Politics

Business
3:20 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher

Construction companies added 15,000 jobs even though the weather was horrible in much of the country in February.
Sarah Glenn Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:40 am

  • Freezing Weather Put A Chill On Economy, Housing Market?

Friday's monthly employment report was encouraging — but not just for job seekers. People who already have work could find something to celebrate too: Hourly wages rose at a decent pace.

That's a welcome change for employees who have seen only very, very modest raises in this economic recovery.

The Labor Department said average hourly wages rose by 9 cents an hour in February, up to $24.31. With that bump, workers are now making 2.2 percent more per hour than they were a year ago.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

CPAC's Conservative-Libertarian Split Could Be Hard To Bridge

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

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.

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Energy
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Concerns About Russia Fuel New Calls For Gas Exports

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Russia is the world's top natural gas exporter, but the U.S. is the top producer. Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, explains efforts to get American gas to Europe.

Commentary
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Week In Politics: Ukraine And CPAC

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

CORNISH: And Reihan Salam, a columnist for the National Review and Reuters. Hi, Reihan.

REIHAN SALAM: Hi, Audie.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Lawmaker Wants To Ban Orcas At San Diego's SeaWorld

A trainer feeds killer whales ice chunks in a tank at SeaWorld in San Diego in this undated photo.
Sandy Huffaker/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:33 pm

A California lawmaker has proposed a measure that would prohibit SeaWorld San Diego from using orcas in its shows.

Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat, says the documentary Blackfish, which examines the 2010 death of a SeaWorld trainer who was killed by a captive orca, inspired him to push the bill.

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It's All Politics
11:43 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Republicans Point To Reid As A Symbol Of What's Wrong In D.C.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., faces reporters at the Capitol after bipartisan Senate opposition blocked swift confirmation for President Barack Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights division on March 5.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:28 pm

Conservatives can't stand Harry Reid.

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.

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Law
10:05 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Civil Rights Nomination Fight Connects To Decades-Old Murder

The Senate voted this week to bar Debo Adegbile from leading the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Law professors Douglas Kmiec and Spencer Overton discuss the case and role of the division.

Politics
3:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul To Address Annual CPAC Meeting

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters in front of federal court in Washington on Feb. 12.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:36 am

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.

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Politics
3:06 am
Fri March 7, 2014

House Backs Obama's Request To Back Loans For Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

The crisis in Ukraine is galvanizing unusually swift bipartisan action on Capitol Hill. The GOP-led House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to authorize a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine.

Politics
2:55 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Gillibrand, McCaskill Square Off Over Military Assault Prosecutions

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

3 Lessons From Obama's Failed Justice Department Nomination

The specter of failure is often enough to get the White House and Senate leaders to punt on a nomination. But not in the case of Debo Adegbile.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:13 am

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.

Here are three things we learned from the vote.

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It's All Politics
4:55 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Top Conservative Event Opens With Big Names, Red Meat And Fun

CPAC attendees vote Thursday in the event's annual presidential straw poll.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:25 am

Star Wars storm troopers in full regalia protesting "oppressive economic policies."

A smiling, larger-than life Sarah Palin touting her latest cable television show, Amazing America.

Uncle Sam on stilts. Quadrennial pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump. A slew of legitimate White House hopefuls.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

As CPAC Opens, GOP Stars Take Turns At The Podium

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists, routinely attracts big names in the Republican party — and this year's no different. It starts Thursday.

News
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Texas Abortion Restrictions Shutter Two More Clinics

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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News
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Obama Lays Groundwork For Sanctions Against Russia

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

With an executive order Thursday, President Obama authorized sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. Speaker Boehner praised the sanctions and offered congressional support going forward.

Politics
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Running Against The Koch Brothers

Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch addresses attendees of the Defending the American Dream Summit in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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News
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Senate Blocks Military Sexual Assault Reforms

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:01 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Senate Blocks Bill To Overhaul Military Sex Assault Prosecutions

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) pauses while speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday following the Senate vote on the military sexual assaults bill she sponsored.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 2:08 pm

The Senate has voted to block a bill that would have removed the authority of senior military commanders to prosecute sexual assault cases within their ranks.

On Thursday's 55-45 vote, short of the 60 necessary to move the legislation forward, the Senate set aside the Military Justice Improvement Act sponsored by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

VIDEO: Dalai Lama Prays Senators Will 'Act With A Pure Mind'

The Dalai Lama delivers the opening prayer Thursday at the U.S. Senate.
C-SPAN.org

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:

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Claims And Counterclaims Fly As CIA And Senate Exchange Fire

The seal of the CIA at the agency's headquarters in Virginia.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

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.

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It's All Politics
9:30 am
Thu March 6, 2014

CPAC 2014: Reading The Tea (Party) Leaves

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is likely to be popular at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference, but the Tea Party might not be getting all of the attention.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

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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It's All Politics
9:18 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Race To Stop 'Revenge Porn' Raises Free Speech Worries

Annmarie Chiarini, whose ex-boyfriend posted private nude photos of her online, has emerged as a leading voice in the movement to pass legislation that criminalizes "revenge porn."
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:42 am

It's called "revenge porn" — the posting of nude or sexually explicit photos or videos online to degrade or harass someone, usually a former spouse or lover.

And states from Arizona to New York are racing to make it a crime.

It's a development that has heartened privacy advocates but alarmed free speech watchdogs who see constitutional peril in many bills being considered.

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Politics
3:22 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Democrats Help Block Nominee For DOJ's Top Civil Rights Job

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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.

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Politics
3:04 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Government Printing Office Is Churning Out Less Paper

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Selling Health Care To California's Latinos Got Lost In Translation

Covered California

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:59 am

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.

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Race
4:01 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

My Brother's Keeper In The Community: Hopes And Aims At Ground Level

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

Welcome to the program.

MALIK WASHINGTON: Thank you, Audie.

CORNISH: So tell us what your organization does.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bill Clinton, Party-Builder In Chief

Former President Clinton was the one modern Democratic president who focused on building up his party, an effort he continues today.
Luke Sharrett Getty Images

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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Politics
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

IRS Hearing Begins With Refusals To Answer — And Ends In Shouting

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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.

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News
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Decades-Old Case Looms Large In Defeated Civil Rights Nomination

Debo Adegbile was the nominee to lead the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, and he has a compelling story — from child actor to activist lawyer. The Senate defeated his nomination Wednesday.

Environment
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

With Waste Dump Closed, Where To Put Nuclear Leftovers?

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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