From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The debate over same-sex marriage is at a furious boil right now inside one famous political family. Liz and Mary Cheney, the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. Mary is gay and married. Liz, her older sister, is running for Senate in Wyoming and she has said she opposes same-sex marriage.
She was asked about that yesterday on Fox News Sunday.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. This could be a big week for diplomacy with Iran. The U.S. and other world powers are sending diplomats back to Geneva. They're hoping to persuade Iran to roll back some of its nuclear program, in exchange for limited sanctions relief. One key U.S. ally is not happy about that. Israel calls it a bad deal, and is urging the U.S. to stand tough.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:55 pm
A family feud between Liz and Mary Cheney, the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, played out in awkward fashion Sunday.
Liz Cheney, who is running for Wyoming's U.S. Senate seat, sparked the dispute on Fox News Sunday, saying she "believe[s] in the traditional definition of marriage" even though her sister, Mary, a lesbian, is married to a woman.
"I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree," Cheney told host Chris Wallace.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 7:15 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
This week contains major anniversaries of events that involved the first and last presidents killed in office, a tragic link captured in a famous newspaper editorial cartoon. Friday is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, Tuesday is the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Several states are trying to do something about so-called hyperpartisanship by changing the way congressional districts are drawn and the way elections are held.
Their goal: force members of Congress to pay more attention to general election voters than to their base voters on the right or left.
John Fortier, the director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is working on ways to make politics less dysfunctional, says U.S. political parties have become more polarized.
The White House has been fighting to prevent the disastrous rollout of the health care law from defining President Obama's second term. While that struggle continues, another story is unfolding this week that could shape this president's legacy.
Diplomats from the U.S. and other countries are going to meet for a second round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, and a breakthrough there could shape history's view of Obama.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:20 pm
When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.
And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.
The image of Walter Cronkite taking off his glasses as he announced President John F. Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963, is one that seems seared into our collective memory — even for those of us who weren't around to see it live.
Nearly 40 years later, Cronkite revisited that moment and the rest of that unsettling day in a piece that aired on All Things Considered on Nov. 22, 2002.
Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:57 am
Texas wasn't exactly a backwater in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but it wasn't the economic and political powerhouse that it has become today.
Over the past 50 years, three of the nation's presidents have hailed from Texas.
"For the past few decades, Texas politicians have found a natural habitat on the national political stage in the way Dominican shortstops have found a natural habitat in baseball," the humorist Calvin Trillin wrote a couple of years ago.
Not all the action surrounding the health law took place on Capitol Hill this week. Yesterday's vote was just the last of several significant events in the ever-evolving saga that is the Affordable Care Act. NPR's Julie Rovner covers health policy, which these days means pretty much covering the federal health law full time. She joins us in the studio now. Hi, Julie.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Don Gonyea. The Affordable Care Act dominated political headlines again this week. Yesterday, the House passed a Republican bill that would allow insurance companies to renew individual health insurance policies even if the coverage does not provide all the benefits required by the new health care law.
The email landed in my inbox at 7:01 Tuesday morning.
The subject line read, "NBC News Poll: Christie Trails Clinton In Hypothetical 2016 Match-Up, Faces Divided GOP."
My reaction when I got this breaking news with my first cup of coffee? A big, nonverbal, heavy sigh.
The headline correctly states that this is a "hypothetical" matchup. Oh, and if you are fan of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — not to worry. A different poll came out this week as well. That one has him leading Hillary Clinton 43-42. Within the margin of error, of course.
The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. As NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, cheap biofuels haven't been developed as quickly as hoped.
We've been hearing a lot about health insurance policies that were canceled because they don't comply with the Affordable Health Care Act. That is, in some way, those policies don't meet the standards that the ACA set. And we were wondering in what way these policies typically fall short. And joining us to try to answer that question is Karen Pollitz, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Welcome to the program.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
We begin this hour on Capitol Hill, where a vote in the House has capped a week of controversy over the Affordable Care Act. The president apologized. His party squirmed. And more than three dozen Democrats joined House Republicans today to pass a bill that would let insurers continue existing policies for a year. That's even if plans don't meet standards set by the health care law. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:14 pm
In "The Defiant Ones," a classic film directed by Stanley Kramer, two escapees from a Southern chain gang hated each other but were handcuffed together, meaning they could survive only by working together.
Which is pretty much a metaphor for where President Obama and insurance company executives have found themselves all along with the Affordable Care Act.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. From Boston, health care consultant and contributor to National Review magazine, Neil Minkoff. Here in Washington, Paul Butler, professor of law at Georgetown University. And Corey Dade, contributing editor for The Root. Take it away, Jimi.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:29 pm
The House has approved a Republican-sponsored bill that would allow insurance companies to continue offering policies that would be canceled because they don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Keep Your Health Plan Act, H.R. 3350, was adopted by a vote of 261-157, with 17 members not voting.
We've updated the top of this post with the results of the vote and other news.
Update at 7:30 p.m. ET: States Reportedly Confused By Obamacare Fix
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 12:21 pm
The American public is clearly ticked off. Between the government shutdown, the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and the pace of the economic recovery, poll after poll reports signs of deep frustration and unrest.
Anger toward politicians and government isn't exactly a new phenomenon. What is unusual, however, is the sheer number of polling records that have been set in recent weeks — both lows and highs.
President Obama has acknowledged the fumbled rollout of his signature health care law has hurt his credibility and that of fellow Democrats. He offered a minor change to the law in hopes of calming Democratic nerves, and beating back bigger changes proposed by House Republicans.