Politics

It's All Politics
1:34 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in the U.S. Capitol building May 14, 2013. Groups are creating ads in New Hampshire to attack Shaheen 10 months before the midterm congressional elections.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Even with 10 months to go before the midterm congressional elections, some political and ideological groups are already on the air, attacking incumbents they hope to take down in November.

One race that's attracting early advertisers is in New Hampshire, where Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is seeking a second term, and two tax-exempt social welfare organizations are buying ads against her.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:25 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

California Rep. George Miller To Retire

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., addresses a panel of family members during a hearing on the Upper Big Branch Mine Tragedy in Beckley, W.Va., at the Beckley-Raleigh Convention Center in May 2010.
Jon C. Hancock AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:03 am

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a top ally to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a veteran of four decades in Congress, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election.

"I'll miss my daily collaboration with Leader Pelosi and so many colleagues whom I respect and admire," Miller said in a statement.

Miller, 68, currently serves as the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and ranks as the fifth most senior member of the House.

Read more
Law
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Arizona Abortion Law Remains Ruled As Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 4:01 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

Read more
Politics
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Beyond The Bridge, Christie Faces Questions About Sandy Funds

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today brings a new wave of questions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It's no longer just about whether Christie knew members of his team had ordered a traffic jam on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Today we learned the federal government is also investigating whether the Christie administration misused funds earmarked for recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

We're joined once again by reporter Matt Katz of member station WNYC. And, Matt, what more can you tell us about these new allegations?

Read more
Law
3:26 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Recess Appointments

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced skepticism on Monday about the way President Obama and other presidents have made temporary recess appointments to fill executive branch vacancies.

Article II of the Constitution says: "The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate," and that these appointees shall serve until the end of the following year, or longer if they are confirmed.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Majority In Congress Are Millionaires

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington on Oct. 27. A new report lists Issa as the wealthiest member of Congress.
CHRIS USHER AP

For the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports conducted by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 534 current members of the House and Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012 – up from 257 members in 2011. The median net worth for members of the House and Senate was $1,008,767.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

High Court's Pass On 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:02 pm

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

Read more
The Salt
11:44 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon January 13, 2014

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:01 am

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to examine how the state of New Jersey spent $25 million of the federal aid it received after 2012's Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has announced.

Read more
Politics
1:08 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Balance Of Power At Stake In High Court Case

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a big constitutional fight over the balance of power between the president and the Senate. President Obama has said he supports the move by Senate Democrats to make it harder for Republicans to block his nominees.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a big constitutional fight over the balance of power between the president and the Senate.

At issue is whether the president's power to make temporary appointments during the Senate recess can be curtailed by the use of pro forma Senate sessions during which no business is conducted.

Read more
National Security
10:02 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Transcript: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Interview With NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:51 am

Transcript of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' unedited interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep on Jan. 10.

STEVE INSKEEP: I want to begin, though, at the end, in a sense — and it's something you allude to at the very beginning of the book and that you allude to at the end. And it's the reasons that you retired from the job. And you said it had to do with your emotions, in a way. So would you just tell me, in your own words, why did you leave your post as secretary of defense?

Read more
The Two-Way
10:01 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Gates: Obama Made Solid Decisions, But Was Swayed By Factious Staff

Robert Gates in June 2011, his last month as secretary of defense.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:07 am

  • Part II of the 'Morning Edition' conversation with Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says his criticism of President Obama is more nuanced than media reports about his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, would have you believe.

Read more
Politics
2:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Congress Gets A Beating In Gates Memoir, Too

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:50 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

When it comes to American foreign policy, the hot topic this week wasn't Syria. Instead, pundits and commentators of all types were furiously debating how President Obama handled the wars in his first term. That was thanks to retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Even though the book hasn't hit stores yet, critics of the White House have been crowing over Gates' unvarnished critique of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

Read more
It's All Politics
8:59 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Nation's New Mayors Revive Big-City Liberalism

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks after being sworn in during the public inauguration ceremony at City Hall in New York on Jan. 1.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:22 pm

Like all newly elected politicians, the class of mayors being sworn in as the year begins has made many grand promises.

From New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pledge to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes, financed through taxes on wealthy individuals, to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's push for a $15 minimum hourly wage, their agenda looks decidedly liberal.

New mayors in cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have also been talking about the importance of racial inclusion and the need to address income inequality.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:48 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Lieutenant Governors Make Headlines — For All The Wrong Reasons

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and his wife Kim give an interview at the Arkansas Capitol building on Monday. After weeks of pressure to step down from both sides of the aisle, Darr announced his resignation on Friday.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 3:26 pm

In the end, Mark Darr had to give in.

Darr, the Republican lieutenant governor of Arkansas, announced Friday that he will resign Feb 1. Earlier this month, he agreed to pay the state ethics commission $11,000 in fines for making personal use of campaign funds and receiving improper expense reimbursements from the state.

Darr called his errors "careless and lazy," but said they were not intentional violations of the law. In a series of interviews with Arkansas news outlets Tuesday, Darr said he would refuse to resign.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:00 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Former Reagan White House Spokesman Larry Speakes Dies

Larry Speakes, left, and President Ronald Reagan in a 1984 appearance on the White House South Lawn.
Ira Schwarz AP

Larry Speaks, who became the White House spokesman after President Ronald Reagan and Press Secretary James Brady were shot in a 1981 assassination attempt, died Friday. He was 74.

Speakes, who had Alzheimer's disease, died at his home in Cleveland, Miss.

