Politics

Health Care
7:29 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee on Dec. 15. Under the plan, the hospital association would pay the state's portion of the program.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:07 am

Tony Smith's disability check puts him over the income limit to receive standard Medicaid, but it's too little for him to qualify for a subsidy.

Sitting next to a federal health-care navigator at a Nashville, Tenn., clinic, he said he hopes lawmakers think of his plight and that of thousands of others when considering Medicaid expansion.

"I'm not looking for a handout," Smith says. "I'm just looking for some help ... because I need it."

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Politics
5:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

To Deal With Hostile Congress, Obama Can Look To History

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Food
2:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

In The Nation's Capital, A Signature Soup Stays On The Menu

Copyright 2014 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit http://wamu.org.

Code Switch
7:03 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Sony Hack Reveals Hollywood's Acceptance Of White Privilege

The Rev. Al Sharpton (left) and Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, speak to reporters after they met with Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal on Dec. 18.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:00 pm

It is, perhaps, the worst nightmare for those of us constantly trying to get a white-dominated Hollywood to widen its doors of opportunity for people of color: All those executives who say the right things in public and give to the right causes, just might think something much less admirable about diversity behind closed doors.

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Humans
6:23 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Want To Solve The World's Most Heated Disagreements? Bring Your Wallet

A woman shouts slogans as she attends a pro-Palestinian rally July 25 in Berlin. About 1,200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Berlin amid high tensions over Israel's actions in Gaza, while some 700 protesters took part in two counter-demonstrations.
Markus Schreiber AP

Conflict between Palestinians and Israelis or Republicans and Democrats appears intractable in part because of one fundamental bias: We misunderstand the other group's motives.

When Republicans attack Democrats, Democrats think they're motivated by hate, but Republicans believe they're motivated by love and "in-group" loyalty. And vice versa, of course.

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Politics
3:15 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Most Federal Workers Get Day After Christmas Off

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Shots - Health News
1:34 am
Fri December 26, 2014

A Split View On Obamacare's Past And Future

Kevin Counihan (left) runs HealthCare.gov, and Michael Cannon, of the Cato Institute, is a prominent critic of Obamacare.
Courtesy of Chion Wolf/WNPR ; Courtesy of the Cato Institute

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:52 am

Kevin Counihan and Michael Cannon look at the Affordable Care Act and see very different things.

Cannon is part of the brain trust behind a Supreme Court case that could result in the repeal of a part of the exchanges he says is illegal.

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Politics
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

What To Expect In The 2016 Presidential Announcement Season

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Nevada Congressman's Loss Exposed Raw Nerve In Democratic Caucus

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

With New Congress, Will Obama Work Differently?

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:48 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Meet The Senator Tasked With Keeping Rebellious Republicans In Line

Incoming Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas smiles Nov. 12 as he talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Next year Republican senators, thrust into the majority by dominating the 2014 election, will be faced with a difficult question: How well can the caucus, split in recent years between rabble-rousers and party diehards, wield its newfound power?

"We're going to be a well-oiled machine," says Texas Sen. John Cornyn with a laugh. One of Congress' savviest operators, the 62-year-old Houston native undoubtedly knows that will be a challenge. As incoming majority whip, Cornyn — more than others — is in for a roller-coaster ride when Republicans take control of the Senate next year.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Tue December 23, 2014

New York's Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:49 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.

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Monkey See
5:03 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Videos Of Ray Rice, Eric Garner Among Biggest Media Moments Of 2014

Protesters in Boston during a December demonstration against the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in New York City and Ferguson, Mo.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 11:08 am

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Politics
3:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

As Head Of Armed Services Committee, McCain Gets A Bigger Bullhorn

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:28 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
3:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Treasury Nomination Sparks Fight Among Democrats

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
10:18 am
Sun December 21, 2014

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:47 pm

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

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Latin America
7:36 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

A couple walks on the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists, but there aren't yet enough to handle a potential influx of Americans.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:12 am

With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Sat December 20, 2014

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

A banner for The Interview is posted outside Arclight Cinemas, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday. The theatrical release of the film has been cancelled following cyber attacks and threats believed to originate in North Korea.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 2:34 pm

North Korea, which denies that it had anything to do with a hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, now wants to help the U.S. root out the real culprit. But true to form for Pyongyang, the dubious offer comes tinged with a threat of "serious" consequences should Washington decline.

