Politics

Politics
3:17 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Debate Endures Over Tax Exempt Status Of Crossroads GPS

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tomorrow marks a year since the IRS admitted it have given excessive scrutiny to Tea Party and right-leaning patriot groups that wanted tax exempt status. Since then, the tax agency has been battered by firings, resignations, lawsuits and investigations. It's also been a tough year for the biggest group known to have been under that scrutiny by the IRS, the social welfare organization Crossroads GPS. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Education
1:43 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Books With Gay Themes Put S.C. Colleges' Funding At Risk

Protesters at the College of Charleston rally against proposed state budget cuts on April 21.
Alice Keeney Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

House lawmakers in South Carolina have voted to slash funding for two of the state's largest public colleges in retaliation for the introduction of books with gay themes into the schools' freshman reading programs.

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She Votes
1:32 am
Fri May 9, 2014

For Moms In Congress, Votes Mix With Diapers And School Pickup

Rep. Linda Sanchez, seen with her son, Joaquin, says balancing her duties as a mother and a member of Congress can be a struggle, but she's lucky to have the flexibility of being a boss.
Courtesy of Linda Sanchez

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Just nine women have given birth while serving in the U.S. Congress.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has the distinction of having done it three times.

Her son Cole was born in 2007 with a condition called trisomy 21. Grace came in 2010, followed by Brynn this past November.

"Thankfully, she's a good sleeper and she's a good eater," says McMorris Rodgers. "That makes a big difference for a mom."

Even though she has a high-profile job as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, McMorris Rodgers insists she's just like the rest of us.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

House Lawmakers Vote To Reopen Benghazi Probe

South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy leaves a closed-door Republican strategy meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday. Gowdy has been tapped to lead the new Benghazi investigative committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The House voted on Thursday to establish a new investigative committee to look into circumstances surrounding the attack two years ago on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three others.

Republicans accuse the White House of misleading the public about the nature of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and stonewalling efforts by Congress to investigate. Democrats see the creation of the new investigative committee as an election-year political ploy to raise money and motivate the party's base.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Latest Partisan Flashpoint: GOP Benghazi Fundraising

NRCC screenshot

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:09 pm

The name "Benghazi" used to just inflame conservatives. Now it is demonstrating its power to outrage progressives as well, though for different reasons.

To be precise, Democrats are angered not just by the House GOP's creation of a special committee to probe the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead but by Republican fundraising in connection with the Benghazi probe.

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Shots - Health News
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Mental Health 101: Program Helps Police Intervene In Crises

A police officer stands outside the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15, 2012.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:24 pm

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? It can be a delicate situation to decipher, and it's been a big concern in Connecticut since the Newtown shootings of 2012.

Lance Newkirchen, a regular patrol officer in the town of Fairfield, is also specifically trained to respond to mental health calls. On a recent weekday, he headed out in his patrol car for a follow-up call.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Dispute Muddles The Path Forward On Energy Bill

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:29 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has stalled progress on an unrelated bill in the U.S. Senate. Republicans want to attach a series of amendments, including approval for the pipeline to a bill about energy efficiency. But Democratic leader Harry Reid says the Keystone vote ought to be separate. And as NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the disagreement leaves the energy efficiency bill in limbo.

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Parallels
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Nation That Elects The Most Women Is ...

Rwandan President Paul Kagame takes part in a conference on the role of women at the nation's Parliament in the capital, Kigali, in 2010. Women in Rwanda account for 64 percent of the lower house of Parliament — a higher percentage than in any other country.
Jason Straziuso AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

As Rwanda began to rebuild itself from the ashes of the 1994 genocide, something unexpected happened: Women began playing a much more influential role on many fronts, including politics.

Traditions that had limited women previously were cast aside, and President Paul Kagame also actively pushed for women to be in more prominent positions.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Congress Votes To Subpoena VA Chief Shinseki

A House committee on Thursday voted to issue a subpoena to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over allegations of delays at VA hospitals that may have caused as many as 40 deaths of patients waiting for care.

In addition to calling Shinseki to testify, lawmakers also subpoenaed records from a Phoenix VA hospital that allegedly maintained an alternate wait list showing that patients waited only a few weeks for treatment when in fact some waited more than a year.

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Movies
11:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Arab Activists Who Refuse To Bow To The Giant

A protest during the Arab Spring
We Are The Giant

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 12:59 pm

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Interesting Bits From Monica Lewinsky's 'Vanity Fair' Article

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meets President Clinton at the White House on Dec. 16, 1996. Lewinsky, whose affair with Clinton eventually led to his impeachment, has written an article in Vanity Fair in which she talks about her life after the scandal.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:01 pm

The story you thought was long over is back: Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose affair with President Clinton eventually led to his impeachment and made her the object of punch lines and scorn, has written an article in Vanity Fair in which she says, "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress."

Lewinsky, who was 21 at the time of the affair, is now 40. She writes that it's "time to stop "tiptoeing around my past — and other people's futures."

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Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Bipartisan Bill Would Stop NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:54 am

The White House and members of Congress agree that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone logs, disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has to end.

Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Spouses Of H1B Visa Holders May Soon Be Able To Hold U.S. Jobs

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With immigration reform a non-starter in Congress, those advocating reform have been urging the Obama administration to make changes on its own. And the first of those changes was announced this week. It involves the guest visa program known as H1B that allows highly skilled professionals from other countries to come to work in the U.S. The change would allow nearly 100,000 spouses of H1B visa holders to work as well. NPR's Kelly McEvers has the story.

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Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:51 pm

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

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It's All Politics
1:04 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:53 am

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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It's All Politics
11:47 am
Wed May 7, 2014

She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough?

