Politics

The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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Politics
9:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat: Why Now?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Middle East
9:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Politics And Kim Kardashian's Business In Bahrain

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Politics
9:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Does The First Lady Have Political 'Gravitas?'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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It's All Politics
9:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

5 Things To Know About The Congressional Budget Fight

Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May — and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:11 am

As if the federal budget process isn't confusing enough, now we get the fog of partisan war created by the charges and countercharges flying between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans accuse the Democrats who control the Senate of shirking their duty by not producing "a budget" in recent years; Democrats accuse Republicans of not telling the whole truth.

What's going on? Here are five points to consider.

1) The Budget Control Act

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

House Pushes Off Debt Ceiling Deadline For Three Months

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
3:12 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Durbin: 'We're Buying What We Can Get' With Debt Ceiling Extension

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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?

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Punting The Debt Ceiling Debate Down The Road

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.

It's All Politics
11:54 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Don't Expect States To Cooperate

States are moving further apart on hot-button issues such as abortion and health care — and many may resist laws set in Washington.
Frankljunior iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Blue states and red states are moving further apart.

That's one of the clear lessons from the annual "State of the States" report, which the Pew Center on the States is rolling out in a string of assessments this week.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:01 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

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Mental Health
9:29 am
Wed January 23, 2013

How Would Better Mental Health Care Reduce Gun Violence?

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Middle East
9:29 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Did Syrian President 'Rejoice' In Obama's Speech?

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Health
9:29 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Culture, Politics Still Collide on Roe v. Wade's 40th

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
3:26 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House To Vote On Short-Term Debt Ceiling Extension

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:13 am

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.

Politics
3:23 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Obama Wants To Build On Climate Accomplishments

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:13 am

President Obama vowed in this week's inaugural speech to address climate change. The comments recevied a chilly reception in Congress. There are, however, steps the administration can take on its own.

Africa
3:14 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Libyan Crisis Sparked Rising Extremism In North Africa

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:40 am

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.

National Security
1:35 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Obama's Promise To Close Guantanamo Prison Falls Short

Demonstrators, dressed as detainees, march on Jan. 11 against the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and call for President Obama to close the facility.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:13 am

In one of his first acts as commander in chief, President Obama in 2009 signed an executive order to close the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It was part of a campaign promise the president made, to close the camp and "determine how to deal with those who have been held there." But four years on, the controversial prison remains open.

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It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

NAACP President On 'Commonality' of Selma, Seneca Falls and Stonewall

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

In his inaugural address, President Obama made reference to historic events in the women's rights movement, the black civil rights movement and the gay rights movement.

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Environment
3:52 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

In Second Inaugural, Obama Makes Climate A Priority

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," President Obama said Monday during his second inaugural address.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

A Senator's Surprising Inauguration Shout-Out Probably Wasn't So Surprising

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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.

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Bloomberg Puts Millions Behind Gun-Control Push

At a news conference last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands with people who have been affected by gun violence.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

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.

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Politics
2:57 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama's Second Inaugural Address Didn't Win Over Many Republicans

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Many Republicans were hoping for something akin to the president's 2004 convention speech where he talked about there being no red America or blue America but the United States of America.

It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Divine Rhetoric: God In The Inaugural Address

George Washington referred to "that Almighty Being" during his inaugural address in 1789. "God" didn't show up in an inaugural speech until more than three decades later.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:46 pm

President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address — 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).

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It's All Politics
1:35 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

For GOP, Obama's 'Very Ideological' Speech Not Wearing Well

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrives at President Obama's inauguration Monday on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Ryan, who ran for vice president on the losing Republican ticket last year, said Obama's inaugural address showed a "proud and confident liberal progressive."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 4:15 pm

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It's All Politics
12:55 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Debt Limit? What Debt Limit?

House Republican leaders intended to put off the debt ceiling fight for three months. But could they accidentally be giving the Obama White House carte blanche to borrow like crazy through mid-May?

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Political Junkie
12:07 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I have a confession to make.

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.

Not that anything will change.

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It's All Politics
11:55 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay Rights Reference

The crowd faces off with police at the Stonewall Inn nightclub raid in the summer of 1969 in New York City.
New York Daily News Archive NY Daily News via Getty Images

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.

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Political Junkie
4:33 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Monday Was All About Obama. Now All He Needs Is A Cabinet.

President Barack Obama, center, makes a statement to the media before the start of a meeting with his Cabinet on Nov. 28, 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:37 am

The day had history and symbolism written all over it: the inauguration of President Barack Obama, coming on the very day the nation was honoring the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The pomp, the ceremony, the speech, the festivities, the parade, the emotions, the hugs, the tears. It's all part of America's finest moment, and yesterday was no exception.

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Politics
2:52 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama's 2nd Term Rankles Die Hard Republicans

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

JASON'S GRANDMOTHER: You want to do it?

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