It's time now for your letters. Earlier this week, we remembered Andy Griffith. He died Tuesday at the age of 86. Griffith starred in five different TV series, made more than 30 movies and even won a Grammy for his gospel album. But his most defining role was that of a sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.
ANDY GRIFFITH: We never talked about it, but the backbone of the show and the thrust of the show was love, the deep regard that these people had for one another.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The big news from Washington today may not sound like big new. The unemployment rate remains stuck at 8.2 percent in June. Hiring was virtually flat compared to the prior months, with a meager 80,000 jobs added to the payrolls. But these days, the weak economy is increasingly a political story as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
Time now for our weekly look at politics with columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Good to see you both.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
SIEGEL: Those anemic job growth figures came out. As we heard, President Obama is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, paying special attention, I should add, to auto plants. E.J. first, how does President Obama campaign effectively on a recovery that is sputtering this way?
Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.
At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.