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The last unfinished Senate race of the election is nearly over. State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy, a Republican, is the clear favorite to become the next Senator from Louisiana, despite an eleventh-hour fundraising surge from his Democratic opponent, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Because of Louisiana's unusual " jungle primary " election laws, none of the 24 candidates vying to replace retiring Senator David Vitter won enough of the vote to win the seat outright on Nov. 8, so...

Editor's note: There is language in this piece that some will find offensive. Sometime in early 2016 between a Trump rally in New Hampshire, where a burly man shouted something at me about being Muslim, and a series of particularly vitriolic tweets that included some combination of "raghead," "terrorist," "bitch" and "jihadi," I went into my editor's office and wept. I cried for the first (but not the last) time this campaign season. Through tears, I told her that...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: When the Electoral College casts 538 votes for president this month, 38 will come from the state of Texas. All 38 were expected to go to Donald Trump. But Art Sisneros, one of the electors, says he just can't do it. ART SISNEROS: I came to the conclusion, well, I can't vote for Donald Trump. I don't, in good conscience, think that he's qualified. INSKEEP: Sisneros is resigning as an elector rather than vote for a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: President-elect Trump held another post-election rally last night, this time in North Carolina, one of many states that fell his way on election night. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea was there. DON GONYEA, BYLINE: As evening fell yesterday, people hurried through the rain and December chill across the parking lot to the sports arena in Fayetteville. Vendors outside hawked some new items alongside...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Multiple news organizations are reporting that President-elect Trump has offered the role of U.S. Ambassador to China to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. NPR News has yet to confirm this, but NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson is with us now to talk about what we do know and what the choice could mean. Hi, Mara. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Steve. INSKEEP: So what sort of signal would it send to send the governor...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Cokie Roberts is with us next. She's going to be joining us on Wednesdays from now on and doing something different than she's done over the years for MORNING EDITION. It's a segment we call Ask Cokie. It's a chance for us, meaning you, to ask questions of this very experienced political reporter and analyst about how the government works, about how our politics work, about how we got where we are today. Hi,...

President-elect Donald Trump continued his "Thank You" victory tour on Tuesday, making a stop in North Carolina to tout his national security agenda and formally introduce his pick for Defense Secretary, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis. Speaking in Fayetteville, N.C., Trump called Mattis the "living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto" — Semper Fidelis . "Mad Dog plays no games, right?" Trump asked, invoking the general's nickname, and added that the country was fortunate ...

Alex Jones has a following. His radio show is carried on more than 160 stations, and he has more than 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube. And he claims to have the ear of the next president of the United States. Jones is also one of the nation's leading promoters of conspiracy theories — some of which take on lives of their own. He has been a chief propagator of untrue and wild claims about a satanic sex trafficking ring run by one of Hillary Clinton's top advisers out of a pizzeria in...

He was a flamboyant, alpha-male billionaire who said things no career politician ever would — someone who promised to use his business savvy to reform the system and bring back jobs. Voters believed that his great wealth insulated him from corruption, because he couldn't be bought. But his administration was marked by criminal investigations and crony capitalism. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was — until Donald Trump came along — the best known example of a certain type of wealthy...

The Department of Homeland Security issued a regulation Tuesday putting restrictions on the kinds of archaeological materials that can be imported from Egypt. That may not sound like a big deal unless maybe you're a collector or a museum. There are lots of federal regulations taking effect every day, and in fact there's been an uptick as the Obama administration's time in office wanes. Such an increase is troubling to Republicans, but gives hope to those who want new policies in place before...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: People in Washington are always talking about bloated government and wasteful spending. Now The Washington Post has a $125 billion example. The Pentagon asked an advisory group to find examples of inefficient Defense-Department spending. And what that panel found amounts to $125 billion over five years. The Pentagon's annual budget is $580 billion. Craig Whitlock from The Washington Post joins us to discuss why the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There's a runoff election this weekend between candidates for one of Louisiana's U.S. Senate seats. And since they're competing for the last undecided seat in the chamber, they're drawing national attention. As Ryan Kailath of member station WWNO explains, Democrats around the country are pinning their hopes on a miracle in Louisiana. RYAN KAILATH, BYLINE: Imagine a Super Bowl where every team in the entire NFL...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: President-elect Donald Trump is lashing out again on Twitter, this time at the Boeing Company. He tweeted this morning that customized 747s meant to replace Air Force One are too expensive and the order should be canceled. He spoke to reporters later in the day in the Trump Tower lobby. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) DONALD TRUMP: The plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion. It's for...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The Army Corps of Engineers says it is looking at alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline. That decision announced Sunday was a win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other protesters who've camped out at the construction site in North Dakota for months. This may not be the final word. President-elect Donald Trump says he would like to see the pipeline completed. We're joined now by Julie Fedorchak....

The U.S. stock market is up more than 3 percent since Election Day four weeks ago. One person who hasn't benefited: President-elect Donald Trump. In a call with reporters, transition spokesman Jason Miller says Trump sold all of his holdings in the stock market over the summer. The move could remove some, but not all, potential conflicts of interest as the billionaire businessman takes office as president. Even before the sale, stocks accounted for a tiny fraction of Trump's personal fortune....

