Rascally former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was once so confident about re-election that he declared "the only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."
That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. It was long before the Democrat served eight years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.
And it was a lifetime – or two — before a recent cringe-inducing reality television show about life with his young wife, her teenage sons and his own grandmother-aged daughters from a previous marriage.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to spend some time today talking about the U.S. relationship with Mexico. This after President Obama made a trip across the border yesterday to meet with the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto as well as the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. It was called the Three Amigos Summit. And here's President Obama speaking from the meeting.
A Wisconsin court has released an enormous number of emails — 27,000 pages — from a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker.
Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted last year of using her government job to do illegal campaign work. At the time, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.
The emails paint a picture of constant coordination between Walker's county office and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They were made public in the middle of Walker's gubernatorial re-election campaign, and at a time when the governor is considered a presidential hopeful for 2016.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:02 pm
Judging from an attack by one of his Republican opponents, you could easily draw the conclusion that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska opposes a road that would serve as a lifeline to the remote Aleutian village of King Cove. But you would be wrong.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 4:05 am
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a multibillion-dollar loan guarantee Wednesday for building nuclear reactors in Georgia, underscoring the White House's plan for an "all of the above" energy strategy.
The two reactors will be the first built in this country in nearly three decades.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel
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President Obama is in Mexico today, for a one-day summit meeting with his fellow North American leaders. Trade tops the agenda. And President Obama signed an executive order today designed to speed up cross-border commerce. But the president's broader trade agenda appears to be slowing in the face of stiff congressional opposition.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire retired hedge-fund investor, is aiming to spend $100 million to make climate change a priority issue in this year's midterm elections.
As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the Democrat is working to raise $50 million from donors to add to $50 million of his own money to bankroll his San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action.
When workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga narrowly rejected the United Auto Workers in a recent vote on whether to unionize, it was a stinging setback for a labor movement looking for a big organizing victory in a Southern state.
Los Angeles may be known for its celebrities, glitz and glam, but the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, is focused on something decidedly less flashy: infrastructure.
Take the city's airport LAX, for example. You'd be forgiven for mistaking its terminals for a cramped bus station. And stepping out onto the curb can feel like an assault on the senses, with the horns, aggressive shuttle drivers and travelers jostling for taxis.
Coffee is important to many of us, but let's say your coffee maker breaks. Finding a new one is as easy as typing "shop coffee maker" into your browser. Voila — you've got models, prices and customer reviews at your fingertips.
But say you need something less fun than a coffee maker — like a colonoscopy. Shopping for one of those is a lot harder. Actual prices for the procedure are almost impossible to find, and Bob Kershner says there's huge variation in cost from one clinic to the next.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:48 pm
With 435 seats up for grabs every two years, House candidates typically raise more money overall than those running for the Senate, where only about one-third of the chamber's 100 seats are contested every two years.
Control of Congress won't be the only big question in this fall's elections. A quieter but critical battle is being waged over state-level races for secretary of state. In most states, that's the official in charge of running elections. Elections have become a political lightning rod. Many conservatives rail against voter fraud and lax rules, liberals say that's voter suppression. And now, as NPR's Peter Overby reports, superPACs want to nationalize the fight over secretary of state.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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A new report out this afternoon poured some gasoline on the already raging debate over whether to raise the minimum wage. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says boosting the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But it would also cost about half-a-million jobs.
This is a midterm election year, and the jockeying for position and the mud-slinging have already begun ahead of the November vote. The calendar is much shorter in one district in Florida. Voters there go to the polls next month in a special election that some pundits see as a good preview for the fall.
The election is to fill a seat held for more than 40 years by one congressman, Republican Bill Young. NPR's Greg Allen reports that Democrats have their best chance of winning this seat in decades.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
The immigration issue has become a political hot potato for Republicans. Last year, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, and the House decided not to take it up. But then House Republicans changed their minds briefly until they gave up again. NPR's Mara Liasson explains where things stand now.
Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:11 am
Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing a push to move climate change to the top of the global agenda, telling an audience in the archipelago nation of Indonesia that rising global temperatures and sea levels could threaten their "entire way of life."
Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 2:25 pm
Passage of a bill to increase the Turkish government's control over the country's judicial system on Saturday came down to a real fight in Parliament, literally.
Two members of Parliament were injured — one with a broken nose — during debate over the controversial measure to give the Justice Ministry greater control over the selection of judges. The measure ultimately passed, but not before some minor bloodshed.
For years, Native Americans and others have criticized the Washington Redskins football team for having a name, they say, is offensive. Well now, the National Football League is feeling the pressure too. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, two members of Congress are demanding that the NFL take a formal position in support of a name change.
Doug Hattaway, the president of Hattaway Communications, drops by to discuss how changing just one word can often change the whole message of a particular argument. This week, just such a change helped pave the way for a Democrat and Republican agreement on lifting the debt ceiling.
And joining us now are our regular Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks. As I learned to say from a New York Times item this week, they both practice columnizing. David at the Times and E.J. at The Washington Post when he's not at the Brookings Institution. It's good to see you both.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: So first, and let's start with you, David, how important was John Boehner's surprising turn on the debt ceiling this week?
In California's farm rich Central Valley, where President Obama meets Friday with farmers and others who are affected by the state's historic drought, Todd Allen nods towards a field of brown, baked dirt passing by the right side of his truck.
"Here's a plot of ground that I'm not going to be able to farm. That's 160 acres," he says.
Allen owns a farm about an hour's drive west of Fresno, where half of the country's produce is grown. Usually Allen's fields contain cantaloupe, cotton, tomato and wheat.
A high-stakes drama played out over the debt ceiling on Capitol Hill this week. It ended with President Obama getting exactly what he'd asked for — an extension of the Treasury's borrowing authority with no strings attached — and an even wider gulf between GOP congressional leaders and Tea Party-aligned conservatives.
Underlying the Republican rift was House Speaker John Boehner's determination to avoid another episode like last fall's government shutdown.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Much of the East Coast is digging out from ice and snow including Washington, D.C. But members of Congress beat the bad weather out of town and are back in their districts for a two week recess, this after a vote to raise the debt ceiling - a vote that came unusual for these times without an ugly showdown.