Politics

It's All Politics
3:04 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor's Collapse: What Happened?

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., delivers his concession speech as his wife, Diana, listens in Richmond on Tuesday.
Steve Helber AP

That shape-shifting spirit we call the Tea Party assumed yet a new form Tuesday and took down its most prominent victim of this year, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. In some ways, Cantor is the most significant Republican incumbent ousted in a primary since the latest intraparty rebellion by conservative hard-liners began five years ago.

No, Cantor is not an iconic senator like Richard Lugar of Indiana, or a popular statewide figure like Mike Castle of Delaware, both of whom had their careers cut short by insurgents from the right in recent primaries.

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Politics
7:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Upset Of Eric Cantor Deals A Shock To GOP Establishment

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:20 pm

Eric Cantor became the first house majority leader ever to lose a primary, losing the GOP nomination to Tea Party challenger David Brat in the Republican primary.

Politics
6:31 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Tea Party Challenger Upsets Eric Cantor In GOP Primary

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:25 pm

In a surprise result, voters in Virginia's 7th Congressional District have dealt a defeat to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, nominating Tea Party challenger David Brat instead in the GOP primary.

The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor Defeated By Tea Party Candidate In Virginia Primary

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor listens to House Speaker John Boehner at a recent news conference on Capitol Hill. Cantor, from Virginia's 7th Congressional District, lost the primary election Tuesday night, a stunning defeat.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:40 am

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost his Republican primary in Virginia's 7th Congressional District to Tea Party challenger David Brat — a stunning defeat that will upend the chamber's GOP leadership.

Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., was leading Cantor by 55 percent to 44 percent of the vote.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton Refines Her Benghazi Response

Hillary Clinton at a book signing in New York. The former secretary of state has said that Benghazi joins a long list of tragedies during administrations of both parties.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:13 pm

As Hillary Clinton contemplates a 2016 presidential run, it's clear she'll need to answer Benghazi questions in a way that neutralizes conservative attacks and avoids politicizing the issue.

In her interview with NPR Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, the former secretary of state unveiled a Benghazi answer that might be a road test of a message to parry GOP accusations.

Speaking of the four Americans killed in the 2012 attack, Clinton said:

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Illinois Lawmaker Found Guilty Of Accepting $7,000 Payoff

Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith (center) speaks to reporters at the federal building Tuesday after a jury convicted him of bribery.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 4:17 pm

In a case in which some observers suggest the FBI may have gone too far to snare a politician in a bribery scheme, a jury has convicted an Illinois lawmaker of corruption.

The verdict against State Rep. Derrick Smith relates to the then-freshman representative's acceptance in 2012 of a $7,000 payoff from an FBI informant.

The jury agreed with the prosecution that Smith abused his office for personal gain. The defense had argued that the representative repeatedly refused the bribe before finally relenting and that the undercover sting amounted to entrapment.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Despite Initial Doubts, Wisconsin's Second-In-Command Soars

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:31 pm

Few people expected it, but Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is now a rising GOP star. The mother of two is a former TV news anchor and a cancer survivor, who left the hospital just in time to vote in her own primary.

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
1:54 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Clinton Position On Cuba Signals New Political Era

Hillary Clinton poses for a family photo with former President Bill Clinton, daughter Chelsea, and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky, after attending Chelsea's Oxford University graduation ceremony last month.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 3:12 pm

One of the few revelations in Hard Choices, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new book about her time in the Obama administration, is that she urged President Obama to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

"Since 1960, the United States had maintained an embargo against the island in hopes of squeezing Castro from power, but it only succeeded in giving him a foil to blame for Cuba's economic woes," Clinton writes. "It wasn't achieving its goals and it was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America."

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Education
4:23 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Easing Student Loan Burdens On The Frontburner For Obama, Senate

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:23 am

David Greene talks to financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz about proposals to mitigate student loan debt from the White House and in the Senate. Kantrowitz is the founder of the website finaid.org.

It's All Politics
3:53 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton: I Helped Restore U.S. Leadership In The World

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington in May 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:26 am

To hear Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and once and maybe future Democratic presidential candidate tell it, her new book, Hard Choices, isn't the kickoff to a 2016 campaign.

She still hasn't made up her mind about another run for the presidency, she told Renee Montagne, co-host of NPR's Morning Edition. It's more a review of the decisions she made as the nation's top diplomat.

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Politics
3:50 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Clinton Sought 'Tougher Deal,' But Won't Second-Guess Bergdahl Swap

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:38 pm

Below are excerpts from Hillary Clinton's interview Monday with NPR's Renee Montagne. Clinton's new book, Hard Choices, will be published Tuesday.

Portions of this interview will air on Morning Edition.

On running for president in 2016

HILLARY CLINTON: I have made some hard choices, and I face some hard choices. And, as I say in the book, I have not made a decision yet. ...

RENEE MONTAGNE: This is, may I say, a classic campaign book. ...

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Politics
1:46 am
Tue June 10, 2014

In Booming San Jose, Businesses Settle Into A Minimum Wage Hike

Chuck Hammers, owner of Pizza My Heart in San Jose, Calif., raised prices on slices by 25 cents and pies by about $1 after the minimum wage increase, and says he hasn't experienced a drop in business.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:23 am

It's been a little more than a year since San Jose, Calif., increased the city's minimum wage by $2 per hour, with adjustments for inflation. Now at $10.15 an hour, it's one of the state's highest.

Back in 2012, as voters were debating the wage hike, some in the restaurant and hospitality industry warned that an increase would be bad for the sector. It would deter new businesses from opening, they said, and would cause existing businesses to slash hours for employees.

So how are San Jose's businesses faring today? The answer is, it depends.

