Politics

Business
3:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring

Employment and wages are increasing, along with hopes for more consumer spending, analysts say.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:37 pm

As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.

Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.

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Fine Art
3:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

From Stick Figures To Portraits, Bush Frees His Inner Rembrandt

A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin is on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
Benny Snyder AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:26 pm

Former President George W. Bush worked with many world leaders while in office. Now, he's unveiling 24 portraits he painted of some of them. As Lauren Silverman of KERA reports, the exhibit will be at his new presidential library.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Economy
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Life Without Jobless Benefits: Watching, Searching And Praying

Josie Maisano poses with her congressman, Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan. Levin says if Congress can't respond to people like Maisano, "we've failed."
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:11 pm

There's a small frame hanging on the wall near the computer Josie Maisano uses to search for work. Inside there's a picture of her at this year's State of the Union address and a blue ribbon that Democrats wore that night to highlight the plight of people like Maisano, whose unemployment benefits stopped at the end of December.

"Oh, my God. It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Maisano. "Listening to President Obama, it was just very, very heartwarming."

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Commentary
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Week In Politics: Money In Campaigns And Health Care Numbers

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, now it's time to talk politics with our Friday regulars, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Good to see you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

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It's All Politics
1:05 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Congressman's Lament: $174,000 Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., joins other members of the House of Representatives at a closed-door intelligence briefing on Syria in September.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:00 pm

In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?

That would be in the nation's capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Americans should know that their members of Congress — as the board of directors for the "largest economic entity in the world" — are underpaid.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Bush's 'Art Of Leadership' Puts Putin And Others On Display

Former President George W. Bush says his favorite from among the portraits he's painted of world leaders is the one he did of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. "I painted a gentle soul," he says.
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:01 am

"The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" officially opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

As the nation's 43rd president says: "Who woulda thought it?"

Talking with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager during a pre-recorded interview on NBC-TV's Today show, the self-deprecating Bush says:

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Politics
10:31 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Enrollment Numbers Put Obamacare Battle To Rest?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time for our political chat. This week there's a lot to talk about. The Supreme Court struck down some campaign contribution limits. The White House beat it's a goal of 7 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan debuted his own budget proposal, something that could be a blueprint for a White House run in 2016. So joining us to help us unpack those political headlights is Corey Dade.

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National Security
4:38 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Senate Committee Votes To Declassify CIA Interrogations Report

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Senate intelligence committee voted yesterday in favor of declassifying a huge report that's been kept under wraps for nearly a year and a half. It's the so-called torture report on the interrogation and secret detention program carried out by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks. NPR's David Welna reports.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Only a 450-page summary of the report and its 20 findings would actually be declassified. New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich predicts a big impact.

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Politics
3:23 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

For Political Conventions, Another Balloon Bursts

President Obama stands on stage with Vice President Biden and their families after accepting the party nomination during the final day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

There's news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.

It's about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It's not the only change that's likely for conventions.

Let's start with a little time travel:

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All Tech Considered
2:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A Week Into His New Job, Controversy Forces Mozilla CEO To Resign

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Brendan Eich, embattled co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has stepped down from his new role as CEO of Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Who's Who In Senate-CIA Report Showdown

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks after a closed-door meeting Thursday on Capitol Hill. The panel voted to approve declassifying part of a report on Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:27 pm

The world could soon get its first official look at the CIA's post-Sept. 11 interrogation and detention activities now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to make public a blockbuster report about the agency's secret program.

The Senate panel's move to declassify key parts of the 6,300-page document comes just weeks after a rancorous battle erupted between the committee's Democratic chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, and the CIA over allegations the agency spied on members through their computers.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Mega-Donor Opens Wallet On The Hill To Kill Online Gambling

Sheldon Adelson listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting on March 29 in Las Vegas. Several possible GOP presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas as Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, looks for a new favorite to help on the 2016 race for the White House.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

Now that the Supreme Court has eliminated the cap on the total amount one individual can give to candidates in each election, many are wondering how the very rich will respond.

If they spread their money across a wider swath of lawmakers, would that improve their chances of passing the legislation they want?

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson could be the first test case.

Expanding One's Reach Across Congress

Adelson is pushing a bill through Congress that would ban online gambling, and he has pledged he will spend "whatever it takes."

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It's All Politics
1:23 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

NPR Poll: GOP's Older Voter Advantage Slips From 4 Years Ago

A strong majority of young voters support the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR poll. In March 2014, models handed out juice shots to encourage individuals — and especially young people — to sign up for health insurance.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:04 pm

The new NPR poll had good news for Republicans and Democrats. As NPR correspondent Mara Liasson reported for Morning Edition, likely voters were nearly split evenly between support and opposition to the Affordable Care Act, with 51 percent against and 47 percent for.

