George Washington is depicted addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in this painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. Presumably, no representative from Rhode Island is in the picture; Rhode Island boycotted the gathering and originally rejected the Constitution.
Mississippi has received lots of attention this week for finally having ratified the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But the state is hardly alone in being slow about blessing some long-established national principle.
After a sufficient number of states have ratified an amendment, it can feel like a moot point for legislatures to give belated approval to laws that are already in effect.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another family is grieving in Chicago after another young person was killed by gun violence this past weekend. Today we're going to bring you some very blunt, powerful perspectives from young people affected by the violence that you might not have heard. This from our colleagues with the public radio program "This American Life." And that's coming up later in the program.
Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:49 am
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced late Wednesday that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 residents. The move is a surprise because the governor has previously been a vocal critic of President Obama's health care overhaul.
Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech Wednesday at the University of Virginia. His comments come days before he leaves on his first trip as America's top diplomat. He's traveling to Europe and the Middle East.
Mitt Romney will make his return to the political world at next month's Conservative Political Action Conference, the host American Conservative Union announced Wednesday.
"The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections," ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement. "We look forward to hearing Governor Romney's comments on the current state of affairs in America and the world, and his perspective on the future of the conservative movement."
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:19 pm
Stepping forward now because he thought others were about to "breach this privacy," former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici has told the Albuquerque Journal that he fathered a son outside of his marriage more than 30 years ago.
The mother is Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of another prominent Republican politician — former Nevada Sen. and Gov. Paul Laxalt. Their son is Adam Paul Laxalt, a lawyer in Nevada according to the Journal.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The president's putts pass the Tiger test, the Senate sex scandal that stayed secret for 30 years and Erskine Bowles reduces sequestration to three little words. It's Wednesday and time for a...
President Obama wants Congress to act fast to avoid massive government budget cuts that could hit in March. Washington is seeing more gridlock as Republicans blocked a vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Host Michel Martin talks about the latest in politics.
We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:50 p.m. ET.
Saying that "I've never been more clear in my life" about what he was doing, a tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to using about $750,000 in campaign funds collected for his congressional races to buy himself presents that included a Rolex watch worth more than $43,000.
The former congressman, a Democrat from Chicago, appeared in a Washington, D.C., courtroom. When he's sentenced in June, he could get a prison term of nearly five years.
Bipartisan groups and lawmakers are working together on another issue: Immigration. Yesterday, the president spoke with several senators involved in negotiations on that issue. But, at the same time, some senators criticized the White House for drafting its own plan for changing immigration laws.
We're going to talk through this subject with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's on the line.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:48 pm
Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.
President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm
By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.
So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.
The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.
As he pressed Congress for action Tuesday, President Obama stood before a group of first responders. He made the case that their departments will be hurt if automatic budget cuts go into effect March 1.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:54 am
Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.
The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:25 am
Nobody saw this one coming.
Sen. Mike Johanns, a reliably conservative Republican from Nebraska, announced yesterday (Feb. 18) he would retire rather than seek a second term in 2014 ... one where he was considered the overwhelming favorite. A former two-term governor and agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush, Johanns wrote his constituents an open letter that was also signed by his wife Stephanie:
These should be good times for Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.
New Jersey voters re-elected him last fall in a landslide, and he became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a few weeks ago. But along the way, Menendez has come under scrutiny by the Senate Ethics Committee and perhaps other government investigators — and certainly the media — for his connections to a longtime friend and generous campaign donor.