment, and it alone brought in three quarters of the companies revenue in the last quarter of 2013.

Roger Kay, president of research firm Endpoint Technologies Associates, says to a lot of investors the game sounded like Farmville, the hit game by Zynga that Zynga can't seem to repeat.

"It's very difficult to replicate the alchemy of a great hit even the very same makers of that game can't necessarily come up with another one that's going to be just as popular," Kay says.

He adds the market may also be getting a little bubbly — there have been high priced acquisitions like Facebook's purchase of the virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion.

That two-year-old company has no revenue.

"People are paying a lot for what appears to be not very much," Kay says.

Still, he says King Digital has been a profitable company since 2005.

It posted more than $700 million before taxes last year.

And it does have a potential hit on the horizon with Farm Heroes Saga, which has seen momentum in popularity since its January launch.

President Obama meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, the 30th anniversary of formal relations between Washington and the Holy See and against a backdrop of a sometimes turbulent history in U.S.-Vatican ties.

The first high-level bilateral contact was in 1788, as the Vatican foreign minister recalled recently. Speaking in a large renaissance hall, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti said President George Washington, through his envoy Benjamin Franklin, informed the Vatican that it did not need to seek authorization from the U.S. for the appointment of bishops.

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"If everything is humming along smoothly ... I just stand here, pivot, grab the garnishes, put them on the plates, call the table, look at the tickets," Proujansky says. "If everything is going smoothly, no one has to move, almost. Things start to fall apart when the two garde manger cooks are crossing each other up, the entremet cook forgot whatever she's doing and I have to run back there and cook it for her, and I can't look at the tickets and everybody's out of place. And it's like a wheel spinning and then it starts to lose its axis and then the whole thing just falls apart."

Talking with the chef, Gibney learns that tonight he will be filling in for the cook who usually does the meat. The stove where he'll be working is already hot. "I'll be standing right here for about eight hours sweating profusely over slabs of meat that are going in and out of these ovens," he says. "I will be spinning around back and forth like this all night and coordinating times and sending everything up there."

To the outsider it sounds like Gibney has a grueling night ahead of him, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He's ready for the dance to begin.

Air pollution has become the world's largest environmental risk, the World Health Organization says, killing an estimated 7 million people in 2012.

That means about 1 out of every 8 deaths in the world each year is due to air pollution. And half of those deaths are caused by household stoves, according to the WHO report published Tuesday.

The fumes from stoves that burn coal, wood, dung and leftover crop residues as primary cooking fuels contribute to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and respiratory infections.

The Salt

Cleaner, 'Greener' Cookstoves Need Better Marketing In Bangladesh


The Venezuelan capital Caracas can be one of the most expensive cities in the world — or one the cheapest. It all depends on how you exchange your dollars.

At a fast food restaurant in the city I recently ordered a pretty tasty plate of chicken and rice and it cost me 160 bolivars. At the official exchange rate set by the government, that works out to more than 25 dollars. But at the black market rate, it's just two bucks.

So needless to say, most anyone who can change money on the black market in Venezuela does so.

As one person told me: "For people like me who are paid in dollars, it's easier and better to change your dollars at the black market where the price is higher and its much easier than the official rate."

He didn't want his name used because changing money on the black market is a crime that can come with a 6-year jail sentence.

In most countries, you change your dollars for the local currency at a price the market deems fair. In Venezuela, the government fixed the price at 6.3 bolivars to the dollar.

But the black market says that price is ridiculously low. Recently, one U.S. dollar in Venezuela could get you up to 90 bolivars. The rate has come down since then.

Reuters reported that the black market rate was about 58 bolivars to the dollar on Monday, the same day that the government introduced the new exchange system.

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5 Things To Know About Venezuela's Protest Leader

On this quote from the book, highlighting how exciting life is in Nigeria: "I suddenly feel a vague pity for all those writers who have to ply their trade from sleepy American suburbs, writing divorce scenes symbolized by the very slow washing of dishes."

After writing that, I went on and wrote Open City, a book in which nothing happens. I took a very long walk in an American city and the narrator got up to not very much. And I think that quote, actually, is a pretty good example of sort of not taking what's in the book as the author's own view.

... The next line goes on to talk about if John Updike had had material that was more than Shillington, Pennsylvania, he probably would have won the Nobel Prize by now. And that's a dig at a man who at that time was still living, and is sadly gone away now, but it was maybe a little bit of a rhetorical move, and the reality is that there are important stories to be told from any corner of the world.

