Politics

Around the Nation
10:36 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The Reselling Of Lance: A Job Too Big Even For Oprah

Lance Armstrong speaks with Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive in Austin, Texas, on Monday. The interview airs Thursday and Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
George Burns AP

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 2:46 pm

You may have heard that banned-for-life pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, has admitted to doping.

You may have heard that he apologized (tearfully, reportedly) to employees at Livestrong, the foundation he started in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer.

You may have heard that he reached out to make nice with people in the cycling world whom just months ago he was branding as liars and worse, and that he may pay back some bike team sponsor money.

Feel manipulated yet?

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Tue January 15, 2013

House Set For 'Marathon Debate' On Sandy Aid; Final Vote Likely Tonight

Shattered homes lined the beach front in Mantoloking, N.J., after Sandy tore through. The superstorm caused billions of dollars in damage to New Jersey, New York and surrounding states.
Tom Mihalek Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. House Passes Measure

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve $50.7 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

The vote was 241-80; the measure now goes to the Senate, which is expected to take it up next week.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Northeast lawmakers from both parties have been pressing for the aid for more than two months.

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Economy
10:05 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Has Obama Leveled The Economic Playing Field?

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we get an update on developments in Mali in West Africa. That's a country known to many for its cultural heritage. French soldiers have started an assault to repel Islamist militants who have already taken northern territory. NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton is going to bring us up to date in just a few minutes.

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U.S.
8:34 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The Politics Of Disaster Aid Are Starting To Shift

A U.S. flag still hung on the remains of homes in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in December, nearly two months after Superstorm Sandy tore through the area.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:11 am

House Republicans are taking a Solomonic approach to relief for areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Having already split financial aid for the Northeast into two votes, House leaders are now splitting the second package itself into two, giving conservatives the opportunity to oppose spending provisions they don't like.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

White House Plan On Guns To Include 19 Executive Actions, Lawmakers Say

At a gun shop in Phoenix, a customer holds a handgun. Among the executive actions President Obama is expected to propose is an expansion of background checks for gun buyers.
Ralph D. Freso Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:30 am

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET. Announcement on Wednesday:

The White House says President Obama and Vice President Biden will unveil the steps they intend to take and legislation they recommend to reduce gun violence at 11:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Our original post:

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Political Junkie
4:43 am
Tue January 15, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

While you're gearing up for the Political Junkie D.C. Live Road Show on Wednesday evening — see below for details — why not try and solve this week's ScuttleButton puzzle first?

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Politics
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Obama Urges Congress To Raise Debt Ceiling

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

In a looming battle over the federal debt ceiling, Republicans in Congress insist they hold the cards. They do have the power to stop federal borrowing, withhold payment of federal debts and cause unknown damage to the world economy. Some want to use that power to force President Obama to reduce federal spending in the way they want.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama's Woman Problem Is A Problem Of His Own Making

President Obama holds a news conference Monday in the East Room of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:45 pm

Does President Obama have a problem with women?

On the level of appearances, he certainly does. Which is why at his Monday news conference, he found himself responding to criticisms about the lack of diversity in his picks so far for his second-term Cabinet — State, Treasury, Defense and CIA — who have all been white men.

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'Radio Diaries'
2:56 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

'Segregation Forever': A Fiery Pledge Forgiven, But Not Forgotten

During his inaugural address on Jan. 14, 1963, newly elected Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace vowed "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
Bettmann Corbis

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 6:17 pm

It was just a single line in a speech given 50 years ago today. But that one phrase, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever," is remembered as one of the most vehement rallying cries against racial equality in American history.

The year was 1963. Civil rights activists were fighting for equal access to schools and the voting booth, and the federal government was preparing to intervene in many Southern states.

And on Jan. 14, in Montgomery, Ala., newly elected Gov. George Wallace, a Democrat, stepped up to a podium to deliver his inaugural address.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Dear Mr. President: What Do You Want Obama To Remember?

Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:55 pm

President Obama will soon be sworn into office, and whether you voted for him or not, he's everybody's president. What do you want him to remember in his second term?

Share your thoughts at http://inauguration2013.tumblr.com/

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Elder President Bush Released From Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in June.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images for HBO

After nearly two months in a Houston hospital, where he spent some of the time in intensive care for treatment of complications related to bronchitis, an infection and a stubborn fever, former President George H.W. Bush was sent home today.

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Politics
11:42 am
Mon January 14, 2013

The Accomplishments, Shortcomings Of Obama's First Term

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:00 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Neal Conan is away. This Sunday, Barack Obama will be officially sworn in for his second term as the 44th president of the United States. But today as Washington gears up for four more years, we wanted to look back at the first term, from health care to gay marriage to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

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Author Interviews
11:16 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Retired Bishop Gene Robinson On Being Gay And Loving God

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, has retired. He'll start working with the Center for American Progress, a progressive research and policy organization, on issues of faith and gay rights.
BProud Photography Knopf

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:25 pm

For many years, it didn't occur to Bishop Gene Robinson — the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church — that he might retire before age 72, the mandatory retirement age for Episcopal bishops. But then, in 2010, Mary Glasspool, who is also openly gay, was elected bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles and, for the first time, Robinson reconsidered his retirement plans.

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U.S.
10:26 am
Mon January 14, 2013

In News Conference, Obama Calls For Raising Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene. We'll begin NPR's business news with a warning from President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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Latin America
10:14 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Guantanamo Bay Still Unresolved

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.

Coming up, we'll talk about why the Peace Corps is stepping up its efforts to recruit doctors and nurses to its ranks of people serving in developing countries. That's ahead.

But first, President Barack Obama is just about a week away from being sworn into his second term in office. So we have been looking at some of the unresolved issues from his first four years. Last week, we talk about housing, particularly the foreclosure crisis.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Lawmaker Plans Bill To Lift Immunity For Gun Manufacturers And Dealers

Handgun barrels on the assembly line of Hi-Point Firearms in Mansfield, Ohio.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer /Landov

Add this to the list of proposals to overhaul the gun industry: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says he will introduce legislation this week to roll back legal immunity for gun manufacturers and dealers.

Schiff tells NPR there's no need for the 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to remain on the books. That law gave gun makers, gun dealers and trade groups immunity from most negligence and product liability lawsuits. "Good gun companies don't need special protection from the law," Schiff says, "Bad companies don't deserve it."

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama: I Will Not Let Deficit Talks Be Tied To Another Debt Ceiling Debate

President Obama speaks during his news conference in the East Room of the White House on Monday.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:03 pm

At a news conference dominated by discussion of what's expected to be Washington's next big political battle, President Obama insisted Monday that he will not let Republicans tie an increase in the federal government's borrowing limit to negotiations over cuts in future federal spending.

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Political Junkie
4:13 am
Mon January 14, 2013

This Particular Nomination May Not Be About Obama; It's About Chuck Hagel

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., speaks at the White House on Monday after President Obama nominated him to replace U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:12 am

Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans are interested in only one thing, and that is to thwart President Obama at every opportunity. He proposes something, the GOP opposes it. He says it's day, they say it's night. In some cases, those complaints are justified; in others, it's just whining.

But it's a complex story about the opposition to Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, to become the next secretary of defense. It may not be about Obama at all.

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It's All Politics
1:24 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Critics Decry Looser Rules For Inauguration Fundraising

Construction was under way on Capitol Hill in November for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

A week from Monday, President Obama is to take his public oath of office for a second term.

The inauguration will be marked by celebratory balls and other festivities, sponsored by the privately financed Presidential Inaugural Committee. The first Obama inauguration had strict fundraising rules. But this year, the rules have been loosened, and critics wonder what happened to the president's old pledge to change the way Washington works.

