Politics

The Salt
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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Around the Nation
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Villaraigosa Faulted For Not Helping Latino Politicians

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.

And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.

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Politics
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

In Colorado, Obama Pushes For Gun Control

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:38 am

President Obama was in Colorado Wednesday to highlight the state's gun control efforts as a model of what is possible for the country. Obama plans to visit Connecticut next week, to highlight that state's efforts.

It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 3:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

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Politics
2:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Tries To Rally Support For Gun Control Laws In Colorado

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama flew to Colorado this afternoon to rally support for national gun control laws. Colorado recently passed its own laws requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines. In Denver, the president delivered a speech and met with local law enforcement officials and community activists.

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Politics
11:59 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Second Chances In American Politics

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president talks guns in Colorado. Hillary Clinton supporters talk 2016. And in New York City, six pols busted for talking turkey. It's Wednesday and time for a...

DAN HALLORAN: It's all about how much...

CONAN: ...edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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It's All Politics
10:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Gun Control Prospects Recede As Politics Swamp Momentum

Assault weapons and handguns for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 16. Congress has yet to vote on legislative efforts to enact new gun control laws, nearly four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:37 pm

President Obama's campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation's fraught conversation about guns.

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Around the Nation
4:56 am
Wed April 3, 2013

N.Y. State Senator Caught Up In Bribery Probe

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

New Yorkers woke up yesterday morning to the scene of politicians being rounded up by federal agents, arrested and taken to court. OK, it's New York City, this happens with politicians. But this time, the charges were pretty remarkable against a councilman and a powerful state legislator.

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Politics
4:26 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Is Caroline Kennedy Qualified To Be Ambassador To Japan?

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

President Obama is expected to name Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, ambassador to Japan. The job has been critical to U.S. trade and business interests with the world's third largest economy. But Kennedy has no prior experience in government or business.

Health Care
4:26 am
Wed April 3, 2013

White House Delays Part Of Health Care Law

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act - the national healthcare law. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the new online marketplace that start next January. NPR's Julie Rovner reports that the change might dampen enthusiasm, at least at the start. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.

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Politics
2:34 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Outrage Alone Won't Advance Gun Control Measures

President Obama urged Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence while speaking in the East Room of the White House last week. Standing with Obama are Vice President Joe Biden and, according to the White House, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and others, whom the White House did not want to name.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:42 am

President Obama is trying to regain some traction for federal gun control measures by visiting states that are moving forward on their own.

On Wednesday, the president speaks in Colorado, where lawmakers recently passed a series of bills requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

Obama would like to see similar measures adopted nationwide. But if Colorado serves as an inspiration for the president, it also provides a cautionary tale.

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Reality Often Rivals Fiction In Political Corruption Scandals

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines corruption charges against several New York politicians on Tuesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:22 pm

The federal criminal complaint against New York politicians arrested after an FBI sting was a reminder of how often real-life political scandals can read like the imaginings of Hollywood screenwriters.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Politically-Appointed Ambassadors May Not Be As Effective

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama is reported to be considering Caroline Kennedy for ambassador to Japan. She would succeed a political appointee in Tokyo, a Silicon Valley lawyer and donor to the Obama campaign. For Britain, Bloomberg News and others report that the Obama campaign finance chair, Matthew Barzun, is the leading candidate. A hedge fund manager, evidently, has the inside track on France. This is an old tradition of generous donors getting plum embassy assignments. And we wondered how it looks these days to career diplomats.

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Daughter Of Former Fla. Sen. Bob Graham Running For Congress

Gwen Graham, a lawyer and administrator in the Leon County, Fla., school district, says she'll seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Steve Southerland next year.
Gwen Graham For U.S. Congress

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:37 pm

The daughter of Florida political legend Bob Graham has announced she will run for Congress next year, taking on incumbent Republican Steve Southerland.

Gwen Graham, a lawyer and administrator in the Leon County school district, made the announcement Tuesday morning. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Congress is a dysfunctional mess," Graham wrote on her campaign website.

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It's All Politics
1:43 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Seeking Forgiveness And A House Seat, Sanford Again Faces GOP Voters

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford faces former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic in the GOP primary runoff Tuesday. The winner will represent Republicans in a May 7 special election for a U.S. House seat.
Bruce Smith AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:23 am

Update at 8:41 p.m. ET Sanford Wins Runoff

Former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago by his admission of an extramarital affair, has won the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held, reports The Associated Press. Note at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday: Sanford won with about 57 percent of the vote. (We mistakenly said earlier that he won "by" about 57 percent.)

