Politics

Politics
1:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

How To Meet Your Congressman

The Capitol Dome is visible through the skylights of the new Capitol Visitor Center.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:21 pm

For all the campaigning and schmoozing members of Congress have to do, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans will never actually meet their lawmakers.

To be fair, not everyone wants to. But among those who do, there's serious competition for a lawmaker's time. So, how does an average citizen get access on Capitol Hill? The quick answer: It's not easy.

First, do the math. When it comes to face time with a member of Congress, there are 535 of them, and 314 million of you.

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Politics
1:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Political Winner From The Proposed NSA Changes? Rand Paul

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul could catch a political updraft from President Obama's decision to restrict NSA telephone data collection efforts.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:17 pm

It's too early to gauge the political impact of President Obama's plans to tame the NSA's data-gathering effort. The full details of the proposal haven't been made public yet.

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Biden Visits N.H. To Talk About Jobs ... But Not His Own

Vice President Biden and N.H. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan meet with employees March 25 at the New Hampshire Works center in Manchester.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:12 pm

If you didn't know any better (or you got confused about what year it was), you might think Vice President Biden was back on the campaign trail, kissing grandmothers, slapping guys on the back and borrowing a woman's phone to razz her son about a basketball game.

Biden returned Tuesday to the familiar campaign grounds of New Hampshire for the first time since October 2012. And he swears he made the trip not to stake out ground for a presidential run, but rather to check out how the statewith the nation's first presidential primary helps match the unemployed with jobs.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Senate Slugfest Highlights Hawaii's Changing Political Landscape

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii says the way her competitor's allies have made age an issue in her run for U.S. Senate is insulting to voters.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:28 pm

It says something about the changing politics of Hawaii that Democratic powerhouse Daniel Inouye's deathbed pick of a successor was ignored by his own party.

The question is what.

The December 2012 death of the long-serving senator — and one of the state's founding fathers — has exposed cracks in Hawaii's solidly Democratic façade, leading to a contentious Senate primary that has placed age, gender and ethnicity at center stage.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

David Samson: The Christie Aide Who Has Survived The Scandal

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Sometime this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to release an internal review of what happened in September when officials abruptly closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. One of the key players in that scandal is still at work.

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Education
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Writing's On The Wall For Cursive — Unless Lawmakers Can Save It

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

For Advocates And Telephone Companies, NSA Changes Are Welcome News

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Steve Henn joins us now to talk about how phone companies are already treating customer data and what that means for how the proposed NSA program might operate. Hi, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hi.

SIEGEL: And what does this mean that under this proposal the NSA would no longer hold calling records, but would have to go to phone companies to access them?

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Out Of White House And Congress, Two Proposals To Change NSA Practices

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Public outrage over NSA surveillance programs that collect data about Americans is forcing some big change. Documents revealing the security agency's methods have been trickling out in the press for months, thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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It's All Politics
5:32 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Why The Democrats' Koch Brothers Fixation?

Democrats say they're focused on the Koch brothers because, they allege, Republican candidates are doing the billionaires' bidding. Republicans say Democrats are desperate. David Koch (above) is chairman of Americans for Prosperity.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Another day, another wave of Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers and their Republican allies.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, took to the Senate floor Monday to bash the Koch brothers and the GOP, as has become his habit in recent weeks.

In his latest criticism, he accused Republicans of stalling aid to beleaguered Ukraine until Democrats agreed to delay new Internal Revenue Service rules that would affect the political activities of nonprofit groups.

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News
2:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Indiana Cuts The Core Without Telling Teachers What Comes Next

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:46 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.

Big news in education today. A defection from the Common Core State Standards. Those are new benchmarks in math and English for kids from kindergarten through high school. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia adopted them. And today, Indiana became the first state to officially drop them. State education officials are now required to write new standards.

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Politics
9:55 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Has Obama Done Enough In Response To Russia's Takeover Of Crimea?

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:20 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. My thanks to my colleague Jennifer Ludden for sitting in for me last Friday. We're going to start the program today with international affairs. President Obama is in the Netherlands today for a previously planned nuclear security summit.

But Russia's decision to annex Crimea, which had been part of Ukraine, has captured the attention of world leaders meeting there. Here is President Obama today after his meeting with the Dutch prime minister.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Politics
1:22 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations

Newly elected GOP Congressman David Jolly of Florida, right, poses for a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, on March 13. Jolly edged out Democrat Alex Sink in a special election that Republicans cast as a referendum on President Obama and his unpopular health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.

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Business
10:02 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:09 pm

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

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Politics
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Michelle Obama Convenes 'First Wives Club' In China

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

It is spring break and a lot of us our taking our kids on vacation to the Grand Canyon, maybe Florida. The First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her girls to China for the school break. It's supposed to be a working vacation, of sorts. There will undoubtedly be some sightseeing, but it's hard as the first lady of the U.S. to go to China and not dip into geopolitics at some point.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages Back On Hold In Michigan

Saying that it wants "to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay," the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit on Saturday effectively hit the pause button on same-sex marriages in Michigan.

Friday, as we reported, a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

But late Saturday afternoon, the appeals court weighed in. It said the lower court's decision "is temporarily stayed until Wednesday."

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It's All Politics
3:16 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Why Are We Hauling Pennsylvania Coal All The Way To Germany?

