Politics

Research News
3:37 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Is The Primary System To Blame For Partisanship?

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:02 am

Many observers say increasing partisanship in America is the result of gerrymandered districts, which allow partisan voters to determine candidates for Congress. A new analysis tests this theory.

NPR Story
2:54 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Tech Execs Complain About NSA During Obama Meeting

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:02 am

Leaders of some of this country's largest technology companies were at the White House on Tuesday to meet with President Obama. While the administration said the meeting would touch on a range of topics, including issues with the health care website, many of the tech executives had another matter on their minds: the National Security Agency.

It's All Politics
5:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Retirement Flurry Creates Openings For Both Parties In 2014

Republican Rep. Tom Latham speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 9. Latham and two other congressmen announced Tuesday they will not seek re-election in 2014.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:21 pm

Congress got a jolt Tuesday when three House members announced they will step down at the end of their terms, creating 2014 pickup opportunities for both parties.

The retirements of Republican Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Tom Latham of Iowa came as welcome news to Democrats, who need a net gain of 17 seats to capture a House majority in the midterm elections.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Red State Retirement Takes Democratic House Seat Out Of Play

Utah Rep. Jim Matheson delivers a speech in October 2012. The veteran Democrat says he'll retire at the end of his seventh term.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:57 pm

Rep. Jim Matheson announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of his term, providing Republicans with a likely House seat pickup in 2014.

With a tough re-election fight looming in his conservative Salt Lake City-area district, the Utah Democrat decided against seeking another term in the House.

Read more
Politics
2:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

After Key Vote, Senate Poised To Pass Congressional Budget Deal

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

On Capitol Hill today, a truce in the budget wars. A dozen Republican senators agreed to let a bipartisan budget deal proceed to a final vote. That was the bill's last obstacle. It's expected to easily garner the 51 votes it needs for passage.

But as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the deal still has many critics in the Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Read more
Politics
2:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Obama Meets With Tech Leaders, Taps Microsoft Exec To Fix HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. The government's health insurance website has a new Mr. Fixit. The Obama administration has hired a former Microsoft executive to oversee improvements. Kurt DelBene will take over for Jeff Zients, the former management consultant and White House staffer who was brought in in late October to help turn the troubled website around.

News of DelBene's appointment comes as President Obama met today with a group of high tech CEOs. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:47 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Bridge Controversy Could Take Toll On Chris Christie's Future

The George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., on Sept. 2, just days before lanes were closed under mysterious circumstances.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 3:17 pm

Were access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the nation's busiest span, closed as political retribution against a mayor who didn't publicly endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election?

The governor denies that politics played a role in the traffic-snarling decision, but the controversy has put an ever-growing stain on Christie's glossy November re-election victory. And the episode could have an impact on Christie's White House ambitions.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Obama's Year Of Disappointing The Liberal Base

President Obama talks about drones and national security earlier this year at the National Defense University in Washington.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:56 am

It's been a long, disappointing year for many of President Obama's most ardent supporters.

From drones and Syria to immigration and the Keystone XL pipeline, the list of issues on which the president has induced frustration and disillusionment is not a short one.

And fallout from that restive base is reflected in Obama's dismal year-end poll numbers.

Read more
All Tech Considered
11:09 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Almost All Tech Execs At White House Supported Obama Campaign

Chad Dickerson, chief executive of Etsy, was among the group of tech leaders visiting the White House. He gave $500 to the Obama campaign.
Etsy

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 3:51 pm

President Obama just wrapped up a meeting with high-tech luminaries at the White House, focusing on an agenda of how to clean up HealthCare.gov, and how to stop the snooping by the National Security Agency from continuing to cast a pall over high-tech profits.

The group has a lot to discuss. On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's collection of millions of telephone records may be unconstitutional.

Here's who was invited.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:06 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Costs Of Shutdown And Health Website Highlight 'Wastebook'

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., issues his Wastebook each year.
Coburn.Senate.gov

Older Two-Way readers will remember the monthly Golden Fleece Awards from former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., who spotlighted ways the federal government was wasting money.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has picked up that mantle in recent years with his annual Wastebook.

On Tuesday, Coburn released his 2013 edition, where he points to:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:01 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Bipartisan Budget Deal Passes Key Test In Senate

It may seem to some like a holiday miracle, but the Senate moved ahead on a bipartisan budget plan Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:09 pm

Updated at 10:27 a.m. ET: Moving Ahead:

The Senate voted 67 to 33 on Tuesday to move forward on the two-year, bipartisan budget plan that restores some of the automatic spending cuts of recent years, trims spending in other areas and appears to have put on hold until 2015 the bitter battles that led to this year's partial government shutdown.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

New Year Likely To Ring In Old Debt Ceiling Fight

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (right), accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, takes reporters' questions during a Dec. 11 news conference.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:00 pm

At the moment, Washington fiscal policy is a good news, bad news story.

The good news is that the budget agreement, overwhelmingly passed by the House last week in a bipartisan vote, is likely to be approved by the Senate this week. That takes another costly government shutdown off the table.

The bad news? Another debt ceiling fight, with all the attendant risks of a U.S. government default, appears to be right around the corner.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:25 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Here Are The Tech Execs Meeting With President Obama Tuesday

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo Inc., is on the RSVP list for a White House meeting on HealthCare.gov tomorrow. She's seen here headed to a previous White House meeting in 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:59 am

Tech giants aren't on the best terms with the Obama administration lately, with the NSA's surveillance revelations getting more widespread by the day. But a lot of big tech names have agreed to visit the White House for a chat.

Read more
Politics
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Budget Deal Faces Key Vote In Senate

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:06 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.