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Chicago's Latest Case Of Political Graft Has A Twist

Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, at the state Capitol in Springfield last month. A jury is deliberating a verdict in Smith's trial on bribery charges.
Seth Perlman AP

It's the kind of political corruption allegation that makes even hardened Chicagoans roll their eyes and exhale a heavy sigh that says, "here we go again."

A state representative is caught on tape secretly meeting with a shady character, pocketing an envelope full of cash. The politician in question laughingly refers to the $7,000 alleged bribe as "cheddar," as he talks about being paid off in a way that won't come back on him.

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It's All Politics
4:58 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

State Senator's Resignation Roils Virginia Politics

Virginia state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett, a Democrat, in February 2010. Puckett resigned his seat on Monday.
Steve Helber AP

A single legislator in Virginia's statehouse normally doesn't rate much attention beyond, say, his or her district or Richmond, the state capital.

But then again, the resignation of a single Democratic state senator doesn't normally shift control of Virginia's Senate from Democrats to Republicans — a move that possibly stops dead in its tracks Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plans to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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Education
2:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

With New Order, Obama Aims To Combat Student Debt Pressures

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 4:42 pm

President Obama is signing an executive order Monday, which will expand a loan forgiveness program for college debt. NPR's Mara Liasson looks at the program and the political salience of the issue.

NPR Ed
6:53 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Tough Week For The Common Core

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 8:16 am

A few months ago, when I told friends and media colleagues that I was interested in the Common Core State Standards, the most common response was "What's that?"

Now, it seems, everyone has an opinion about the Core.

And right now, opinions about the K-12 learning goals for math and English that have spread nearly nationwide are trending toward the heated.

While the school year is winding down, education policy sure isn't. This past week brought a bunch of front-page news on the Common Core.

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Law
6:14 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Grand Jury In Texas Probes Whether Gov. Perry Abused Powers

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 7:32 am

A special Travis County grand jury is investigating whether Republican Gov. Rick Perry tried to coerce the Democratic district attorney in Austin into resigning, following a drunk driving arrest.

National Security
3:09 am
Mon June 9, 2014

FBI Director Comey Looks Ahead To His Next Nine Years

FBI director James Comey wants the agency to get better at preventing crimes and improve diversity. He has another nine years and three months to do that.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 7:33 am

FBI Director Jim Comey brushed back a dark curtain last Thursday morning and emerged to greet his audience, Tonight Show style.

"I feel like a talk show host," Comey told a group of new recruits, the first hired on his watch since he joined the FBI nine months ago.

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Politics
5:54 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Obama Returns To U.S. To Face Prisoner Release Issue

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 4:01 pm

This week the veterans health care scandal gave way to a new political storm over the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, as Washington editor Ron Elving tells NPR's Scott Simon.

It's All Politics
3:25 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Will Rick Perry Take Another Swing At The Presidency?

Gov. Rick Perry gives a speech during the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth on Thursday. In his address, the longest-serving governor in the state's history focused more on the future and national issues than his political legacy at home.
Rex C. Curry AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 3:35 pm

At the Republican State Convention in Fort Worth on Thursday, Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry and his wife gave strong signals that while the state's longest-serving Texas governor is finally stepping down, he might well be back for an encore — as a presidential contender.

While introducing her husband at what was billed as a farewell address after 14 years of running the state, Anita Perry hinted at their political future by saying there's still "tread left in our tires."

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Clinton Aides Weighed Fallout Of Calling Rwanda Killing 'Genocide'

Dozens of Hutu refugees flee fighting between Hutus and Tutsis in Kigali, Rwanda, in April 1994, about a month before an internal White House email on the possible consequences of calling the killings a genocide.
Jean-March Bouju AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

President Bill Clinton's administration wondered what the legal consequences would be if the White House acknowledged that genocide was occurring in Rwanda in 1994, according to newly public documents.

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Law
3:11 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says following federal standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act is too burdensome for states.
Tom Pennington MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

The clock is ticking on a decade-long effort to prevent sexual violence inside American prisons. In a recent survey, the vast majority of states said they will try to comply with federal rules. But several others, led by Texas, have protested to the Justice Department.

Jan Lastocy served 15 months in a Michigan prison for attempted embezzlement — her first brush with the law. The assaults began when a new corrections officer showed up at the warehouse where she had been assigned to work as a secretary.

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It's All Politics
2:25 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

President Obama's Globe-Trotting, By The Numbers

President Obama and French President Francois Hollande arrive at a D-Day anniversary ceremony on Friday.
Alain Jocard/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 3:02 pm

President Obama appeared in Normandy today to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. It's his fifth trip to France since becoming president, tying it with Mexico as the country Obama has visited most frequently.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

What Happened To Unemployment Benefits?

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:46 pm

Five months have passed since the expiration of the emergency unemployment benefits program for the long-term unemployed. Amid congressional delays, it's unclear whether those benefits ever will be extended.

Commentary
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Week In Politics: Bowe Bergdahl And The Mississippi Senate Primary

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the GOP Senate primary in Mississippi.

Latin America
10:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

World Cup Makes Brazilians Crazy, But Soccer's Not To Blame

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now - let's talk World Cup. Every four years, people around the world tune into the same thing at the same time over the same four weeks. They're watching the World Cup. This year's tournament will be held in Brazil, and the first match between Brazil and Croatia is just six days away.

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Faith Matters
10:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Rabbi: American Jews Should Not Worry About Anti-Semitism

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Barbershop
10:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

NBA Finals: Did The Heat Take Down Miami?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
3:16 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Senators Reach Deal To Pay For Veterans' Care Outside VA System

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Outside Groups To Spend Even More Ahead Of Miss. GOP Senate Runoff

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Well-heeled outside groups easily outspent Sen. Thad Cochran and challenger Chris McDaniel before the GOP Senate primary in Mississippi. They're going all in on the runoff election later this month.

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