Politics

The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Files Voter Discrimination Suit Against Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Attorney General Eric Holder was "wrong to mess with Texas."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:50 pm

The Justice Department has filed suit against Texas under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the state requirement for voter identification discriminates against minorities.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour

President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.

The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu August 22, 2013

President Unveils Plan To Boost College Affordability

President Obama speaks on education at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:25 pm

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Speculation Builds That San Diego Mayor Is On His Way Out

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D).
Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:50 pm

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. 'Tentative Agreement':

The law firm that has helped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner navigate the accusations of sexual harassment, says he and representatives of the city have "reached a tentative agreement," but declined to elaborate:

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Around the Nation
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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It's All Politics
12:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Future Historians: Good Luck Sifting Through Obama Video

President Obama is seen on a video camera as he delivers a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2010. In addition to footage of official events, the White House now has thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes video that it will archive.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Gender Gap Doesn't Budge In Virginia Governor's Race

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, (left), is trailing Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe (right) among female voters.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 5:05 pm

Here's one takeaway from a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday: Republicans have their hands full if they hope to close the gender gap in the Virginia governor's race.

The poll of likely voters reports that Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 6-percentage-point overall lead in his contest with Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

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Politics
9:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Shaking Up The Grand Old Party

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Efforts Continue To Remove San Diego Mayor From Office

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are alarming reports from Syria this morning of a chemical weapons attack near the capital. Syrian opposition activists say government forces have killed hundreds of people in air raids and shelling on rebel neighborhoods close to Damascus and a sizeable number of people, they claim, have died from poison gas. Those claims have not been confirmed and the Syrian government has strongly denied the accusations.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Fla. Balks At Insurance Navigators As Obamacare Deadline Nears

The federal government has awarded about $67 million in grants to groups around the country that will help people shop for health coverage. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the guidelines for these so-called navigators are inadequate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 8:02 pm

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

A Defense For Ted Cruz: Founders Weren't U.S. Born Either

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 10.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:54 pm

If Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) really wanted to put some positive spin on his birth in Canada, he could point out that none of the first seven presidents were born in the United States either.

Of course, that was because the U.S. didn't exist when presidents from George Washington through Andrew Jackson were born. They were all technically British subjects at birth. Martin Van Buren, born in 1782 in Kinderhook, N.Y., was the first president actually born in the U.S.

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National Security
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Patriot Act Architect Criticizes NSA's Data Collection

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On this side of the Atlantic, the debate over the Snowden leaks and the NSA data sweeps have revealed renewed civil liberties concerns and criticism of the Patriot Act. A key provision of the act known as Section 215 allows investigators to seek business records or, quote, "any tangible things as long as they are relevant to a counter terror investigation." It's a mile-wide definition and the legal foundation that the Obama administration has used to justify its mass collection of Americans' phone logs.

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Code Switch
9:29 am
Tue August 20, 2013

The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons)

The immigration activists known as the Dream 9 were arrested after attempting to re-enter the United States.
Samantha Sais AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 2:11 pm

The national conversation around immigration has shifted dramatically over the past decade. That's in large part because of activists who have pushed to change the narrative around the undocumented.

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It's All Politics
9:05 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Obama's College-Cost Tour Is A Chance To Get Past Climbing Walls

The climbing wall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Such amenities have been cited as evidence of wasteful spending on college campuses.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:34 am

President Obama, back from his vacation, is scheduled to address the college affordability crisis in a campaign-style bus tour that will take him to New York and Pennsylvania.

The tour, which takes place Thursday and Friday, is part of the president's overarching effort to highlight his agenda for middle-class Americans and to raise pressure on congressional Republicans to act on his second-term priorities.

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Politics
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Heritage Foundation Rallies Support To Defund Obamacare

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:39 am

The Heritage Foundation and its political activist arm Heritage Action are turning to the town hall format to try to stop the health care law. Foundation president and former GOP senator Jim DeMint was in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Monday night as part of a nine-city defund Obamacare tour.

The Two-Way
12:25 am
Tue August 20, 2013

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz To Renounce Canadian Citizenship

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks about immigration during a march near Capitol Hill in July.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 6:41 am

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 election. But to run for president, the U.S. Constitution says a candidate must be a "natural born" U.S. citizen; it doesn't mention dual citizenship.

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Education
9:58 am
Mon August 19, 2013

California Upends School Funding To Give Poor Kids A Boost

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in June, in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, California schools will receive an additional $3.6 billion this year, with much of it targeted to the neediest students.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

As the school year begins, districts in cities such as Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree.

But they might soon.

