Politics

Politics
3:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Week In Politics: Spying, ACA Rollout And The Va. Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to our Friday political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times. Welcome back to you both.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

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

BLOCK: So this week, Angela Merkel apparently joining the list of world leaders whose cell phones have been monitored by the NSA. And it was enough to draw in a cry of enough is enough from the French European Commissioner Michel Barnier, talking to the BBC.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Corbett visited the hospital to promote his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may have been watching fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who bypassed the Republican Legislature in his state this week to expand Medicaid.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to make coverage available to low-income adults, with the federal government picking up the entire tab for the first three years.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Is It Ever Too Early To Launch A 2016 Presidential Bid?

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As we just heard, Republican Party approval ratings are lower than ever, but that's not stopping Texas Senator Ted Cruz from taking a post-shutdown victory lap in Iowa tonight. Cruz is headlining the state Republican Party's annual Reagan dinner and he's often talked about as a potential presidential candidate. Iowa, of course, holds the first presidential caucus. NPR's Tamara Keith is in Des Moines to hear the speech and she joins us now. Hey there, Tamara.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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It's All Politics
12:59 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

'Ready For Hillary' SuperPAC Gains Backing From Soros

George Soros, seen at a forum in Berlin last year, joined a superPAC backing a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

It may not officially have a candidate to back quite yet, but for months Ready for Hillary has been revving up for 2016. Now, the superPAC has earned the support of a prominent Democratic donor.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Administration: A Month Needed To Fix Obamacare Enrollment Site

The HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site shown on Oct. 1, when it opened. Since then, it's been plagued with problems.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 1:37 pm

A subcontractor that built a portion of the HealthCare.gov website that's now working relatively well is being promoted to oversee a thorough revamping of the entire glitch-prone portal, and work will be done by the end of next month, the White House says.

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Shots - Health News
10:57 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Why Hiking The Age For Medicare Eligibility Wouldn't Save Much

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio talk with reporters at the White House after a meeting about the federal budget deficit and economy in Nov. 2012. Some Republicans have proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Americans are living and working longer than ever. And Medicare, the health plan that's supposed to help senior citizens, is facing budget problems sooner rather than later.

By 2023, about 70 million people will get health care paid for by Medicare, and their tab is expected to hit about $1.1 trillion in that year.

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Barbershop
9:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

'Shop-And-Get-Frisked' When You Spend $350 At Barneys

A young black man is suing high-end retailer Barneys, saying he was arrested after buying a $350 belt. Host Michel Martin checks in with the Barbershop guys for a fresh cut on that story and the rest of the week's news.

World
9:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Do Pakistanis Support U.S. Drone Attacks?

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
7:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix: Monkeys, Donkeys and the NSA

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 8:48 am

Good morning.

Your erstwhile members of Congress are high-tailing it out of Washington for the weekend (no votes in the House, and the Senate took the day off but promises to return Monday).

But there's plenty to digest.

Fallout from Thursday's House hearing on computer problems marring the health care overhaul rollout. Across-the-pond anger over America's spying on allies. And, yes, donkeys. We'll get to that.

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Politics
4:43 am
Fri October 25, 2013

GOP Lacks A Clear Favorite For Iowa Senate Race

With Democrat Tom Harkin retiring, Iowa will have an open U.S. Senate seat for the first time in nearly 30 years. For Republicans hoping to gain a majority in the Senate, this is a key opening. But the GOP is far from settling on a candidate.

Politics
4:43 am
Fri October 25, 2013

House Unlikely To Turn To Immigration Anytime Soon

As House Republicans pummeled the White House at a hearing Thursday on the rocky online debut of federal insurance exchanges, President Obama tried changing the subject. He again urged Republicans in the House to do as the Senate has done and pass a broad rewrite of the nation's immigration laws. But the chances that could happen any time soon appear remote.

Health
1:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Clinics Close As Texas Abortion Fight Continues

In July, abortion rights advocates marched in Austin, Texas, to protest legislation that could shut down all but five abortion clinics and restrict abortion rights throughout the state.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 8:52 am

The fight over abortion in Texas is being played out in federal court, where abortion rights activists are challenging a new state law.

The measure bans abortions at 20 weeks, adds building requirements for clinics and places more rules on doctors who perform abortions. Some clinics have shut down, saying they can't comply with the law set to go into effect Oct. 29.

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Teen Drinking Party Leaves Md. Attorney General With Headache

In this Instagram photo, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (center, in white shirt holding cellphone) is seen at a summer party where underage drinking appears to be taking place.
Via The Baltimore Sun

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:12 pm

Doug Gansler is Maryland's top law enforcement official. As the state's attorney general, he's spoken out against the perils of underage drinking.

So, naturally, the posting of an Instagram photo of Gansler in the middle of what appears to be a wild underage drinking party — the attorney general is surrounded by shirtless dancing teenagers and red plastic cups — is proving to be a big political problem.

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Politics
2:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Virginia holds elections next month for state offices, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But what was historically a pretty sedate affair is, this year, drawing millions of dollars from all over the country.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Politics
2:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Hearing On HealthCare.gov Keeps Obamacare Politics Alive

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today's hearing may not have cleared up many questions about exactly what's wrong with the health care website, but it does represent a new chapter in the political fight over the Affordable Care Act.

