Politics

It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Sequester In South Carolina: A Tale Of Fighter Jets And Preschools

Four F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron of Shaw Air Force Base fly over Darlington Raceway before a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in May 2012.
Geoff Burke Getty Images for NASCAR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

In Sumter, S.C., home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 20th Fighter Wing, cars sport bumper stickers that say, "Jet noise is the sound of freedom."

Throughout the day, F-16s on training runs blast from a runway on base, disappearing into the foggy sky. But if automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts slated for March 1 go into effect, there will be a lot less of that sound.

"To cut to that level, we just could not pay for the amount of flying hours that we currently have," says Capt. Ann Blodzinski, the base's chief of public affairs.

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BackTalk
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Who Should We Honor On Presidents' Day?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Economy
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

It's All Politics
9:25 am
Fri February 22, 2013

A User's Guide To Washington Jargon

House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference Feb. 13 in which Republicans promoted the hashtag #Obamaquester to blame President Obama for automatic spending cuts set to kick in March 1.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It's not as elegant as some languages, but neither is it as impenetrable as, say, an economics textbook or the iTunes user agreement.

"We have our own language on Capitol Hill," says Don Ritchie, head of the Senate Historical Office.

That language — the budget terms and political euphemisms that fly freely through the air in Washington, D.C. — often ends up seeping into the nation's discourse.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:25 am
Fri February 22, 2013

It's All Politics, Feb. 21, 2013

President Barack Obama points to the crowd after delivering remarks on immigration in Las Vegas in January.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Since President Obama and congressional Republicans have decided to blame each other for the impending sequester, this week's podcast is dedicated to pointing fingers at everyone, including Jesse Jackson Jr., Pete Domenici and Joe "Buy a Shotgun" Biden. And if the podcast is not interesting? Blame NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

Politics
3:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama To Urge Japan To Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.

But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

'Friends Of Hamas': How A Joke Went Wrong

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Among the many charges thrown at Chuck Hagel, as he seeks confirmation as defense secretary, is this one: that he received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas. That explosive claim first surfaced on the conservative website breitbart.com. It got traction and spread among conservative media.

Thing is there's no evidence that any such group exists, not to mention any evidence of a Hamas-Hagel connection.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The 'Line' For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long

Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Baltimore in 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

In the back and forth between Congress and the White House over immigration, both sides seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency — meaning no green card until all other immigrants get theirs.

But that presents a problem, because the wait for a green card can take decades.

Maria has been waiting in line with her husband for 16 years and counting for what the government calls a priority date for legal residency. Because she is in the U.S. without documents, Maria asked NPR to use only her first name.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Graham Says 4,700 Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

U.S. "Predator" drone over Afghanistan in Jan. 2009.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:09 pm

We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.

"We've killed 4,700," Graham said.

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It's All Politics
9:37 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Failure To Ratify: During Amendment Battles, Some States Opt To Watch

George Washington is depicted addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in this painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. Presumably, no representative from Rhode Island is in the picture; Rhode Island boycotted the gathering and originally rejected the Constitution.
AP

Mississippi has received lots of attention this week for finally having ratified the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But the state is hardly alone in being slow about blessing some long-established national principle.

After a sufficient number of states have ratified an amendment, it can feel like a moot point for legislatures to give belated approval to laws that are already in effect.

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Politics
9:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Social Security Boss On The Real Problem

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another family is grieving in Chicago after another young person was killed by gun violence this past weekend. Today we're going to bring you some very blunt, powerful perspectives from young people affected by the violence that you might not have heard. This from our colleagues with the public radio program "This American Life." And that's coming up later in the program.

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Fla. Gov. Scott Reverses Medicaid Decision

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:49 am

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced late Wednesday that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 residents. The move is a surprise because the governor has previously been a vocal critic of President Obama's health care overhaul.

It's All Politics
1:06 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:17 am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security.

In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a "hollow force." But the warnings don't appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public.

