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Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley announced on Sunday that he will support the White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran.

Merkley becomes the 31st Senate Democrat to endorse the agreement publicly, leaving the Obama administration just three votes shy of having enough votes to sustain a veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval — that is, of being able to advance the deal over Republican objections.

At the start of her campaign, Clinton was seen as the inevitable candidate of the Democrats. But she has spent much of the summer fending off questions about her private email account during her time as secretary of state. Bernie Sanders is gaining on her in the polls. And there's a looming possible challenge from sitting vice president Joe Biden.

Alaska is on the "bucket lists" for a lot of people, but for President Obama it's on his famous list of things that rhyme with bucket.

When a wispy-haired, septuagenarian senator from Vermont with a Larry David-style and a life-long passion for talking about income inequality decided to run for president, not many took him seriously.

That's especially true, considering that senator, Bernie Sanders, was going up against the New York Yankees of Democratic politics — the Clintons.

But now Sanders is gaining in the polls, including in the gold-standard poll in Iowa — out Saturday night.

Donald Trump's been having a lot of fun at the expense of others lately.

Prayers and church bells in New Orleans marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking to assembled dignitaries at a memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified among the estimated 1,800 who died in the storm, said the city had to rely on itself to get through the tragedy.

"We saved each other," Landrieu said. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign continues to lead in the polls, and this week Trump hired Sam Clovis to be his national campaign co-chairman. A week ago, Clovis worked for Republican rival Rick Perry. Clovis, a former radio talk show host and college professor, is an Iowan who has run for state treasurer and the U.S. Senate there. He Talked to NPR's Scott Simon from Sioux City, Iowa.

To hear the full conversation, click the audio link above.


Interview Highlights

On why he left Perry to work for Trump

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we'll go next to our regular Friday commentators, David Brooks, columnist with The New York Times. Hey there, David...

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn sends this postcard on a story that's getting attention in Dallas.

The strange story of Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk actually begins several years ago when the previously highly-regarded Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins began to struggle managing his office. Watkins was the first black DA in Texas and he quickly made a national reputation by finding and releasing men who'd been wrongly convicted of rape in Dallas.

A 20-year member of Congress indicted on racketeering charges is challenging restrictions on his ability to meet with colleagues as "an undue and unnecessary burden...that is effectively impairing his ability" to do his job.

Last month, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn., on conspiracy, bribery, and fraud counts for allegedly using political campaigns and nonprofit groups to cover personal expenses and evade campaign finance laws.

"There are too many guns in America, and there's clearly too many guns in the wrong hands."

That's what Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said to reporters in front of the WDBJ building in Roanoke, Va.

The governor, who promised to introduce gun-control legislation, was speaking two days after a gunman killed two journalists from that station during a live broadcast.

This presidential campaign, Donald Trump may test the maxim that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all.

Before a boisterous crowd of 1,400 in Greenville, S.C., on Thursday, Trump made no apologies for criticisms he's made about his fellow GOP rivals — even if it's that tone and attitude that have taken a toll on him in at least one area of the polls — an area Trump seems to have a myopic obsession with.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

Former President George W. Bush, whose legacy was marred by the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, visited New Orleans today to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

Bush and his wife, Laura, arrived Friday morning at Warren Easton Charter High School, where they met with students as well as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Kathleen Blanco, who was Louisiana's governor when Katrina hit in August 2005.

Jeb Bush is getting all the millionaires, and Bernie Sanders is getting the small donors — those have been two prominent storylines in the 2016 money race for the presidency.

But what about everyone in between? The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Finance Institute released data on campaign fundraising, and it paints a fascinating picture — which we decided to make into a literal picture. Here's how the different candidates' donation patterns stack up to each other:

This is going to be an unthinkably expensive election. Case in point: estimates of spending on the presidential race stretch as high as $10 billion.

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With the passage of a new law earlier this year, North Dakota has become the first state to legalize law enforcement use of armed drones.

Though the law limits the type of weapons permitted to those of the "less than lethal" variety — weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers — the original bill actually aimed to ensure that no weapons at all were allowed on law enforcement drones.

The sponsor of the original bill, Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, said he wasn't happy with how that part of the law turned out.

Late August may be the absolutely worst time to launch a political TV blitz. But a Democratic superPAC, Priorities USA Action, is offering up a minicampaign this week and next, warning Republicans that their heated rhetoric on immigration is captured on videotape and being prepped for prime time later in the race.

A decade after Hurricane Katrina — the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history — President Obama told a crowd in New Orleans that the storm was a "man-made" calamity that had as much to do with economic inequality and the failure of government as it did the forces of nature.

"What started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens," the president said in a speech at a newly opened community center in the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominantly black neighborhood that was devastated by Katrina.

The National Portrait Gallery says it has no plans to heed calls by conservatives and anti-abortion activists to remove a bust of Margaret Sanger from an exhibit on civil rights. Sanger, who died in 1966, was an early supporter and activist for the birth control movement and the founder of Planned Parenthood.

NPR's Pam Fessler tells our Newscast unit that "the demands are part of a larger campaign against Planned Parenthood, after its employees were recorded talking about providing fetal tissue to medical researchers."

The images continue to haunt: storm surge from Hurricane Katrina pouring through gaps in failed flood walls, rapidly rising waters, desperate New Orleanians trapped on rooftops.

In a new report and letter sent to congressional leadership, Planned Parenthood contends that controversial videos alleging the organization sells fetal tissue have been "heavily edited in order to significantly change the meaning" of what its staff said.

For Mitt Romney and Donald Trump, their relationship had all the permanence of a Las Vegas wedding.

Perhaps Romney said it best when he took to the podium that fateful day in February of 2012.

"There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. Uh, this is one of them," the eventual Republican nominee said to laughter.

More Americans say they would vote for a Muslim or an atheist for president than they would for a socialist, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Yet "socialist" is now how Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has described himself throughout his career.

Sanders has not run from the term, even as he surges in his race for president.

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