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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate

Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, shown in Kansas in 2011, added language to the Justice Department's annual spending bill in 2003 that has put limits on the sharing of government gun records.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to make recommendations on how to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

But he says his task force is facing an unexpected obstacle: slim or outdated research on weapons.

Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies.

A Researcher Under Fire

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It's All Politics
10:34 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Enmity And Ennui: Va. Governor's Race Inspiring Both

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli talks about the Supreme Court decision on the national health care law on June 28, 2012 in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:15 pm

Most Virginians say they approve of the job that first-term GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell is doing, suggesting he'd have a good shot at re-election when his term expires at the end of this year.

But it's one-and-out for governors in Virginia, the only state that doesn't allow its chief executive to serve consecutive terms.

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It's All Politics
4:09 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Cabinet Picks Come As Democrats Push To Change Filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have talked about a deal to change the Senate's filibuster rules.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:25 pm

In recent weeks, President Obama has chosen Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his next secretary of state; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to head the Pentagon; counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director; and his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Each nomination will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and they all could be stopped by a Senate filibuster — that is, the refusal by any one of 100 senators to let a matter come to a final vote.

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The Sotomayor Interview
5:00 am
Sat January 12, 2013

A Justice Deliberates: Sotomayor On Love, Health And Family

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke with NPR in December at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor readily concedes that she was the beneficiary of affirmative action in higher education, and she doesn't really know why her view is so different from that of her colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas.

"As much as I know Clarence, admire him and have grown to appreciate him," she says, "I have never ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive. And I know one thing: If affirmative action opened the doors for me at Princeton, once I got in, I did the work. I proved myself worthy. So, I don't look at how the door opened."

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Politics
4:51 am
Sat January 12, 2013

What Obama's Cabinet Picks Say About His Second Term

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama has announced most of his Cabinet choices for his second term. There are no big surprises. All are pretty familiar faces in Washington, D.C., but Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and the White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew still must get through Senate confirmation. We're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, thanks for being with us.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Happy to be here.

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Politics
4:51 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Biden Seeks To Rally All Sides Of Gun Debate

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Vice President Joe Biden met with factions in the gun debate this week, from the National Rifle Association to the families of the Virginia Tech shootings. On Tuesday, the vice president will present the recommendations of the task force on gun violence that he has been leading to President Obama. We're joined now by NPR's Brian Naylor who's been covering the gun debate in Washington D.C. Brian, thanks for being with us.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Thank you, Scott.

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NPR Story
4:42 am
Sat January 12, 2013

What Would Obama Do (If There's No Debt Ceiling Deal)?

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Post-Election Americans Perceive Less Class Conflict and Tension Over Immigration

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:19 pm

You might think that after a pretty rancorous election season there would be lingering acrimony between people who belong to groups embroiled in some of the campaign's most heated debates. But if there is, a new study by Pew found that many Americans don't feel that way.

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Rockefeller's Exit May Test How Deep The Red Runs In W.Va.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced Friday that he won't seek re-election in 2014 and will retire after having served 30 years in the Senate.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The announcement from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., that he will not seek a sixth term in 2014, would seem to give Republicans a big opening in a state that has gone deep red in recent presidential elections.

But West Virginia's animus toward recent Democrats in the White House, especially President Obama, doesn't necessarily translate into Republican advantages in statewide races.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Spike That Email About Welfare And Work; Fact-Checkers Say It's Not True

If this arrives in your inbox, fact checkers advise just hitting delete.
PolitiFact.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:58 pm

If you've gotten the "Death Spiral" email that's apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here's the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers:

It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.

The debunkers: both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

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Economy
9:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

New Mortgage Rules Not A Fix All

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released new rules for mortgages this week. But neither the banking industry, nor consumer groups are completely happy. Host Michel Martin gets a sense of the current state of mortgages and foreclosures with real estate columnist Ilyce Glink and Keli Goff, political correspondent for The Root.

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