Politics

Around the Nation
3:08 am
Tue April 8, 2014

San Francisco's Chinatown Hurt By Yee Scandal

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, these charges against Leland Yee have been rippling through San Francisco's large Asian community. NPR's Richard Gonzales has been listening to reaction in the city's storied Chinatown.

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Next Chapter Unfolds In San Francisco Political Scandal

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today, California State Senator Leland Yee is scheduled to appear in court. The corruption charges he faces range from the common to the extraordinary. The Democrat is accused of taking money from favors - that happens a lot - but this part does not: the FBI says Yee offered to connect undercover agents to international arms traffickers in exchange for campaign contributions. San Francisco journalist Tim Redmond is covering this case.

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Politics
3:01 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Obama's Executive Orders Take On Unequal Pay For Women

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:09 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Today is Equal Pay Day, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The government calculates the average pay of men and women.

GREENE: A woman would've had to work all last year, then all the way until today in order to match what the average man made just last year.

INSKEEP: She needed more than 15 months to match what the man made in 12.

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It's All Politics
10:03 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Study: States Did Better Job Running Elections In 2012

Voters line up in the dark to cast their ballots at a polling station on Nov. 6, 2012 in Miami, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee AP

For all the criticism about long lines and other Election Day snafus, most states actually improved the way they handled elections between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report found that, overall, wait times at polling stations decreased by about three minutes over 2008, and 40 states and the District of Columbia improved their "election performance index" scores, which Pew calculated from 17 indicators that make up the index.

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Former Senate Rivals Team Up To Combat Campus Sexual Assault

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., attends a press conference calling for the creation of an independent military justice system to deal with sexual harassment and assault in the military on Feb. 6.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

After a lengthy clash over competing military sexual assault reform bills, Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are teaming up to push for increased funding to investigate and combat sexual assault on college campuses.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Gay Candidate May Help Mass. GOP End Losing Streak

Former Republican Massachusetts state Sen. Richard Tisei announces his run for the 6th Congressional District seat held by John Tierney on Jan. 23 in Wakefield, Mass.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 7:36 am

Republicans in Massachusetts have lost the past 92 U.S. House races. That's a staggering number — the worst GOP drought in the country.

But analysts say this year the party might have a man who could snap that losing streak. He is vying for a seat in the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District, just north of Boston.

In many ways, Richard Tisei is a quintessential New England politician. He even sports the classic side-part hairstyle with a bit of that Kennedy swoosh. Old ladies tell him he's handsome. He's a veteran state senator and a local boy.

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Politics
1:24 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Welcome To Voting Rights Boot Camp

Supporters of the Voting Rights Act listen to speakers discussing the Supreme Court's rulings outside the court building in June 2013. The court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, aimed at protecting minority voters, is unconstitutional.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 1:30 pm

Election season is getting underway in states all over the country, and voting rights advocates worry some of those places may move to disenfranchise minorities by exploiting a Supreme Court ruling.

That ruling last June blew up a system that had forced states with a history of discrimination to win federal approval before making election changes.

Now, legal groups are responding by training a new generation of activists to sue. Consider this recent gathering of a few dozen lawyers and community activists on the 28th floor of an Atlanta skyscraper.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Obama Is Poised To Sign Executive Order On Equal Pay And Contractors

Seeking to advance the cause of equal pay for women, President Obama plans to sign an executive order Tuesday barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries with each other.

Federal contractors would also be forced to give the Labor Department data about their employees' pay along with their race and gender, under new rules the president is instructing the agency to adopt.

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Health Care
11:03 am
Sat April 5, 2014

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

You Could Be A 'New Republican' If You Agree With This Ad

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is part of an effort to redefine the Republican Party.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:39 pm

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Business
3:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring

Employment and wages are increasing, along with hopes for more consumer spending, analysts say.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:37 pm

As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.

Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.

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Fine Art
3:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

From Stick Figures To Portraits, Bush Frees His Inner Rembrandt

A portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin is on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
Benny Snyder AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:26 pm

Former President George W. Bush worked with many world leaders while in office. Now, he's unveiling 24 portraits he painted of some of them. As Lauren Silverman of KERA reports, the exhibit will be at his new presidential library.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Commentary
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Week In Politics: Money In Campaigns And Health Care Numbers

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, now it's time to talk politics with our Friday regulars, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Good to see you both.

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

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

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Economy
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Life Without Jobless Benefits: Watching, Searching And Praying

Josie Maisano poses with her congressman, Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan. Levin says if Congress can't respond to people like Maisano, "we've failed."
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:11 pm

There's a small frame hanging on the wall near the computer Josie Maisano uses to search for work. Inside there's a picture of her at this year's State of the Union address and a blue ribbon that Democrats wore that night to highlight the plight of people like Maisano, whose unemployment benefits stopped at the end of December.

"Oh, my God. It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Maisano. "Listening to President Obama, it was just very, very heartwarming."

