Politics

Politics
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

New IRS Rules Would Lessen Influence Of Social Welfare Groups

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:56 pm

The Obama administration is pushing new regulations that will make it harder for so-called "social welfare" tax-exempt groups to influence elections.

Middle East
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Iran Nuclear Deal Will Allow 'Unprecedented' Inspection

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:56 pm

The six-month agreement struck between Iran and Western nations last weekend lays out a detailed plan of inspection for Iran's nuclear facilities. The White House calls it "unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring." So how will that work? Melissa Block speaks with Dr. David A. Kay, former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, to find out.

Middle East
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Is Easing Iran Sanctions The Right Move?

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:56 pm

Much of the criticism of the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran Sunday has focused on the sanctions relief Iran will receive over the next six months if it follows through on restricting its nuclear program. Although the only irreversible relief being offered is a gradual release of $4.2 billion in frozen Iranian revenue, critics warn that the "architecture of the sanctions regime has been undermined." Analysts say all the important sanctions hampering Iran's economy remain in place, but the announcement of the deal itself is having a psychological impact on markets.

Law
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Challenge To Obamacare Contraceptive Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take another case involving the Affordable Care Act, this time a challenge to the provision that for-profit companies that provide health insurance must include contraceptive coverage in their plans offered to employees.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 4:55 pm

President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.

In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers who offer health care services to provide a range of preventive care, including no-copay contraceptive services. Religious nonprofits were exempted from this requirement, but not for-profit corporations.

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

You Can Vote, You Can Enlist — But Can You Buy A Cigarette?

Cigarette packs are displayed at a convenience store in New York City, which has raised the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Mark Lennihan AP

So, a uniformed Marine walks into a convenience store, and says to the clerk, "Pack of Marlboro Reds, in a box — and some matches."

The clerk gives the Marine the once over and says, "Sorry, son, but you look a bit young to be buying smokes. You 21?"

That potential scenario, in a nutshell, is the most common argument against a small but nascent movement to increase the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

You can fight in a war at age 18, and vote in elections, but you can't buy cigarettes until your 21st birthday?

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

IRS Proposes Guidelines On Politicking By Tax-Exempt Groups

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:29 pm

Ending the year by weighing in again on a topic that caused it great grief back in the spring, the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday defined limits on the political activity of tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations.

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Economy
9:54 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Secretary Of Labor Says Raising Minimum Wage Will Grow Economy

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has only been in office for a few months, but he's already making waves. He's pushing for a higher minimum wage and immigration reform. Perez speaks with host Michel Martin about his goals for the U.S. labor force.

Politics
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Members Of Congress Signal Unhappiness With Iran Deal

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

It really is true that all politics is local. And the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers engages politics in several localities.

GREENE: In a moment, we'll hear some of the debate in Iran as reflected on social media.

INSKEEP: We start in the United States, where many Members of Congress have strong views on the deal agreed to by the Obama administration.

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Technology
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Feds Have Troubled History With New Computer Systems

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's hear a little recent history now, a history of federal IT failures. The troubled healthcare.gov website has many ancestors, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The new software system was glitchy, it was behind schedule and over budget. University of Pennsylvania computer scientist Matt Blaze said the problems were foreseeable.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Angst Over Health Law Leaves Obama, Democrats In Congress Divided

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The troubled rollout of the ACA has also shaken relations between the White House and congressional Democrats. For more on that we're joined by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson at the White House.

Hey there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So this isn't just about Darrel Issa stirring up anger, right? I guess Democrats genuinely worry that this rollout has hurt them heading into 2014, as Don just mentioned. So where do things stand?

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

John Kerry: Risk Ready And Looking For A Legacy

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry will have to work hard to allay concerns about the Iran deal, concerns from U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. And as Melissa just mentioned, the White House faces criticism from some in Congress. Kerry will need to convince senators not to impose additional sanctions on Iran so that negotiators can come up with a comprehensive deal over the next six months. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Kerry seems to be well positioned to take on the challenges.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

White House: Iran Deal Delays Potential Nuclear Weapon

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:05 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. The nuclear accord reached over the weekend with Iran is, according to President Obama, an important first step. The new Iranian president calls it a definite achievement but to the Israeli prime minister it's a historic mistake. The six-month deal freezes important parts of Iran's nuclear problem. In exchange, Iran gets temporary relief from economic sanctions amounting to about $7 billion.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Rep. Issa Takes Anti-Obamacare Campaign To The States

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, planned to hold at least four field hearings on the Affordable Care Act, which he blames for increased health insurance prices.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:56 pm

The troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act has given the GOP an opportunity to keep its attacks on the law alive.

On Monday, Republicans held the second of at least four planned hearings that Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has said will focus on health insurance price increases he blames on the Affordable Care Act.

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It's All Politics
2:30 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

5 Ways The Iran Nuclear Deal Collides With U.S. Politics

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shake hands Sunday at the United Nations Palais in Geneva.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 6:49 am

The historic nuclear deal with Iran marks the first time in three decades that the Persian nation has agreed to slow its work toward a nuclear weapon and allow international monitors in to verify.

It's a significant accomplishment, but the accord is about to become entangled in U.S. politics for months to come, complicating the pact's future on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here are five reasons why:

1. President Obama's Credibility

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Politics
9:25 am
Sun November 24, 2013

GOP Skeptical Of Iran Deal

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

In a diplomatic breakthrough, Iran has agreed to temporary limits on its nuclear program. In exchange, the U.S. and its allies have agreed to relax some of their crippling economic sanctions on Iran. The six-month agreement is designed to buy time to negotiate a more lasting deal that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It's already drawn a skeptical response in Israel and from some lawmakers here at home.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Sat November 23, 2013

John Kerry Joins Iran Nuclear Talks In Geneva

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Geneva International airport in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday.
Denis Balibouse AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 12:22 pm

Once again raising expectations that a deal over Iran's nuclear program is at hand, Secretary of State John Kerry joined the foreign ministers of the U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany in Geneva to try to hammer out an agreement that would curb Iran's nuclear work in exchange for the loosening of some sanctions.

