Politics

The Two-Way
8:38 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Bill Clinton: Defense Of Marriage Act That I Signed Is Unconstitutional

Former President Bill Clinton (and then-Vice President Al Gore) in 1996, the year Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.
Stephen Jaffe Reuters /Landov

Times were different in 1996 when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, former President Bill Clinton writes in today's Washington Post.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:43 am
Fri March 8, 2013

It's All Politics, Mar. 7, 2013

Eric Gay AP

Proving they can't be outdone by Rand Paul, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving filibuster their way through the latest podcast, assessing Jeb Bush's words on immigration, President Obama's strategy on sequestration, Donald Trump's attendance at the CPAC occasion and the results of the Los Angeles mayoral election.

Politics
2:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Finally Confirms John Brennan As CIA Director

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

John Brennan is the new director of Central Intelligence Agency. He was sworn in this morning. The Senate confirmed him yesterday with a 63 to 34 vote, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, it did not come easy.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: John O. Brennan comes to the job as the nation's top spy with 25 years of experience at the CIA. Most recently he served as the president's top counter-terrorism advisor. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, leads the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Politics
2:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Committee Passes First Of 4 Gun Control Bills

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee here in Washington has approved a new gun control bill. It strengthens penalties for those who buy weapons for people who are legally barred from purchasing firearms themselves. This is the first federal gun law to head to the Senate floor since the Newtown massacre. We should say proposed federal gun law. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it's just the beginning of what looks to be a long legislative fight.

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It's All Politics
1:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Mostly Blamed For Agency And Court Vacancies, But Obama Isn't Helping

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has not had a permanent administrator since Congress required that the director be confirmed by the Senate in 2006.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:50 am

Hear Brian Nayor, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi and Carrie Johnson talk with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about the many federal entities operating without permanent leadership by clicking the audio link.

Some workers may dream about how productive they'd be without a boss. But for thousands of federal employees, being without a boss is a reality. And productivity isn't necessarily the result.

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It's All Politics
4:14 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Watchdogs Not Celebrating Obama Group's Switch On Big Donors

Jim Messina (left), the head of Organizing for Action and a former top Obama campaign and White House aide, watches President Obama make a statement in the White House Cabinet Room in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:49 pm

Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.

That had opened officials now heading Organizing for Action — which was formed from the Obama for America campaign committee to promote the president's second-term agenda — to charges of hypocrisy.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Departing Obama Speechwriter: 'I Leave This Job Actually More Hopeful'

Jon Favreau, President Obama's former chief speechwriter, is pictured on the South Lawn of the White House in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:09 pm

Behind most politicians is a speechwriter, typing rapidly somewhere in a small office and trying to channel the boss's voice.

The man who has held perhaps the most prominent speechwriting job of the new millennium is Jon Favreau, a 31-year-old from Massachusetts who was President Obama's chief speechwriter until this month. He started writing for Obama when the president was just a senator in 2005.

He tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that writing for the president means walking a line between two worlds.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Wouldn't Crack Top 5 In Filibuster Talking Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Reaches Out To Republicans With Dinner Invitations

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

President Obama continued his outreach to congressional Republicans on Thursday with a lunch with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee and author of a plan to balance the budget in a decade.

Politics
2:55 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Committee Passes Bill Meant To Reduce 'Straw Purchases' Of Guns

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

The first major gun bills in nearly two decades had their first hearing in the Senate on Thursday, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on so-called "straw purchases." Still, even in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the legislation faces an uphill battle. Ailsa Chang talks to Melissa Block.

Politics
2:46 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Confirms Brennan As CIA Director

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

How Did Strom Thurmond Last Through His 24-Hour Filibuster?

Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina after his 24+ hour filibuster in 1957. He was a Democrat then. Later, Thurmond would switch to the Republican Party.
AP

As he ended his nearly 13-hour filibuster early Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) indirectly said it was nature's call that forced him to stop talking:

"I would try to go another 12 hours and try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but there are some limits to filibustering and I am going to have to go take care of one of those here," he said.

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Politics
12:11 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Famous Filibusters Throughout History

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Yesterday, Republican Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, filibustered the Senate floor for nearly 13 hours in protest of the administration's use of drones.

SENATOR RAND PAUL: This is not about partisanship. I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees, but I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution. I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say that he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking a country.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Holder Responds To Paul About Drone Strikes On U.S. Soil

A Predator drone.
General Atomics Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:22 pm

As he rose to begin his nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said "no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court." He would filibuster John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director, Paul said, because he wanted a clear statement from the Obama administration acknowledging that U.S.

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It's All Politics
10:40 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Talks His Way Into The Political Big Time

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leaves the floor of the Senate early Thursday following his filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:58 am

Rand Paul has gained new prominence in ways that inevitably lead to speculation about his political future, including the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.

