Politics

It's All Politics
2:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Experience Trumps Hope In Obama's Second-Term Cabinet Selections

President Obama nominates Jacob Lew to be his second-term Treasury secretary on Thursday at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:34 am

A re-elected president who gets to choose a second-term Cabinet has much more knowledge of the kind of team he needs than he did the first time around.

That's one simple way to understand President Obama's decisions as he creates his Cabinet 2.0.

The choices are not those of a president-elect who hasn't moved into the White House, or of a green president who hasn't watched his first international crisis unfold from his leather seat in the White House Situation Room.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:57 pm

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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Politics
12:07 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Former Cabinet Members On Being Part Of The President's Team

President Obama nominated Jack Lew, his current chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary today. Former cabinet members explain what it takes to put together a good cabinet, and how to get the members to work together.

It's All Politics
11:28 am
Thu January 10, 2013

What 'Lincoln' Says About Today's Congress

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.

Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.

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Economy
10:47 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three New 'Cliffs' Threaten The Economy

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:39 pm

Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.

Sorry.

Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.

The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.

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Politics
10:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Where Have All the Hip-Hop Politicians Gone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, that devastating earthquake hit Haiti three years ago. The country is still trying to rebuild. We'll hear from an author who has been traveling to Haiti for years, both before and after the earthquake, and she offers some bracing observations about what has actually made a difference in the country and what hasn't. We'll talk with the author of a book called "Farewell, Fred Voodoo." That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
10:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Is Illegal Immigration No Longer An Issue?

The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement last year than it did on all other major federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a new report. Host Michel Martin discusses that budget and unsettled immigration issues with the report's author Doris Meissner.

The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Crazy Or Canny? Talk Grows About $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

No, this isn't worth $1 trillion. It's a commemorative coin minted in the U.K. in 2008. But some have suggested the president's image should be on it if he orders up a $1 trillion coin.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:15 am

We're pretty sure this won't happen.

But ...

You practically can't visit a news site these days without seeing a story about why President Obama should or should not order the Treasury Department to strike a platinum coin "worth" $1 trillion and deposit it with the Federal Reserve.

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Politics
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Wants Urgent Action To End Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today, Vice President Biden holds another meeting on gun policy and this time he's talking to gun owners and gun sellers. The meeting will include the National Rifle Association and representatives from Wal-Mart, which is the nation's largest gun retailer. It's part of a White House effort to come up with new gun policies by the end of the month, as NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.

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Politics
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Expected To Pick Lew As Head Of Treasury

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama will nominate his chief of staff as the next treasury secretary later today. Jack Lew is a budget expert who could hit the ground running, as the Treasury tries to cope with a looming debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts and the ongoing push for long-term deficit reduction. Lew would be the latest nominee for a high-profile Cabinet post, as the president prepares for a second term.

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It's All Politics
4:22 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

In Talking To Their States, Governors Keep An Eye On Washington

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., walks to the podium Wednesday in Albany to deliver his third State of the State address.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:18 pm

From Superstorm Sandy to gun laws to the fiscal cliff, national issues are on the minds and the lips of the nation's governors setting their state agendas this week.

Some want Congress and President Obama to act; others urged state legislators to do what Congress hasn't.

"No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now," an impassioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday in calling for the state to enact the "toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period."

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Sebelius, Holder, And Shinseki Will Stay Put When Obama's Second Term Begins

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks as Attorney General Eric Holder listens during a news conference last October. The two plan to remain in their current jobs as President Obama's second term begins.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:41 am

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official. The news that the three will remain in their current posts comes amid the departure of other Cabinet officials, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who submitted her resignation today.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Announces Her Resignation

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, seen here sitting in a new Ford Fusion last September, submitted her resignation to President Obama Wednesday.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 3:34 pm

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is resigning, opening up one more slot in President Obama's second-term administration. A former member of Congress, Solis was the first Hispanic woman to head a Cabinet-level agency.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Signature? Doodle? Check How A Treasury Secretary Lew Might Sign Your Dollars

Jacob "Jack" Lew's signature, on the 2012 "Mid-Session Review" of the federal budget. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time.
WhiteHouse.gov

Treasury secretaries get to see their signatures on the nation's currency.

With word that President Obama wants to nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew," to that post, lots of sites are taking a look at his rather unique signature.

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Remembrances
12:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

How Nixon Re-Shaped The Presidency

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee.

But it is a special day. On this day, 100 years ago, Richard Milhous Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. He later became a U.S. representative, a senator, a vice president, and finally, 37th president of the United States. From civil rights to Watergate, Nixon's term shaped perceptions of the modern office of the presidency and creating quite a few memorable soundbites in the process.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Sock it to me

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Politics
12:09 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

After 'Fiscal Cliff' Debate, The State Of The GOP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 3:17 pm

NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics — from Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense, to the swearing-in of the 113th Congress. Exiting Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) shares his thoughts on the current state and future of the Republican Party.

