I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk with a minister whose latest assignment has provoked unexpected questions about race and faith. More on that in our weekly Faith Matters conversation. But first we return to the issue that's still so much on the minds of the nation and national leaders, which is how to keep citizens safe from gun violence while still balancing this country's historic commitment to gun rights.
The fact that President Obama's second inauguration took place on the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday felt right to many people, but some critics say the comparison is all wrong. Host Michel Martin and the Barbershop guys weigh in on that and other news.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:26 am
Now that President Obama is ensconced in his second term, speculation about the future of American politics is wildfire-ish.
In a post-inaugural story, the Associated Press reports that the name of Democratic Vice President Biden "has surfaced as a potential presidential candidate in 2016." Politico says Biden is intoxicated by the prospect.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:05 am
Saying he is choosing "one of my closest friends and one of my closest advisers" for the job, President Obama on Friday said that longtime aide Denis McDonough will be his next chief of staff.
During a midday event at the White House that was remarkable for the expansive comments the president made about his friend's character, his dedication and the respect he gets from those who work in the administration, Obama said McDonough has "the kind of heart that I want in the White House."
This week, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving lip sync the entire podcast, focusing on the themes from the inauguration as well as musing over what has changed since 2009 — for America as well as President Obama. Plus: Hillary Clinton's give-and-take with congressional Republicans over Benghazi and a sleight-of-hand move by the GOP in Virginia.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:54 pm
Organizers say today's March for Life rally in the nation's capital may bring more anti-abortion activists to the streets than last year's estimated 400,000. By midday, a large crowd was gathered in the National Mall, listening to speeches from former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum and others and preparing to march toward the Capitol and the Supreme Court.
GOP leaders are in Charlotte, North Carolina, trying to map out a comeback from the drubbing they took in the November elections. The Republican National Committee says it will not abandon core conservative principles. But party officials are looking to attract Latinos and other minority voters, along with young people.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am
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Of all the prosecutors' jobs in America, the one with the highest profile may well be the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York - that federal prosecutor overseas investigations of everything from the mafia to terrorism to financial crimes. During an especially busy time in the 1990s, that U.S. Attorney became Mary Jo White.
Secretary of State nominee John Kerry testified at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. He pledged to prevent Iran from securing nuclear weapons and urged Congress to work out its issues over the federal budget.
When and if the U.S. Senate is ready to confirm Mary Jo White to head the SEC, she may find her path somewhat smoother - thanks to a rule change the Senate agreed to last night. The new Senate rule makes it just a little bit harder to block nominations, and a little easier to reach resolution than it was for President Obama's nominees in his first term. It's part of a subtle revision of the most potent weapon of the minority party: the filibuster. Here's NPR's David Welna.
Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine."
Actor Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the 1939 movie <em>Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,</em> which popularized the notion of a "talking filibuster." Even under changes negotiated in the Senate, the talking filibuster remains a thing of the past.
Senate leaders have reached an agreement to limit filibusters in the new Congress, especially as they relate to presidential nominations. But they stopped short of requiring senators to hold the floor in person and in real time, as the classic filibuster required.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, first lady Michelle Obama has taken on issues like childhood obesity and support for military families in the first term, but some feminists argue she should be doing more. We'll look at the politics of being first lady in just a few minutes.
President Obama is just beginning his second term in office and we've been looking at some of the unresolved issues and unfinished business from his first four years. This week, we're turning our attention to foreign policy. Yesterday, we talked about the conflict in Syria. Today, we want to focus on another country where the Arab Spring uprising was not successful. It's a small island that often does not get a lot of attention, but plays an important geopolitical role in the Middle East. We're talking about Bahrain.
Now I want to turn to another conversation about the role women are or should be playing in our national life - or in this case, one woman in particular: The first lady, Michelle Obama. Just as commentators are now talking about the president's second term agenda, we wonder what projects the first lady will take on in these next four years.
Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May — and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Joining us now is the Senate Majority Whip, the number two Democrat in the leadership, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Welcome to the program once again.
SENATOR DICK DURBIN: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: You and other Senate Democratic leaders seem to regard the House deferring action on the debt ceiling as an olive branch. Meanwhile, House Democrats like George Miller say they're tied to a three-month leash. What's the good part of this deal that House Democrats don't get?
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:21 pm
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics, from Obama's inaugural address to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony on Benghazi. Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, discusses the Republican decisions on the debt ceiling and the future of the Republican party.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Supreme Court case that established abortion rights in this country is now 40 years old, but the political and cultural fights about abortion are going on still. We'll talk about this with our panel of women commentators. That's our Beauty Shop roundtable and that's in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, President Obama's vision for reducing gun violence includes improving access to mental health care. So we decided to ask two mental health professions who've thought a lot about violence, especially gun violence, for their perspectives on what kinds of changes they think would be helpful.