Politics

It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

RNC's Priebus Insists Minority Outreach Effort Is Built To Last

Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music gospel choir perform Tuesday at the Republican National Committee's awards lunch at Washington's Howard Theatre.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:56 am

Much of politics is about symbols and gestures. And there were plenty of them at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Under Chairman Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee vows to be much more serious about outreach to African-Americans than ever before.

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Politics
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The Fine Art Of The Public Apology

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A few little words yet so hard to say: I'm sorry.

MAYOR ROB FORD: I made my decisions. They are my mistake. And I am sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say I'm sorry for that.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: And I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Do you want me to say I'm sorry? Do you want me to say I apologize? Do you want me to dance around? I'm not quite sure what you want me to do.

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Health Care
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Is Obamacare A Job Killer? New Estimates Suggest It Might Be

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense.

Economy
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Deficit Shrinks, But Debate Continues To Grow

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

The federal government's deficit is shrinking quite quickly — and that may not necessarily be a good thing. As congressional forecasters lower their predictions for economic growth over the next decade, some experts are saying that gross domestic product and unemployment figures would look better, were it not for the government's rapid push to get a handle on the deficit.

It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Surgeon General Pick's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama's nominee to be the next U.S. surgeon general, testifies Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:50 am

Boston physician Vivek Murthy was expected to run into political headwinds Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of the nation's top doc — surgeon general.

Murthy, 36, the founder of a national physicians group that worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, was seen by some as vulnerable to GOP attacks because of his political work, his youth and his less-than-a-lifetime of public health experience — not to mention a few impolitic tweets guaranteed to rile conservatives.

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It's All Politics
1:35 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Women's Rights Activist Sandra Fluke Aims For Congressional Seat

President Obama is accompanied by Sandra Fluke at a 2012 campaign event in Aurora, Colo. Fluke gained attention when talk show host Rush Limbaugh spoke disparagingly of her testimony before Congress on the issue of contraception and insurance coverage.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:45 pm

Add women's rights activist Sandra Fluke to the roster of Democrats hoping to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman.

Fluke has filed with the California Democratic Party to seek its endorsement for the heavily Democratic Los Angeles-based seat held by Waxman since 1975.

She's listed on the state party's website as one of three candidates who have officially filed in the 33rd Congressional District. The other two are state Sen. Ted Lieu and Wendy Greuel, a finalist in last year's Los Angeles mayoral race.

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Politics
9:56 am
Tue February 4, 2014

House Republicans' New Immigration Proposals: 'Trap' or Opportunity?

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 12:21 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're a month into a new year, but we want to start the program today talking through some of the old issues that are bubbling back up in Washington. The political parties are doing that, too. In fact, House Republicans just finished a three-day retreat in Maryland to plan their strategy for the year. And one of the issues they focused on was immigration.

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Research News
3:21 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Political Map: Does Geography Shape Your Ideology?

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The political map of America changes, but it doesn't change very quickly. Massachusetts was a reliably liberal state decades ago and still is. The South is still the South. This raises the question of why it is that certain areas come to be reliably liberal or conservative.

NPR Shankar Vedantam joins us to discuss some research that explores the question. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: What's the research?

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NPR Story
2:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Expected To Pass Long-Delayed Farm Bill

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Senate will be voting on final passage of a five-year farm bill this afternoon. One big change in the new bill - it puts an end to the controversial cash payments made directly to farmers regardless of their profits. Still, as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, critics argue the new crop insurance program that replaces those cash subsidies is just another giveaway.

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Politics
1:41 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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Politics
2:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

A Candidate For Congress In Georgia — And Michigan And Hawaii And...

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

We're going to introduce you now to one unusual Republican running for Congress in this year's midterm elections. As a candidate, Allan Levene stands out for a bunch of reasons. He's a naturalized U.S. citizen, born and raised in London. He says the federal government should do away with corporate taxes and create a new Israel in Texas.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

'Time Is Short' On Debt Ceiling, Treasury Secretary Says

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:33 pm

Warning that "simply delaying action on the debt limit can cause harm to our economy," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew repeated Monday that he believes Congress should act soon to raise that limit so the federal government avoids even looking like it might default on its debts.

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It's All Politics
2:11 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Report Creates Political Headache For Obama

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will run through this field near Bradshaw, Neb.
NH AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:11 pm

Any expectation that a new State Department report would clarify the Keystone XL pipeline issue went up in smoke in recent days.

In the aftermath of a conclusion that downplayed the oil pipeline's potential effects on climate change, the issue has gotten even more politically complicated for the Obama White House. Environmentalists are ramping up their opposition to the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, while Republicans have intensified their push for approval. As for Democrats, well, that depends on their election prospects.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Yellen Becomes Fed Chair, And Bernanke Heads To Think Tank

Janet Yellen smiles Monday before being sworn in as Federal Reserve Board chair at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Just as Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke announced his next move on Monday.

The former fed chief, who saw the country through a recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, will join Brookings' Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

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Your Money
8:54 am
Mon February 3, 2014

MyRA: Understanding President Obama's Retirement Savings Plan

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the week talking about a subject that might be on your mind as you start preparing your taxes and you're pull out those bank statements. We want to talk about planning for retirement. Almost half of households in this country don't have enough savings to cover their retirement or even unexpected emergencies, that according to a new report from a group called the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Mon February 3, 2014

VIDEO: Obama And O'Reilly Hit Harder Than Denver And Seattle

President Obama and Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly at the White House on Sunday.
FoxNews.com

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:50 pm

There wasn't anything close about Sunday's Super Bowl — a 43-8 blowout win for the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos.