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It's All Politics
1:03 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Meet The Virginian Shaping The House GOP's Immigration Plan

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., checks his phone before a hearing on Capitol Hill in September.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:24 am

Comprehensive immigration reform seems to top everyone's legislative wish list this year, and bills are already taking shape in the White House and the Democratic-led Senate.

A bipartisan group of senators recently laid out a path to citizenship for millions living in the country unlawfully. Less clear is where the Republican-led House is headed on immigration.

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It's All Politics
1:02 am
Thu February 21, 2013

One Place You May Notice The Sequester: At The Airport

A passenger jet flies past the FAA control tower at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport in 2011.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:52 am

Unless Congress acts, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1 will be felt throughout the government. Some of the most visible effects will be noticed by air travelers.

Officials predict that cutbacks at the Federal Aviation Administration could lead to takeoff delays and fewer flights overall.

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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:25 am

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Kerry: Budget Cuts Threaten Foreign Policy Agenda

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech Wednesday at the University of Virginia. His comments come days before he leaves on his first trip as America's top diplomat. He's traveling to Europe and the Middle East.

Law
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty To Misusing Campaign Cash

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to using about $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

It's All Politics
2:05 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Romney To Return To Political Scene For CPAC Speech

Mitt Romney spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2012. The former Republican presidential nominee is scheduled to speak to the group again next month.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Mitt Romney will make his return to the political world at next month's Conservative Political Action Conference, the host American Conservative Union announced Wednesday.

"The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections," ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement. "We look forward to hearing Governor Romney's comments on the current state of affairs in America and the world, and his perspective on the future of the conservative movement."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Former Sen. Domenici Reveals 'Son Born In Secrecy'

Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
Madeline Marshall UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:19 pm

Stepping forward now because he thought others were about to "breach this privacy," former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici has told the Albuquerque Journal that he fathered a son outside of his marriage more than 30 years ago.

The mother is Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of another prominent Republican politician — former Nevada Sen. and Gov. Paul Laxalt. Their son is Adam Paul Laxalt, a lawyer in Nevada according to the Journal.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

The Future Of The House And Chicago Politics

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The president's putts pass the Tiger test, the Senate sex scandal that stayed secret for 30 years and Erskine Bowles reduces sequestration to three little words. It's Wednesday and time for a...

ERSKINE BOWLES: Stupid, stupid, stupid...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Politics
10:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Same Old Standoff In Washington?

President Obama wants Congress to act fast to avoid massive government budget cuts that could hit in March. Washington is seeing more gridlock as Republicans blocked a vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Host Michel Martin talks about the latest in politics.

The Two-Way
8:22 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Biden: For Protection; 'Buy A Shotgun, Buy A Shotgun'

Vice President Biden earlier this month during a roundtable discussion on gun control at Girard College in Philadelphia.
Tim Shaffer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:00 am

Vice President Joe Biden's advice to his wife about protecting their home in Delaware:

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Guilty Plea From Jesse Jackson Jr. Over 'Lavish' Spending

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., as he entered court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:51 pm

  • NPR's David Schaper reporting

We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:50 p.m. ET.

Saying that "I've never been more clear in my life" about what he was doing, a tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to using about $750,000 in campaign funds collected for his congressional races to buy himself presents that included a Rolex watch worth more than $43,000.

The former congressman, a Democrat from Chicago, appeared in a Washington, D.C., courtroom. When he's sentenced in June, he could get a prison term of nearly five years.

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Politics
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Automatic Spending Cut Would Cause 'Hardship' For People

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Politics
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Where Does Overhauling Immigration Stand?

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bipartisan groups and lawmakers are working together on another issue: Immigration. Yesterday, the president spoke with several senators involved in negotiations on that issue. But, at the same time, some senators criticized the White House for drafting its own plan for changing immigration laws.

We're going to talk through this subject with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's on the line.

Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:56 pm

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Paints Bleak Picture Of Life After Automatic Government Spending Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

On Tuesday, President Obama continued his campaign against the automatic across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect on March 1.

It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm

By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.

So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.

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