Politics

It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What If A Congressman Comes Out And Nobody Cares?

Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay.
Clarke Canfield AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:43 pm

The final chapter in the history of bombshells of the closeted gay politician variety may have been written Monday by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat running for governor.

Michaud, 58, announced in a column published in two state newspapers and by The Associated Press that he is a gay man, and followed it with the question: "But why should it matter?"

Judging from immediate reaction in Maine, where Michaud next year will be competing to become the first governor in U.S. history elected as an openly gay man, the answer seemed to be that it probably won't.

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Now A Democrat, Ex-Florida Gov. Crist Tries To Get Old Job Back

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces Monday in St. Petersburg that he will run for governor as a Democrat.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Florida's governor's race just got more interesting. The state's former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, announced in St. Petersburg on Monday that he's entering the race as a Democrat.

Crist is running against Florida's current Republican governor, Rick Scott, a conservative elected with strong Tea Party support.

At a rally to kick off his campaign at a park overlooking Tampa Bay, Crist was unapologetic about his change in parties.

"Yeah, I'm running as a Democrat," he said. "And I am proud to do it."

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Education
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Coloradans To Vote On Schools Initiative Mixing Funding, Reforms

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow in Colorado, voters will decide on an ambitious ballot measure that would overhaul the state's public education system. It could become the first state to combine an income tax hike with education reforms all in one proposal. From Colorado Public Radio, here's Jenny Brundin.

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Politics
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

LGBT Workplace Protections Move Forward In Senate

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

The Senate voted Monday to move ahead on legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill won the approval of enough Republican senators late Monday to cross the 60-vote threshold and move onto a floor vote. Such a thing would have been impossible even a few years ago.

Code Switch
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

New Mayor Asks Compton: What Can Brown Do For You?

Mayor Aja Brown of Compton, Calif., has big plans to turn the city around.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Aja Brown made history this past summer when she became the youngest mayor in the history of Compton, Calif. There is a lot of buzz there around the charismatic 31-year-old.

The city of about 100,000 people just south of Los Angeles has long struggled with gangs and street violence. But it wasn't always that way. Compton flourished in the '50s and '60s, when its factory jobs were a beacon for African-Americans fleeing the South.

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It's All Politics
1:36 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Employment Non-Discrimination Act Passes First Senate Hurdle

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., at a 2011 news conference on Capitol Hill. On Monday, Heller announced his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:59 pm

Update at 6:47 p.m. Senate Passes Bill:

With a vote of 61-30, the Senate voted to move forward on legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The vote Monday opens the floor to debate on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end.

Our original post continues:

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Politics
10:07 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Veteran Pennsylvania Congressman Can't Escape GOP Civil War

From left, Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walk to the floor of the House for the final series of votes on a bill to fund the government, in Washington on Sept. 28.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:26 pm

At 7 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, the Bedford Diner, in Bedford, Pa., is jumping.

Way in the back, some tables have been pushed together for a weekly prayer breakfast that's really a gathering of old friends — all military veterans, some of whom are retired. Art Halvorson, a 58-year-old regular here, is a real estate developer, a former career coast guard pilot and now a Tea Party-backed candidate going after seven-term Rep. Bill Shuster in next year's Republican primary.

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Politics
10:00 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Cutting SNAP Benefits Not A Snap Decision

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 12:57 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll get an update on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. But first, we turn to an issue that affects one out of every seven humans in America, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. Back in 2009, in the depths of the recession, President Obama increased SNAP benefits using stimulus funds, but the temporary increase expired this past Friday.

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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Monday Political Mix: A Congressman Comes Out

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:15 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

This week, the political headlines are expected to be dominated by several important off-year elections whose outcomes seem a foregone conclusion, if you believe the polls.

Democrat Terry McAulliffe in Virginia and Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey have significant polling leads in their governor's races. In New York City, Democrat and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio appears poised to win in a blowout.

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Politics
2:13 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Va. Governor's Race May Be Proxy For Broader National Debate

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.

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Politics
2:13 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Rep. Shuster To Face Tea Party Challenger Next Year

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Unusual Results Anticipated For Governors' Races

Voters in Virginia and New Jersey go to the polls Tuesday to pick their next governor. NPR's Scott Horsley joins host Arun Rath from Northern Virginia, where President Obama just held a rally for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor.

It's All Politics
9:01 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Va. Governor's Race: Nationally Significant Or Just Nasty?

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe (left) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:30 am

Virginians go to the polls Tuesday to pick the man they dislike the least to be their new governor: long-time Clinton moneyman Terry McAuliffe or hardline Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

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Politics
5:11 am
Sun November 3, 2013

McAuliffe Holds Lead In Va. Governor Contest

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 10:18 am

Tuesday's election is seen as a key off-year contest, and a test of strength for both parties leading up to the 2014 elections. But it's beginning to look like a rout. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by as much as 12 points. The race appears to have turned into a referendum on Cuccinelli's conservative views.

Politics
3:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

How Is White House Handling HealthCare.gov Debacle?

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This week, the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, testified before Congress about the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. It was the latest attempt at damage control by the Obama administration since the site went live a month ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: The website has never crashed. It is functional but at a very slow speed and very low reliability - and has continued to function.

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Obama Ratings Sink As Trustworthiness Comes Into Question

President Obama walks off stage after speaking at the "SelectUSA Investment Summit" on Thursday. A poll released the same day found that the president's job approval rating had reached an all time low.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 1:15 pm

Barack Obama has been subjected to as many personal attacks as any modern president.