California has revamped its school funding formula in ways that will send billions more dollars to districts that educate large numbers of children who are poor, disabled in some way or still learning to speak English.

It's an approach that numerous other states, from New York to Hawaii, have looked into lately. But none has matched the scale of the change now underway in the nation's largest state.

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Amid Struggle For 'Soul' Of GOP, Libertarians Take Limelight

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a libertarian Republican, says recent surveillance leaks have "brought home" libertarian ideas.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:16 am

"There is no question that there is a civil war that is waging within the party."

That Republican conflict, political science professor David Cohen adds, isn't between just two sides, but among a number of factions, including libertarians.

One of the most public battles has involved national security and civil liberties. Leaks about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs raised alarms for libertarians about the government's reach.

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It's All Politics
9:48 am
Sat August 17, 2013

RNC Isn't Focusing On The Elephant In Its Ballroom

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus introduces the first four members of its new "Rising Stars" program at the RNC summer meeting on Thursday in Boston. From left are Karin Agness, founder of Network of Enlightened Women; T.W. Shannon, Oklahoma speaker of the House; Priebus; New Hampshire state Rep. Marilinda Garcia; and San Jose, Calif., police officer Scott Erickson.
Josh Reynolds AP

They talked about the Hillary Clinton documentary and miniseries. They talked about how well they're doing raising money. They talked about how they're building a state-of-the-art data mining and voter turnout operation.

Here's what the Republican National Committee members didn't talk about at their summer meeting, but, rather, talked around: their existential need to broaden their base of support, and how so far their traditional base is not exactly embracing the idea.

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Politics
5:55 am
Sat August 17, 2013

The RNC's Summer Challenge: Find New Voters

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Republican National Committee held its summer meeting this week in Boston. The party's hoping to lay groundwork to try to turn things around by the next presidential election, exploring everything from better software to track voters to changing their nominating process. Yet they're also wrestling with a more fundamental problem - finding new voters to identify with the party.

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Politics
4:02 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country

Marchers kick off a 21-day march calling for immigration reform in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday. The 285-mile walk through California's Central Valley ended in Bakersfield at the district office of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am

Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.

The groups were converging on the home of the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

Activists across the country are targeting a number of Republican members of Congress this summer, trying to pressure the House to take up the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

N.J. Governor Gives Provisional OK to Medical Pot For Kids

Marijuana plants growing at a legal not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles last year.
David McNew Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agreed to ease restrictions on medical marijuana for chronically ill children, but he won't go as far as lawmakers would like.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that Christie, a Republican, has rejected part of a bill that would allow young patients access to an ingestible form of marijuana at state-approved dispensaries without the approval of a psychiatrist and pediatrician.

His partial veto sends the bill back to the Democratic-controlled Legislature for approval before it becomes law.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Republicans To CNN And NBC: No Debates For You

During the 2012 campaign cycle, CNN was among several news networks that hosted Republican debates. Now, the GOP says it doesn't want to be on either that network or NBC.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 12:24 pm

Following through on an earlier warning, the Republican National Committee on Friday "unanimously passed a resolution preventing the committee from partnering with CNN and NBC for debates if they don't drop their Hillary Clinton productions ahead of the 2016 presidential election."

"CNN and NBC have shown clear favoritism, and they won't be hosting a single Republican primary debate," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

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Barbershop
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Could Prison Spell The End Of The Jackson Dynasty?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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BackTalk
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Mali's Challenger Concedes, As Zimbabwe Fights Election Results

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we hear from you, the listener. Editor Ahmad Omar is here with us once again. What's going on, Ahmad?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, Celeste. I wanted to start with some news updates. A couple weeks ago, we talked about two big elections in Africa...

HEADLEE: ...Right.

OMAR: ...And we have some updates on those races this week.

HEADLEE: OK, let's hear them.

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Around the Nation
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

'Dream 9' Immigrant Says Don't Think Of Issue Politically

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Faith Matters
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Why Do Sikhs Want To Serve In The Military?

Sikhs have a long history of fighting in wars. But in the US, their turbans and beards often prevent them from being able to join the military. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Major Kamaljit Kalsi who's hoping to change that.

Politics
9:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

What's Making Headlines Outside Of Washington?

Congress has gone home for its annual August recess, so Tell Me More takes a look at headlines in places across the country. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Mike Leary from the San Antonio Express-News and Dana Coffield of The Denver Post.

It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Semantic Gymnastics: GOP In Tug Of War Over Delegate Rule

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus opens last year's convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Glen Stubbe MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:36 am

Remember back when President Bill Clinton argued that his truthfulness about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky depended on the meaning of the word "is"?

Thought so.

Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting.

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