Joining us now is NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. And, Mara, just after Republicans failed in their efforts to defund or delay the health care law through budget fights, the program's right back in the spotlight. Where does the political debate stand?

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Politics
2:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Obamacare Contractors Head To Capitol Hill For House Hearing

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 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.

On Capitol Hill, it was a day of tough questions and finger-pointing. Lawmakers got their first chance to grill government contractors over the botched rollout of the new government health insurance website. It was the first in a series of hearings. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle directed their anger at the contractors and at each other.

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It's All Politics
2:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Texas Vs. Utah: A Tale Of Two Government Shutdowners

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah (left), and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walk to the Senate floor on Oct. 16 to vote on a bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.
Evan Vucci AP

Two Tea Party-backed, defund-Obamacare-or-we'll-shut-down-the-government Senate leaders. Two very different outcomes.

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Shots - Health News
12:46 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

What's The Real Deadline For Buying Health Coverage?

Which date should be circled on your insurance calendar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:56 am

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly everyone will be required to have health insurance. If they don't, they'll have to pay the federal government a tax penalty.

But it turns out this is a case where there are deadlines, and then there are hard deadlines.

And with the federally run health insurance exchange at HealthCare.gov so mired in technology problems, figuring out the what counts as a real deadline has become a very hot topic.

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It's All Politics
10:59 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Government Shutdown Makes Its Debut In Campaign Ads

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks in Stuttgart, Ark., in August. Pryor's latest ad in his re-election campaign hammers his GOP opponent's position on the government shutdown.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:19 am

The federal government shutdown ordeal only recently ended, but candidates on both sides of the aisle are already on the air with ads aiming to turn the impasse to their advantage.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: Russell Brand And His Call For Revolution

A BBC interview with comedian/actor Russell Brand is getting attention today because, it's said, he speaks for many younger adults who are fed up with politics and politicians.

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Health Care
10:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Obamacare Website Mess: Whose Fault Is It?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's no secret that it's getting harder to move on up in this country, to achieve upward mobility that is. Last week, we asked whether the ability of Americans to literally move to different parts of the country is playing a role in this. We heard from so many listeners about this that we decided to dig into the story a bit more, and we'll have that in just a few minutes.

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It's All Politics
6:51 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix: Healthcare Techs In Hot Seat

Good morning.

This is Washington, so there will be hearings.

Today's centerpiece of congressional inquiry bears the title, "Affordable Care Act Implementation Failures: Didn't Know or Didn't Disclose?" See where this is going?

The morning gathering will be the first in a promised series of GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings into the implementation of Obamacare and its well-documented challenges.

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All Tech Considered
6:19 am
Thu October 24, 2013

The Obamacare Tech Mess? It's A Familiar Government Story

Technical problems have plagued the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website.
AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:22 am

By this point, it's all but a universally acknowledged truth that the launch of the HealthCare.gov website has been a failure.

That's bad news for President Obama and his health care law. But it's not exceptional when it comes to big government software programs and platforms.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

What's A 'Glitch,' Anyway? A Brief Linguistic History

Not all glitches are unintentional and problematic. Glitch art introduces, on purpose, digital typos that would otherwise be edited out in an image.
Kevin Wong Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:01 am

HealthCare.gov, the faulty website where people can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, has become nearly synonymous with the word "glitch" — sometimes defensively, sometimes mockingly.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Red-State Senators Face Activist Challengers From Within

Timothy D. Easley AP

Re-election trouble is brewing for longtime Republican senators in deep-red states, from South Carolina to Wyoming. And the trouble is from within.

The GOP's restive Tea Party and libertarian wings, energized by their titular leader, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and funded in part by starve-government groups like the Club for Growth, are waging 2014 Senate primary challenges in six states — and counting.

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Politics
3:10 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Hearings On Obamacare Rollout Kick Off On Capitol Hill

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:07 am

The first of what is likely to be many congressional hearings on the Affordable Care Act rollout happens Thursday. After more than three weeks, consumers trying out the new health care exchanges have complained of delays, inaccurate information and other computer problems. House Republicans are determined to shine a spotlight on the bungles.

NPR Story
4:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence

The U.S. Capitol is shown at sunset on Oct. 15, the 15th day of a government shutdown that some analysts say damaged the U.S. reputation worldwide.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:39 pm

The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.

The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.

Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

It's Easy To Blame The Canadians For HealthCare.gov Problems

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:43 pm

President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" — the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?

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It's All Politics
2:59 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

White House Turns To 'Rock Star' Manager For Obamacare Fix

Jeffrey Zients was tapped to help fix problems with the Obama administration's heath care website.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:58 pm

Jeffrey Zients isn't exactly a household name. But if he can cure what ails the Affordable Care Act website, he'll be one of the best-known figures in the Obama administration.

Zients (rhymes with Heinz) is the professional manager President Obama turned to in order to solve the by-now-infamous problems with the federal government's health care exchange website.

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Politics
2:26 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

'Insurgent' Wing Grapples For Control Of The GOP

Tea Party and conservative leaders including Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Mike Lee gather for a press conference on Capitol Hill in May.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:57 pm

There's a battle for control of the GOP between establishment Republicans and a new brand of conservatives.

"You can call them populist, you can call them insurgents, you can them Tea Party adherents. ... I think the general term I try to use is the 'insurgent' wing," says New York Times national political correspondent Jonathan Martin.

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