OPINION: How the vetting for VP began
The Democratic ticket in 1972: George McGovern (right) and VP-pick, Sen. Thomas Eagleton. Eagleton left the race after 18 days following revelations about his depression.
August 5th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

OPINION: How the vetting for VP began

By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Bob Greene examines how the McGovern and Eagleton Democratic presidential ticket in 1972 would forever change how candidates for vice-president are picked.

[1:17] "Presidential politics is a take-no-prisoners game, and a vice-president is always that one famous heartbeat away from the Oval Office."

CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a bestselling author whose 25 books include "Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents" and "Running: A Nixon-McGovern Campaign Journal." He appears on "CNN Newsroom" Sundays during the 5 p.m. (ET) hour.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene. See all of Bob Greene's columns at CNN Opinion.

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The Sunday Playlist
August 5th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

The Sunday Playlist

By Pat St. Claire, CNN

(CNN) - Welcome to the CNN Radio Soundwaves Sunday Playlist. Each week we present interesting stories we're listening to. We hope you'll return the favor and let us know what you're listening to on the web by entering your comments below.

Here are our top picks for this week. They made us laugh, think, smile and empathize.

Hair is a big deal among African-American women. And this week, Facebook and Twitter were buzzing about Gabby Douglas's hair! Despite the fact that the 16-year-old has just earned a membership to the elite club of Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnasts, a lot of the talk on social media, particularly from black women, has been about her ponytail. Writer Monique Fields, in a commentary for NPR's All Things Considered, takes offense to that and suggests that critics would be better served by focusing on the young athlete's astounding accomplishments.

You may know Kevin Smith as the prolific American screenwriter, actor, film producer and director. Or you might simply know him as "Silent Bob." But, did you know he's also an internet radio star hosting several weekly podcasts? Last week, Smith sat down for a chat with Mark Ramsey, a media and strategy consultant to media companies in the U.S. The two talked about the world of podcasts versus the enduring power of radio and where the two formats meet.

What happens when someone in your family commits an unthinkable crime? Unfortunately, family members sometimes blame themselves when asking why. In the aftermath of the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado last month that left 12 people dead, NPR's All Things Considered featured this story on August 1. Reporter Alix Spiegel talked with the brother of Ted Kaczynski, the man known as the Unabomber, as well the the parents of mass murderer Larry Robison, to learn how the tragedies affected those family members.

And finally, something for the sports enthusiast. ESPN's Pardon the Interruption TV show is also available as an audio podcast. Hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon's banter is funny, but it's also informative. Even if you're not a sports fan you’ll likely enjoy this. And if you've ever wondered what Olympic swimmers do when they have to take a "bio-break" while in the pool, you'll find out in this podcast from August 3rd.

That's it for this week. Enjoy! Remember to let us know what podcasts you're discovering online.

The CNN Radio Team

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For young opera singers, hard work is no job guarantee
Tenor Nicholas Phan as Don Ottavio in the Atlanta Opera's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
August 4th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

For young opera singers, hard work is no job guarantee

By Matt Cherry, CNN

(CNN) - "Practice, practice, practice." That's the punchline to the classic joke in which a tourist asks a New Yorker, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" It's also the only way an aspiring young opera singer pursues his or her ultimate job. Of course, the talent and training are requisite, but transitioning from student to professional is tough. There are few Pavarottis, commanding million dollar concert fees and living the luxe life.

Most opera singers in fact work freelance: hired and fired at will. Soprano Angela Kloc who played the role of the peasant girl, "Zerlina," in the Atlanta Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in March, says:

[0:49] "You work your butt off ! Honestly, its a lot of work, it's dedication, its getting to the level where you sort of live eat and breathe music 24 hours a day."


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Filed under: Culture • Economy • Stories
Drought ignites fight over ethanol mandates
A field of dead corn sits next to the Lincolnland Agri-Energy ethanol plant in Palestine, Illinois.
August 3rd, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Drought ignites fight over ethanol mandates

By Barbara Hall, CNN

(CNN) - A substantial amount of the Corn Belt is in extreme drought. As a result, this year's crop yields are threatened and the price of corn is skyrocketing. This week, more than 150 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging action to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to help ease corn supply concerns. The seven-year-old mandate, which was meant to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, requires refineries to produce about 13 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol this year.

Arkansas Republican Congressman Steve Womack says it makes no sense:

[1:14] " The fact that we are trying to answer what used to be known as an energy crisis by creating a food crisis is just the wrong direction." FULL POST

Crowdfunding could change the face of small business
Adam Solomon, founder of Quixote Computing, relies on "crowdfunding" to help his company.
August 3rd, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Crowdfunding could change the face of small business

By Libby Lewis, CNN

(CNN) – Did you hear about the guy who invented a smart-watch called the Pebble watch? Investors in Silicon Valley snubbed him so he turned to the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, for help.

Get this: he raised $10 million in about a month. The people who chipped in will receive Pebble watches in return. FULL POST

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