Politics

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

Bitcoin Takes Stage In Texas Senate Campaign

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

A Newly Potholed Bridge Pops Up On Christie's Road To 2016

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie conducts a lengthy news conference Thursday about his administration's role in traffic tie-ups on the George Washington Bridge.
Jeff Zelevansky Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has found the George Washington Bridge in his way on the road to a potential 2016 presidential run. Right now, it's still an open question whether he'll get over it.

Thursday's marathon news conference was certainly an important moment in that journey. The heretofore 2016 Republican frontrunner apologized and took responsibility for members of Team Christie exacting political revenge on the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., by closing lanes to the nation's busiest bridge in September, causing major traffic snarls.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Jerry Brown Proposes A New Budget For California

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 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.

Today, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that the state's healthier finances will mean billions of dollars of new spending. The winners in the governor's proposed record budget include schools and welfare. He also wants millions spent on maintaining roads and parks.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

How Christie Can Cross The Bridge Scandal

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Mike Murphy is a Republican consultant. He's advised several GOP governors, typically moderate-centrist Republicans. And he joins us now from Arizona. Welcome to the program.

MIKE MURPHY: Oh, good to be here, Robert.

SIEGEL: Chris Christie is seen as a contender for the 2016 presidential nomination. Where would you land today on a scale from showed he can weather a crisis to he's damaged goods to nationally he's toast?

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Politics
3:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Two More Christie Aides Dropped For Role In Political Revenge

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 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.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held a marathon news conference today. This after revelations that top staffers apparently caused massive traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey as political payback against the city's mayor. As of this morning, two members of Christie's team had been let go, and the governor himself had begun answering the many questions raised by the scandal. NPR's Joel Rose begins our coverage.

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Economy
3:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

$50 Billion Worth Of Tax Breaks Expire

Subsidies for wind farms were among the tax breaks that expired on Jan. 1.
Sandy Huffaker AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, a bevy of tax breaks expired in Washington D.C., everything from a tax benefit for people who commute to work using mass transit, to a subsidy for NASCAR racetracks. Some of these are probably less crucial for the national economy, but others are vital to the health of certain industries. At least that's what the businesses that benefit say, as NPR's Chris Arnold has been finding out.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Udall's Priority On NSA: 'The Freedom To Be Left Alone'

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To better understand the proposals for reforming NSA data-gathering, we turn to someone who was in the White House meeting today. Senator Mark Udall is a Democrat from Colorado and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He's been a long time vocal opponent of the NSA's surveillance tactics. He says he urged President Obama to follow the recommendations of the president's own taskforce on the subject.

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Politics
3:20 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Obama Meets Lawmakers To Discuss Ongoing NSA Review

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:36 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. Today, President Obama hosted a select group of lawmakers at the White House. The topic of the talks, the National Security Agency's controversial spying programs and how to change them to deal with privacy fears. In a moment, we'll hear from Colorado Senator Mark Udall who was in the meeting, but first, NPR's White House correspondent Tamara Keith has this update on the president's review of NSA practices.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Gates Memoir Could Prove Helpful To Hillary Clinton In 2016

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes in his new memoir that Hillary Clinton "is a superb representative of the United States all over the world."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 4:34 pm

In his new memoir, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a fairly serious charge against Hillary Clinton that likely will hound her if she decides to run for president in 2016: that she admitted in his presence that there were political considerations in her opposition to the U.S. military surge in Iraq.

As soon as the first excerpts of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War surfaced, many Republicans pounced on Gates' recollection of the Obama-Clinton Iraq surge conversation.

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It's All Politics
2:37 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Gates Unleashed: Ex-Defense Chief Goes Scorched Earth On Congress

In his new memoir, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is unsparing in his criticism of Congress.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:14 pm

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made international news this week with the release of a memoir that serves up a big helping of unvarnished criticism of his former boss, President Obama.

But his scalding of the sitting commander in chief seems practically tame compared to the beat down he delivers to members of Congress.

And that includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who, Gates asserts, once urged him to have the Defense Department "invest in research on irritable bowel syndrome."