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby, right, talks to supporter Marvin Hausman in Lake Oswego, Ore. Wehby has drawn national attention and money in her effort to win her party's nomination.
Jonathan J. Cooper AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 1:04 am

Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.

Make that a candidate some Republicans have been waiting for.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Democrats Play Wait-And-See On Benghazi Panel

A Libyan man is shown inside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:05 am

Updated on May, 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

Late Tuesday, House Republicans made public on Speaker John Boehner's website their draft resolution to create the Benghazi select committee. The resolution calls for a panel of seven Republicans and five Democrats and no written rules for the panel.

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Politics
4:17 am
Wed May 7, 2014

With Midterm Elections 6 Months Away, Primaries Begin

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Congressional elections do not come for months, but in many districts the real action is now. Its primary season and yesterday voters went to the polls around the country. In North Carolina's Republican Senate primary, Thom Tillis, the State House speaker, won a big enough margin to avoid a runoff.

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Politics
3:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Obama Sounds Alarm Bell On Climate Change. Is Anyone Listening?

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Everybody makes conversation about the weather. And today that includes President Obama. He's appearing on three network TV shows to discuss a new government report on climate change. It's on a day when the president also visits Arkansas to survey the damage from last week's tornadoes.

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It's All Politics
8:11 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Establishment Favorite Thom Tillis Wins Senate Nod In N.C.

Thom Tillis greets supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:23 pm

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, a victory for GOP establishment forces over the Tea Party in a battleground state that will feature one of the nation's most competitive Senate races this fall.

Tillis, who avoided a runoff by winning more than 40 percent of the vote, will face first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November. Hagan rates among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Gaffe Breathes New Life Into Iowa Senate Race

Iowa Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst debates fellow U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs, a retired CEO, in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

This year, Iowa will elect a new U.S. senator, thanks to the retirement of five-term Democrat Tom Harkin.

For a time, this was a seat Democrats didn't think they needed to worry about; Rep. Bruce Braley was considered the favorite to win the seat in November.

Thanks to a serious gaffe, though, the seat looks to be in play. Now, five Republican hopefuls, none well-known statewide, are all racing toward the June primary.

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She Votes
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

From Humble Beginnings, A Powerhouse Fundraising Class Emerges

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., asks a question of a witness on Capitol Hill during a June 2013 committee hearing. Since her appointment in 2009, Gillibrand has become one of the Senate's top fundraisers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:54 am

Women are far less likely than men to run for Congress. But here's the curious thing: When it comes to the hardest, most miserable part of campaigning — fundraising — women do just as well as men.

Study after study shows this, but it wasn't always that way. Efforts over the past 30 years to teach women how to raise money and give money have helped them catch up to men as powerhouse fundraisers.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Abortion Opponents Find Winning Strategy In Ohio

In Ohio, four of the state's 14 abortion clinics have shut down over the past year, with three more in legal peril.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

The old abortion rights slogan — "safe, legal and rare" — has been turned on its head.

By imposing greater safety requirements on clinics, abortion opponents have succeeded in putting many of them out of business.

The goal of this strategy is not to ban abortion — "there are things that are banned that occur every day," says Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life — but to end it.

"Abortion is legal, so you must have incremental legislation to save as many babies as we can," Gonidakis.

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Code Switch
2:03 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny

An Arkansas voter enters an early-voting polling place on May 5.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Three states are holding primaries Tuesday, and voters might understandably be confused over what kind of identification they need to show at the polls.

In Indiana, it has to be a government-issued photo ID. In Ohio, you can get by with a utility bill. In North Carolina, you won't need a photo ID until 2016. But that law, along with ID laws in many other states, faces an uncertain future.

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Law
9:51 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Controversy Over Title IX Protecting Transgender Students

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
6:39 am
Tue May 6, 2014

This Could Be The Year Iowa Sends Its First Woman To Congress

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, shown during a recent debate with her GOP primary opponents, is attempting to become the first female Republican to win her party's nomination to run for U.S. Senate in the Hawkeye State.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:55 am

In its 168 years, Iowa has never elected a woman to Congress or picked one as its governor.

For many residents who pride themselves on a progressive civil rights history that predates statehood, that political reality has become an exasperating distinction shared with only one other state — Mississippi.

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It's All Politics
6:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

5 Things To Watch In Tuesday's Primaries

North Carolina Republican Senate hopeful Greg Brannon (left) greets Adam Love and his daughter Gwendolyn Love during a campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:00 am

Get ready for election season.

Tuesday's primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio serve as the kickoff for an intense two-month stretch that will go a long way toward outlining the shape of the midterm election landscape.

By the end of June, more than half the states will have conducted their primary elections. And the answers to some of the most important questions about the November elections will be clearer.

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She Votes
1:24 am
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Softens Its Edge In An Attempt To Appeal To Women

"We have allowed ourselves to be branded [in] a way I do not feel is representative of who we are as Republicans," says Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., of her party's negative reputation on women's issues.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

Republicans have a problem with women.

Since the 1980s, women have been much more likely than men to vote Democratic.

Increasingly, however, Republican operatives see getting more women to vote for their candidates as key to the party's future.

Take Equal Pay Day, for instance, a political holiday that Democrats have used to push a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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She Votes
3:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

More Health Insurance Equals Fewer Deaths In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a health care reform bill during an April 12, 2006, ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston. The bill made Massachusetts the first state in the country to require that all residents have health insurance.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In each of the first four years of the state law, 320 fewer Massachusetts men and women died than would have been expected. That's one life extended for every 830 newly insured residents.

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