The Trump Organization has more interests in India — at least five — than anywhere else outside North America. With an ever-increasing taste for luxury, India offers the Trump brand a lucrative market, no matter who runs the company after President-elect Donald Trump separates from his global enterprises, as he's said he would do. While Mumbai real estate prices average $1,000 per square foot for exclusive living, a four-hour drive away, past billboards beckoning the newly moneyed with images...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Chances are you've come across the words of Brad Parscale this year and you just never knew it. Behind the scenes and under the radar, this digital director of the Trump campaign often tweeted as Trump. BRAD PARSCALE: You know, I know his language. I've been around him for years. And, you know, I'm watching the debate live, and I did it. You know, I posted, I think, a tweet about every 15 seconds to 30 seconds...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now that President-elect Donald Trump has nominated some of his choices for cabinet positions, the Senate is going to start vetting them. And there are growing signs Senate Democrats are not planning to make that process an easy one for a number of Trump's picks. That includes yesterday's announcement of Dr. Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among those speaking out is Senator...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: We know President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Dr. Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but that selection is drawing mixed reactions. Yes, he's a retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate, but Carson has no experience with housing programs. Carson himself points to his experience growing up in an inner city as preparation for the job. NPR's Pam Fessler...

Seventy-five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some Americans have never stopped believing that President Franklin Roosevelt let it happen in order to draw the U.S. into World War II. "It's ridiculous," says Rob Citino, a senior researcher at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. "But it's evergreen. It never stops. My students, over 30 years — there'd always be someone in class [who'd say], 'Roosevelt knew all about it.'" Conspiracy theories, half-truths and full-on...

Vice President Joe Biden teased Monday that he is leaving the door open to another presidential run in 2020. "I'm going to run in 2020," Biden told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill. "For what?" one of the reporters asked. "For president," Biden responded, adding later, "What the hell, man." The Associated Press described the vice president with "only a slight smile on his face" as he was leaving the small group of reporters in hallways of the U.S. Capitol. Biden was asked again by a...

Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian-American man to win an Olympic gold medal, died over the weekend after battling pneumonia. He was 96. In the 1930s, Southern California had enough of the South in it that young Sammy Lee could only watch through the iron fence most days when other boys his age swam at the pool in Pasadena's Brookside Park. The pool, like the area's beaches and many other public facilities, was segregated. But not on Wednesdays. The park declared that Wednesdays were...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Last week the University of California announced that it will not cooperate with federal immigration agents and that it welcomes students, quote, "without regard to their immigration status." It's a move that could put the university directly in conflict with the Trump administration. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: I spoke about this with Janet Napolitano. She's the president of the University of California. She also served...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: After dealing with a series of fake news stories, a local pizzeria in Washington faced a very real threat over the weekend. The restaurant Comet Ping Pong has been the target of online conspiracy theorist. And on Sunday, a man from North Carolina entered the pizzeria and fired a rifle. The man was arrested, and no injuries were reported. According to police, the man said he was investigating claims of a child sex...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Donald Trump's latest Cabinet pick is a man who was once his rival for the presidency. Ben Carson is the president-elect's choice to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. Carson's personal story makes him well-suited for the role, his experience less so. Carson is a medical doctor who has never run a government agency. Amy Liu worked at HUD during the Clinton administration, and she now...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Let's look at what comes next for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Yesterday's decision by the Army Corps of Engineers has brought construction to a halt for now. The Corps says it's going to consider alternative routes for the pipeline which is nearly completed. NPR's Nathan Rott is in North Dakota where protesters continue to have a lot of questions and concerns. NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: First there were excited...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: One phone call on Friday was enough to cause an uproar in Washington and Beijing. It was a call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan's president. It's not clear who on Trump's team arranged it. And as NPR's Jackie Northam reports, that one call could have big ramifications. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: The telephone call between Trump and Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, sent the president-elect's transition...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Nearly a month after the election, North Carolina's gubernatorial race is over. The sitting Republican governor, Pat McCrory, has conceded to his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. From member station WUNC, Jeff Tiberii reports. CORNISH: Late on election night, Governor Pat McCrory was ahead by 50,000 votes until a late surge of ballots from Durham County came in, halting his advantage and subsequently his time in...

The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear over the past quarter century that racial gerrymandering is an unconstitutional no-no, but partisan gerrymandering is still permissible. The question is: How do you tell the difference? Especially when the Voting Rights Act allows for some consideration of race to ensure minority representation, and when party affiliation often correlates with race. In cases from Virginia and North Carolina, the Supreme Court seemed unsure on Monday how to balance these...

In what may be the most unlikely meeting of the presidential transition process so far, former vice president, former Democratic presidential nominee, former senator and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore met with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday. Gore has spent decades warning about the dire consequences of unchecked, man-made climate change, while Trump has regularly called climate change "a hoax" during the campaign. Initially, the session was not even expected to include the president...

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