Politics

Politics
3:13 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Release Of Sgt. Bergdahl May Have Come At A High Cost

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:48 am

Bowe Bergdahl's release and the prisoner swap that made it possible are raising thorny foreign policy questions, which are being voiced most loudly at this point by congressional Republicans.

Politics
3:11 am
Mon June 2, 2014

EPA To Propose Rules To Deeply Cut Power Plant Emissions

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:39 am

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose rules to regulate the amount of carbon pollution existing facilities can release. The EPA reportedly is seeking a 30 percent cut.

Politics
3:11 am
Mon June 2, 2014

17 Primary Candidates Vie For Rep. Henry Waxman's Seat

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:48 am

When the Democrat from Southern California announced his retirement earlier this year, he opened up a seat that had been occupied for decades. The top-two vote getters will face off in November.

Politics
3:11 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Mitt Romney Emerges As A Player In Midterm Elections

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:43 am

The ex-presidential candidate is on the campaign trail, picking winners in a number of key primaries. He says his goal is to help the GOP have a great 2014, including seizing control of the Senate.

Middle East
3:13 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Political Division Over Effect Of Swapping 5 Detainees For POW

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 5:04 pm

In exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. transferred five detainees from Guantanamo to Qatar. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Kabul correspondent Sean Carberry about the swap.

Environment
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Obama To Wield Executive Power To Limit Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As we just heard, tomorrow, the Environmental Protection Agency will announce new regulations aimed at cutting carbon pollution. To hear more about that, we're joined by Michael Oppenheimer. He's a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. These regulations are the president's most ambitious plan yet to combat climate change. Professor Oppenheimer, from your vantage point, how significant is this announcement?

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Business
11:22 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Regulators And Airlines Fight Over Fares, Fees And Fairness

The government wants airlines to be more up front with passengers about the total cost of tickets.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

This week, the Department of Transportation hit Southwest Airlines with a $200,000 fine for touting a fare that did not exist. The carrier had said in a TV ad that customers in Atlanta could fly to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles for just $59. But the bargain fare turned out to be too good to be true.

Southwest, which paid a fine for a similar problem last year, says the ad was a mistake. The airline pulled it as soon as the error was discovered.

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It's All Politics
3:54 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Shinseki Couldn't Outflank Election Year Politics

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki pauses while speaking at a meeting of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

By President Obama's own admission, politics had a lot to do with why he decided to accept Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation Friday.

In saying that he accepted Shinseki's judgment that there was a real downside to him remaining in the Cabinet, Obama said: "Well, the distractions that Ric refers to in part are political."

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Politics
3:17 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

In Mississippi, A Senate Race Derailed By A Blogger's Photos

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who is seeking his seventh term, is in a heated primary race with a Tea Party-backed challenger. Supporters of his opponent are accused of conspiring to photograph Cochran's bedridden wife.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:12 pm

Mississippi's Republican Senate primary has taken a bizarre and nasty turn as Tuesday's election draws near. The heated race is considered one of the Tea Party's best opportunities to unseat a longtime GOP incumbent, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

House Vote Aims To Derail DOJ Processing Of Clemency Petitions

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 4:41 pm

The House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the Justice Department from hiring more attorneys to deal with thousands of backlogged clemency petitions in a bid to block one of the Obama administration's top criminal justice priorities.

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News
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Retired Army Gen. On Shinseki: 'I Don't Look Up To Any Man More'

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

For more on Gen. Eric Shinseki's decision to step down, Robert Siegel turns to Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the former Vice-Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army.

News
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for lengthy waits at VA facilities, saying he's ousting the leaders of a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after stories about delays in care there. Shinseki's decision to resign marks a muddy end to an illustrious career, which began when he joined the Army nearly five decades ago.

Commentary
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Week In Politics: Shinseki's Resignation And Obama At West Point

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For thoughts on the Shinseki resignation and the president's foreign policy speech at West Point this week, I'm joined by our Friday commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome back to you both.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

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News
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

VA Secretary Shinseki Steps Down Amid Reports Of Systemic Problems

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Gen. Eric Shinseki is out as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. That comes after bipartisan calls for his resignation and growing outrage over scheduling from the VA health system. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

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It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

GOP House Votes To Leave States Alone On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana grown for medical purposes is shown inside a greenhouse at a farm in Potter Valley, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

Perhaps validating what public opinion surveys have been showing for some time, the House voted in Friday's wee hours to prohibit the federal government from interfering with medical marijuana laws passed by 32 states and the District of Columbia.

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Politics
12:16 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

What's Ahead For The VA As Shinseki Steps Down?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney To Step Down

President Obama gives White House press secretary Jay Carney a hug after announcing that Carney will step down next month.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:57 pm

Jay Carney, who fielded reporters' tough questions for more than three years as White House press secretary, will resign.

President Obama interrupted the Friday media briefing to make the announcement.

