Politics

The Two-Way
8:27 am
Mon August 5, 2013

4-Year-Old Re-Elected 'Mayor' Of Minnesota Town

Mayor Bobby Tufts of Dorset, Minn.
Jeff Baenen AP

His second job will be at a pre-school.

As a student.

Four-year-old Bobby Tufts was re-elected "mayor" over the weekend in the tiny northern Minnesota community of Dorset. We say "mayor" because Dorset doesn't really have a government. It doesn't even have many people — "22 to 28, depending on whether the minister and his family are in town," according to CBS Minnesota.

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Politics
3:10 am
Mon August 5, 2013

McConnell Squares Off With Rivals At Ky. Political Picnic

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Over the weekend the tiny town of Fancy Farm, Kentucky was the scene of a political brawl worthy of the Hatfields and McCoys. No one was run out of town, but Mitch O'Connell, the Senate Republican leader, who is asking Kentuckians for a sixth term, did get pretty roughed up - verbally. You'd hardly guess it all began as a church picnic.

NPR's David Welna was there.

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Politics
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

August Recess Leaves Unfinished Business

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Members of Congress are back in their home districts this morning at the start of a five-week summer recess. They left town with more of a whimper than a bang. They leave a whole lot of unfinished business. We're joined now by NPR congressional correspondent, Tamara Keith. Welcome.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Let's start with what the Congress did accomplish. There was student loan legislation. What else?

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News
5:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

A New Class Of Radio Rolls Into The City

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:27 pm

In a musty, old row house in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Jim Bear is about to begin his radio show.

"Good afternoon, everybody," he says into the microphone. "You're listening to G-town Radio at GtownRadio.com. We are the sound from Germantown."

Right now G-town is just an Internet radio station. But if the folks at G-town Radio are successful, they'll soon be broadcasting their signal over low-power FM, a new class of non-commercial FM radio.

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Politics
4:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Durbin, Harkin Take On Immigration Critic In His Own District

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) listens as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks at a forum on immigration in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Two top Senate Democrats took the fight for an immigration bill to the home district of one of the issue's toughest critics, Republican Rep. Steve King, on Friday.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went to Ames, Iowa, to make hay out of King's remarks about the "Dreamers," those young people brought here as children by their undocumented parents.

"There have been some characterizations of these young students that aren't fair at all," Durbin said at a rally on Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.
Joe Grande AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:22 pm

A Virginia jury has recommended life in prison for three Somali pirates convicted of murdering four Americans seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Africa in 2011.

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congressional Recess Isn't A Cease-Fire; It's A Chance To Reload

Bill O'Leary The Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:32 pm

As Congress heads off for its 2013 summer recess, who could blame a citizen for thinking that maybe the slogan above the House dais should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

Experts in government like Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have repeatedly warned that compromise, the lubricant that makes the U.S. system work, has been a missing ingredient in recent Congresses, especially in the House. And there were no signs Friday that anything will be different when Congress returns in September from its five-week break.

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National Security
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

What A New Surveillance Court Could Look Like

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts received increased attention following the leaks about programs monitoring U.S. citizens. Some lawmakers are proposing changes to secret courts, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). He speaks with Melissa Block about the proposal.

Politics
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Week In Politics: Jobs, The Fed And Intra-Party Sniping

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:09 pm

Audie Cornish talks with political commentators David Brooks of The New York Times and Amy Sullivan of the National Journal. They discuss Friday's job numbers; the speculation over who President Obama will appoint to replace Ben Benanke as Fed chairman; and the intra-party sniping between Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

U.S.
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

N.C. Abortion Law Sparks Protest; Governor Responds With Cookies

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory sent out a plate of cookies to abortion law protesters who had gathered outside the governor's mansion on Tuesday. Audie Cornish speaks with Mary C. Curtis, who writes for the Washington Posts' blog She the People, about the incident and North Carolina politics.

Business
10:06 am
Fri August 2, 2013

U.S. Job Growth Slows A Bit As Wages Shrink

Employees and supporters demonstrate Monday outside of a Wendy's fast-food restaurant in New York City to demand higher pay and the right to form a union. Incomes have been stagnant, especially for minimum-wage workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:10 am

Employers added 162,000 workers in July, and the U.S. unemployment rate slipped to 7.4 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Labor Department said Friday.

But while the number of jobs did increase, the hiring pace was slower than in the spring, marking a setback for unemployed Americans who had hoped for a better summer.

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Barbershop
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Barbershop Guys Take A Swing At Sports Controversies

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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National Security
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bradley Manning: Whistleblower Or Traitor?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Jobs Have Been Added, But Why Are Wages Stubborn?

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:32 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later today, we'll hear more about Pope Francis' recent visit to Brazil and we'll hear about why he made headlines around the world. That's in just a few minutes. But first, back here in this country, we want to hear about today's jobs numbers. One-hundred sixty-two thousand jobs were added last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.4 percent. That's even below last month's report of 7.6 percent. The report also shows, though, that wages are going down for many workers.

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It's All Politics
6:13 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Could North Carolina Lead A 'Red-State Resurgence'?

Cozzie Watkins of Charlotte, N.C., holds a sign while joining a "Moral Monday" protest against recent actions of the North Carolina Legislature, in Raleigh last month.
Al Drago MCT /Landov

Pat McCrory hasn't fared too well with protesters.

