Politics

Your Money
10:56 am
Tue November 13, 2012

How The Alternative Minimum Tax Could Slam You

Customers line up at an H&R Block office in Nashville, Tenn., on April 17, the deadline for filing 2011 federal income taxes.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:29 am

Seriously, again?

Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.

And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.

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The Second Term
9:06 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Tea Party Assessing Damage From Election 2012?

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 10:00 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we're hearing a lot about the so-called fiscal cliff: those automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that will take effect if lawmakers and the White House don't come up with a deficit reduction plan by the end of the year. We're going to focus on a tax hike that may hit many more people than you might think. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Your Money
9:06 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Alternative Minimum Tax And Your Bottom Line

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:31 am

If the government goes over the "fiscal cliff," millions of households could see tax increases because of an obscure part of the tax code, known as the alternative minimum tax. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about exactly what could happen and who would be affected.

Political Junkie
4:33 am
Tue November 13, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I know what you're thinking. Same old president. Same old Senate. Same old House.

And yes, same old ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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Health
2:47 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Missouri, Kansas Reject Health Exchanges

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:36 am

Immediately after last week's election, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the state would not be setting up its own health insurance exchange. Next door in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback announced that Kansas will have no involvement in running a state exchange either. The moves open the door for increased federal involvement in health care in staunchly Republican territory.

It's All Politics
1:45 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

President Obama speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington, Va., on Sunday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:55 am

President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.

A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.

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It's All Politics
1:31 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Would Only Dent The Deficit

House Speaker John Boehner, seen last week, discusses the looming fiscal cliff.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:30 pm

Virtually everyone agrees that allowing the nation to fall off the fiscal cliff would be a bad thing.

Government programs would be cut, taxes would rise significantly on a majority of Americans, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, the economy would fall back into recession.

But get this: Even if all of those things happen, there would still be a budget deficit.

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Media
4:17 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Conservative Media Caught in the Blame Game

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:08 am

In the wake of last Tuesday's elections, a lively debate has erupted into the open over whether conservatives and the Republican Party were well-served by their favorite media outlets.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was reported to have been so certain of a victory on Tuesday night that he cast aside tradition and did not draft a concession speech. But conservatives now say his misplaced confidence — and theirs — were bolstered by the predictions of many like-minded pundits, which were broadcast and posted online around the clock by sympathetic news outlets.

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Presidential Race
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

New Technologies Boosted Obama Campaign's Efforts

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:47 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Harper Reed, who was chief technology officer for the Obama reelection campaign, about the strategies they employed to mobilize volunteers and reach voters.

Election 2012
10:00 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Was Unlimited Cash Over-Hyped In Election 2012?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, with the election now over President Obama and members of Congress are getting no end of free advice about how they should spend the next four years. So today and tomorrow, we'll talk about that with people we are calling the loyal opposition. Today, we speak with one of Mr. Obama's former advisors, Van Jones, and we'll ask him what progressives want to see in the next four years.

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The Second Term
10:00 am
Mon November 12, 2012

What Progressives Like Van Jones Want In Next Term

Van Jones has become a leading voice on the progressive left. That only happened after a short stint as the Obama administration's Green Jobs czar. Jones is now the co-founder of the policy group, Rebuild the Dream. He talks with host Michel Martin about what progressives should expect — and demand — in a second Obama term.

Political Junkie
4:33 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Who Gets The Blame For The Romney Loss? The Tea Party Has A Theory.

Tea Party favorites: Bachmann (Minn.) barely survived; Mourdock (Ind.) lost a previously safe GOP seat; West (Fla.) refuses to concede.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 5:38 am

It was an election that, once upon a time, many thought was stacked in Mitt Romney's favor.

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NPR Story
3:18 am
Mon November 12, 2012

With Election Over, Washington Moves On To 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

With the election settled, Washington, Wall Street and much of the rest world, it seems, are focused on whether Congress and a reelected president can avoid the fiscal cliff. To tell us what's at stake, we turn now to David Wessel. He's the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "Red Ink," a new primer on the federal budget and the deficit.

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NPR Story
3:18 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Washington Surprised By News Of Petraeus Affair

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

The nation's capital this morning is trying to make sense of the sudden resignation last week of CIA director David Petraeus. More details are emerging about the extramarital affair that brought Petraeus down. It came to light following an FBI investigation that was not focused originally on the CIA director, but which soon led straight to him.

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Politics
1:49 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Lew, Bowles Rumored To Replace Treasury's Geithner

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:43 pm

A second term means some new Cabinet appointments for President Obama, including at the Treasury. After four pretty grueling years, Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he will be leaving Washington.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that Geithner would be staying on through the inauguration. He's also expected to be a "key participant" in "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

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It's All Politics
1:25 am
Mon November 12, 2012

With Millions Spent, GOP 'Investors' Saw Little Return Election Night

A supporter of President Barack Obama raises his arms as it is announced that Obama was re-elected during an election night watch party in Chicago.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:39 am

A "return on investment" is a concept better known to Wall Street than to Washington. But after President Obama and the Democrats won most of the close elections last week there are questions about the seven- and eight-figure "investments" made by dozens of conservative donors.

