Politics

Africa
9:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Soccer: A Surprising Player In Egypt's Unrest

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 3:02 pm

Violent protests are breaking out in Egypt, just two years after a massive uprising led to the fall of the former dictator. One of the unexpected driving forces is soccer. Host Michel Martin talks to Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation about how the sport affects Egypt's political landscape.

The Two-Way
8:43 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., during his Senate nomination hearing earlier today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:53 am

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

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Political Junkie
8:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

What if everyone who was in this country illegally decided to try their hand at solving ScuttleButton each week? Would they be able to stay? Would that be considered "amnesty?"

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Iran, Israel, Defense Cuts To Be Key Topics At Hagel Hearing

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:52 am

What's shaping up to be one of the more contentious nomination hearings for one of President Obama's cabinet choices is set to open at 9:30 a.m. ET when members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services get their chance to publicly grill former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been tapped for the post of defense secretary.

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Politics
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gun Hearing Airs Issues, Disagreements On Solutions

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 4:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This is the time when we begin to find if the emotional power of the Newtown school shooting will translate into political change. People affected by mass shootings are now talking with state and federal lawmakers.

Susan Aaron's daughter escaped the shooting in Newtown after seeing her teacher and friends killed.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Politics
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Government Spending Debate Affects Politics, Economy

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That sharp drop in government spending that put the squeeze on the economy last quarter, as we just heard, is likely to be repeated. This spring, the government is set to make additional cuts to spending, including defense, unless lawmakers agree on a different plan. So far there's little agreement in Washington about the optimum size or shape of government spending.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about this in our Business Bottom Line. Good morning, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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It's All Politics
1:18 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Cabinet Picks Show A Shift In How U.S. Wages War

President Obama shakes hands with his nominee to head the Defense Department, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, at the White House on Jan. 7. John Brennan, Obama's choice for director of the CIA, looks on.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:34 am

Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

His hearing follows that of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was confirmed this week to be secretary of state.

Kerry and Hagel have a prominent biographical detail in common: service in Vietnam.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Kerry's Temporary Senate Replacement Doesn't Plan To Run For The Seat

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Today, many in Massachusetts are asking themselves who is Mo Cowan? That's because he'll soon be the state's newest senator. William Mo Cowan is former chief of staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval, who chose him to take the seat being vacated by Senator John Kerry, the incoming secretary of State.

As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, Cowan will serve on an interim basis until a special election in June.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

LaPierre Fights To Stop The 'Nightmare' Of Background Checks

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, testifies while NRA President David Keene listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The halting testimony of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gravely injured in a mass shooting two years ago, may have provided the most gripping moments of the Senate's first gun control hearing this session.

But the star witness on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

In Immigration Debate, 'Undocumented' vs. 'Illegal' Is More Than Just Semantics

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:12 pm

On Monday, we pointed to how the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators mostly avoided the term "illegal immigrant" in the language of their immigration reform plan.

It looks like President Obama did the same in his address on the issue the next day.

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It's All Politics
12:40 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Lifting Boy Scout Ban On Gays: One Legal Perspective

A statue of a Boy Scout stands in front of the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

The Boy Scouts of America as early as next week may drop its ban against openly gay members and leaders, just a dozen years after it successfully took its fight to maintain the policy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It would mark a seismic shift for the organization, which counts more than 3.3 million youth members who participate in troops largely sponsored by civic and church groups.

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Politics
12:27 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Immigration, Gun Legislation And The Shakeup In Iowa

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. An African-American governor appoints an African-American senator; immigration moves to the front burner, and Bobby Jindal scolds the GOP. It's Wednesday and time for a...

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: The stupid party...

CONAN: 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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Politics
12:27 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

The Controversy Surround Hagel's Confirmation

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:50 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And as mentioned, Aaron David Miller is going to join us now, and we brought him on to talk about Chuck Hagel's nomination. But Aaron David Miller, the long-time Middle East peace negotiator and now a fellow at the Wilson Center, I have to ask you, Aaron - thanks very much for being with us, by the way.

AARON DAVID MILLER: A pleasure, Neal.