Before leaving Washington last week for the holidays, the House overwhelmingly passed a compromised budget deal. It's meant to stave off a government shutdown for two years. But there's a catch. The Senate has to approve it and passage there is still uncertain. Unlike House Republicans, the Senate's GOP minority has shown little enthusiasm for the deal and may try to block it with a filibuster.

Read more
National Security
3:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

NSA Fights Back Against Critics

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:53 am

The National Security Agency is challenging those who want to overhaul its surveillance operations. A special panel has sent a report to the White House on how NSA programs should be changed. The group was established by the president following revelations about NSA eavesdropping.

Around the Nation
3:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Many Young Undocumented Immigrants Have Yet To Seek 'Deferred Action'

A crowd forms a line around the block from the office of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:15 am

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind these numbers, which range from zero to 1 trillion.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Another Partisan Divide: Mitt Romney's Looks

Mitt Romney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 15. New research suggests Democrats and Republicans had different perceptions of his physical appearance during the 2012 election.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

It's clear that Republicans and Democrats had different political opinions about Mitt Romney. But did Romney literally look different to the two sides? A forthcoming study suggests that might be the case.

According to new research from Ohio State University psychologists, individual political biases might have caused 2012 GOP presidential nominee's physical appearance to appear different to Republicans and Democrats.

Read more
U.S.
3:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Government Pensions Aren't What They Used To Be

The latest budget deal from Washington includes provisions that would make new federal workers contribute more toward their retirement. And changing the rules for public pensions has been happening for a while at the state and local level.

Politics
5:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

White House Hires A Crisis Manager, Easing Democratic Worries

John Podesta was Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff from 1998 to 2001, helping the president survive impeachment.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

It's not big enough to be called a shakeup, but the new hire announced this week at the White House is important: John Podesta will come on board in January as a counselor to the president.

Podesta is a Democratic wise man, the founder of the Center for American Progress, a policy and personnel incubator for Democratic administrations, and he just started a new think tank on income inequality — the problem President Obama says will animate his second term.

Read more
Politics
5:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Senate Takes a Break After 48-Hour Debate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky heads to the Senate floor to vote on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

After pulling two consecutive all-nighters, a bleary-eyed Senate is taking a breather on Saturday.

The fractious 48-hour session that ended Friday was fallout from a decision that the chamber's ruling Democrats made last month to move stalled nominees.

This week's session was the first since Democrats detonated the "nuclear option" and eliminated the GOP minority's ability to filibuster most nominations.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Newtown Anniversary Marked By Gun Control Stalemate

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, at a gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in October. Giffords was shot in the head in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson. She and Kelly have since founded a political action committee to push for tougher gun laws.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:44 pm

In the wrenching days and weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, many on both sides of the gun control debate thought that horror had so shifted the political winds that stricter federal gun laws would surely result.

That, of course, didn't happen.

On the surface, it may look like the gun lobby ultimately won the political battles that mattered in the past year. After all, Congress failed to pass tougher gun laws. But the reality is more mixed; the result was more of a stalemate.

Read more
Politics
4:56 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Week In Politics: A Budget, Republican Infighting, Obama's Agenda

Audie Cornish speaks with regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and Reihan Salam, a columnist for National Review and Reuters, about the week's political news. They'll discuss the bipartisan budget deal, Speaker of the House John Boehner's harsh words for some conservatives and what the week's political headlines mean for the executive branch going forward.

It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Cost Of Battling Filibuster Rules: No Sleep Or Fundraising

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:31 pm

When Senate Democrats voted last month to limit the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees, inside-the-Beltway hand-wringing commenced.

The Senate would never be the same without a 60-vote threshold on controversial matters! Just wait and see the dysfunction! The retribution!

Gregory Koger, historian and pre-eminent expert on the filibuster, was not among the doomsayers.

Read more
Politics
2:14 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

As Congress Leaves Town, Some Jobless Benefits Set To Expire

Job seekers attend at a career fair in Miami Lakes, Fla., in August. At the end of the year, 1.3 million Americans will lose their extended unemployment benefits.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:56 pm

The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from Democrats, the deal did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program.

While the issue may be reconsidered in January, more than a million Americans will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Year's.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Is Sen. John Cornyn Conservative Enough For Texas?

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate minority whip, questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 6.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Being an incumbent ain't what it used to be.

Texan John Cornyn is the No. 2 man in Senate GOP leadership and by most measures holds high conservative ratings — according to National Journal's rankings, he was the second most conservative senator in the last Congress.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:33 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Tourists At The Border: Should Mental Illness Halt U.S. Entry?

Cars entering the U.S. pass a welcome sign at the border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, in Blaine, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

The headline was enough to infuriate any privacy-loving North American.

"Disabled Woman Denied Entry To U.S. After Agent Cites Supposedly Private Medical Details," read the topper of a recent story in the Toronto Star.

Read more
Barbershop
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

If You're Rich, Can You Say You Don't Know Right From Wrong?

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Faith Matters
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

In The Midst Of Newtown's Grief, Pastor Says There Is Light

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, editor Ahmad Omar and I will hear what you had to say about conversations we've had on the program recently. That's ahead in BackTalk. But we're going to start the program today with Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we want to look at a year of healing, faith and recovery. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri December 13, 2013

How Does History Change The Meaning Of Words?

"I think we shape language more than it shapes us. Reality and history shape language and that's the beautiful thing." — Mark Forsyth
Paul Clarke TED

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:54 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About Mark Forsyth's TEDTalk

Etymologist Mark Forsyth shares the surprising back story on the term "president."

About Mark Forsyth

Read more
Politics
5:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

House OKs Wide-Ranging Defense Authorization Bill

A compromise defense bill is making its way through Congress. The authorization measure deals with everything from sexual assault in the military to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to operations in Afghanistan.

Pages