Having said all of that, Nigeria I find excessively exciting. It's actually overwhelming.

On the narrator's internal debate over why he doesn't live in Lagos, which he finds so invigorating.

I think that particular part was a little bit of an exploration of what a returnee's crisis might be. You know, it's a little bit of a trope ... you go to a place that you know well, and you just say "Well, why can I not return, why can't I live here?" ... There's a sort of vague sense of responsibility toward the place that formed you and all that. So I wanted to sort of dramatize that line of thought.

But for me, personally, I have not actually, really considered seriously living in Nigeria full time. This is my home here [New York and the United States] and this is the place that allows me to do the work that I do. ... I'm fortunate to be able to travel to many places, and to go to Nigeria often. And so I feel close enough to the things happening there without needing to live there.

Maybe I'm less angry and cranky about it because I don't have to live there, and I don't want to put myself in a situation where I then hate a place because I force myself to be there.

“ The first move towards true equality is to have the person you're addressing understand that you're just as complex as they are, and that your stories are just as important as theirs are.

Front Stage And Back Stage Behavior

Another concept Conley talks about is "front stage and back stage" behavior, a term invented by mid-century sociologist Erving Goffman that describes how we behave when we're with different social groups. Front stage being how we act in public, and backstage being our more "authentic self" and how we act when we're with our more intimate social groups.

Conley says he allows his kids to vent and curse at him in private as long as they're doing their homework, for instance. But in public, of course, they need to be totally respectful. He says the idea is to give them an outlet.

"Kids, especially as they hit adolescence, need certain outlets," he says. "If you are an authoritarian parent that demands total respect and don't have that connection to allow your kids, not necessarily to curse you, but to vent their frustration, and to talk intimately with you, then it's going to come out in the public sphere where you really don't want it to come out."

More On Parenting

13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is Having A Child A Rational Decision?

Japan has agreed to hand over to the U.S. a decades-old stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium that is said to be large enough to build dozens of nuclear weapons.

The 700-pound cache, which had been maintained by Japan for research purposes, would be turned over to the U.S. for safe-keeping, according to an agreement finalized at the G7 nuclear summit in The Hague. It's part of an administration push to secure such prevent the nuclear material from being stolen by potential terrorists.

"This is a very significant nuclear security pledge and activity," U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters at the summit in the Netherlands. "The material will be transferred to the United States for transformation into proliferation-resistant forms."

Yosuke Isozaki, a senior national security adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said through a translator that: "Japan shares a vision of a world without nuclear weapons."

The New York Times reports:

"The Japanese agreement to transfer the material has both practical and political significance. For years these stores of weapons-grade material were not a secret, but they were lightly guarded at best; a reporter for The New York Times who visited the main storage site at Tokaimura in the early 1990s found unarmed guards and a site less-well protected than many banks. While security has improved, the stores have long been considered vulnerable.

"Iran has cited Japan's large stockpiles of bomb-ready material as evidence of a double standard about which nations can be trusted. And last month China began publicly denouncing Japan's supply, in an apparent warning that a rightward, nationalistic turn in Japanese politics could result in the country seeking its own weapons.

"At various moments right-wing politicians in Japan have referred to the stockpile as a deterrent, suggesting that it was useful to have material so that the world knows Japan, with its advanced technological acumen, could easily fashion it into weapons."

Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.

They'll need all the help they can get because the Democratic hold on the Senate is looking increasingly shaky. The president is unpopular. So is Obamacare, and the number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats is growing by the day. Several independent handicappers have recently moved several more Democratic seats into the "toss up" category.

Republicans only need a net of six pickups to take control of the Senate. And Democrats know that would make the last two years of President Obama's term pretty miserable. Obama himself has been sounding the alarm at every fundraiser and party meeting.

Last month at the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee, he said, "When Democrats have everybody on the field, we cannot lose. That's just a fact."

That's certainly been true in presidential years, where Democrats have won the popular vote in five out of the last six elections. But in midterms, it's a different story altogether.

"A lot of Democrats don't vote during midterms," Obama said. "We just don't. Young people, African-Americans, Latinos — we just, often times, don't vote during midterms."

And earlier this month, in a special election for a congressional seat in Florida, that's exactly what happened — or didn't happen. Geoff Garin, the pollster for Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate who lost, says the problem was a drop in turnout.