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It's All Politics
11:16 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Rubio's New York Admirer Isn't Exactly Welcome

Anyone else noticing the love New York Senator Charles Schumer is showing for Marco Rubio? He's been calling Rubio courageous for pushing an immigration overhaul that many in his party's base despise. Wednesday morning he likened Rubio's appearance on conservative talk shows to "Daniel in the lion's den."

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Politics
10:02 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Immigration: Did Senators Get It Right?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. An estimated 11 million people live in the U.S. without documentation. During the 2012 election, voters urged both major political parties to do something about what's often called our broken immigration system.

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It's All Politics
8:43 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Disgraced Former Gov. Mark Sanford's Ready To Make Another Move

Mark Sanford, seen at the GOP convention last summer in Tampa, Fla., saw his career as South Carolina's governor implode in 2009 when he admitted to an extramarital affair.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:16 am

Can Mark Sanford make a comeback? Right now, it appears quite possible.

The Republican ended his career as South Carolina's governor in disgrace after revealing in 2009 that he'd been surreptitiously spending time in Argentina visiting his mistress. But Sanford now hopes to return to his first job in politics, representing coastal South Carolina in the House.

"As soon as Sanford jumped in, he was the presumptive front-runner, simply because of his money and name recognition," says Scott Huffmon, a pollster based at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.

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

Giffords: 'We Must Do Something!' About Gun Violence

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband Mark Kelly at Wednesday's Senate hearing about gun violence.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 11:57 am

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Politics
3:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Special Election To Fill Kerry's Mass. Senate Seat

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

With John Kerry stepping down from the seat he held for 28 years to become secretary of state, rumors are swirling about who his short-term replacement will be — and who will run in the special election in six months. Gov. Deval Patrick is appointing the replacement Wednesday.

Politics
3:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Latino Voters Help Push Immigration Changes Forward

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

It's that rare week in politics when Republicans and Democrats have been advocating roughly the same thing.

INSKEEP: Some - though by no means all - GOP leaders insist it's time to back changes in immigration laws. Republican Senator Jeff Flake argued on this program yesterday, for example, that reform was morally right and also politically necessary for his party.

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Law
1:03 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Polling Firm Gallup Lands In Legal Hot Water

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 11:17 am

The Gallup Organization made its name with landmark public opinion polls. The company surveyed everything from presidential elections to religious preferences, branding itself as the most trusted name in polling.

But lately, Gallup's name has been tarnished by a whistle-blower lawsuit and a suspension from winning federal contracts.

Gallup's roots stretch back to 1922, when its founder, George Gallup, was a college junior. He got a summer job interviewing people in St. Louis.

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It's All Politics
2:08 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Rubio's Role In Immigration Plan Leaves Even Limbaugh Somewhat Speechless

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks Monday in Washington at a news conference announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:42 pm

Rush Limbaugh has been spending a lot of time calling the new plans for an overhaul of immigration laws little more than "amnesty" for some 11 million undocumented immigrants already in this country. A lot of time, that is, except for the 15 minutes of an extremely deferential interview Tuesday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

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It's All Politics
6:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Immigration Opponents Remain Adamant, Despite Political Risk

A woman takes the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the district office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Newark, N.J.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:32 am

After years of inaction, immigration policy changes suddenly have notable momentum in Washington.

President Obama will address the issue in a speech Tuesday in Las Vegas — a day after a bipartisan group of senators outlined their ideas for a bill that could move through the chamber as early as this spring.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama Says He Enjoys Skeet Shooting; Doubtful Lawmaker Challenges Him

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who thinks she's a better shot than the president.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:09 am

One short exchange in a long New Republic interview of President Obama has gotten much attention:

New Republic: "Have you ever fired a gun?

Obama: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

The president went on to say he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:35 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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Politics
3:29 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Senators Unveil Plan To Fix Immigration System

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This week, talk of new immigration laws serves as a reminder that timing is everything. Wait until after a momentous election and it becomes possible to discuss an issue that previously seemed impossible.

INSKEEP: In this quiet week between the government's ongoing fiscal storms, President Obama today unveils an immigration plan.

MONTAGNE: A bipartisan group of senators has already made a proposal.

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Politics
3:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Sen. Flake Comments On Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.

It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase Is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Group Kick-Starts Immigration Battle

Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:41 pm

A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.

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