Politics

Politics
2:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Obama Auditions Foreign Policy Speech Before Graduating Cadets

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama says he wants to ramp up support for opposition forces in Syria. That could include weapons and training provided by the U.S. military. We'll hear more about his reasoning ahead. Obama made the call today in a commencement speech at West Point. NPR's Scott Horsley reports the president also used the speech to defend his broader approach to foreign-policy.

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Texas Tea Party Gives GOP Establishment The Blues

Republican Dan Patrick at his victory party on Tuesday. Patrick defeated incumbent David Dewhurst to capture the Texas GOP lieutenant governor's nomination.
Patric Schneider AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 3:41 pm

This was starting to look like a bad year for the Tea Party, with primary election losses to Republican establishment candidates beginning to pile up. Then came Texas.

In yet another example of the distinctiveness of Lone Star State politics, Tea Party candidates had a field day Tuesday in primary runoff elections, knocking off several Republican incumbents.

In the highest-profile race, state senator and conservative radio host Dan Patrick, with energetic Tea Party backing, defeated Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, ending his 16 years in statewide office.

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It's All Politics
10:55 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Hard Sell For 'Hard Choices' Says Hillary's Running In 2016

Publisher Simon & Schuster says the initial printing of Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-released memoir, Hard Choices, has already sold out.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:19 pm

As subtle as a bugle call, the marketing effort now underway for Hillary Clinton's new book is the clearest indication to date that she is in fact running for president in 2016.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Obama To Use West Point Speech To Lay Out Foreign Policy Doctrine

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama delivers the commencement address at West Point today. Aides say he'll lay out a broad vision for foreign policy and America's role in the world. Among the foreign policy challenges facing the president of late, Russia's annexation of Crimea and China's provocative moves in Asia. The president will try to describe a coherent approach to those challenges. But as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, this might not be an out-right Obama doctrine.

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The Two-Way
9:57 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Oldest Serving Member Of The House Loses To Tea Party Opponent

Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, greets a voter outside a polling station in Rockwall, Texas, on Tuesday.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:28 am

The oldest member of Congress has lost his bid for an 18th term in the House.

Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, 91, was defeated in a Republican primary runoff by John Ratcliffe, 48, a former U.S. attorney with Tea Party support.

Hall, who has been in the House since 1981, is also the last member to have served in World War II, our Newscast Desk reports. No Democrat is running in the district, which runs from suburban Dallas to the Louisiana and Oklahoma borders.

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It's All Politics
7:11 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

No Democratic Stampede From Shinseki Yet — But Stay Tuned

President Obama walks past Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki (second from left) after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:19 pm

The good news for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is that there isn't yet an outright stampede of Democrats away from him, even as some call for his resignation.

The bad news is that doesn't mean there won't be.

Just last week, the retired four-star general caught up in the scandal over reports that dozens of vets died in Phoenix while awaiting VA care saw several Democratic Senate candidates and some sitting House members call for his resignation.

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The Salt
2:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

First lady Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of high-fiving with schoolchildren like these in Dallas to promote healthful lifestyles. Now she's diving more deeply into the politics of school lunch.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:58 pm

First lady Michelle Obama is by far one of the most popular political figures in America, because she's largely avoided appearing too political — instead devoting much of her attention to encouraging good nutrition and healthful lifestyles for America's children.

But that cause has run head-on into a congressional fight over stalling some of the nutritional gains of the school lunch program, which she helped put in place.

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It's All Politics
12:54 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Brad Paisley Leaves 'Southern Comfort Zone' For Troops In Afghanistan

Country music singer Brad Paisley performs during a troop rally with President Obama during an unannounced visit at Bagram Air Field on Sunday.
Evan Vucci AP

Brad Paisley is well-known as a top-selling country music star. Turns out, he's a pretty good juggler, too.

Paisley joined President Obama in a surprise trip to Afghanistan this Memorial Day weekend, playing for some 3,000 troops at the Bagram Airfield. Just 24 hours earlier, Paisley was the headliner at the Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Mon May 26, 2014

White House Mistakenly Blows Cover Of CIA Officer In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:18 pm

A list that was meant to help journalists report on President Obama's trip to Afghanistan on Sunday has instead created an awkward and potentially damaging situation. That's because it mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, the agency's top official there.