"The cold, hard facts are that 49,000 fewer people voted in that special election than in the Nov. 2010 election for Congress," he said, "and about 160,000 fewer people voted than in the presidential election in 2012. That dropoff is occurring disproportionally among Democratic voters and creates a pretty substantial head wind for Democratic candidates."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is planning a massive investment to address that problem. It plans to spend $60 million to hire 4,000 staffers in the most competitive Senate race states. The goal is ambitious: to make the midterm electorate — which tends to skew older, whiter and more Republican — look more like a presidential year electorate: younger, browner, and with more single women. In short: more Democratic.

The executive director at the DSCC, Guy Cecil, is in charge of deploying this large army of paid field organizers who will focus on registration, canvassing and phone banking.

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that folks are motivated and energized to get to the polls in our targeted states," he said. "It's going to be a test to see whether or not we can do that."

According to Sasha Issenberg, the author of The Victory Lab, a good ground operation can add a point or two to the vote — tipping the balance in an otherwise tight race.

"Everything we know from basically 15 years of field experiments shows that high-quality, face-to-face contacts for a volunteer living in the same community as the voter is the best way to turn somebody out," Issenberg said. "So there is a road map to doing this. But it is expensive and it takes a lot of staff, and a lot offices and infrastructures to recruit and train those volunteers."

Democrats insist it can be done. They point to last year's Virginia governor's race, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe won by turning out more Democratic voters than in the 2009 Virginia governor's race. But political analyst Larry Sabato doubts whether Democrats can repeat that feat in other states.

"They have not cracked that code," Sabato said. "A lot of Democrats don't think midterm elections are sexy and they don't vote. What they might be able to do is what McAuliffe did — to marginally increase the relative turnout of minorities and young people who vote Democratic. So if, for example, North Carolina turns out to be a 1 or 2 percent race, that could make the difference."

North Carolina, like Virginia, is a state that President Obama carried. So a good field operation might help there. It also might help in Michigan, a blue state with a competitive Senate race this year. And Democrats are hopeful that their candidate in Georgia, a state with a large and growing minority population, might benefit from a beefed-up turnout effort.

But what about red states — where so many Democratic Senate incumbents are on the defensive this year?

"A state like Arkansas," Issenberg said, "where Democrats haven't run a very competitive presidential campaign in decades, where you don't have a strong Democratic state party, you don't have a culture of volunteering, the question is: who is going to knock on those doors for [Sen.] Mark Pryor? That's something that isn't easily solved just by throwing money or staff from Washington out there."

The problem for Democrats is that this year's Senate map is full of red states like Arkansas. And that's why Republicans — who are very good at getting their voters out in midterm elections — doubt the Democrats can succeed. Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus happily ticked off the long list of places where Democratic Senate candidates are vulnerable.

"They're running in states where the president in 2012 didn't receive 41 percent of the vote," Priebus said, "whether its Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia. Now we're extending the map to Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and Michigan. And now potentially New Hampshire. It goes on and on and on."

A game to cover that much ground would cost a lot more than $60 million and would quickly exhaust the party's resources. The Democrats don't have the equivalent of the Koch brothers, who are spending tens of millions of dollars this year to help GOP candidates.

Republicans are betting the map of vulnerable Democrats is too big for even the best field operation to cover. But Democrats are hoping they can change the electorate — just enough — and in just enough places — to minimize their losses in November.

[Been contacted by a campaign before? Try our quiz below.]


So as you can imagine, a few people given that kind of setting are able to change their behavior at least temporarily, maybe permanently. But most people can't deal with their addiction, which is deeply driven, by just being in a brotherhood.

On a psychological approach to addiction

When people are confronted with a feeling of being trapped, of being overwhelmingly helpless, they have to do something. It isn't necessarily the "something" that actually deals with the problem ... Why addiction, though, why drink? Well, that's the "something" that they do. In psychology we call it a displacement, you could call it a substitute ...

When people can understand their addiction and what drives it, not only are they able to manage it but they can predict the next time the addictive urge will come up, because they know the kind of things that will make them feel overwhelmingly helpless. Given that forewarning, they can manage it much better.

But unlike AA, I would never claim that what I've suggested is right for everybody. But ... let's say I had nothing better to offer: It wouldn't matter — we still need to change the system as it is because we are harming 90 percent of the people.

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