Politics

The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Shakeup: Susan Rice To Be Obama's National Security Adviser

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Mark Garten / U.N. UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:42 am

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, a lightning rod for Republican critics of the Obama administration's handling of the September 2012 attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, is moving into the post of national security adviser at the White House.

That's what a White House official tells NPR's Ari Shapiro — echoing reports earlier Wednesday morning from The Associated Press and other news outlets.

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Planet Money
3:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

How One Patent Could Take Down One Comedian

Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:32 pm

The comedian in question is Marc Maron. He does a popular podcast, called WTF, out of his garage in California. It's an interview show, with other comedians and artists. Maron recently found an extraordinary letter in his mailbox. This letter said, basically, that by doing his podcast, out of his garage, he was violating a technology patent. His podcast was, according to the letter, illegal.

"They sent a copy of the patent with this letter," Maron says, "which looks like a large bunch of legal gibberish."

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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Christie Finesses Challenge Created By Senate Vacancy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question during his news conference Tuesday in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:12 pm

Only time will tell how well New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie finessed a decision that seemed to pit his personal interests against those of the broader public.

But by calling an Oct. 16 special election to replace the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, it appears the governor took the most politically advantageous option available to him.

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It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

4 Big Players Emerge In Military Sexual Assault Debate

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey (center) takes a drink of water as he and other members of the military testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:09 pm

The nation's top military leaders came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday primed to defend their ability to handle, in their chain of command, the sexual assault scandal that has engulfed the armed services.

But the dramatic faceoff with the Senate Armed Services Committee — in particular two of its female members — appeared to only deepen the chasm between the four-star brass and those who want significant change in a system that has failed victims for decades.

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama's D.C. Court Nominations Heat Up Battle With Senate

President Obama announces in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday his nominations of (from left) Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett to fill vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

President Obama fired a warning shot Tuesday in the battle over Senate confirmations: He nominated three new judges to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, and he challenged Senate Republicans not to stand in their way.

Obama complained about procedural roadblocks that have tied up many of his previous nominees — sometimes for years.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Sen. Grassley Says Obama Court Nominations Wrong Decision

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Joining us now is Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Welcome to the program, senator.

SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY: Oh, I'm always glad to be with NPR.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Special Election Called In New Jersey To Fill Vacant Senate Seat

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Funeral services for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg will be held tomorrow in Manhattan, but the political maneuvering to replace the long-serving Democrat is already underway. Senator Lautenberg died yesterday. And today, New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, ordered a special election to fill the seat this fall. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is not what many in Christie's party wanted.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Former Rep. 'Duke' Cunningham Freed After Bribery Sentence

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, seen here with his wife, Nancy, in 2005, has finished serving a seven-year sentence for bribery and tax evasion.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is a free man today, after spending more than seven years in prison on bribery and other charges. A distinguished Vietnam War veteran and former Navy pilot, Cunningham's 15-year career in Congress ended abruptly when he admitting to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and evading taxes.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Special Election To Replace Sen. Lautenberg Set For Oct. 16

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Saying that "insiders and a few party elites" should not choose the person who permanently replaces Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday afternoon that there will be primaries on Aug. 13 and a special election on Oct. 16.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Room Upgrades, Videos & A 'Star Trek' Parody: Read IRS Audit

Already under fire for how some personnel gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service is also dealing with an inspector general's criticism of the $4.1 million spent on a conference in 2010.

Posted here, the Treasury Department audit concludes that:

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Law
9:43 am
Tue June 4, 2013

What's At Stake With Supreme Court Decisions?

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we are going to dig into a new survey of African-American attitudes about their lives, and some of the findings may surprise you. We'll also talk about how that 401(k) retirement plan, once a fresh idea, may need some new thinking.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue June 4, 2013

At IRS Hearing: Talk Of 'Jackboot Of Tyranny'

Karen Kenny of San Fernando Valley [Calif.] Patriots at Tuesday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 11:09 am

We now have faces and emotional words to attach to the scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service and its targeting of conservative "tea party" and "patriot" groups during the 2012 campaign cycle.

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Political Junkie
4:48 am
Tue June 4, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

It's time to solve this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday or Wednesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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Politics
3:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Senate Committee Investigates Sexual Assaults In U.S. Military

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Within the U.S. military now, it seems hardly a day goes by without some new accusation of sexual assault. The problem has the attention of top officers, even the Secretary of Defense. Still, lawmakers say the Pentagon is not doing enough to stem a growing number of sex crimes. A Senate committee is holding a hearing today on what Congress can do about sexual assault in the military.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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Politics
3:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

N.J. Gov. Christie Debates Who Fills Lautenberg's Senate Seat

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg died yesterday at 89, he was the Senate's last World War II veteran and its oldest member. Though Lautenberg didn't plan to run again, his passing hands New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a political opportunity: to appoint a Republican to represent the state in the Senate, the first in more than three decades. Still, as New Jersey Public Radio's Nancy Solomon reports, the political choice facing Christie is anything but simple.

