I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, first lady Michelle Obama has taken on issues like childhood obesity and support for military families in the first term, but some feminists argue she should be doing more. We'll look at the politics of being first lady in just a few minutes.
President Obama is just beginning his second term in office and we've been looking at some of the unresolved issues and unfinished business from his first four years. This week, we're turning our attention to foreign policy. Yesterday, we talked about the conflict in Syria. Today, we want to focus on another country where the Arab Spring uprising was not successful. It's a small island that often does not get a lot of attention, but plays an important geopolitical role in the Middle East. We're talking about Bahrain.
Now I want to turn to another conversation about the role women are or should be playing in our national life - or in this case, one woman in particular: The first lady, Michelle Obama. Just as commentators are now talking about the president's second term agenda, we wonder what projects the first lady will take on in these next four years.
Joining us now is the Senate Majority Whip, the number two Democrat in the leadership, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Welcome to the program once again.
SENATOR DICK DURBIN: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: You and other Senate Democratic leaders seem to regard the House deferring action on the debt ceiling as an olive branch. Meanwhile, House Democrats like George Miller say they're tied to a three-month leash. What's the good part of this deal that House Democrats don't get?
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:21 pm
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics, from Obama's inaugural address to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony on Benghazi. Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, discusses the Republican decisions on the debt ceiling and the future of the Republican party.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Supreme Court case that established abortion rights in this country is now 40 years old, but the political and cultural fights about abortion are going on still. We'll talk about this with our panel of women commentators. That's our Beauty Shop roundtable and that's in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, President Obama's vision for reducing gun violence includes improving access to mental health care. So we decided to ask two mental health professions who've thought a lot about violence, especially gun violence, for their perspectives on what kinds of changes they think would be helpful.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a Republican leadership plan to put off the debt ceiling fight for three months. This marks a new strategy for House Republicans who until recently had pledged not to raise the debt ceiling unless it was matched with an equal amount of spending cuts.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears before two congressional committees Wednesday to talk about the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya last September. The hostage drama in Algeria, near the Libyan border, has put a spotlight back on that troubled region.
President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:24 pm
It may have struck many people as odd that Lamar Alexander, the senior senator from Tennessee, gave a shout-out to Alex Haley, the author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, during his remarks at the presidential inauguration.
Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.
Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:46 pm
President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address â€” God, that is.
In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. Thanks to this graphic in The Wall Street Journal, we noticed the presidents who did (nearly all) and the few who didn't (Teddy Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes).
Yes, sometimes it's true, I do bend the rules to suit ScuttleButton. Sometimes I completely violate the precepts that ScuttleButton was founded on. So yes, many of you who write in to complain do have valid points.
But this week I may have gone too far. You'll see what I mean once you figure out the puzzle. I just want you to know that there was a serious rule violation this week and that I'm aware of it.
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:13 am
President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.
But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.
In his inaugural address yesterday, President Obama pressed Americans to put aside mindless partisanship. He said we cannot treat name-calling as reasoned debate. At the same time, he strongly defended his political views, voicing support for gay rights and the role of government.
The crowd of supporters out on the National Mall liked it. Republicans watching in Texas had a different view. Here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.