During the election season, it was pretty common to hear about donors making "investments" in superPACs and other outside groups, rather than a "political contribution," perhaps because the phrase has a sort of taint to it.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Dreams Of A Peacetime U.S. Presidency

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks to Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations about why the United States will never have another peacetime president. Zenko's article, "A Period of Persistent Conflict," appeared this week in Foreign Policy.

Politics
3:07 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Election 2016: Too Soon?

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Believe it or not, NPR's political junkie Ken Rudin tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that the 2016 Presidential race has already begun.

Politics
4:39 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Leading In Crisis: Lessons From Lyndon Johnson

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Making a deal to avert the fiscal cliff is going to take more than mere consensus on spending and taxes. It'll take political skill on the part of the president; the ability to leverage the power of his office to find new strategies and pressure points to break the gridlock. In short, he'll need to do what appears to be impossible.

ROBERT CARO: Part of the nature of political genius is that you can come along and do something where no one else can do it.

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Politics
4:39 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Challenges Stacked For Obama's Second Term

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. A newly re-elected President Barack Obama won't officially begin his second term until he is sworn in again on January 20th. But some of the priorities of his next four years in office are already taking shape, and the challenges are becoming more apparent. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us now to talk more about all this. Hey, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Economy
4:39 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Congress Barrels Toward Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Here's a term you're going to get really tired of in the next several weeks - if you haven't already: The fiscal cliff. It's a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year. That is, if Congress and the president fail to find a way to avoid it.

NPR's Tamara Keith has this primer.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Both House Speaker John Boehner and the president made it clear, they don't want to go off the cliff.

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Politics
4:39 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Losing Gracefully In Politics, With Sports In Mind

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So, we all know losing is part of sports, and it's part of politics too. We asked Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, our friends from the NPR podcast How to Do Everything to explore some options for Mitt Romney on this recent campaign loss.

MIKE DANFORTH, BYLINE: If you want advice on how to deal with a loss, you got to someone with experience.

IAN CHILLAG, BYLINE: Coach Marv Levy, want to remind us of your Buffalo Bills?

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House & Senate Races
3:43 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Senate Win In Wis. A 'Turning Point' For Gay Rights

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin greets supporters at a campaign rally for President Obama on Nov. 3 in Milwaukee. Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to win a U.S. Senate seat.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's sexual orientation was never really a factor in her victorious campaign against Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Advocates for gay rights see that as a watershed moment for the movement.

Baldwin won a seat many thought she couldn't, defeating one of the state's most successful politicians in the process. The celebration Tuesday night in Madison was euphoric.

The enthusiastic crowd was never louder than when Baldwin acknowledged making history.

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It's All Politics
3:40 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Will Fact Checks Always Be Ignored By Politicians?

Moderator Candy Crowley applauds as President Obama shakes hands with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate on Oct. 16.
Michael Reynolds AP

Just because there's more fact checking, doesn't mean there's more truth telling.

Given this, David Carr of The New York Times declared that journalistic efforts to set the record straight during "the most fact-checked [presidential] election in history" didn't work.

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Economy
3:30 am
Sun November 11, 2012

How The Fiscal Cliff Would Hit The Economy

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in July 2011. They are scheduled to meet at the White House again next week to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 2:05 pm

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Republicans Scramble To Repair Breech With Hispanics

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 9:16 am

Paging Jeb Bush.

Your party needs you.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's election losses, Republicans have been scrambling to formulate a fix for what went wrong.

A big part of that calculation involves repairing relations with Hispanics, the fast-growing electoral power base that rejected Republican Mitt Romney's "self deportation" immigration solution and voted for President Obama in numbers that exceeded 70 percent.

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Politics
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

The Election Is Over, But Fiscal Cliff Still Looms

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

There's a competing set of priorities on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue here in Washington, D.C., and the deadline for resolving that competition is fast approaching. At the White House, the president says he won't accept a deficit reduction deal without a tax increase on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

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Politics
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Examining The GOP's Latino Problem

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Since Tuesday night's election, the Republican Party's been doing a little self-reflection of its own. Exit polls show that 71 percent of Latinos voted for President Obama compared with just 27 percent who picked Mitt Romney. Now, that marks the widest gap in Latino support between two presidential candidates in recent history.

Al Cardenas is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, and he says it's time for the GOP to take a long look in the mirror.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

In Tied Race, Candidate's Wife Didn't Vote

A tied city council race in Kentucky could be decided by a coin flip — after one candidate's wife didn't vote on Election Day.
istockphoto

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Here's a lighter story to round-out this election week.

On Tuesday, 27-year-old Bobby McDonald ran for one of six city council seats in the town of Walton, Ky., population 3,724.

"The night of Election Day, I was watching the results come in," he told NPR's Guy Raz. "And I ended up in a tie with the other candidate."

McDonald was tied 669-669 with his opponent, Olivia Ballou.

"There're many ways you can tie," McDonald said. "But in my situation, I let my wife sleep in and not go vote that day. And she's mad at me cause I did not wake her up."

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Four Days Later, Florida Declares For Obama

A worker prepares boxes of absentee ballots to be scanned at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department on Tuesday.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 7:52 pm

Four days after the polls closed, Florida has announced that President Obama won the state's 29 electoral votes. As the AP writes:

"That gives the president a total of 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. Florida officials said Obama had 50 percent of the vote to Romney's 49.1 percent, a margin of about 74,000 votes."

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