If any two issues illustrate how difficult it could be for the part of the Republican Party represented by the social and national security conservatives to bridge their differences with libertarians, same-sex marriage and National Security Agency intelligence are good candidates
Discussions at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference got testy Friday, when libertarians defended positions out of synch with the more traditional stances that have defined the Republican Party for decades.
The Senate majority leader is under steady attack from Republicans for calling the Koch brothers, billionaire funders of conservative causes, "un-American." His Senate colleagues across the aisle criticize his stewardship in unusually sharp terms.
Recognizing a rich vein, New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie took on the Nevada Democrat on Thursday during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
It is one of those primary tenets of the Republican party: a strong, robust, well-funded military and the willingness to deploy it are a critical part of national security.
But Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who speaks to activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday, has long felt it's time to re-examine that approach.
In less than four years in the Senate, Paul has emerged as a prominent new face of the GOP and a contender for the 2016 presidential nomination. But his libertarian philosophy sets him apart from the rest of the field.
The Senate has rejected a proposal that would have allowed military prosecutors, rather than commanders, to decide which sexual assault cases to pursue. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the legislation pitted two women of the Senate, both Democrats, both lawyers, against each other - Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who pushed the bill, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who lead the charge against her.
Now that the smoke has cleared from Debo Adegbile's failed nomination Wednesday to head the Justice Department's civil rights division, there are some lessons to draw from that Democratic debacle.
Why was it a disaster? Seven Democrats defected from their party to vote against Obama's nominee. The nomination had been opposed by police groups because of Adegbile's indirect role in the appeals process for Mumia Abu Jamal, a death-row inmate convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
The last two abortion clinics in Texas' Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border are closing today. New restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature last year require that doctors at abortion clinics obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Well, many hospitals have been reluctant to grant those privileges, and as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports, today's closures have women's health advocates concerned.
Since the start of the year, the political ad war against vulnerable Democratic senators has not been run by the Republican Party. Instead, the attacks have been coming from a tax-exempt social welfare group called Americans for Prosperity. Now, Democrats are pushing back. Instead of going after the organization, they're attacking its most prominent benefactors, conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
After months of anticipation, the Senate has rejected a proposal to fundamentally change the way the military prosecutes sexual assault. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York needed 60 votes for a bill that would give military prosecutors, rather than commanders, final say over which sexual assault cases to prosecute. The legislation got 55 votes today.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:27 pm
The U.S. Senate's opening prayer on Thursday was delivered by the Dalai Lama — in his words, "a simple Buddhist monk."
The Tibetan spiritual leader has been in the U.S. for several weeks and his itinerary has included a White House meeting with President Obama, over the strong objections of China. As The Associated Press puts it:
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:59 am
The Central Intelligence Agency and one of the congressional panels that oversees its work, the Senate Intelligence Committee, are in what looks to be an increasingly bitter battle over just who's been behaving improperly.
McClatchyDC and The New York Times have been rolling out stories this week about claims that the CIA may have been monitoring the work of the committee's staffers in recent years and that some of those congressional aides may have left CIA headquarters with classified documents that shouldn't leave that secure facility.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:00 pm
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of conservatives which is part pep rally, part trade show, part revival meeting and part political cattle call, rolls into Washington this week.
As the 2014 version gets underway, one of the major questions hanging over the event is this: how much juice does the Tea Party still have?
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A handful of Senate Democrats joined Republicans yesterday to defeat President Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Debo Adegbile is a civil rights lawyer who once helped handle the appeal of a cop killer. He nomination forced a tough choice upon Democrats: Vote yes and infuriate law enforcement groups - or vote no and anger minority voters.
The government is often dismissed as nothing but paper-shuffling bureaucrats, but in reality, there's a lot less paper being shuffled these days. Far fewer copies of the federal budget came off government presses this week, just one example of how Washington is trying to wean itself off paper and to online distribution of information.
Of course, this being Washington, this is not without controversy, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
It's been decades since the advertising industry recognized the need to woo Hispanic consumers. Big companies saw the market potential and sank millions of dollars into ads. The most basic dos and don'ts of marketing to Latinos in the United States have been understood for years.
Now a view of the president's national initiative from a man whose long worked with young men of color at the local level, Malik Washington. He's acting executive director of the William Killebrew Foundation based here in Washington, D.C.
President Obama may be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party, but his unpopularity in some parts of the country means there are certain places on the campaign trail where it's best for him to stay away.
Enter former President Clinton, who can go where Obama fears to tread.
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Now, a remarkable hearing on Capitol Hill today that ended with its Republican chairman shutting off the microphones. The hearing was part of a House Republican probe alleging the IRS unfairly scrutinized conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the IRS official who was called to testify today refused.
In New Mexico, the nation's only nuclear waste dump is closed. It's been several weeks since radioactive material was detected in the air at the site. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the incident is shaping up to be yet another setback in the quest to find a home for America's nuclear waste.