Politics

Politics
2:03 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Religious Freedom Bills Rooted In Fears Of Obama Policies

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has been urged by the state's two U.S. senators, both Republicans, to veto a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to gays or other groups that offend their religious beliefs.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:43 pm

Many religious leaders are feeling under siege. They believe the Obama administration is at worst hostile but at least "tone deaf" to the demands of faith. In their view, the government is attempting to make them act in ways that violate their convictions.

That is the context in which so-called religious freedom bills are being considered in Arizona and numerous other states.

The bills, which would allow business owners to refuse service to gays or other groups that offend their religious beliefs, appear discriminatory on their face.

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Politics
3:34 am
Tue February 25, 2014

After 58 Years Of Service, John Dingell To Vacate House Seat

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

I n 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus. "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and his Comets was a top hit on the music charts, and John Dingell became a member of Congress. Nearly six decades later, the Michigan Democrat, the longest-serving member of Congress is leaving. He announced his retirement yesterday.

Here's NPR's David Welna.

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Around the Nation
3:21 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Panel Charged With Eliminating Child Abuse Deaths

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:58 am

A federal commission to prevent children's deaths from abuse and neglect held its first meeting on Monday. Figuring out the extent of the problem is just one challenge facing the new commission.

Politics
1:37 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Democratic Sen. Landrieu Walks A Fine Line In Red Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has won some conservative supporters in her state, but her support for Obamacare is putting her re-election at risk.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:06 am

If Democrats are going to keep their majority in the Senate, they'll need to hang on to a few critical seats they hold in conservative states.

Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has one of those, and like some of her colleagues up for re-election, her support of the Affordable Care Act could be the mountain to overcome this fall.

The question for Landrieu is: Will Louisiana voters define her by Obamacare, or judge her on the entire record she's built over nearly two decades as a senator?

For Some, Obamacare's A Dealbreaker

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

The Lessons Of John Dingell's Departure

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., whose House career stretches nearly 60 years, will retire at the end of his term as the longest-serving member of Congress in history.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:23 pm

Nearly every news account Monday of Rep. John Dingell's retirement announcement made mention of his amazing longevity — the Michigan Democrat is the longest-serving member in the history of Congress.

While his durability is the stuff of legend, it's also remarkable that an accomplished, heavyweight legislator like Dingell stayed so long into an era of congressional dysfunction.

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Africa
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

How Will Ugandan Gay Refugees Be Received By U.S.?

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

A Ugandan law punishes "offenders" of homosexual acts with prison terms. Aaron Morris, legal director at Immigration Equality, explains the U.S. track record of granting asylum in such situations.

Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

After Nearly Six Decades In Office, Dingell Decides Not To Run

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

John Dingell of Michigan, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history, announced he won't run in 2014. As Tracy Samilton reports, Dingell's state will lose more than an icon when he retires.

It's All Politics
1:32 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Study: Conservatives And Liberals Rarely Debate On Twitter

When it comes to political discourse, Twitter chatter splits along liberal and conservative lines that rarely cross, according to a new report.

The Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation together used software to map and analyze words, hashtags and urls that define Twitter conversation. The results show that when the nature of a conversation on Twitter is political, two distinct and polarized groups tend to form.

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Politics
11:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Top Justice Dept. Official Quietly Stepped Down In December

J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm

The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Rep. John Dingell, Who Has Served A Record 58 Years, Is Retiring

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:23 am

Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, who was first elected to Congress in 1955 to fill a seat his father had held, says he will not seek re-election later this year.

He'll leave office having served in Congress longer than anyone else in history. Last June, Dingell passed the previous record holder, the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Pentagon Budget-Cutting Plans Sure To Draw Flak

Mark Wilson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:37 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host David Greene about the Pentagon's budget problems

Click here to jump to Monday afternoon's highlights of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement. We've rewritten the top of this post since Hagel announced his budget plan.

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Environment
3:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Billionaire Steyer Puts Money Toward Climate, Energy Issues

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. So in the words of that political scientist in Peter's piece, wealthy donors like Tom Steyer are putting a pistol to someone's head, forcing their pet issues on candidates. Steyer himself sees things very differently. He quit his hedge fund with $1.5 billion and now in his view he's fighting as hard as he can with money and passion to do something very noble - save the planet. When he sat down to speak with us he said his goal is to use his money to limit carbon emissions.

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Politics
3:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

America's Richest Political Activists Pour Money Into SuperPACs

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Some of America's richest political activists are pouring money into new SuperPACs as they seek to influence the issues in upcoming Senate and House races. Billionaires including Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, and Fred Eychaner used SuperPACs to support their favored presidential candidates in 2012.

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Pentagon Officials To Outline Defense Budget Priorities

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:34 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will outline budget priorities during a news conference on Monday. A key question for the Pentagon: How to curb growth of military pay and benefits?

