Politics

Politics
5:16 am
Sat July 13, 2013

If The IRS Targeted The Left, Too, Will The House Hear It?

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland is a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He's released documents that suggest that the IRS targeted progressives as well as Tea Party groups.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:43 am

The House Oversight Committee will hold its latest hearing next week into how the IRS handled the applications of groups seeking tax exempt status. The hearings have morphed from a scandal over the targeting of Tea Party groups into something broader.

It all started when a report from IRS Inspector General J. Russell George said groups with Tea Party in their name were targeted for extra scrutiny for possible political activity. When asked if progressive groups were also targeted, he said no.

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Simon Says
3:47 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'

Reporters swarm around former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as he attempts to collect signatures for his run for New York City comptroller.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

'Illusioning Victory From Defeat': A Washington Story

New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference on gun legislation earlier this year.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:39 pm

At the end of another demoralizing and unproductive Washington week, it struck us that the messaging of failure is a very delicate business — for members of both flailing parties.

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's straight-faced characterization of the House GOP's rejection of his immigration bill as "encouraging" best illustrated the problem.

For nothing was hopeful and nobody was a winner in the nation's capital this week.

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National Security
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano To Resign

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is stepping down to take charge of the University of California system.

Business
10:45 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Does The Canadian Rail Explosion Make Pipelines Look Safer?

A police photograph shows burned and wrecked crude oil carrying rail tankers piled up in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on Monday. Dozens of people died in the disaster.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:48 am

When an oil-laden train derailed last weekend, it turned into an inferno that killed dozens in Lac-Megantic, a small town in Quebec.

This week, the Canadian tragedy is morphing into something very different. It is becoming Exhibit A in the political case for building pipelines — as well as for opposing them.

How could the same tragedy prove opposite points? Listen in to the debate:

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It's All Politics
10:10 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Remembering A Scholar Who Reshaped States

For an academic, Alan Rosenthal had unusual political clout at the Capitol in New Jersey, his home state.
Tim Larsen AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:54 am

You've probably never heard of Alan Rosenthal, but few people have done more over the past half-century not only to describe state governments, but redefine how they operate.

Rosenthal, a longtime political scientist at Rutgers University and a giant in his field, died Wednesday at age 81, after battling cancer. He wrote nearly 20 books, but his value was not purely academic.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Is Stepping Down

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:14 am

(Click here for latest updates.)

Saying the post has been "the highlight of my professional career," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday morning that she is stepping down to become president of the University of California.

Her statement followed a Reuters report that broke the news.

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It's All Politics
7:44 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Top Democrat Says Documents Show IRS Also Targeted Liberals

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, during a hearing last month.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:04 am

Newly released documents appear to further undermine the idea that Tea Party groups were the only ones given extra scrutiny by the IRS for potential political activity.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri July 12, 2013

VIDEO: 'I Need Help' San Diego Mayor Says

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in the video statement he released Thursday.
City of San Diego

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:51 am

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Politics
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Fed Up With Filibusters On Nominations

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:29 am

Senate Democrats are once again threatening a rules change to allow President Obama to win approval for his executive branch appointments on a simple majority vote. Republicans complain that this strike against the filibuster is both unfair and a bad precedent.

Politics
3:42 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Some House Republicans Optimistic About Passing Immigration Reform

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The prospects for a sweeping immigration overhaul dimmed as House Republican leaders said they would not take up a comprehensive bill passed by the Senate last month. Instead, they argued for a slower, step-by-step approach. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R, Fla.) tells Audie Cornish that he remains optimistic that the House can still pass a bill to fix the immigration system.

The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

House Speaker John Boehner discusses the farm bill vote at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.

The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.

The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Resurrected Farm Bill Passes Without Food Stamps Component

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Virginia Governor Mired In Controversy Over Gifts, Loans

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Would End Filibusters For Appointments

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
1:34 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

It's All Politics, July 11, 2013

Andrew Burton Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Yes, Egypt is being torn apart and the immigration bill is in trouble. But that pales when you consider the fact that Eliot Spitzer IS RUNNING FOR NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER!! Fear not, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving are all over it.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Death And Tax Evasion: The Strange Case Of Sergei Magnitsky

Sergei Magnitsky's mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, holds a photo of her late son in 2009.
Alexander Zemlianichenko Associated Press

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 1:32 pm

A Russian court found whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion on Thursday, ending a convoluted case that caused a diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington. It gets even more bizarre given the fact that the man on trial died in 2009.