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It's All Politics
1:05 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Congressman's Lament: $174,000 Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., joins other members of the House of Representatives at a closed-door intelligence briefing on Syria in September.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:00 pm

In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?

That would be in the nation's capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Americans should know that their members of Congress — as the board of directors for the "largest economic entity in the world" — are underpaid.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Bush's 'Art Of Leadership' Puts Putin And Others On Display

Former President George W. Bush says his favorite from among the portraits he's painted of world leaders is the one he did of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. "I painted a gentle soul," he says.
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:01 am

"The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" officially opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

As the nation's 43rd president says: "Who woulda thought it?"

Talking with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager during a pre-recorded interview on NBC-TV's Today show, the self-deprecating Bush says:

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Politics
10:31 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Enrollment Numbers Put Obamacare Battle To Rest?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time for our political chat. This week there's a lot to talk about. The Supreme Court struck down some campaign contribution limits. The White House beat it's a goal of 7 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan debuted his own budget proposal, something that could be a blueprint for a White House run in 2016. So joining us to help us unpack those political headlights is Corey Dade.

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National Security
4:38 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Senate Committee Votes To Declassify CIA Interrogations Report

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Senate intelligence committee voted yesterday in favor of declassifying a huge report that's been kept under wraps for nearly a year and a half. It's the so-called torture report on the interrogation and secret detention program carried out by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks. NPR's David Welna reports.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Only a 450-page summary of the report and its 20 findings would actually be declassified. New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich predicts a big impact.

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Politics
3:23 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

For Political Conventions, Another Balloon Bursts

President Obama stands on stage with Vice President Biden and their families after accepting the party nomination during the final day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

There's news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.

It's about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It's not the only change that's likely for conventions.

Let's start with a little time travel:

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All Tech Considered
2:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A Week Into His New Job, Controversy Forces Mozilla CEO To Resign

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Brendan Eich, embattled co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has stepped down from his new role as CEO of Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Who's Who In Senate-CIA Report Showdown

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks after a closed-door meeting Thursday on Capitol Hill. The panel voted to approve declassifying part of a report on Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:27 pm

The world could soon get its first official look at the CIA's post-Sept. 11 interrogation and detention activities now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to make public a blockbuster report about the agency's secret program.

The Senate panel's move to declassify key parts of the 6,300-page document comes just weeks after a rancorous battle erupted between the committee's Democratic chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, and the CIA over allegations the agency spied on members through their computers.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Mega-Donor Opens Wallet On The Hill To Kill Online Gambling

Sheldon Adelson listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting on March 29 in Las Vegas. Several possible GOP presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas as Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, looks for a new favorite to help on the 2016 race for the White House.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

Now that the Supreme Court has eliminated the cap on the total amount one individual can give to candidates in each election, many are wondering how the very rich will respond.

If they spread their money across a wider swath of lawmakers, would that improve their chances of passing the legislation they want?

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson could be the first test case.

Expanding One's Reach Across Congress

Adelson is pushing a bill through Congress that would ban online gambling, and he has pledged he will spend "whatever it takes."

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It's All Politics
1:23 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

NPR Poll: GOP's Older Voter Advantage Slips From 4 Years Ago

A strong majority of young voters support the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR poll. In March 2014, models handed out juice shots to encourage individuals — and especially young people — to sign up for health insurance.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:04 pm

The new NPR poll had good news for Republicans and Democrats. As NPR correspondent Mara Liasson reported for Morning Edition, likely voters were nearly split evenly between support and opposition to the Affordable Care Act, with 51 percent against and 47 percent for.

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The Salt
9:15 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Hot' Oregon Blueberry Fight Prompts Farm Bill Changes

It's unclear exactly how the new law will change enforcement of wage and hour laws on farms. Meanwhile, a blueberry labor dispute in Oregon grinds on in federal court.
David Wright/Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:42 pm

American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.

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Law
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

High Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took out a major pillar of campaign finance limits. The justices ruled a donor may give the maximum amount to as many federal candidates or committees as they wish.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Chemical Spill In W. Va. Tests Tolerance For Big Coal

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 8:27 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Evan Osnos about his New Yorker piece in which he explores how the coal industry has become a political player in the state, and what that could mean for future regulation.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

In Ann Arbor, Obama Gathers Support For Minimum Wage Hike

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The Senate could vote on a minimum wage bill as soon as next week. But it is hard to imagine the Republican-controlled House will take it up.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Democrats: Benghazi Probes Are Wasteful, Politically Motivated

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Citing millions of dollars spent already, Democrats argue politics is not a good reason to spend millions more investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya more than a year ago.

Politics
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Court's Decision Will Encourage Joint Fundraising Committees

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits on how much a single individual can give in total to candidates and parties. The ruling could give wealthy donors even more influence in elections.

Politics
1:40 am
Thu April 3, 2014

NPR Poll: Obamacare More Popular Than President

President Obama, with Vice President Biden, speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday in the Rose Garden.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:04 am

A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare — which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.

Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular, but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.

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