But before the big game, there was a much more contentious contest:

President Obama's live interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.

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Politics
3:01 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Voters In New Orleans Give Mayor Mitch Landrieu 2nd Term

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Over the weekend New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated a big reelection victory. In triumph, the mayor reflected on the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU: We got up. We dusted ourselves off. We took that first step. And then we took another. We pressed on and we as a people have come back strong.

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It's All Politics
10:19 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Political Guide

New York and national politicians join the NFL Super Bowl host committee in New York's Times Square Saturday. When it comes to political contributions, the owners of Sunday's Super Bowl contenders are plenty active.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 10:43 am

Pro football prognosticators are divided over who's the favorite to win Sunday's Super Bowl. Some give the edge to Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos. Others believe the stifling Seattle Seahawks defense will carry them to victory.

Here at the It's All Politics blog, we can't help with any game-day analysis or offer any insights into how the two teams match up against each other.

But we can tell you a little about the politics surrounding each team.

The Denver Broncos

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Christie's Office Blasts Latest Bridgegate Accusations

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waves to guests as he attends the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony in New York on Saturday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 10:17 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political team is going on the offensive against charges that he knew more than he admits about a plan to use lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.

In an email to donors and journalists headlined "5 Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That's Not a Bombshell," on Saturday, political aides to the governor pushed back on accusations by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures.

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Politics
5:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Why A Do-Nothing Immigration Strategy Might Work For GOP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
11:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

New Orleans Mayor Wins Re-Election In A Landslide

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu greets supporters after winning reelection in New Orleans on Saturday.
Gerald Herbert AP

Boosted by a drop in the city's murder rate and an endorsement from President Barack Obama, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu won a landslide victory Saturday in his bid for a second term.

"The results tonight confirm what we hoped was true four years ago: that the people of this great city are ready to move forward," Landrieu told is supporters in a victory speech.

Landrieu had 64 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting in Saturday's election.

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Parallels
5:53 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Knox Case Could Put U.S. In An Extradition Quandary

Amanda Knox waits on the set of ABC's Good Morning America on Friday in New York. Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to "never go willingly" to face her fate in that country's judicial system.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:06 pm

This week, Amanda Knox was found guilty, again, by an Italian court.

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Energy
1:25 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban

A pipeline carries oil at the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility near Beaumont, Texas. U.S. oil companies are urging an end to a 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:00 am

When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.

Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.

But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Pollster Says Bridgegate Could Derail Christie White House Bid

David Wildstein, who says Gov. Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening, speaks during a hearing at the Statehouse in Trenton earlier this month.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 1:42 pm

A deepening scandal over lane closures used to punish a New Jersey mayor who refused to endorse Gov. Chris Christie could damage the moderate Republican's chances for a 2016 presidential run, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute tells NPR.

Patrick Murray, in an interview on Weekend Edition Saturday, says that the latest allegations have upped the ante on the brewing "Bridgegate" scandal.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Texas Overhauls Textbook Approval To Ease Tensions Over Evolution

Kansas Board of Education members look over language for a science textbook in 2007. The fight over the teaching of evolution has been particularly fierce in Texas, which because of its size influences many textbook publishers.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:01 am

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.

Because Texas public schools represent such a large market for textbook publishers, the state has an outsized influence on what is taught in the rest of the country.

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Politics
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

State Department: Keystone XL Would Not Worsen Warming

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Keystone XL oil pipeline may be closer to being built. The U.S. State Department's released an environmental impact statement that says the project would not make climate change any worse, and it's now up to President Obama to decide the fate of the pipeline. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that environmental groups and many Democrats want the president to reject the review's findings.

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Around the Nation
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Ex-Aide: Christie Knew About Lane Closures As They Happened

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's denied new allegations that he knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were going on. Now, charges made in a letter released yesterday from the lawyer of David Wildstein, a former ally of the governor's. He oversaw the closures as an official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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Politics
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Republicans Retreat To Regroup On Immigration, Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Leaving Washington, D.C. for the frozen banks of the Chesapeake Bay might not be everybody's idea of a great late January getaway, but that's where House Republicans packed off for a three-day retreat this week. They gathered at a resort in Cambridge, Maryland, to try to reach agreement on a few big issues, among them immigration and the need once again to raise the debt ceiling.

A lot of reporters who cover Congress went along too, including NPR's congressional correspondent David Welna. David, thanks very much for being with us.

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Business
7:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Obama Pushes Employers To Consider The Long-Term Jobless

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Labor Department says there are nearly four million people in America who've been unemployed for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. Yesterday, President Obama met with U.S. business leaders and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Obama Hosts Business Leaders, Hopes They Change How They Hire

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama summoned business leaders to the White House today. His message: Hire people who've been out of work for a long time. It's just the latest example of the president trying to get things done without having to turn to Congress. So far, more than 300 companies have promised to re-examine their hiring practices to make sure that they are not discriminating against the long-term unemployed.

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