The posthumous conviction is unprecedented in modern times – even in a country with a history of show trials. But it's not entirely unheard of throughout the ages.

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Politics
3:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Senators Express Concerns About Smithfield Foods Merger

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

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. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.

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Politics
3:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

House GOP Airs Their Differences Over Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The massive immigration bill passed in the Senate with bipartisan support is now facing a challenge in the House. The Republican speaker has served notice that he will not put any bill to a vote that doesn't have the support of a majority of Republicans. And yesterday, almost every House Republican crowded into a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol to discuss the issue.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

House GOP: We Won't Consider Senate Immigration Bill

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:21 pm

The prospects for an immigration overhaul effort that could reshape the contours of American society appeared grim Wednesday after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.

A majority of the fractious House Republican Conference lined up in opposition to (barely) bipartisan legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite the urging of leaders to do something on the issue.

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Shots - Health News
3:51 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

GOP Says, Why Not Delay That Health Care Law, Like, Forever?

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Marco Rubio: Poster Boy For The GOP Identity Crisis

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks toward the stage as he is introduced at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:13 pm

The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.

Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.

"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."

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Politics
2:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Conservative Group Picks Primary Fight With GOP Incumbent

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is being challenged in next year's Republican primary by a candidate backed by the Club for Growth.
John Miller AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:40 pm

An influential conservative group is going after longtime Republican Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho — and it's getting started nearly a year in advance of the 2014 primary.

The Club for Growth is throwing its weight behind GOP challenger Bryan Smith, calling him a fiscal conservative: anti-tax and pro-growth. The lawyer from Idaho Falls is the first candidate endorsed through a website the club launched earlier this year called PrimaryMyCongressman.com.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

House Republicans Start Crafting Their Own Immigration Bill

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The push for a big rewrite of the nation's immigration laws has moved from one side of the Capitol to the other. Late last month, the Democratic-led Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul. Now it's up to the GOP-led House to act.

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Business
12:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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It's All Politics
11:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Once A Rising GOP Star, Virginia's Governor Hits The Skids

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell won one of two governorships that the GOP picked up in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:00 pm

Just last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was a hot Republican prospect, ranked among the nation's most respected state leaders, and was touted as prime vice presidential material.

Those heady days are long gone.

After a seemingly endless series of reports about alleged ethical lapses by the buttoned-down, fiscally conservative governor, no one talks about his political promise anymore.

Instead, the rumor mill generates talk of his impending resignation, with the governor's spokesman denying via Twitter a weekend blog report that he would step down from office.

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It's All Politics
10:28 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Despite Youth Support, Democrats Having A Senior Moment

Vice President Biden (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada react to cheers from the crowd at a campaign rally on Oct. 18, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 11:36 am

Democrats aren't getting any younger. At least, their top leaders aren't.

Voters under the age of 30 were key to President Obama's electoral success. But Obama's going gray and his most prominent potential successors aren't paragons of youth.

Hillary Clinton, who would be the presumptive Democratic favorite for president the minute she decided to run, will be 69 in 2016. Vice President Biden is already 70.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed July 10, 2013

VIDEO: Rare Clip Shows Roosevelt's Use Of Wheelchair

Photos of President Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair are also rare and weren't shown to the public while he was in office. In this image from 1941 he's with his dog Fala and Ruthie Bie, the granddaughter of a gardener who worked for the Roosevelt family.
Landov

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:26 am

The press and the president's aides kept Franklin D. Roosevelt's use of a wheelchair hidden from most of the public during his more than 12 years as the nation's leader.

So hidden, in fact, that an Indiana college professor's discovery of just 8 seconds of film that shows Roosevelt gliding down a ramp aboard the U.S.S. Baltimore in July 1944 is making news this week.

According to The Associated Press:

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Politics
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Chaos Abroad Challenges America's Power

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 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.

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