Politics
6:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Running For Congress At Age 101

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I don't know about you but if I make it to the age of 100, I plan on spending my time in some beach town with a lot of friends and family, a pile of books and the occasional highball. In other words, I would plan to relax. Joe Newman is not that kind of centenarian. The resident of Sarasota, Florida is running for Congress at the age of 101. Candidate Joe Newman joins me from his campaign headquarters. Thanks so much for being here, Mr. Newman.

JOE NEWMAN: Thank you for having me.

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Politics
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

A Republican View: U.S. Military Should Play No Role In Syria

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Some in Congress believe sending aid to Syria's opposition forces will drag the U.S. into a war it can't win. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., about his adamant stance.

Politics
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Should The U.S. Choose Sides In Syria? A Democrat Says 'Yes'

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The dying and suffering in Syria gets worse every week, even as turmoil in other areas demands coverage, too. Last September 10th, President Obama seemed to make the case for U.S. involvement following Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians. This is not a world we should accept, said the president. It is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.

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It's All Politics
7:59 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

FCC Won't Ask Journalists To Explain Themselves After All

Critics told Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler his agency's proposed news media study would threaten press freedom.
Susan Walsh AP

It may not be in full retreat, but the Federal Communications Commission certainly seemed to be in a major strategic withdrawal from a plan that has caused a political firestorm: a study that would have asked journalists and media owners how they decide what is and isn't news.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Week In Politics: Minimum Wage And Boehner's Pressures

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Political commentators Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times discuss a proposed minimum wage raise and the challenges facing GOP congressional leaders.

Politics
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Obama And Democratic Governors Agree: Raise Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

President Obama met Friday with more than a dozen Democratic governors at the White House. They emerged from the meeting declaring their united support for a higher national minimum wage.

Politics
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Texan's Final Campaign May Act As National Barometer

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In northeast Texas, from the Dallas suburbs to Texarkana, Republican Ralph Hall is seeking an 18th term in Congress. Hall is 90 years old and the oldest member of Congress. At a time of deep voter anger with Washington, Hall's long incumbency and his age have drawn a crowded field of primary challengers. He's assuring his constituents that it will be his last campaign, but if there's an anti-incumbent wave building, his east Texas district may be an early barometer.

NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.

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Economy
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Fannie Mae: Now Free From Debt But Still Under Government's Wing

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

With another $7.2 billion in payments to the Treasury Department, Fannie Mae is now in the black for the first time since it entered conservatorship in 2008. Yet Fannie's future is as murky as ever.

Law
2:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Detroit Unrolls Its Bankruptcy Blueprint

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Detroit officials have filed a blueprint for the city's emergence from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Quinn Klinefelter of WDET reports that unions and others vow to fight the plan.

It's All Politics
10:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Once-Obscure State Job Is Now Attracting Millions Of Campaign Dollars

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, pictured in 2012, previously served as the state GOP chairman.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 4:26 pm

Iowa was one of the few states that saw voter turnout increase in 2012. Brad Anderson is proud of the role he played in encouraging turnout there as state director of President Obama's campaign.

Now he's running for secretary of state, which would put him in charge of overseeing elections.

"I have a plan to make Iowa No. 1 in voter turnout," Anderson says.

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Barbershop
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Are The Barbershop Guys Sorry They Are Not Idris Elba?

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Law
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Voting Rights: Time To Think Differently For Those Who've Done Time?

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:18 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We'd like to take a moment now to check in on the evolving debate over crime and punishment. Right now we want to focus on the voting rights of people who have served their sentences.

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World
9:59 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Being A World Away When Your Country Is In Crisis

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:11 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today talking about two disturbing situations from two different parts of the world that have been very much in the news this week. There are the violent protests in Ukraine that have been going on all week. More than 70 people have died there. And while the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have reached an agreement to end the violence, tensions are still very high there.

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Middle East
4:10 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Sen. Tim Kaine Looks For Egypt's Steps Toward Democracy

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:43 am

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is on a Middle East tour. From Cairo, Kaine talks to Steve Inskeep about U.S. aid to Egypt and what he's observing as the country sets out on a path to democracy.

NPR Story
3:24 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Obama To Enlist Democratic Governors' Support

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:29 am

Thursday at fundraising dinner, President Obama told Democratic governors that their Republican counterparts are making it harder for people to get health insurance or exercise their right to vote.

It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Obama Buoys Democrats By Dropping Social Security Cut Idea

President Obama very likely made Democrats' midterm campaign messaging easier by dropping from his new budget a proposal that would have reduced the size of Social Security checks.
Matt Rourke AP

For a political party already facing a difficult midterm election the way the Democrats are, the fewer internally divisive issues the better.

And few items were more divisive among Democrats than President Obama's previous proposal to reduce Social Security entitlement spending by using a less generous formula to calculate cost-of-living increases, so long as Republicans agreed to raise revenue by ending or reducing loopholes that would raise revenue.

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