Politics

Remembrances
3:07 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Mario Cuomo, Former 3-Term New York Governor, Dies At 82

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

2014 Yielded Bumper Crop Of Judicial Confirmations

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, shown walking towards the Senate chamber on December 16, pushed through a final batch of judicial nominees this month, before the Republican-dominated Senate takes over in the new year.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:34 pm

Since he's taken office, President Obama has seen more than 300 federal judges confirmed, putting him ahead of the past two presidents at their six-year marks. A huge chunk of those confirmations happened in 2014 — the year after the Senate Democrats got rid of the filibuster for most judicial nominations.

To assess how that rules change might have helped things along, consider a few numbers.

In 2014, 89 judges were confirmed; that's the highest yearly total in two decades, a it's almost one-third of all of Obama's confirmations since he first took office six years ago.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu January 1, 2015

WATCH: Full Video Of President Obama's Interview With NPR

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Dec. 17.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Over the past few days, NPR has been airing chunks of Steve Inskeep's in-depth interview with President Obama.

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Politics
2:02 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio Hopes For A Congress 'Whose Work Is Relevant' To Americans

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in 2013.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 6:37 am

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is spending the holidays thinking about his future. Rubio was a prominent member of the contentious Congress that just ended. Some analysts labeled it the "worst Congress ever."

Shortly, Republicans will take control of both chambers. The new Congress, Rubio hopes, will be seen as "one whose work is relevant to people's daily lives."

"And right now, across America, that is, people that are reading all this news about how great the economy is doing, but they're not feeling it," he tells NPR.

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Politics
2:26 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

6 Reasons Steve Scalise Will Survive His Speech Scandal

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks during a campaign rally for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on Nov. 1 in Abita Springs, La.
Scott Threlkeld AP

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 3:26 pm

Barring new and jarring developments, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is going to survive the story that he addressed a conference of white supremacists in 2002.

Unless further evidence emerges of liaisons with the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO, Scalise will take his oath next week for the 114th Congress as the No. 3 leader of the chamber's GOP — the party's largest majority since 1928.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Sen. Rubio Says He Could Run For President Even If Jeb Bush Does

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 6:01 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says he could decide to run for president even if former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush announces a presidential run.

"We certainly know a lot of the same people, we also know some different people," Rubio told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview that airs New Year's Day. "I don't believe if I decide to run for president that that will be an impediment."

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Politics
3:03 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Waiting For A Break: Obama On 'Strategic Patience' In Foreign Policy

NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office, where they discussed U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the world as a whole.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 8:22 am

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Politics
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

First Black Republican Congresswoman Wants To Be Known For More

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When the 114th Congress convenes next week, one of the new members attracting attention will be Mia Love from Utah. She'll become the first black Republican woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

2014 Brought Lasting Action On Climate Change Policy

Water vapor, which looks like smoke, is seen rising from a power plant near Hengshui in China's Hebei province. In November, President Obama announced a landmark carbon-cutting deal with China — the world's leading producer of greenhouse gases. And the Chinese government has announced plans to cap the use of coal within five years.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 9:30 am

Some of the stories that gripped our attention in 2014 will probably be forgotten in a few years — if not a few weeks. But there's one story that President Obama argues we'll be living with for decades to come.

"There's one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. And that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate," he said in September, addressing the United Nations Climate Change Summit.

Even as Obama struggled with other big challenges this year, climate was one area where he managed to get some traction.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Boehner's Upcoming Congress Already Has Personnel Challenges

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 7:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
12:44 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Whites More Optimistic Than Blacks On Race Relations In The U.S.

President Obama told NPR that he thinks the U.S. is less racially divided today than when he first took office.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 1:48 pm

In a Morning Edition interview, NPR's Steve Inskeep asked President Obama if he thinks America has become more racially divided during his administration.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Rep. Scalise: Speech At White Supremacist Gathering 'A Mistake I Regret'

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 12:27 pm

Updated at 2:14 p.m. ET

Rep. Steve Scalise, the recently elected House majority whip, has acknowledged that he spoke at a gathering of white supremacists more than a decade ago, calling it "a mistake" that he regrets.

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Progressives Create State Innovation Exchange To Counter ALEC

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Race
3:13 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Here's Why Obama Said The U.S. Is 'Less Racially Divided'

President Obama responds to a question from NPR's Steve Inskeep on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:05 pm

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Race
3:11 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Fact Checking Obama's Assessment On Race

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:15 am
Tue December 30, 2014

The Fleeting Obsessions Of The White House Press Corps

White House press secretary Josh Earnest takes questions from the press during a daily briefing in December.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:16 pm

If you didn't like the news on any given week of 2014, you were mostly in luck. You could just wait a few days until the press moved on.

This was my first full year in the White House press briefing room, sitting in often on the daily briefings. In that time, I noticed a certain attention deficit disorder when it came to the issue of the day.

In 20 seconds, here is 2014 in the White House press briefing room:

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Shots - Health News
1:57 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Big Question For 2015: Will The Supreme Court Rule On Abortion?

Protesters rally outside the Supreme Court during the March for Life on Jan. 25, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 11:56 am

The new year is expected to bring yet another round of state laws to restrict abortion — and 2015 could also be the year a challenge to at least one of these laws could reach the Supreme Court.