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The Salt
9:15 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Hot' Oregon Blueberry Fight Prompts Farm Bill Changes

It's unclear exactly how the new law will change enforcement of wage and hour laws on farms. Meanwhile, a blueberry labor dispute in Oregon grinds on in federal court.
David Wright/Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:42 pm

American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.

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Law
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

High Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took out a major pillar of campaign finance limits. The justices ruled a donor may give the maximum amount to as many federal candidates or committees as they wish.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Chemical Spill In W. Va. Tests Tolerance For Big Coal

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 8:27 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Evan Osnos about his New Yorker piece in which he explores how the coal industry has become a political player in the state, and what that could mean for future regulation.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

In Ann Arbor, Obama Gathers Support For Minimum Wage Hike

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The Senate could vote on a minimum wage bill as soon as next week. But it is hard to imagine the Republican-controlled House will take it up.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Democrats: Benghazi Probes Are Wasteful, Politically Motivated

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Citing millions of dollars spent already, Democrats argue politics is not a good reason to spend millions more investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya more than a year ago.

Politics
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Court's Decision Will Encourage Joint Fundraising Committees

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits on how much a single individual can give in total to candidates and parties. The ruling could give wealthy donors even more influence in elections.

Politics
1:40 am
Thu April 3, 2014

NPR Poll: Obamacare More Popular Than President

President Obama, with Vice President Biden, speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday in the Rose Garden.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:04 am

A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare — which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.

Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular, but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Campaign Finance Ruling Winners: The Political Pros

The Supreme Court victory for Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon (center) was also a win for those in the political campaign business.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 12:10 pm

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision has been described both as a victory for the First Amendment and as another damaging blow to campaign finance laws.

One thing seems certain: The decision, which overturned limits on the aggregate amounts individual donors can give to candidates and campaigns, will mean more money sloshing around political campaigns.

In practical terms, that means more business for the political consultants who orchestrate most serious federal political campaigns.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

A Younger, Wealthier Capital City Turns A Political Page

Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayoral nominee in Washington, D.C., talks with reporters after a Wednesday news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.
Evan Vucci AP

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has been shadowed by scandal since the day he was elected to the city's top job in 2010, and there's no doubt it crippled his re-election campaign.

An ongoing federal probe into how you ran your previous campaign will do that.

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News
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Dogged By Scandal, DC Incumbent Goes Down In Primary

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

There will be a new mayor in Washington, DC, next year. And that's because the incumbent mayor, Vincent Gray, was soundly defeated in yesterday's Democratic primary. As Patrick Madden of member station WAMU reports, a late-breaking scandal helped turn the race in favor of one of Gray's challengers.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Drawing On Family History, Julian Castro Hopes To Paint Texas Blue

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

The story of the changing demographics in Texas can, in many ways, be told through the family history of Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio. Mayor Castro discusses his story, as well as what Texas' expanding Hispanic population means for the state's political future.

Law
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

High Court's Campaign Finance Ruling Has Critics Dismayed

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Dallas.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And in Washington, this is Robert Siegel.

With the campaign season just around the bend, the Supreme Court today issued a decision that will likely put even more emphasis on the role of money in politics. Elsewhere in today's program, Nina Totenberg reports on that ruling. We're going to hear one reaction to it now.

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News
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Pillar Of Campaign Finance Limits

The Supreme Court
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 8:16 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again erased from the books a major provision of the nation's campaign finance law. By a 5-to-4 vote, the justices removed the cap on the total amount of money that donors can contribute to candidates and parties in each election. Prior to Wednesday's ruling, the aggregate limit was $123,000. Now there is no limit.

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Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Cycling's Catching On In Texas, For A Very Texas Reason

Bicycles and pedicabs along a dedicated bike lane in Austin, Texas.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Senate Versus The CIA: A Struggle At Flashpoint

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks with reporters after alleging that the CIA broke federal law by secretly removing sensitive documents from computers used by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee tasked with congressional oversight of the CIA.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

A Senate committee is expected to vote this week on whether to release a lengthy, years-in-the-making document based on a review of CIA practices regarding torture and enhanced interrogation of suspected al-Qaida terrorists.

The investigation and the report are part of a power struggle between two of the most powerful figures in the U.S. intelligence community — CIA Director John Brennan and California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein — who are at odds over what Americans can and should know about torture carried out in their name.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed April 2, 2014

A State Fossil For S. Carolina Faces Mammoth Obstacle

A fossil of a Columbian Mammoth in the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:27 pm

The Columbian mammoth is facing extinction as South Carolina's proposed state fossil unless the elephant-sized Ice Age mammal can survive the efforts of creationist lawmakers.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark Citizens United.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 10:34 am

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

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