Politics

NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Overhaul Bill Criticized For Ending Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., (left) and ranking member Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are proposing a major overhaul of the U.S. mortgage market.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 11:25 am

There's a fight in Washington over the future of homeownership in America. At issue is a bipartisan bill to dramatically reshape the housing finance industry — the industry that was at the heart of the financial crisis. It's also an industry that's at the heart of the American dream — and the bill before Congress may affect who can afford to buy a house.

The Obama administration supports the bill. But civil rights groups and housing advocates say it would weaken rules that push banks to lend to low- and moderate-income homebuyers.

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She Votes
2:21 am
Mon May 5, 2014

All The Single Ladies: 5 Takeaways About Unmarried Female Voters

Democrats have an urgent problem this year: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 2:11 pm

In a midterm election that's expected to hinge on the demographic composition of the electorate, single women could be the key to Democratic chances to hold on to the Senate in November.

While Republicans have a longstanding problem with female voters, this year it's Democrats who have the more urgent problem: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.

Here are five things to know about single female voters.

They're Not Up For Grabs

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Politics
2:53 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Obama Needs To Pick Up Approval Rating, For Senate Democrats' Sake

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 7:45 pm

Recent polls have President Obama's approval ratings hovering around 40 percent. That's a new career low. NPR's Arun Rath talks with correspondent Mara Liasson about what that means for Democrats in November's midterm elections.

Politics
9:33 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Boehner Plays It Loose With His Speakership At Stake

While House Speaker John Boehner is almost certain to win re-election in his suburban Cincinnati district, his prospects of being re-elected as speaker are far less clear.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:32 am

House Speaker John Boehner is almost certain to win re-election in his suburban Cincinnati district, but that will only get him back to Congress.

To get another term as speaker, he'll need to win a floor vote that doesn't happen until January — and Boehner's prospects in that contest are far less clear.

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It's All Politics
8:20 am
Sun May 4, 2014

From Family History To Ballot Fights: What Drew You To Politics?

An audience, mostly women, listen behind President Barack Obama in Oct. 2012 as he speaks about the choice facing women in the election during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

As part of our "She Votes" series about women and politics in this mid-term election year, we posted a question on Instagram and Twitter.

"What or who first got you interested in politics? Share your memories and show us the person, thing, or event that made you pay attention or become active, using the hashtag #shevotes."

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Politics
5:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

The Story Of The Parties' Crucial Appeals To Women In 'She Votes'

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. We are six months away from this year's midterm elections, and Democrats and Republicans are ramping up campaign messaging. Both parties agree women could hold the key to victory in November. And many of the most endangered incumbents and high-profile challengers are also women.

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The Two-Way
12:45 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner

Obama has two ferns brought to the podium as a spoof of his appearance on "Between Two Ferns" for his standup at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:14 pm

President Obama made fun of himself at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, the annual nerd-ball schmooze fest where Washington's media stars get comfy with a mix of political bigwigs and Hollywood beautiful people to celebrate a year of journalism.

Obama, known for his comic timing and delivery, didn't disappoint.

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Author Interviews
7:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Ralph Nader Seeks A United Front Against Corporate America

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:33 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ralph Nader has never been elected president, but his new book has a broad-based coalition of endorsements that range from Grover Norquist on the right to Robert Reich and Cornel West on the left, in which Mr. Nader finds in a partisan time the outlines of a new political force that crosses all party lines. His new book is "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State." Ralph Nader joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

RALPH NADER: Thank you very much, Scott.

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It's All Politics
3:35 am
Sat May 3, 2014

John Boehner Faces A Primary Challenge, But Only Barely

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, listens to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before talking to reporters at the Republican National Committee headquarters on April 29.
AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:21 pm

Let's stipulate that Speaker John Boehner doesn't really have to worry about his Republican primary challengers Tuesday.

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Commentary
2:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Week In Politics: Ukraine And Donald Sterling

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And with that, we turn to our regular Friday commentators: E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: How are you?

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Politics
10:23 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Obama Administration Lost Overseas?

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 10:29 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the day talking about politics. Obama is back home after a trip to Asia. And Secretary of State John Kerry is on an overseas tour of his own now. He's in Africa meeting with heads of state. Yesterday, he warned African union officials in Ethiopia about the threat of possible genocide in South Sudan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Death Penalty Fades As Hot-Button Issue

Death penalty opponents set up signs April 23 at the Florida State Prison near Starke, Fla., just hours before the execution of Robert Eugene Hendrix, 47, who killed his cousin and his cousin's wife to prevent him from testifying in a burglary case against him.
Phil Sandlin AP

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 8:00 am

It's almost hard to remember how dominant an issue the death penalty was a generation ago.

Crime and drugs were the top issues for voters in 1994. Not coincidentally, support for the death penalty peaked that year, at 80 percent, according to Gallup polling.

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Education
3:25 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Feds List Schools Under Investigation For Abuse Claims

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:38 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.

A Supreme Court justice famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Louis Brandeis meant that publicity changes bad behavior, and this appears to be the theory followed by the U.S. Department of Education. For the first time, the department released names of colleges and universities that are currently under investigation for the way they have handled sexual assaults.

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Politics
6:32 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

When College Sexual Assault Panels Fall Short, And When They Help

Dartmouth College is one of 55 colleges and universities on the Education Department's list of institutions being investigated for how they've handled sexual assault cases.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 8:45 am

Thursday, the federal government sent a message that it's taking sexual harassment on college campuses seriously. Education officials released the names of 55 schools facing investigation for their handling of sexual abuse allegations.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Effort To Force Treatment On Severely Mentally Ill Meets Resistance

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., speaks during a December 2013 news conference in Washington to discuss the introduction of a legislative package of major mental health reforms.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:32 pm

Ed Kelley and his wife have three children. They live in a comfortable suburb of Baltimore. And for a long time their life seemed perfect.