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Afghanistan
3:09 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Obama Wants At Least A Small Troop Presence In Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

President Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Sunday — his first since 2012. Since that time, U.S. troop levels there have been cut by about two-thirds.

Business
3:29 am
Sun May 25, 2014

It's Geithner Vs. Warren In Battle Of The Bailout

In a war of words between Timothy Geithner and Elizabeth Warren over the bank bailout, who's the victor?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The financial crisis of 2008 caused such an enormous upheaval that future historians will long be asking: Who caused it? Who fixed it? Could it have turned out better?

Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote A Fighting Chance.

The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Warren remains outraged that wealthy bankers have not been jailed.

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Around the Nation
9:46 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Keep Up Their Winning Streak

Christopher DiCapua, left, and Oscar Cabrera kiss after saying their wedding vows on Friday at City Hall in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the final northeastern state and the 19th in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.
Matt Rourke AP

Same-sex marriage supporters continued to enjoy considerable legal momentum this week.

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Politics
8:41 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Conservatives Brainstorm To Win Voters In The Middle

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., says that Great Society social programs aren't helping working people.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

Election watchers say Republicans could take control of the Senate this fall. At the same time, many of these same analysts see problems for the Grand Old Party in the longer term.

Republican voters tend to be white, older and more affluent, and their share of the overall population is shrinking. That's why at least some conservatives think it's time for the party to broaden its appeal to the middle class.

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The Salt
3:28 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Gastrodiplomacy Gives Foreign Chefs A Fresh Take And Taste Of America

Participants of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership try different foods at the State Department in Washington during a gathering of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs from across the U.S.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 1:05 pm

When you think of the tools of diplomacy, food isn't always high on the list. But breaking bread together can be one of the most basic ways of finding common ground. Which is why, a couple of years ago, the State Department launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.

The program created an American Chefs Corps, who represent the U.S. abroad, and invited foreign chefs and culinary professionals here to taste and talk food.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Putin Says He'll Respect Ukraine Vote But U.S. Is Skeptical

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 in St. Petersburg on Friday. He told the audience that he would respect Sunday's presidential vote in Ukraine.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters/Landov

The White House has expressed skepticism over Russian leader Vladimir Putin's pledge to respect the results of Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine, instead calling on the Kremlin to ensure that separatists don't disrupt the polling.

Putin, delivering a speech in St. Petersburg, said Moscow "will treat the choice of the Ukrainian people with respect."

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It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Court Orders Conyers Back On Ballot

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in November 2012. He's held his Detroit-area congressional seat for close to 50 years.
Carlos Osorio AP

A federal court threw Rep. John Conyers a lifeline Friday with a decision that stops Michigan election officials from throwing the veteran lawmaker off the primary ballot.

The possibility of the 25-term Democratic congressman — who would become the longest-serving member in the House if he wins another term — fell into doubt when election officials said Conyers failed to secure enough legitimately collected signatures on his petitions for a spot on the ballot.

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Politics
4:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

A Year On, What's Changed (And What Hasn't) On Drone Oversight

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The ability to monitor remotely is one hallmark of the post 9/11 world. Another is the ability to kill remotely. It's what the drone has made possible. But now the practice known as targeted killing may become harder to veil in secrecy. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: One year ago in that speech at the National Defense University, President Obama defended his use of drones as legal and effective. But he also acknowledged the practice raises moral questions.

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Politics
2:58 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Week In Politics: Scandal At The VA, Primary Results

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama, this week, defended one of his cabinet secretaries and did not create a vacancy at the Department of Veterans Affairs when General Eric Shinseki visited the White House. But as for delays, backlogs and allegations of cooking the books at VA facilities, the president sounded adamant.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable. It is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it, period.

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Politics
2:26 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

House-Approved USA Freedom Bill Disappoints Original Supporters

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH: We're going to consider now changing perceptions toward fighting terrorism. President Obama has suggested that eventually the war on terror must end and that the nation must think about the tools used to fight it. Here he is speaking a year ago today at the National Defense University.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: From our use of drones to the tension of terror suspects, the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation and world that we leave to our children.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor For Housing Post

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

President Obama on Friday officially nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to the post of secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a move that boosts the profile of a young Hispanic seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Castro would replace Shaun Donovan, who Obama wants to become the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan would take over OMB from outgoing budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's expected to be confirmed shortly as the next health secretary.