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This Week's Must Read
4:33 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 3:24 pm

Cuba is dominating the news, following President Obama's announcement that he will begin to normalize relations with the island nation.

For our series This Week's Must-Read, poet and Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco turns to literature for another perspective on this story.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says 'James Flacco.' The Internet Says, Thank You

Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.
Getty Images

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama meant to talk about James Franco and instead said "James Flacco" — on a Friday marking the full-on start of the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received by people on Twitter and elsewhere.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says Sony Made A 'Mistake' In Cancelling 'The Interview'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:11 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
1:37 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Sentenced For Life, Inmate Still Holds Hope For Release

David Padilla with his grandchildren. Seventeen years ago, a judge found Padilla guilty of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Courtesy of the Padilla Family

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

Thousands of people sentenced under the tough drug laws of the 1980s and '90s are still behind bars, serving mandatory minimum prison sentences requiring them to spend decades, if not life, in prison. Nowadays people convicted of the same crimes serve far less time.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama's Wide-Ranging, Year-End News Conference

President Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House during a media briefing last month.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:02 pm

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

President Obama spoke to reporters in a year-end news conference at the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.

One of the topics that came up was Sony Pictures Entertainment's decision to cancel distribution of the film The Interview following North Korea's cyber attack against the company's servers.

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It's All Politics
9:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

Workers with the Pebble Mine project test-drill in July 2007 in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:00 pm

Three advocacy organizations — across ideological lines — are telling congressional investigators to back off in a probe of EPA ties to a leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are leading the investigation. They contend that NRDC lobbyists have exerted too much influence over EPA on the issues of carbon reduction and the proposed Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:59 am

Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid: access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The ratings plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb. 17 on the proposed system.

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TED Radio Hour
7:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Is It Enough To Be Politically Correct?

"It's almost a meditative practice. To think, 'What emotionally can I connect with?' " — Sally Kohn
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:59 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Sally Kohn's TED Talk

Political pundit Sally Kohn says we shouldn't worry as much about being politically correct; instead, she says, we need to focus on being emotionally correct.

About Sally Kohn

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

3 Business Best-Sellers Show Inequality Is Now The Hot Topic

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:30 pm

Best-selling business books typically tell you how to get rich — either by becoming a better worker or investor, or perhaps by learning the secrets of successful entrepreneurs.

And in 2014, readers could find plenty of books promoting pluck and hard work, such as MONEY Master the Game and The Innovators.

But three books broke the pattern, generating headlines and big sales by focusing on unfair aspects of wealth creation.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Cuban-American Congressional Leaders Vow To Fight Obama's Proposals

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Two Of Colorado's Neighbors Sue State Over Marijuana Law

Nebraska and Oklahoma say Colorado's marijuana law is unconstitutional, in a challenge to the law in the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, visitors from Texas smell marijuana at the Breckenridge Cannabis Club.
Brennan Linsley AP

Saying that Colorado's law legalizing recreational marijuana use is unconstitutional and places a burden on them, Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit against the state with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marijuana was made legal in Colorado after the state's voters approved an amendment in 2012. Its first recreational dispensaries opened at the start of this year.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

A review panel says changes are needed at the Secret Service — along with a better fence at the White House. Here, members of the Secret Service Uniformed Division stand in front of the White House.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:46 pm

The Secret Service must both change the way it trains agents and hire more of them, according to a panel that reviewed the agency that has endured a string of embarrassing lapses in recent months. The panel says its suggestions are "a road map for reform" under a new director.

Some of those suggestions are inherently practical — such as one that states "the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection."

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