"We were churchgoing; we were involved in the community. We had a very close-knit family all around us."

And he adored his 14-year-old son.

"He was funny, he was getting good grades, he loved playing sports; he was so humorous. Actually for the longest time he was sort of the center of the family."

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Law
9:33 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Troubling Oklahoma Execution Sparks Death Penalty Debate

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 10:27 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today talking about the death penalty. You might have heard by now about Clayton Lockett. He was convicted of rape and murder in Oklahoma and he was scheduled to die from a lethal injection earlier this week.

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Around the Nation
3:13 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Seattle Proposal Would Raise City's Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:24 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The minimum wage may go up anyway in Seattle. Politicians there want to raise the local minimum higher than current 7.25, and higher than President Obama's goal of 10.10. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Seattle's current minimum wage, like all of Washington state's, is $9.19 per hour.] Seattle is seriously considering setting the minimum wage at $15.

Here's NPR's Martin Kaste.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Seattle - 15, 15, 15!

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Politics
3:12 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Senate Republicans Block Bill To Raise Federal Minimum Wage

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 5:35 am

One of the Democrats top election themes this year was stopped cold in the Senate on Wednesday. Republicans successfully blocked Democrats from even taking up a bill to raise the minimum wage.

It's All Politics
4:06 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Nino's No-No: Justice Scalia Flubs Dissent In Pollution Case

Whether the error in Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's recent dissent was originally his fault or a clerk's doesn't make it less cringeworthy.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:28 pm

All of us who write for a living know what it's like to completely forget something you wrote 13 years ago.

But when a Supreme Court justice pointedly cites the facts in a decision he wrote, and gets them exactly wrong, it is more than embarrassing. It makes for headlines among the legal cognoscenti.

I'm not sure I rank as one of the cognoscenti, but here's my headline for Justice Antonin Scalia's booboo: "Nino's No-No."

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Politics
2:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Minimum Wage Raise: Blocked For Now, May Live Again In Campaigns

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:20 pm

Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.

For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.

GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.

But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Against 'Dark Money,' A Star Witness Speaks In Congress

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testified in a Senate hearing today on the surge of secret money in politics. Stevens retired from the court a few months after the Citizens United ruling in 2010. He had issued an emphatic dissent in the case, which allowed corporations and unions to spend without limits in campaigns.

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Can I Just Tell You?
10:17 am
Wed April 30, 2014

First Lady Not First Priority For Graduates

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:05 am
Wed April 30, 2014

White House Warns Highway Trust Fund Is Low On Funds

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Obama administration has sent Congress a $302 billion measure to fund highway and other infrastructure. The White House contends that unless Congress acts, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this summer.

Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The Obama administration proposes closing some corporate tax loopholes to augment money raised by the gas tax. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx also wants to give states the authority to put new tolls on interstate highways.

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Poll: Young Voters Uninterested In November 2014 Elections

A young Miami voter wears her "I voted today" sticker in October 2012.
J Pat Carter AP

Youth is a time of idealism and energy, except, perhaps, when it comes to voting in the midterm elections.

A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds that interest in voting in the November 2014 elections among 18- to 29-year-old voters is lower now than just several months ago — and even lower than it was at a similar point in 2010.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Tue April 29, 2014

EU Follows U.S. In Imposing New Sanctions On Russia

Armed pro-Russian militants attacked a demonstration of supporters of Ukraine in Donetsk on Monday.
Olya Morvan Maxppp/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:28 am

This post was updated at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The European Union has followed the U.S. in imposing a new round of sanctions on Russia for the Kremlin's intervention in Crimea and alleged support of separatist elements inside eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions, which specifically target Russian President Vladimir Putin's "inner circle," drew a response from Moscow, which described them in Cold War terms.

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Law
3:17 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Rep. Grimm Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

New York City Congressman Michael Grimm is a former FBI agent. Yesterday he surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on 20 charges related to taxes, perjury and fraud. Mr. Grimm is fighting the charges but said he would step down from the powerful House Financial Services Committee. News of Grimm's indictment leaked last Friday, so that announcement yesterday was not a surprise.

But the charges were. NPR's Peter Overby explains.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal

Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island arrives for a news conference outside a courthouse in New York on Monday after being indicted on federal charges following a two-year investigation.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 3:11 pm

A former FBI agent turned congressman from New York gets indicted on charges ranging from evading taxes and employing undocumented workers to lying under oath while a member of the U.S. House.

A married congressman from Louisiana announces he won't run again, just weeks after being caught on video in a passionate clutch with a married staffer.

And this in the wake of the recent resignation of former GOP Rep. Trey Radel of Florida, busted for attempting to buy cocaine in the nation's capital.

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News
2:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

Africa
10:31 am
Mon April 28, 2014

South Sudan: History Was Always Against Us

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are going to switch gears now and go to a place where fighting over racial and ethnic differences is about more than hurt feelings and lost opportunities. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Africa this week on a weeklong trip where he hopes to highlight advances in democratic and economic development and U.S. partnerships on the continent.

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Movies
10:31 am
Mon April 28, 2014

New Film 'All About Ann' Looks At The Life Of A Texan Leader

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's been 20 years since a Democrat was elected to a statewide office in Texas. And that year - 1994 - also marks the year when the state's last Democratic governor was voted out. But what a character she was.

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