Beauty Shop
10:13 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Beauty Shop Fodder: Cabinet Picks And Reality TV

The Beauty Shop ladies weigh in on President Obama's national security nominations. They also talk about whether reality television has sunk to a new low this season with shows about rural partying and baby mamas.

Around the Nation
10:11 am
Wed January 9, 2013

The Second Amendment: 27 Words, Endless Interpretations

The Second Amendment is short on words but long on dispute.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 11:00 am

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is like:

  • an Etch A Sketch. You can make it into pretty much whatever you want.
  • an optical-illusory M.C. Escher staircase that climbs back into itself.
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History
10:11 am
Wed January 9, 2013

What The Emancipation Proclamation Didn't Do

The Emancipation Proclamation celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. But not everyone knows the real story behind the document. Host Michel Martin speaks with historian Lonnie Bunch, about what the Emancipation Proclamation did - and didn't do.

Politics
9:53 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Eyes Glazed? Cutting Through The Fiscal Talks

You might be feeling a bit hung over from all the 'fiscal cliff' negotiations. But the financial talks in Washington aren't over yet. In the coming months, the White House and Congress will face three major economic challenges. Host Michel Martin breaks down what you need to know for the next round of fiscal talks.

The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Reports: Obama Has Settled On Jack Lew, His Chief Of Staff, For Treasury

Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff. He's likely to be the nominee for treasury secretary.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:46 am

Update: At 6 a.m. ET. Jan. 10, White House Announcement:

The White House has officially confirmed that President Obama will nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary. According to a statement, the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today (Thursday).

NPR's Scott Horsley had more about the nomination on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:49 am

While the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be secretary of defense has drawn opposition from groups who question his views on policy toward Israel and Iran, the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director may be delayed by senators who want to know more about last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

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It's All Politics
1:32 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Lobbying Battle Over Hagel Under Way Before Obama's Nod

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

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:03 am

Weeks before President Obama officially nominated Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, the lobbying battle was well under way. The fight might be bigger than any other Cabinet nomination in history as the former Republican senator's friends and foes prepare for modern combat on TV and the Internet.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

House Gears Up For Immigration Battle

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the new House Judiciary Committee chairman, is a former immigration attorney who has taken a hard line against Democratic proposals.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:05 pm

With immigration expected to be a top issue in the new Congress, lawmakers in both parties continue to call for a bipartisan approach — while also preparing for battle.

The messaging from many House Democrats and Republicans about the chances of passing an immigration overhaul remains optimistic. And some of them, such as Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California, have begun to meet privately.

But other moves indicate that lawmakers are hedging their bets and girding for a fight.

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U.S.
3:09 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Gun Control Advocates Say ATF's Hands Have Been Tied

Officers transfer confiscated weapons after a news conference to announce the arrests of scores of alleged gang members and associates on federal racketeering and drug-trafficking charges in Lakewood, Calif., in 2009.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:37 pm

After the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama asked Vice President Biden to lead a group tasked with drafting policies to reduce gun violence. One of the issues sure to come up in the Biden group's discussions is the role of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

NRA Accepts Biden's Invitation To Meet

Vice President Biden.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

"We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say," National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says of the organization's decision to accept an invitation from the task force Vice President Biden is leading — the group that's studying gun laws and related issues in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Con

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Must-See Or Must-Avoid TV? Alex Jones Rails On Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, left, and Alex Jones on Monday night.
CNN.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:18 pm

There's really not much we need to add regarding Monday night's "discussion" about guns and gun control on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. Everyone's perfectly capable of forming their own opinions.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Medgar Evers' Widow Will Deliver Invocation Prayer At Inauguration

Myrlie Evers-Williams, seen here in 2010, will deliver the invocation at President Obama's second inauguration on Jan. 21.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

The widow of slain Civil Rights organizer Medgar Evers will deliver the invocation at President Obama's inauguration. Myrlie Evers-Williams will become the first woman, and someone other than clergy, to say the prayer that precedes the ceremonial oath of office, as The Washington Post reports.

The inaugural ceremony will take place on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue January 8, 2013

'Enough,' Says Giffords As She Launches Campaign For New Gun Laws

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., during her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.
ABCNews.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:22 am

When children are gunned down in their classrooms, as happened last month in Newtown, Conn., it's time to say "enough," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., tells ABC News.

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Political Junkie
4:53 am
Tue January 8, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

The fiscal cliff drama? Over. The Redskins' season? Kaput.

There's only one thing left. ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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