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Africa
9:29 am
Tue April 2, 2013

President Koroma: Sierra Leone's Beaches Make It Place To Visit

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We know that a lot of students are still on spring break this week but what better time to take a step back and think about higher education? Today we meet the president of Simmons College, which is a college for women in the Boston area, and we'll hear about her thoughts about women leadership and education.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D)
New York State Senate Reuters /Landov

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:11 am

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

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It's All Politics
1:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Judicial Vacancies Languish On Key Federal Appeals Court

President Obama last month withdrew the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., after her nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Jim McKnight AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 5:42 am

The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called the second most important court in the country, regularly delivering the final word on major environmental, labor and national security cases.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has a whopping four vacancies, the most in the nation, including one opening that dates all the way back to 2005, when John Roberts moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Politics
3:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Could Have Immigration Bill Drafted By Next Week

Senators negotiating an overhaul of immigration laws turned to labor and business leaders to devise a new plan for guest workers, but not all of them are ready to commit to the plan those leaders have worked out.

Economy
3:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Stockton Bankruptcy Case Defers Decision On Pensions

An aging sign at City Hall in Stockton, Calif. A judge has ruled that the city is eligible for federal bankruptcy protection.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 6:41 pm

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled Monday on the most important question facing Stockton, Calif. — whether it could enter into federal bankruptcy protection.

Klein agreed that the city is, in fact, broke.

But he didn't decide the question of whether the city must renegotiate its pension obligations, as some of its creditors had hoped.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Immigration Overhaul Inches Forward, But Big Hurdles Remain

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says talk of a bipartisan agreement among eight key senators working on immigration law is "premature."
Susan Walsh AP

It's still far too early to know whether Congress will actually be able to achieve a comprehensive overhaul to the nation's immigration laws. All that's certain at this stage is that lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide, and in both chambers, continue to act as though they think they can.

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It's All Politics
1:42 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Opposition Research Boot Camp: Learning To Dig For Political Dirt

Opposition research is becoming a given in politics, sometimes even at the local level.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 6:29 pm

Opposition research exists mostly in the political shadows. So perhaps it's fitting that this boot camp is in an generic conference room in a generic airport hotel outside of Washington, D.C.

It's run by private investigator Larry Zilliox, who specializes in opposition research. He allowed me to attend a session, but not to take pictures.

Zilliox is cagey about his clients: "As a general rule, it suits me best not to comment on who I've worked for. Everybody is better off that way."

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:32 pm

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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It's All Politics
12:38 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

A State Apart And, Politically, A World Away

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:13 pm

There's a reason President Obama chose Colorado to hold a rally this Wednesday in favor of gun control.

Among the states this year, Democratic-controlled Colorado has passed the toughest new restrictions on gun rights, requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.

But if certain liberal wishes have come true in Colorado — recall that it was one of two states last fall that voted to legalize marijuana — things look very different next door in Kansas.

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Politics
12:27 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

The Politics Of The Guest-Worker Program

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO agreed on a plan for a new system to import temporary workers. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving discusses the politics of the business-labor immigration deal. Rusty Barr, owner of Barr Evergreens, shares how he uses the guest-worker program.

The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Once Again, Polls Show Attitudes Toward Guns Returning To Pre-shooting Levels

Guns on display at a show in Chantilly, Va., in July 2012.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

The day after last December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School we wrote that:

"The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will surely spur pollsters to ask Americans again about guns, gun ownership, gun laws and the Second Amendment.

"If recent experience is a good guide, public opinion may not shift too much."

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Japan? Talk Grows

Caroline Kennedy in May 2012.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

There's been chatter in Washington for the past month or so about Caroline Kennedy being tapped to be the next ambassador to Japan.

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Education
10:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Tensions Build In Detroit After Schools Takeover

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now we'll turn from New Jersey to Detroit, where tensions are really building around the public school system there. The U.S. Department of Education is looking into whether recent school closures have disproportionately hurt black and Latino students. Also, an emergency financial manager is shaking things up at Detroit Public Schools after getting some new authority from the state.

Here to explain is Jerome Vaughn, news director at member station WDET in Detroit. Welcome back, Jerome.

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Politics
10:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Is Congress Close To Immigration Compromise?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk about school takeovers and whether or not taking a drastic action like that really fixes broken schools. But first we'll bring you up to date on the latest political news. There is a lot going on both here and overseas - the debate over gun control, immigration, and a little saber rattling from North Korea.

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