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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.