Politics

Business
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

SEC Head Schapiro To Step Down This Week

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

David Greene talks to Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, about her tenure. After almost four years on the job she is stepping down this week.

Economy
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The 'Fiscal Cliff' For English Majors

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's take that idea of playing out a little further now. The budget standoff has been described in all sorts of dramatic terms. So we decided to look into what the great works of the stage can tell us about this debate over tax hikes and spending cuts, and how it will play out. Think of it as "The Fiscal Cliff for English Majors."

NPR White House correspondent - and English major - Ari Shapiro has this take.

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NPR Story
4:26 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Lost Art Of Budget Negptoatopms

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama and House speaker John Boehner have been holding private conversations about how to avoid the fiscal cliff, but still no deal. That has many in Washington talking about how it wasn't always so difficult to get things done. For some insight, we called John Danforth. He's a former Republican senator from Missouri and spent decades forging deals across the aisle, including the 1986 tax reform law under President Reagan. As he sees it, lawmakers aren't approaching the current problem from the right angle.

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Economy
3:23 am
Tue December 11, 2012

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

DeMint And Heritage: Playing Off Each Other's Strengths

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., talks on the phone in his Capitol Hill office on Dec. 6, the day he announced he will resign from the Senate and lead the Heritage Foundation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., shocked Washington last week when he announced that he will quit the Senate to become president of a think tank. But as the barriers crumble between policy research and partisan advocacy, the building blocks are there for DeMint and the conservative Heritage Foundation to build a powerful operation with political clout.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Obama Backs Michigan Unions Over 'Right To Work'

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama got out of Washington today. He visited a car plant this afternoon in Detroit. The president was there, in part, to talk jobs and to herald some good news for manufacturing in Michigan. But looming over today's visit, and over much of what Mr. Obama does these days, are the budget negotiations back in Washington.

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Middle East
2:43 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

U.S.-Israeli Relations Remain Complicated

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:50 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority to an observer state the week before last, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with an expansion of housing plans on the West Bank, near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The U.S. called that counterproductive. And it came after Washington had backed Israel in the U.N., helped Egypt mediate a cease-fire in Gaza and funded production of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Raising Taxes A Key Sticking Point In Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And if past negotiations are any indication, that silence could mean the talks are going well. We're joined now by NPR's congressional reporter Tamara Keith, who has been following developments on the Hill and beyond. And as Ari just said, neither side is talking about the details, but Tamara, what are they saying?

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Economy
10:00 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Cutting the Untouchable?

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear about elections in Ghana. We'll talk about whether the election of President John Dramani Mahama to a new term confirms the country's reputation for leadership in democratic processes, or perhaps undermines it. That's later.

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Africa
10:00 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Ghana: Model Of Democracy?

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will hear from one of Africa's most prominent economists, who says that critics who think the developing nations are unreformable are wrong, and she offers lessons from her experience in Nigeria. That conversation is coming up later in the program.

But first, we turn to Ghana, also in West Africa. Elections there were held on Friday, and in a tight race, incumbent President John Dramani Mahama just won a new term with just over 50 percent of the vote.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Can A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Be Both In And Out Of Reach? Yes

President Obama in the Oval Office, where there may be some more late night bargaining sessions before a deal is reached to keep the federal government from going over the "fiscal cliff." (December 2009 file photo.)
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:38 am

The face-to-face meeting at the White House Sunday between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner has led to analyses such as these this morning:

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Politics
1:44 am
Mon December 10, 2012

How Obama's 2nd Inauguration Will Differ From 1st

Construction is under way on the viewing stand in front of the U.S. Capitol for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies on Jan. 21.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:37 am

Details are starting to come out about President Obama's second inauguration next month. The co-chairmen include some leaders of the Democratic Party and the business world as well as actress Eva Longoria. A record crowd came to the nation's capital in 2009 to witness the country's first black president take the oath of office, but this event is expected to be less flashy.

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U.S.
2:29 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Baltimore Says, 'Immigrants Welcome'

Hundreds gather in Baltimore's harbor Sept. 22 to witness the naturalization of nearly 50 new Americans.
Acacia Squires NPR

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 5:09 pm

Hundreds of people gathered in September at Baltimore's harbor as the wind gusted off the water's edge. Nearly 50 of them were about to be sworn in as U.S. citizens. Some were young, some old. There were uniformed members of the U.S. military, parents and children. There were immigrants from El Salvador, China, Honduras and countries in between. They raised their right hands, recited the naturalization oath to the United States, and were declared fully American.

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Politics
4:16 am
Sun December 9, 2012

A Senator's Last Challenge

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Sen. Kent Conrad has chaired the Senate Budget Committee since 2006. The Democratic senator from North Dakota is retiring in January 2013, but before leaving the Senate, he is a key player in the negotiations to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Conrad about the challenges to achieving a budget compromise.