The Republican governor of North Carolina has signed off on a vast array of conservative legislation this year, cutting taxes, slashing unemployment benefits and abolishing teacher tenure. So much change so fast has led to protests, including "Moral Monday" events staged at the capitol a dozen weeks in a row by the NAACP.

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Politics
3:41 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Reid Requests Talkative Senators 'Shut Up'

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to a group that was not in a mood to comply.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know how school kids can get as summer break is getting closer: a little rowdy.

MONTAGNE: Not how you'd normally describe the U.S. Senate, which is widely considered the more gentile congressional body. But tempers flared yesterday when Senators Patty Murray and Susan Collins had the floor and were trying to talk about transportation spending, but were being not just ignored, but drowned out by talkative colleagues.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

What Chris Christie And Rand Paul Share, Despite Their Clash

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:54 pm

Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the rhetorical skirmish between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over NSA data-gathering, it's easier to see the irony of the confrontation.

We witnessed not just the punching and counterpunching of politicians considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination. It was also a clash between men who each possess a key to winning the White House.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Appropriations Bills Continue To Collapse In The House

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

House Republicans' plans to hold the line on federal spending and maintaining the cuts demanded by sequestration were thrown into doubt this week. Leaders abruptly pulled a transportation spending bill off the floor, prompting a rare public statement from the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee to lash out at the decision.

Politics
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

New ATF Head Is Its First Senate-Confirmed Leader In 7 Years

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

After a long delay, the Senate has finally confirmed B. Todd Jones to be the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives. Who is he and what took so long?

Politics
10:12 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Former Commerce Secretary: Doing Nothing On Immigration Is 'De Facto Amnesty'

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now we turn to immigration and the debate within the Republican Party over the issue. Republican leaders, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, are pressing the party to embrace a comprehensive immigration plan. But many House Republicans want to increase border security first and are wary of any policy that could create a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants who are currently in the country without proper authorization. Now, a new group is hoping to tip the balance. It's called Republicans for Immigration Reform.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Beset San Diego Mayor Says He Didn't Get Harassment Training

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced at a news conference last week that he intended to seek professional help for sexual harassment issues.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:41 pm

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused by at least eight women of sexually harassing them, never received a mandated training course on sexual harassment from the city, according to his attorney.

Harvey Berger says the city failed to meet its legal requirement and therefore should foot the mayor's legal bills. Filner and the city of San Diego are being sued by the mayor's former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson.

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Politics
3:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Congress Sends Student Loan Bill To Obama

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

After a long political fight, Congress has passed a compromise on student loans. The bill is now waiting for President's Obama signature, just in time for students entering classes this fall.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the legislation will lower student interest rates in the short term, but those rates are expected to rise.

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NPR Story
2:49 am
Thu August 1, 2013

For Once, Congress Plans To Go On Recess Without A Meltdown

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. This is likely the last day the Senate will be in session until mid-September. Tomorrow members of the House will lave town as well. They're heading out for their August recess with none of the frantic legislative scrambles and deal making that typically end a summer session. Instead, lawmakers seem to be saving their strength for epic battles when they get back. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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Business
1:02 am
Thu August 1, 2013

As Back-To-School Shopping Begins, Consumers May Turn Frugal

Chris Viehland helps her daughter Jenna try on shoes for the new school year at a Famous Footwear store in Fenton, Mo., Aug. 9, 2012.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:01 pm

As August begins, retailers are stepping up sales promotions to attract back-to-school shoppers. And several states are offering tax-free shopping to encourage purchases.

But most economists say this year's sales will be slower than last summer's because consumers have been coping with more expensive gasoline and higher payroll taxes.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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It's All Politics
3:36 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

As His Campaign Craters, Weiner Picks Fight Over Flight

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:05 pm

Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Republicans Work To Keep IRS Scandal In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:05 pm

Congressional Republicans are accusing the IRS of dodging their questions and requests for documents in the inquiry into the flagging of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status. One House committee warns the agency it could use its investigative powers to enforce compliance. And a second committee says it now has proof that conservative groups were treated worse than progressive groups.

Politics
2:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Obama Makes Rare Trip To The Hill For Closed-Door Meetings

Originally published on Wed July 31, 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.

President Obama rarely visits Capitol Hill, but today, he traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue to meet with House and Senate Democrats. He wanted to rally their support on a range of issues before Congress sets off on its long August recess. NPR congressional reporter Ailsa Chang joins us from the Capitol. And, Ailsa, meeting just with Democrats, no Republicans this time.

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Politics
11:28 am
Wed July 31, 2013

As Summer Recess Looms, Congress Remains Inactive

Jonathan Weisman writes that the last week before the long summer recess is usually crunchtime for Congress, but it's "a sleepy time for the underachieving 113th."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:20 pm

Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:

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Politics
9:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

On The Eve Of Gay Marriage, Not All Of Minnesota Is Ready

Cathy ten Broeke speaks during a news conference last month at Minneapolis City Hall. She and her partner, Margaret Miles (right), along with Jeff Isaacson (back left) and his partner, Al Giraud (back right), are the first two same-sex couples Mayor R.T. Rybak (right) will marry in the City Hall rotunda on Aug. 1.
Jeff Baenen AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:53 am

It's going to be a party in Minneapolis.

With gay marriages becoming legal in Minnesota on Thursday, courthouses in major cities across the state will be open after midnight to accommodate dozens of same-sex couples eager to tie the knot.

"It's good for our business," says Ron Stein, a jeweler in Minneapolis, where the mayor plans to conduct weddings for approximately 40 couples. "We've had orders already."

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