Politics

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President Obama and Vice President Biden "have tried to be fair and even-handed" in the primary process, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday following a meeting with the president at the White House.

Calling the meeting "constructive and productive," Sanders cautiously praised the Obama administration's economic work, saying there is still work to be done. The two also talked talked about foreign and domestic policy and "a little bit of politics," according to Sanders, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

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Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

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Donald Trump says he's out, not out of the presidential race but out of the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses. Here's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

It's a challenge making sure that low-income children who get free- and reduced-priced meals during the school year continue to get fed during the summer.

Government meal programs served 3.8 million children on an average summer day last year — far fewer than the 22 million children who got subsidized meals during the school year.

While most of the presidential field descends on Iowa for next week's caucuses, at least one candidate won't be there. Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to hold a town hall in New Hampshire on Iowa caucus night.

He has held more town halls in the Granite State than any other candidate — 80 to date, with plans to surpass 100.

Kasich is spending so much time in New Hampshire, he's even become comfortable joking about it.

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This post was updated Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. ET

The stage is set for Thursday's Fox News Channel final debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses — but front-runner Donald Trump won't be there.

After teasing earlier Tuesday evening that he "probably won't bother" with the debate, Trump's campaign confirmed he won't participate, citing unfair treatment from the network:

The Obama administration took another step to try to reform the country's prisons this week, banning the use of solitary confinement for juveniles and charging the Bureau of Prisons with finding alternatives to that punishment for the mentally ill.

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NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Harry Enten, a political analyst for FiveThirtyEight, about whether newspaper endorsements are meaningful to presidential candidates.

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Every four years, Iowans are deluged with the talking points, the stump speeches, the polls and, of course, the ads.

They also hear that they shouldn't be first. Iowans are too white, too old and too few to merit first-in-the-nation status, say the critics.

But if Iowa shouldn't be first, who should be? For more than a century, reformers have been proposing ideas for how to change the primary system. And they've been failing. And they'll probably continue to fail.

This post was updated at 10 p.m. ET

When Donald Trump spoke at Liberty University last week, the school's president, Jerry Falwell Jr., heaped praised upon him.

Falwell claimed his glowing remarks were not an endorsement.

That has changed.

On Tuesday morning, Falwell — the leader of one of the largest evangelical universities in the world and son of famed televangelist Jerry Falwell, founder of the "Moral Majority" — officially backed the controversial billionaire real-estate mogul for president.

If you weren't tuned in to two hours of late-night cable, you would have missed Democrats making a final urgent pitch to voters Monday night in an Iowa town hall. We'll catch up you up.

-- Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., defended being a Democratic socialist — and admitted he'd raise taxes to pay for his health care plan.

After devoting decades of her life to a cause — demonstrating for peace and against nuclear proliferation — Concepcion Picciotto has died. Persisting through cold and rough weather, she was a fixture outside the White House, where she was often called the president's closest neighbor.

Her protest vigil is considered the longest in U.S. history.

Donald Trump doubled down on rival Ted Cruz's citizenship Monday night, again questioning whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is eligible for the presidency.

"My new battle is with a gentleman named Ted Cruz," the billionaire real-estate mogul said at a rally in Farmington, N.H. "The Canadian, the man from Canada."

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A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

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If you are getting spooked by plunging stock prices, you may be trying to figure out where the economy is heading.

Here's one new sign that better days are coming:

In the latest survey of business economists, most — 58 percent — say their companies plan to raise workers' wages this winter. That's the most upbeat wage outlook since mid-2014, according to the quarterly survey done by the National Association for Business Economics.

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It's something we hear in every election season. Don't obsess over polls. Go tell it to Donald Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: So CNN came out 33 for Trump; 20 for Cruz. That's good.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yeah.

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