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Politics
3:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

IRS Acting Director Appears Before House Panel

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Today on Capitol Hill, Congress turns its attention to two federal institutions that have been losing the confidence of the American people. In a minute, we'll hear about an effort in the Senate to crackdown on sexual abuse in the U.S. military.

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Politics
3:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama To Challenge GOP With 3 Federal Appeals Court Picks

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama will nominate three new judges this morning to the powerful Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. The announcement is expected to come in the White House Rose Garden, and as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, there could be a few thorns.

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It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

White House-Issa Fight: Nasty But Normal In Washington

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is just doing what Congress does at times of divided government.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Anyone searching for the place where the friction between the Obama White House and congressional Republicans is throwing off the most angry sparks need look no further than the clashes between the administration and Rep. Darrell Issa.

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Politics
2:14 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Young Republicans Aim To Revitalize GOP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 4:53 pm

All Things Considered host Audie Cornish talks with Alex Smith, National Chair of the College Republican National Committee, about their new report, Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation.

It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

5 Things You May Not Know About Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Sen. Frank Lautenberg speaks to members of the press in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 4:53 pm

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg wasn't a regular on the Sunday talk shows. He never ran for president or cut much of a national profile.

Still, the liberal Democrat, New Jersey's longest-serving senator, left his mark as a legislator on a wide range of issues, from transportation to public health to the environment.

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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lautenberg's Death Sets Off New Jersey Senate Scramble

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died Monday at age 89. He had announced in February that he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:09 pm

The traditionally collegial U.S. Senate was never a natural fit for Frank Lautenberg, the wealthy New Jersey businessman whose headstrong, CEO style could rankle.

But the five-term senator, who died early Monday at age 89, managed to serve as a passionate and able advocate for a tight collection of causes, from gun control and public health to Israel and mass transit.

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Law
10:49 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Pick 'Em Up, Lock 'Em Up: Getting Tough On Gangs

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Law
10:49 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Pick 'Em Up, Lock 'Em Up: Getting Tough On Gangs II

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Zhang Jun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:24 pm

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sen. Frank Lautenberg Dies

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., in October 2012.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:07 am

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg died early Monday, his office says in a statement sent to reporters.

He was 89. According to the statement, the Democratic senator "passed away due to complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. today at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell."

As the senator's office adds, Lautenberg was "the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the Senate."

He announced in February that he would not be seeking a sixth term in the Senate.

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Economy
3:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sequestration Cuts Being Felt Nationwide

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

It's been three months since the start of across-the-board, federal spending cuts. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal, about how badly the sequestration is cutting into the economy.

It's All Politics
3:21 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Ted Cruz: 'The New Voice' Of The GOP?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accompanied by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during a news conference with Tea Party leaders on May 16. Bachmann, chairwoman of the Tea Party Caucus, announced this week she won't seek re-election. Meanwhile, Cruz's fortunes continue to soar.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 8:56 am

On the same day this week that House Tea Party Caucus co-founder Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced she won't seek re-election, the fortunes of another Tea Party favorite continued to soar.

Freshman GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas headlined a big fundraiser thrown by the New York Republican Party in the heart of Manhattan. More than 600 Republicans gathered to write checks to their struggling party, which has no statewide officeholders.

But it was not exactly a welcoming committee that awaited Cruz outside the Grand Hyatt hotel.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Week In News: Bachmann's Decision, Obama To Meet China's President

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: I will not seek a fifth congressional term to represent the wonderful people of the 6th District of Minnesota.

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

That's Republican Representative Michele Bachmann announcing her decision in a video released early on Wednesday morning. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hello, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Wade.

GOODWYN: Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party darling - are you surprised?

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Politics
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

What's On Obama's Agenda With China's President?

Next week, President Obama will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at an estate in California. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon speaks with Ken Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution about what issues the two world leaders are likely to discuss.

It's All Politics
3:23 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Obama's Economic View: A Glass Half-Full And Half-Empty

President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. He said the economy is seeing progress but added that too many people are still struggling.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:39 am

It has been a good week for economic news. Here's a quick rundown of the positive signs: Home prices showed their best gains in seven years. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high. The stock market set a new record. All just this week.

"We're seeing progress," President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning, "and the economy is starting to pick up steam. The gears are starting to turn again, and we're getting some traction."

You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was leading up to a "but."

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