Several tons of anthracite coal fill a basement space in Pottsville, Pa.
Bradley C. Bower AP

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:25 am

There are budget earmarks from powerful congressmen, earmarks from not-so-powerful congressmen and, as it turns out for an old mining town in Pennsylvania's Appalachians, there's even an earmark from a long-dead congressman.

In the 1960s and 70s, powerful Democrat Daniel Flood worked to find a federal government buyer for the anthracite coal mined in his district. He succeeded: Some five decades later, the heat coming off the radiators at the U.S. military's installation at Kaiserslautern, Germany, is still generated by burning Pennsylvania anthracite.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Health Law's 4th Birthday Divides Democrats, Unites GOP On Message

As the Affordable Care Act's fourth anniversary approached, Democrats were less unified in their message than Republicans.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:49 pm

With the fourth anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act this weekend, if you were a Democrat boasting about the health law, you were more than likely a party official or lawmaker with a seat so safe you could publicly celebrate the occasion.

Like Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat who in 2012 beat her Republican opponent by nearly 30 points, scheduling an enrollment event at a Chicago community college Saturday and inviting the news media.

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Commentary
2:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Week In Politics: Ukraine, Poverty And The Health Care Deadline

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to talk more about the week's political news with our Friday regulars, David Brooks of The New York Times. Hey there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

CORNISH: And E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institutions. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

CORNISH: All right. We're going to go back in time for a moment to Tuesday.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking foreign language)

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Politics
2:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Obama Meets Internet CEOs To Discuss Privacy Issues

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his Feb. 24 keynote address at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

With Clock Ticking Down, Obama Polishes Judicial Legacy

President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in November 2013, shortly after the Senate voted 52-48 to weaken the power of the filibuster.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Republicans have a decent shot at taking control of the Senate in November, so President Obama could have as little as nine months left to shape the judiciary he will leave behind.

Senate Democrats positioned themselves to help with that endeavor when they eliminated the filibuster for most judicial nominees last November. But Republicans are still finding ways to slow things down.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Former White House Official: Putin Wants 'New Russian Empire'

On Friday in Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill making Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of Russia.
Sergei Chirikov/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:10 pm

The United States and Europe need to stand together against Moscow in the wake of its incursion in Crimea, keeping the door open for Ukraine and other countries to join NATO, former U.S. officials tell NPR.

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Politics
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Romney's Job In Idaho: Prevent GOP Voters From Veering 'Wild Right'

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. We've talked on this program about something resembling a civil war in the Republican Party this year. More establishment Republicans are in primary battles against Tea Party candidates, and money is pouring in on both sides.

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It's All Politics
5:44 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

With New Inquiry, Harry Reid Raises Stakes In Senate-CIA Clash

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 11, following a caucus lunch.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:47 pm

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared "I support Senator Feinstein unequivocally" the same day she thrashed the CIA on the Senate floor, the question of whether the pugilistic top congressional Democrat from Nevada would leap into that fight seemed less a matter of if than when.

A little more than a week later, Reid made his move.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

With Wind At Its Back, GOP Expands 2014 Senate Map

Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner officially announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at Denver Lumber Co. on March 1. Gardner will run against Democratic incumbent Mark Udall.
Chris Schneider AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:49 am

Republicans seem to have all the momentum lately when it comes to the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

GOP chances were already looking brighter because of the drag on Democrats from the Affordable Care Act and President Obama's low approval ratings. Then came two developments that suddenly expanded the playing field: Former GOP Sen. Scott Brown recently announced his intent to run against New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and GOP Rep. Cory Gardner jumped in against Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Between Mayor And Governor, Trace A Democratic Party Fault Line

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

When it comes to the Democratic Party establishment, you can't get much more established than Andrew Cuomo. He is the second Cuomo to be governor of New York. He was once married to a Kennedy. But these days, Cuomo is sparring with the party's progressive wing personified by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Democrats all over are watching closely, as NPR's Joe Rose reports.

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It's All Politics
2:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Selfies In Red Square? Not For These American Politicians

GOP Sen. John McCain greets well-wishers as he arrives to visit a pro-European Union rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 15. Strong criticism and trips like this landed the Arizona senator on Russia's travel blacklist.
Sergei Chuzavkov ASSOCIATED PRESS

For a select group of American politicians and advisers to the president there will be no selfies in Red Square, no tours of Saint Basil's Cathedral, no borscht, no Baltika beer and certainly no return to the Sochi arena where the U.S. hockey team won an epic victory over Russia in the Winter Olympics.

And they couldn't be happier.

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It's All Politics
1:17 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Robert Strauss, Former Party Chairman And Power Broker, Dies At 95

Robert Strauss speaks with interviewers before a broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press in 1979. The former chairman for the Democratic National Committee died Wednesday at the age of 95.
Jeff Taylor AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:24 pm

Robert Strauss, a Texas lawyer who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and held White House posts under presidents of both parties, died Wednesday at the age 95.

Strauss, who was appointed as DNC chairman after Sen. George McGovern's landslide defeat in 1972, helped reunify the party in advance of Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976.

He later became an adviser to Carter as a special trade representative, anti-inflation czar and negotiator in Middle East peace talks. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed him as U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.

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Food
9:20 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Soaring Lime Prices Put Squeeze On Restaurants, Food Lovers

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:51 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
2:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama's Surgeon General Nominee Stuck In Limbo

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

President Obama's nominee for surgeon general has a medical degree and an MBA, but his confirmation is being held up in the Senate because of special-interest politics and Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns.

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