The New York Times reports:

Read more
It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Will Bad Jobless Data Spur Action On Unemployment Insurance?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited the bad December jobless numbers as a reason Congress should extend federal unemployment insurance.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Just as the Senate seemed to descend into another round of partisan gridlock, this time over extending emergency jobless benefits, the arrival of a surprisingly weak December jobs report raised the pressure on Congress to act.

The question is whether news that the economy created a mere 74,000 jobs last month — far fewer than the 200,000 forecasters predicted — delivered enough of a jolt to Capitol Hill, where what seemed like bipartisan progress on the issue early in the week had reverted to partisan nastiness.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

N.J. Bridge Scandal: New Emails And Documents Are Released

Newly released documents depict officials discussing the controversial September closure of several lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J. Here, the New Jersey side of the bridge, which leads to New York City, is seen Thursday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

A New Jersey State Assembly committee released a trove of documents Friday that shed more light on the bridge lane-closure scandal that is embroiling Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration. The panel is seeking details on what's seen as an act of political retribution, which targeted the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. It obtained the documents under a subpoena.

Read more
Planet Money
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

How A Community Bank Tripped On Footnote 1,861 Of The Volcker Rule

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:05 am

When people talk about the Volcker Rule, they often mention JPMorgan Chase, the giant bank where a trader recently made a bad bet that lost $6 billion. The Volcker Rule is supposed to put an end to that sort of thing, by prohibiting banks from trading with their own money.

But some banks that are very, very different from JPMorgan Chase are struggling with an obscure provision in the rule. Specifically, footnote 1,861, which bars banks from investing in something called trust-preferred securities — a rather obscure investment favored by lots of small, community banks invest

Read more
Politics
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tech Companies 'Gob-Smacked' To Find NSA Collecting Data

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Changes are coming soon to the way the National Security Agency gathers information about people all over the globe. President Obama is slated to speak next Friday about what action he'll take to revamp the NSA surveillance programs, which were revealed in news leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The president has been meeting with stakeholders for several months, including executives from some of the biggest technology firms.

Read more
Commentary
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Week In Politics: Christie Scandal & The War On Poverty

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's time now for our weekly political talk with columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hello to both of you.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

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

Read more
Politics
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

In Christie Scandal, A Question Remains: Who Was The Target?

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's lengthy mea culpa has not put an end to the scandal surrounding lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. He continues to face the fallout from a scandal that has received national coverage.

Politics
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Minimum Wage Fight Takes Shape Across The Map

Trish Gallagher holds a sign for passing motorists to read during a demonstration in support of a higher minimum wage near a Burger King in Boston on Dec. 5. Massachusetts is one of several states considering a minimum wage ballot measure.
BRIAN SNYDER Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

You never know where you might find a volunteer with a clipboard looking for signatures trying to get a voter referendum on the local ballot – like Ed Flanagan in the town of North Pole, Alaska.

"I'm out in what's called the North Pole transfer station. This facility has about 50 metal dumpsters arranged in a fenced area. Folks back up and throw their household trash in there. This is a very busy place," he says.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Gates Says His Points About Obama Have Been Mischaracterized

Robert Gates waves and President Obama claps at the then-defense secretary's farewell ceremony in June 2011.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:08 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep and David Greene discuss NPR's interview with Robert Gates

Reports this week about former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new book have implied that he thinks President Obama approved a 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan "believing the strategy would fail," as NPR's Steve Inskeep said on Friday's Morning Edition.

Read more
Politics
9:46 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Digging Into 'Duty: Memoirs Of A Secretary At War'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:48 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We'd like to turn now to a story getting a lot of buzz in Washington. "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," written by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, isn't scheduled to be released until next week, but some journalists have already gotten their copies and it's already making headlines.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:02 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Bitcoin Takes Stage In Texas Senate Campaign

angering the feds). Bitcoin is a virtual currency that has been the subject of a recent Federal Election Commission discussion." href="/post/bitcoin-takes-stage-texas-campaign" class="noexit lightbox">
One man produced physical versions of bitcoins (before he realized he was angering the feds). Bitcoin is a virtual currency that has been the subject of a recent Federal Election Commission discussion.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:33 am

When Texas Rep. Steve Stockman announced recently that he'll accept donations in bitcoins, he raised some eyebrows.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:01 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Christie 'Heartbroken' Circle Of Trust' Was Violated

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave an epic press conference yesterday. It went on for almost two hours, almost as long as the traffic jams that prompted him to meet with the press in the first place. Governor Christie denied knowing about the plan carried out by members of his staff to deliberately clog traffic going from Fort Lee, New Jersey over a bridge to Manhattan.

Read more
Economy
3:01 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Minimum Wage Loses Ground Since Its Banner Year In 1968

Protesters rally outside of a Wendy's in Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 5 in support of raising fast food wages from $7.25 to $15 per hour.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

This week, we've been looking back at the legacy of the "War on Poverty," launched by Lyndon Johnson 50 years ago. The arsenal included government programs such as Head Start, food stamps and a push to increase the nation's minimum wage.

"We must extend the coverage of our minimum wage laws to more than 2 million workers now lacking this basic protection of purchasing power," Johnson said.

Low-wage workers actually saw their purchasing power peak while Johnson was in office. Adjusting for inflation, minimum wage workers earn less today than they did in the late 1960s.

Read more
Politics
3:01 am
Fri January 10, 2014

U.S. Slow To Allow Syrian Refugees To Emmigrate

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. As listeners to this program know, the Syrian civil war has created a vast refugee crisis. More than two million people have fled the country. Many have fled their homes inside that country. People are overwhelming the countries around Syria where they often live in crowded makeshift camps or fan out among the population.

Read more

Pages