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It's All Politics
2:22 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Taking Responsibility But Dodging Blame, Christie Takes His Time

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers questions at a news conference Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:19 pm

What New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday may have mattered less than how long he took to say it.

With his presidential ambitions and, potentially, his governorship put at risk by a scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the Republican Christie fielded dozens of questions from reporters during a midday news conference that lasted nearly two hours.

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Code Switch
11:45 am
Thu January 9, 2014

States May Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, But Navajo Nation Won't

The Navajo Nation prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex, and critics are now challenging that ban.
dbking/flickr

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:13 pm

The Navajo Nation has prohibited same-sex marriage since 2005, when the Diné Marriage Act was passed. Now, critics are challenging that ban.

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It's All Politics
9:41 am
Thu January 9, 2014

How Long Is Too Long? Congress Revisits Mandatory Sentences

Inmates walk around a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif., in January 2012.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:14 am

Mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug dealers were once viewed as powerful levers in the nation's war against drugs, a way to target traffickers, and punish kingpins and masterminds.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Case Against Clemency: Expert Says Snowden's Leaks Hurt Security

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:25 am

A former NSA general counsel tells NPR's Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.

"He did the crime — he should do the time," says Stewart Baker, also a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu January 9, 2014

An 'Embarrassed And Humiliated' Gov. Christie Apologizes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks Thursday during a news conference Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:54 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': WNYC's Matt Katz talks with Renee Montagne about the New Jersey bridge scandal
  • Gov. Christie: 'I had no knowledge'
This post was updated with the latest news at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Saying he is "embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some people on my team," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized to the people of New Jersey for his aides' role in a scheme to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee by closing lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge.

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Environment
2:47 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Interior Secretary Wants To Create Jobs For Conservationists

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in National Parks and forests in the Civilian Conservation Corps. President Obama's Secretary of the Interior wants to bring back that spirit, to create jobs and a new generation of conservationists.

But as NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, it's not the easiest thing to do in tight budget times.

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Politics
2:45 am
Thu January 9, 2014

50 Years Later, How The Politics Of Poverty Evolved

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This week, and in the coming year, we're marking the anniversary of a famous declaration. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson called for an unconditional war on poverty in his first State of the Union Address after the assassination of President Kennedy.

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Politics
2:34 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Sen. Rubio Proposes States Fight Poverty With Federal Funds

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida delivers a speech on reforming antipoverty programs on the 50th Anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of the "War on Poverty."
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

It was a two-step move for Republicans at the Capitol Wednesday: to both praise the sentiment of the War on Poverty – but also to critique it.

"We are here to mark the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of the War on Poverty," said Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida. "And while this war may have been launched with the best of intentions, it's clear we're now engaged in a battle for attrition."

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

N.J. Gov. Christie Faces Traffic Jam Scandal

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

McCain Lays Al-Qaida Surge In Iraq At Obama's Feet

Gunmen patrol during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, on Jan. 5, 2014. Al-Qaida has been battling to take back both Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar province in Iraq.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

Forces allied with al-Qaida are battling to retake two major cities in Iraq's Sunni-dominated Anbar province: Ramadi, the capital of the province, and Fallujah, the city where U.S. troops prevailed after fighting two major battles.

There have been no American forces in Iraq since 2011, when President Obama ordered the last troops to leave. Now the man who lost the presidential race to Obama five years ago is pointing a finger at the president for al-Qaida's resurgence.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Rubio Questions LBJ's Legacy On Poverty

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We've been marking the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty from a number of perspectives. Now, the Republican take. Republicans have long been critical of Lyndon Johnson's expansive approach to a federal safety net. Today, the Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, proposed what he says is a better way forward. His way? Take power away from Washington and give it to the states. NPR's Don Gonyea is here to tell us more. And, Don, first, give us some context. What was the setting for Senator Rubio's speech?

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Politics
3:49 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Five Decades Later, Time To Change The Way We Define Poverty?

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Fifty years after Lyndon Johnson famously declared his War on Poverty more than 46 million Americans are still poor. The official poverty rate has dropped only a few points in the last half century. Critics say that's partly because the government is still using an outdated measure of poverty. It's based on what it cost to feed a family back in the 1950s.

Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

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