Politics
4:16 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Call It Want You Want, But It's Not A Debt Crisis

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

It's widely known as the fiscal cliff, but some prominent Republicans have been calling it a "debt crisis." Economists agree such a crisis may be coming, but it's not here yet. Demographic changes are forcing a reckoning of how to pay for what people want from their government.

Politics
4:16 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Former Senator Appeals To Youth On Deficit Reduction

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin explains Alan Simpson's musical contribution to the debt and deficit crisis.

Your Money
3:09 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Leaves Accountants Hanging, Too

With major tax changes still undecided, accountants and other financial professionals must advise their clients on various possible scenarios.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:53 pm

The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. A patch to the alternative minimum tax. An increase in capital gains taxes.

As the "fiscal cliff" approaches, all of these are possible, but none certain. That uncertainty solicits many questions from anxious taxpayers. But, for accountants and financial planners, there are a few definitive answers.

Financial professionals who spoke with NPR say they are not strangers to uncertainty. When the Bush tax cuts were up for expiration two years ago, for instance, the feeling was similar.

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It's All Politics
1:53 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Add This Group To Obama's Winning Coalition: 'Religiously Unaffiliated'

President Obama walks with his daughters Sasha, foreground, and Malia as they leave St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, on Oct. 28. An analysis of exit polls shows that those who claim no specific religious affiliation were a key Obama voting bloc in the presidential race.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The big demographic story out of the 2012 presidential election may have been President Obama's domination of the Hispanic vote, and rightfully so.

But as we close the book on the election, it bears noting that another less obvious bloc of key swing state voters helped the president win a second term.

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Politics
4:54 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Fiscal Cliff About More Than Just Tax Rates, Spending

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:38 am

With all the attention on tax rates and spending cuts, three big issues are getting little attention in fiscal cliff talks. NPR's Tamara Keith explains how expiring provisions on the payroll tax cut, the alternative minimum tax and unemployment benefits could have major effects on the economy.

It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:42 am

Not long ago, it seemed to many observers that the House of Representatives was a case of the tail wagging the dog, with Speaker John Boehner unable to keep in line many of his fellow Republicans, especially freshmen who came to Congress riding the 2010 Tea Party wave.

Now, however, the big dog seems back in control.

Some of the signs are subtle, some not. But as he faces off with President Obama during fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehner enjoys a stronger position with House Republicans than he had during earlier showdowns with the White House.

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Election 2012
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Each Raised More Than $1 Billion

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A nearly complete picture is emerging of the money chase that shaped the presidential election. President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney each raised more than a billion dollars, according to new reports filed at the Federal Election Commission. But in the new era of unregulated outside groups and seemingly endless TV ads, that was only the beginning, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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News
1:14 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Black, Latino Groups: It's Our Turn, Mr. President

The National Urban League's Marc Morial (center) joins other civic leaders speaking outside the White House after they met with President Obama last month.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

After African-American and Latino voters turned out in record numbers to reelect President Obama, leaders for both groups are turning up the pressure on him to return the favor.

They say that minorities, who put aside their disappointments with Obama's first term to support him again, now expect the president to spend his political capital on policies that will help their communities begin to recover from the recession. In the post-election euphoria, some leaders claim, certain voters are saying, "It's our turn."

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It's All Politics
12:54 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Most Expensive Presidential Campaign Ended In Sprint To Spend

Competing yard signs near Evans City, Pa., four days before the election. The campaigns of President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney each raised more than $1 billion during the race.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 2:07 pm

A campaign marked by money, fundraisers (including the infamous one that produced Mitt Romney's "47 percent" moment) and superPACs finished with spending sprees across the board.

The Washington Post noted "manic activity" in the final days of the presidential race, and sums up the numbers:

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It's All Politics
12:28 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Who's Behind The Fiscal Cliff Lobbying Effort?

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:42 pm

As the White House and Congress continue to wrangle over a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and its billions in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, we wanted to take a look at who is spending big to influence the debate behind the scenes.

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BackTalk
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

What Rep. Allen West & Obama Have In Common

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us once again. What do you have for us today, Ammad?

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Economy
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Crunching The Job Numbers

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we'll crack open the mail bag to hear what you have to say about stories we covered this week. That's Backtalk and it's coming up. But first, we want to talk about the latest unemployment numbers which are now out. The Department of Labor says that unemployment is down to its lowest level since December 2008.

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Economy
10:02 am
Fri December 7, 2012

A Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad For The Jobless

Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment benefits in August after being laid off from a catering job. More than 2 million people who get extended benefits may lose them if Congress doesn't act soon.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:49 am

The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.

That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.

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Economy
8:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:11 am

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.

If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.

On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.

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Politics
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

South Carolina's Jim DeMint To Leave U.S. Senate

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Politics
12:57 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Tea Party May Be Losing Steam, But Issues Still Boil

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:56 am

The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.

But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.

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