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Politics
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

How The 'Nuclear Option' Might Change Washington

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

Senate Democrats eliminated the filibuster this week for all presidential appointments other than Supreme Court justices. The so-called nuclear option could prompt President Obama to make different picks for his top positions. NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins host Scott Simon to talk about the historic vote.

Politics
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Stumping For GOP Governors, Chris Christie Gets His Own Boost

In his role as chairman of the RGA, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will crisscross the country giving stump speeches and fundraisers.
Ralph Freso AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:30 pm

It's good to be Chris Christie these days.

Just a few weeks after his landslide re-election victory, the New Jersey governor won a second election this week: chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

The RGA chair is a largely ceremonial role, but in it, Christie will travel the country campaigning for other Republicans in gubernatorial races in 2014, a job that many see as groundwork for a potential White House run.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

White House Pushes Next Year's Health Plan Sign-Ups Later

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 4:32 pm

Another day brings another delay for the federal health law known as the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that, starting next year, it is pushing back the start of the sign-up period for those buying individual and small business insurance until mid-November, rather than mid-October. That will give insurance companies some extra time to set their premiums, given this year's difficulties.

And, as some analysts point out, the delay may also ease some political concerns for Democrats.

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

New York's Next Mayor Tries New Tactic To Get Feedback

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

New Yorkers have a new way to deliver messages to their newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio. It's a tent, a huge, translucent one on Canal Street called The Talking Transition Tent. More than 11,000 people have wandered through it so far, and it's become a kind of 21st-century soapbox, as NPR's Margot Adler reports.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Week In Politics: Post-'Nuclear Option' Politics And JFK's Legacy

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's time to talk politics now with our Friday regulars, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Times who joins us this week from Stanford University. Welcome back to both of you.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be here.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

SIEGEL: Start with filibusters. You've heard Ailsa Chang's story. David, is today's level of cooperation in the Senate so paltry that the GOP threat of no more Mr. Nice Guy was worth the Democrats ignoring?

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Senate Rules Change Could Mean More Political Rancor

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Is Washington headed for smoother operation or more dysfunction than ever? Democrats made big changes to the rules of the U.S. Senate yesterday. The changes kill the ability of the minority, the Republicans, to filibuster most presidential nominations.

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It's All Politics
2:19 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

5 Ways JFK Still Influences Presidential Politics

Then-Sen. John F. Kennedy showed some of the charisma that powered his presidential bid as he greeted college students in Charleston, W.Va., in April 1960.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:06 pm

The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's death in Dallas is a time when much attention is aptly focused on the abrupt and tragic end to his presidency.

But it's also a moment to consider the beginning of JFK's presidential story, since he redefined the art of campaigning for the White House.

Here are five ways Kennedy's influence is still being felt in presidential politics:

1. The Self-Selected Candidate

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Music Interviews
10:26 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Esperanza Spalding: Guantanamo Doesn't Represent 'Our America'

Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding in her video 'We Are America."
ESPLLC

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 1:24 pm

Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."

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It's All Politics
5:07 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Wal-Mart Food Drive Unwittingly Fuels Talk Of Minimum Wage Hike

Dozens of people protest for better wages outside a Los Angeles Wal-Mart store on Nov. 7.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 8:51 am

Wal-Mart's pay practices have long been targeted by advocates of America's working poor.

So it was no surprise that it became national news when the discount retailer, the nation's biggest employer, asked workers at an Ohio store to contribute to a holiday food drive — for fellow workers.

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The Two-Way
3:03 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Remembering JFK By Rewatching His Inaugural Address

President John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1961.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 8:20 am

Very few of us need to be reminded about what happened 50 years ago today in Dallas.

And with all the remembrances of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in the news media this week, there's no need for us to post yet another.

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Politics
2:33 am
Fri November 22, 2013

FEC: Tea Party May Not Shield Donors

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Federal Election Commission has turned back a bid by conservatives to weaken the federal campaign-finance disclosure law. A Tea Party group had asked for a precedent-changing decision to keep its donor lists secret. It said Tea Party members are being targeted for harassment and intimidation. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Politics
2:33 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Obama Should Benefit From Senate Rules Change

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:45 am

The Senate's vote on Thursday to change its rules and approve presidential appointments by a simple majority, presents new opportunities for the president. Until now, dozens of appointments to the administration and the federal bench have been held up because they could not get the needed 60 votes in the Senate.

Politics
2:33 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Senate Democrats, After Threats, Detonate 'Nuclear Option'

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:45 am

The Senate voted on Thursday to abandon precedent and change its rules to end the filibuster for most of President Obama's judicial and Cabinet nominations. The rules change strips the Senate's GOP minority of a potent tool.

It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (from left), Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois defend the Senate Democrats' vote Thursday to weaken filibusters and make it harder for Republicans to block confirmation of the president's nominees for judges and other top posts.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Thursday to make possible the confirmation of presidential nominees with a simple majority marks a tectonic shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.

Back in 2005, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called this idea "the constitutional option" when he came close to invoking it on behalf of the judicial nominees of President George W. Bush.

That sounded a lot more dignified than the name Frist's predecessor, Trent Lott, had used just two years earlier: "the nuclear option."

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