Of the 50 million Hispanics in the U.S., nearly two-thirds are of Mexican origin. The second largest group - accounting for about 9 percent - are the nearly five million Puerto Ricans who live in the 50 states and the District of Columbia - that is, not on the island of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. The island has been a U.S. territory since the Spanish-American War.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, touted as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with a small group of Republican Senate critics. They are unhappy with comments Rice made on TV shortly after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the ambassador and three others died. They say she incorrectly characterized the violence as a response to an anti-Islam video. After the closed-door meeting, the senators said they were more troubled than ever, and one promised to block her potential nomination.
On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with middle-class Americans who will be affected by a tax increase if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The White House put out a call for their stories last week.
That dialogue with the American people is part of a broader White House effort to keep campaign supporters engaged during Obama's second term. It's a big change from the first term — and it's not an easy undertaking.
There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:56 pm
After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.
One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you've probably heard the name Treyvon Martin in connection with the debate about the so-called Stand Your Ground law in Florida but have you heard about John McNeil? He's a Georgia homeowner who's been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a man who'd threatened McNeil's son on McNeil's property.
A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.
At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.
Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:00 am
A handful of congressional Republicans after finishing their Thanksgiving dinners decided to give anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist the brushoff, saying they wouldn't abide by his "no new taxes" pledge as they work on a budget deal.
Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have an avid following for their weekly show, "Key and Peele" on Comedy Central. They've parodied everything from the names of black athletes to white people with dreadlocks. This year, the duo set their sights on the presidential campaign and examined the role that race played in it.
Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 6:49 am
For merchants, the stars are lining up — at least so far.
Online shopping jumped more than 28 percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark. And the National Retail Federation says Thanksgiving weekend spending shot up to $59.1 billion, nearly 13 percent more than last year's $52 billion.
Congress comes back to work this week and the fiscal cliff is its top priority. Some Republicans have said they'll break a longstanding pledge not to raise taxes. Host Michel Martin talks politics with columnist Mary Kate Cary of U.S. News and World Report and The Root's political correspondent Keli Goff.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:20 pm
It is always sad to watch a once-highly regarded public official, with seemingly unlimited potential, self-destruct. It's even sadder when that person offering so much hope represented a congressional district that has long been suffering economically, that desperately needed advocates on its behalf, and where the two previous incumbents left a trail of shame.
Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.
Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
This is the season when political professionals try to make sense of the last election. Plenty of Republicans have been calling for their party to take a new approach to immigration after the Hispanic vote went overwhelmingly to President Obama.
Congress returns to work this week after taking most of the autumn off to campaign. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Washington editor, Ron Elving, about the long congressional to-do list during the so-called "lame-duck" session.
In fiscal year 2012, the Bureau of the Public Debt received nearly $8 million in donations from private citizens, far surpassing the previous year's haul. But it barely makes a dent in the overall national debt. So why give away all that cash?
In truth, nobody knows whether the U.S. will indeed go hurtling over the fiscal cliff into recession, or inch back from the edge of the precipice. Since all economies are linked globally, host Rachel Martin speaks with Borzou Daragahi, the Middle East bureau chief for The Financial Times, about how that region views the U.S. negotiations.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 10:42 am
In all of American history, only one woman has been awarded the Medal of Honor — and Congress tried to take it back.
Her name was Mary Edwards Walker, and she was a doctor at a time when female physicians were rare. She graduated from the Syracuse Medical College, and at the outbreak of the Civil War traveled to Washington with the intention of joining the Army as a medical officer. When she was rejected, she volunteered as a surgeon and served in that capacity for various units through the war years, continually agitating for a commission.
Louie talks with UTEP Associate Professor of Political Science, Chuck Boehmer. The discuss the current situation between Israel and Hamas on the Gaza Strip. Boehmer talks about the decades-long conflict in the region, and its relation to Israeli territorial expansion and Arab displacement. He talks about the potential role the U.S. may play in the current conflict, and how tension in the region could affect neighboring countries. Aired Nov. 24, 2012.
Jesse Jackson Jr. has a famous name and fabulous contacts, and had what looked like boundless prospects when he was first on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention in 1988.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy had appeared to talk about the legacy of their late father, the president. But a few nights later, Jackson took the podium to present his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and said, "My name is Jesse Louis Jackson Jr., and I also proudly carry a great American name."
After spending millions of dollars in the presidential and Senate campaigns with little to show for it, many superPACs and other outside groups are still tending their wounds. But it's too soon to write off superPACs as a waste of wealthy donors' money.
Consider, for instance, this upset in a congressional race outside Los Angeles.
Just 15 days after voters re-elected him, Jesse Jackson Jr. said health problems were keeping him from doing his job. He also acknowledged he is under federal investigation. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has to set a date for a special election by Monday, and the vote must be held within 115 days.
New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:20 pm
Talk about your snake-bitten congressional districts.
The Thanksgiving-eve news that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was resigning from Congress after reports that he has bipolar disorder and is the subject of a criminal probe of his spending of campaign funds, is just the latest in a series of bad endings for those who have represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in Washington.