The ongoing spike in abortion laws started after 2010, when Republicans won big in the midterms. Since then, state lawmakers have passed more than 200 abortion regulations — more than in the entire decade before. And with more statehouse gains in the fall elections, abortion opponents expect another good year.

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The Two-Way
1:08 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Rep. Grimm To Resign After Guilty Plea On Tax Charge

Rep. Michael Grimm speaks to the media last week after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge rather than go to trial. Grimm was accused of evading taxes by hiding more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a Manhattan restaurant.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 5:38 pm

Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of New York announced he would resign effective Jan. 5 in a statement reported by The Associated Press and CBS.

When Grimm pleaded guilty last week to filing a false tax return, he said he would stay in Congress for as long as possible.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

U.S. Rep. Scalise Under Fire For Reported Speech To White Supremacists

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers look on.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 8:10 am

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, is facing criticism over a speech he reportedly made to a gathering of white supremacists in 2002. According to The Washington Post, the remarks were given at a conference of the European American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana state legislator.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Activists Call 2014 'A Super Banner Year' For Same-Sex Marriage

Kimmy Denny and her partner, Barb Lawrence of Palm Harbor, Fla., wait outside a court hearing on gay marriage in Miami in July. On Jan. 6, same-sex marriages will be allowed in the Sunshine State.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 2:17 pm

A year ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Now that number is up to 35 states, and there's a strong possibility that remaining bans will go before the Supreme Court in the year ahead.

While activists in the legal and political battle over same-sex marriage called 2013 a banner year for their cause, they're calling 2014 a "super banner year."

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Republicans Sort Their Priorities For The New Congress

The sun sets on the U.S. Capitol Building on the National Mall in Washington. On January 6th, Republicans will take over both chambers for the 114th Congress.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 5:47 pm

The 114th Congress convenes on Jan. 6 and GOP leaders are preparing their to-do list for the new year, when they will control both chambers. The November elections were a victory for Senate and House Republicans and the change in Congressional leadership will mean a new legislative landscape for President Obama, who entered the White House with a Democratic majority behind him.

First on the list, according to incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be the Keystone XL oil pipeline. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported Monday on the tone of that first legislative action.

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Business
8:02 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Looking To 2015, Economists See 5 Reasons To Celebrate

Target shoppers Kelly Foley (from left), Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor's prices while shopping shortly after midnight on Black Friday, in South Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 8:39 am

Each December, economists make predictions. And each new year, they get hit by unexpected events that make them look more clueless than prescient.

This year's bolt out of the blue was the plunge in oil's price, which no one saw coming.

Still, top economists' forecasts did get a lot right for 2014. One year ago, most were predicting healthy growth, tame inflation, low interest rates, rising stock prices and declining unemployment — and that's just what we got.

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Politics
3:20 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Transcript: President Obama's Full NPR Interview

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 1:19 pm

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Politics
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Despite Election Defeat, Obama Sees Room To Push His Agenda

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office, where they discussed recent moves on Cuba and immigration, and prospects for cooperation with a GOP-dominated Congress.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:06 pm

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It's All Politics
3:01 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Obama Finds Reset Button With 2 Years To Go: Is It Too Late?

As he looks toward his seventh year in the White House, President Obama still believes there is time to make his presidency a transformational moment in history.

In an interview recorded shortly before he left for Christmas vacation in Hawaii, the president told NPR's Steve Inskeep that 2014 had been "a bumpy ride" but also the "breakthrough year" he himself had predicted.

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Health Care
7:29 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee on Dec. 15. Under the plan, the hospital association would pay the state's portion of the program.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:07 am

Tony Smith's disability check puts him over the income limit to receive standard Medicaid, but it's too little for him to qualify for a subsidy.

Sitting next to a federal health-care navigator at a Nashville, Tenn., clinic, he said he hopes lawmakers think of his plight and that of thousands of others when considering Medicaid expansion.

"I'm not looking for a handout," Smith says. "I'm just looking for some help ... because I need it."

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Politics
5:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

To Deal With Hostile Congress, Obama Can Look To History

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Food
2:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

In The Nation's Capital, A Signature Soup Stays On The Menu

Copyright 2014 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit http://wamu.org.

Code Switch
7:03 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Sony Hack Reveals Hollywood's Acceptance Of White Privilege

The Rev. Al Sharpton (left) and Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, speak to reporters after they met with Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal on Dec. 18.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:00 pm

It is, perhaps, the worst nightmare for those of us constantly trying to get a white-dominated Hollywood to widen its doors of opportunity for people of color: All those executives who say the right things in public and give to the right causes, just might think something much less admirable about diversity behind closed doors.

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Humans
6:23 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Want To Solve The World's Most Heated Disagreements? Bring Your Wallet

A woman shouts slogans as she attends a pro-Palestinian rally July 25 in Berlin. About 1,200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Berlin amid high tensions over Israel's actions in Gaza, while some 700 protesters took part in two counter-demonstrations.
Markus Schreiber AP

Conflict between Palestinians and Israelis or Republicans and Democrats appears intractable in part because of one fundamental bias: We misunderstand the other group's motives.

When Republicans attack Democrats, Democrats think they're motivated by hate, but Republicans believe they're motivated by love and "in-group" loyalty. And vice versa, of course.

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