The Kentucky Republican's marathon filibuster that began Wednesday raised his profile above those of other junior but ambitious conservatives in the Senate, says GOP consultant David Carney.

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Governing
10:30 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Small Towns Struggle Too

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, many small colleges say they're making a big push to diversify, but what happens when those diverse students and faculty actually show up? We'll talk about that in just a few minutes. But first we want to talk about some of the financial struggles that cities and towns have been having over the last few years.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Will Breaking Bread Break The Deadlock In D.C.?

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., gave a thumbs-up Wednesday night after he and other GOP senators had dinner with President Obama.
Olivier Douliery/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:38 am

Wednesday night it was dinner with a small group of Republican lawmakers.

Thursday it's lunch with 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Next week, the president is due to have lunch with more Republican senators.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Today: First Key Votes On Gun Laws Since Newtown Shootings

Guns on display at a show in Fort Wayne, Ind., last month.
Brian Cassella MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:52 am

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. One Measure Approved So Far:

"The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday making gun trafficking a federal crime as lawmakers cast the first vote in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Nearly 13 Hours Later, Sen. Paul Ends His Filibuster; Here's The Video

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during his filibuster.
Senate Television AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:45 am

After nearly 13 hours during which he had only a few short breaks while sympathetic senators took over the talking, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky ended his filibuster of John Brennan's CIA nomination early Thursday.

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Politics
2:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Ends Filibuster After Nearly 13 Hours

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Just before noon yesterday, with much of Washington at home for a snowstorm that never really materialized, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the floor of the Senate.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak.

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Politics
2:48 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Panel Considers 4 Gun Control Measures

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:14 am

The bills that would restrict the right to own and sell some guns will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. It's the most progress gun legislation has made in nearly two decades, in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

It's All Politics
1:05 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday following a meeting with congressional leaders.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:44 am

President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

The president had dinner Wednesday night with a small group of Republican lawmakers. He's also planning rare visits to Capitol Hill next week to discuss his agenda with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aides say Obama is trying to locate what he calls a "caucus of common sense" in Congress to tackle the country's long-term budget challenges.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

House Gives OK To $982 Billion Short-Term Spending Bill

The House has approved a bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. The $982 billion continuing resolution introduced by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the Appropriations Committee, would avoid a potential government shutdown on March 27.

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Obama's Outreach To GOP: More Optics Than Opportunity?

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire at the Capitol last month. The senators are among a group invited to dine Wednesday with President Obama.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:21 pm

President Obama recently acknowledged the obvious: He doesn't have the supernatural powers necessary to do a mind meld, Jedi or otherwise, with Republican congressional leaders that would lead to pacts on fiscal policy or anything else for that matter.

But if he doesn't have the power to force meetings of the minds with his Republican opponents, he can at least still get meetings with them.

Popping up on the president's schedule all of a sudden was a Wednesday night dinner at a Washington, D.C., hotel with a group of GOP senators.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Houses Passes Resolution To Keep Government Funded Through September

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Senators Question Holder Over U.S. Drone Program

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. It began around mid-day today, while wet snow fell on Washington D.C. Inside the Capitol building, a conservative Republican senator began to talk and talk - and talk. Rand Paul launched a filibuster to block the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director because of concerns over the administration's drone policies.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Filibusters To Block Brennan's Nomination

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, more on the long speech Carrie mentioned from Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's engaged in an old fashioned stand on the floor and talk till you can't filibuster. It began shortly before noon, aimed at blocking the president's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I've chosen to make a stand on this one and not so much the person, but the principle of this. I have nothing personally against Brennan. I have nothing personal against the president.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Arkansas Legislature Embraces Strictest U.S. Abortion Law

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:42 am

Arkansas has approved a law banning most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, as both houses of the state's legislature vote to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The Republican-backed Human Heartbeat Protection Act will become the nation's most restrictive law.

In vetoing the Senate version of the bill Monday, Beebe said that it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability."

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Around the Nation
12:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Supreme Court's 'Heavyweight'

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses during a group photo in September 2009 in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 12:33 pm

In his profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes: "Ginsburg has suggested that she would like to serve as long as Louis Brandeis, her judicial hero, who retired at eighty-two." Ginsburg turns 80 this month and is marking her 20th year on the court. She has had cancer — colon and pancreatic — and her tiny, frail-looking stature leads many people to wonder if she'll be retiring soon.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

The Political Fallout Of Sequestration

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington. Jeb Bush switches his views, Romney remarks on his regrets, and the president says he can't call on the force. It's Wednesday and time for...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A Jedi mind meld...

NEARY: 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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