"Jay's had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time," Obama said, announcing the move.

"Jay has become one of my closest friends," he said.

Carney said he'd asked to leave in April and that he would depart officially in mid-June.

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It's All Politics
10:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Democrats Plan Ad Buys In Some Rather Blue Places

Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney, shown with D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton during a June 2013 hearing, is a blue-state Democrat who could be in a tight re-election race.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 2:06 pm

A list of the House races for which Democrats have asked broadcasters and cable companies to reserve $44 million in ad time provides a revealing look at the shape of the midterm election landscape this fall.

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to spend money in some of the bluest states on the map — places like Massachusetts, Illinois and California.
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NPR Story
3:11 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Sen. Corker Wants More Lasting Show Of Force In Eastern Europe

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he thinks President Obama hasn't responded strongly enough to the crises in Ukraine and Syria.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:10 am

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had tough words following President Obama's West Point speech and NPR interview about foreign policy goals.

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Politics
3:11 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Rep. Murphy Aims For Mental Health Bill To Pass Before Next Shooting

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The mass shooting in California last weekend has lawmakers on Capitol Hill talking again about overhauling the nation's mental health system. In recent months the issue has seemed to have been placed firmly on a back burner but yesterday psychologists and family members of those with mental illness urged Congress to do more. NPR's Laura Sullivan reports.

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It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

A Speech To A Nation Weary Of War, And Wary Of The World

President Obama enters before speaking at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
John Angelillo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:36 pm

President Obama's speech this week to the West Point grads was for them, their families, the Army they will help lead and the nation they serve. But through much of the hourlong presentation the president seemed to be addressing another large and varied crowd: his critics.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
2:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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Politics
2:48 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Morning Edition' Friday: An Obama Critic On The West Point Speech

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

President Obama mapped out his vision for foreign policy yesterday in a commencement speech at West Point. Obama was taking on criticism that his approach to global affairs has been too cautious. But Republicans weren't any more satisfied after that speech. Tomorrow morning we'll hear from one of his biggest critics.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: I would suggest that he takes a speech that he did yesterday, throw it in the circular file, start again with something much more decisive and clear.

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Environment
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Conservatives, Environmentalists Found Common Ground In Cap And Trade

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now more about the history of cap and trade and how conservatives and environmentalists came together to establish that approach to reducing emissions. To tell us that story, joining us is C. Boyden Gray who assist in the formulation of the policy during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Gray, welcome to the program.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Thank you very much.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination

There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues. That's why venerable traditions like "blue slips" — slips of paper senators can use to block any White House choice for judgeships in their home state — carry over today.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 8:56 am

As President Obama continues to take heat for nominating to the federal bench a judge who once wanted to keep the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag, the White House says what's partly to blame for the choice is an old Senate tradition.

It turns out that tradition — which gives virtual veto power over judicial nominations to home state senators — helps explain why almost all the judicial vacancies without nominees are now in states with Republican senators.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Pope Invites Israeli, Palestinian Leaders For Joint Prayer Session

Pope Francis prays during a visit to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, earlier this week. While in the Holy Land, the pontiff extended an invitation to the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to join a prayer meeting at the Vatican.
Debbie Hill UPI/Landov

Pope Francis is hoping to demonstrate the power of prayer next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas join the pontiff at the Vatican for an exercise in peace building.

Reuters describes his invitation to the two leaders to join him at the Vatican for a joint prayer meeting as one of the "boldest political gestures" for Francis since he became pope in March 2013.

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It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Texas Takes A Hard Right Turn

Texas Republican Dan Patrick, who defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, faces the media at a polling place Tuesday in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:39 pm

The headline in the Dallas Morning News summed it up nicely: "Tea For Texas."

While the political news around the country has generally been how the Republican establishment has triumphantly held off Tea Party challengers, in Texas Tuesday it was the opposite.

David Dewhurst is a prime example of what happened. For more than a decade, all Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has done is faithfully serve the legislative agenda of one of the most conservative Republican governors in the country, Rick Perry.

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NPR Ed
11:24 am
Thu May 29, 2014

ACLU Sues California For 'Equal Learning Time'

California high school students Briana Lamb and Cristian Gaspar are named in the ACLU's equal learning time lawsuit.
ACLU SoCal/Public Counsel

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:00 pm

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that high poverty schools in California are denying students the learning time they need to succeed. The problem is so great and so pervasive, the lawsuit claims, that it violates the state constitution.

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Asia
4:09 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Obama Urges China To Be Constrained Within International Rules

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

China came up yesterday when we interviewed President Obama. The president recently visited neighbors of China, including U.S. allies. The Chinese have confronted several of their neighbors in disputes over territory, which raised a question for the president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

INSKEEP: Does the United States have an interest beyond its specific alliances in preventing China from dominating East Asia and the waters around East Asia, where China's been making some aggressive moves?

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