The Associated Press says:

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Politics
2:19 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For HUD Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is a rising star in the Democratic Party. He spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm

President Obama has been playing musical chairs with his Cabinet.

At the White House on Friday, Obama announced that he's chosen Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be his new budget director. Donovan would replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's taking over the Department of Health and Human Services.

That leaves a vacancy atop the housing department, which the president plans to fill with an outsider: Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

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It's All Politics
12:31 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Boehner Reaches Out To The Tea Party — Or Trolls Them

During a December news conference, House Speaker John Boehner rebukes conservative groups who opposed the bipartisan budget compromise.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:15 pm

For months, Tea Party groups had been exhorting their members to "Fire the Speaker!"

A collection of Tea Party-backed candidates have also said, if elected, they would not support John Boehner for speaker in the next Congress.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Detroit Federal Judge OKs Rep. John Conyers For Primary

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., addresses supporters during the Michigan Democratic election night party in Detroit. Conyers has served in Congress since 1964, but problems with ballot petitions have threatened to keep him out of the August primary.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the second-most-senior member of the U.S. House, will appear on the August primary ballot, overturning a decision by Michigan's secretary of state who said the candidacy was invalid.

Judge Matthew Leitman issued an injunction ordering Conyers' name to be placed on the ballot, The Associated Press says.

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It's All Politics
8:39 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is The Tea Party Finished?

Tea Party activists rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in June 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:07 pm

The time has come for us all to take a long, step-back look at this thing we call the Tea Party.

The results from Republican primaries in a dozen states so far this year strongly suggest that the party, such as it was, is over.

It may not have made sense to use the term "party" at any time in this movement's brief history. This year, that fact has become increasingly obvious.

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Politics
3:09 am
Fri May 23, 2014

House Blocks Repeal Of Authorization To Use Military Force

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California about efforts to end the nearly 13-year-old congressional authorization for the use of military force.

Politics
3:02 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama Wants Guantanamo Closed But His Efforts Are Thwarted

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:48 am

It's been a year since President Obama renewed his pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But more than 150 prisoners are still housed there.

It's All Politics
5:47 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

House Defense Bill: Military DREAMers Out, Climate Science Ban In

GOP leadership decided against keeping an immigration-related provision in the defense authorization bill. But it allowed one banning the Defense Department from participating in climate change research.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:38 pm

House Republican leadership decided Thursday that it was inappropriate to insert a provision in the defense authorization bill allowing DREAMers — immigrants brought to this country illegally as children — to earn permanent residency by serving in the military.

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It's All Politics
5:10 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Sen. Isakson: Boggs Fight Won't Break White House Deal

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a May 2013 Senate Finance Committee hearing.
Charles Dharapak AP

If the judicial nomination of Michael Boggs gets derailed, at least one of Georgia's senators says it won't unravel a deal the two senators entered with the White House to select seven nominees for the federal bench in Georgia.

"The deal was we agreed on seven nominees for seven judicial appointments and asked for all of them to get a hearing at the same time, and that was the deal," said Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia. "Everybody lived up to what they said."

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Senate To NFL: Change The Redskins' Name

Both senators in Maryland — where the Washington Redskins play — signed on to a letter urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to get the team to change its name.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:01 pm

The United States Senate ratcheted up the pressure on owner Daniel Snyder on Thursday after a letter — signed by half the Senate — was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking him to use his authority to get the Washington Redskins to change a team name that many consider racist.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Senate Confirms Author Of Drone Memo To Federal Bench

This May 20, 2013, file photo shows Harvard Law Professor David Barron during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Michael Dwyer AP

The Senate voted Thursday to confirm David Barron, whose judicial nomination had been threatened by his work shaping the Obama administration's drone policy.

The vote to seat Barron on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston was 53 to 45. Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined a unified Republican caucus in opposing the nomination.

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