Terrorist. Traitor. Hater of America. Secret Muslim.

Unusually for a politician, however, the one thing he hasn't been called much is a liar, except by his most adamant critics.

That's all changed now. Obama is being widely called out for having claimed, repeatedly, that under the Affordable Care Act, people who liked their health insurance plans could keep them.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

3 Lessons For Future Presidents From Obamacare's Ills

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday in Boston.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:04 pm

The Affordable Care Act's early travails are yielding some lessons for future presidents and lawmakers. Here are three:

1) Presidents can't be too careful about making high-profile promises.
President Obama dented his credibility significantly by repeatedly promising that the Affordable Care Act would allow Americans with insurance they liked to keep those policies.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Week In Politics: A Month Of HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And here now to talk about politics are our Friday regulars, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Time. Good to see you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

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Economy
3:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Reduced Foodstamps Payouts Could Hurt The Economy

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:49 pm

Food stamp recipients will see a cut in their benefits starting Friday. For the hungry and unemployed, more cuts may be coming. That's a challenge for the affected families, but it could also be a drain on the broader economy.

The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Appeals Court Sides With Employers On Covering Birth Control

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:06 pm

A federal appeals court has sided with the owners of a fruit and vegetable distributor who challenged part of the 2010 health care law requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control. Federal courts have split on the issue, which is the subject of dozens of similar cases.

According to the National Women's Law Center, "a total of 88 lawsuits have been filed" over the issue of contraceptive coverage. Of that number, 63 cases are still pending; the other 25 have been closed.

NPR's Julie Rovner reports for our Newscast unit:

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

GOP Establishment Digs Deep For Alabama Special Election

Republican Dean Young (above) is backed by the Tea Party. He faces Bradley Byrne in a special runoff election Tuesday to fill Alabama's 1st Congressional District seat.
Phillip Rawls and Campaign of Dean Young AP

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:12 pm

If the Republican establishment doesn't get its preferred candidate in Tuesday's Alabama special congressional runoff election, it won't be for want of an overwhelming cash advantage.

Bradley Byrne, a former head of the state's community college system, has outraised Tea Party favorite Dean Young $689,000 to $260,000, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings. And Young's total includes $175,000 the real estate developer and political consultant has lent himself, meaning the actual fundraising ratio is more like 8 to 1.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Are Low Early Enrollment Nos. A Repeat Of Mass. Experience?

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:48 am

News outlets are all over this story today:

Documents released by a congressional committee reveal just how few people successfully enrolled in health insurance plans on the troubled HealthCare.gov website in early days after its Oct. 1 launch. (That summary is courtesy of our colleagues on the NPR Newscast Desk.)

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Barbershop
10:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Can We Compare Allen Iverson To Muhammad Ali?

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:13 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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. Joining us from Boston, healthcare consultant and contributor to National Review magazine, Dr. Neil Minkoff. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, Dave Zirin. He is sports editor at The Nation. And Corey Dade is a contributing editor for The Root. Take it away Jimi.

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BackTalk
10:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Appeals Court Blocks Stop-And-Frisk Changes In New York

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Back Talk. That's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Law
10:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Does Race Make A Difference To 'Stand Your Ground' Laws?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend the first part of this hour talking about a case in Florida that drew so much national attention at the end of last year and the first part of is one. And that's the killing of the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by the neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Now the new police chief in Sanford, Florida has made some big changes in the Neighborhood Watch Program there and we'll tell you about those.

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It's All Politics
8:45 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Top Pollster Sees Evidence Of Political 'Shock Wave'

Demonstrators march toward the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to demand that Congress investigate the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:41 am

Here's an email that caught my eye Thursday. It's from Republican Bill McInturff, one of the best pollsters around and not someone known to hyperbolize. He was discussing the results of this month's NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, which he conducts with Democrat Peter Hart.

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It's All Politics
7:01 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Senate Judicial Fights Become As Much About Obama As His Picks

On June 4, President Obama introduces his nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: from right, Patricia Ann Millett, Cornelia T. L. Pillard and Robert L. Wilkins.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Senate judicial confirmation fights sure have changed over the past decade.

The battles of 2005, particularly the fights over three judges President George W. Bush nominated to federal appeals court positions, were very much about the ideology of the nominees.

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It's All Politics
6:34 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Friday Political Mix: Democratic Jitters Over Obamacare's Woes

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough after anxious Senate Democrats met privately on Capitol Hill with Obama administration officials about Obamacare, Oct. 31, 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite - AP Photos J. Scott Applewhite AP

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

It's one month since the Affordable Care Act's health-exchange website went live and many Democrats would clearly love a do-over.

While that won't be forthcoming, they did get some handholding from Obama administration officials Thursday. But it will take more than that to quell the jitters as Democrats see what they had hoped would be a political asset in 2014, their signature healthcare legislation, threaten to become a liability.

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The Two-Way
4:46 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Obama Aides Considered A Clinton-For-Biden Switch, Book Says

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden at a White House event in October 2011. A new book says President Obama's aides were then studying whether to replace Biden with the former first lady on the 2012 ticket.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 9:52 am

"President Obama's top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama's re-election outlook appeared uncertain," The New York Times reports.

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NPR Story
3:11 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Obama's Nominations Blocked Again In Senate

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:46 am

Senate Republicans have once again blocked President Obama's nominees. Despite a deal in July to let several of the president's picks go through, the rancor has returned with a fresh batch of appointments. Two nominations failed within less than an hour on Thursday, and Democrats may once again threaten to change Senate rules so Republicans can't easily derail another nomination.

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