Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:23 am
When President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Friday, he marked another state off his list. As president, he has now traveled to 46 of the 50 states.
Which ones are still waiting for a visit from President Obama?
Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
Obama lost all of those states by a significant margin in 2012. They vote solidly Republican. And, it turns out, with the exception of South Carolina, they aren't popular destinations for other presidents either.
Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:00 pm
With new technology came a new type of Washington scandal: missing emails.
In the latest instance, the vanished emails belonged to Lois Lerner, former head of the exempt organizations division at IRS. She's the official who oversaw the scrutiny of applicants for tax-exempt status as 501(c)(4) social welfare groups — a process that conservatives allege was meant to block Tea Party groups.
The controversy blew up just over a year ago. Lerner was pushed out of the IRS; the House cited her for contempt of Congress.
Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:52 am
Net neutrality has become a hot topic this summer, despite its snooze-inducing name. The principle governs that data on the Internet should be served to customers on a level playing field — at the same speeds — without priority for certain companies that might be able to pay for "fast lanes" for content.
The mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, is in Washington today for a nomination hearing. He is President Obama's choice to become the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Ryan Loyd of Texas Public Radio in San Antonio reports on how Castro has made the move to the national stage.
The poll, conducted June 5-8, finds Congress's job approval at 16 percent, its lowest point in a midterm election year since Gallup began tracking the metric in 1974. Satisfaction with the direction of the country comes in at a paltry 23 percent, just a point above its 2010 midterm year low.
Between Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis, Texas politicians in recent years have lived up to their state's reputation for producing larger-than-life characters.
That makes the Texas political scene a natural for the Hollywood treatment.
HBO has given God Save Texas, a drama about the state's often raucous political culture, the green light for development. It's set to unfold at the Texas statehouse, a perennial flashpoint for national debates about issues ranging from abortion to gun rights to the size and role of government.
In today's Congress, political dynasties rule. If you totaled them up, there are nearly two dozen members of the House and Senate whose parents served, including some women. In the past, women most often came into office through the practice of widow succession. This is where the wife of a politician who had passed away ascends to his seat. But now we're seeing daughters running for office on their own. NPR's political editor, Charlie Mahtesian, offered up several examples.
Sergeant Bergdahl is back on U.S. soil, and the controversy over President Obama's decision to trade with the Taliban for his release continues as events in Iraq bring a new challenge. Here to talk about the week in politics is NPR's Ron Elving. He joins us now from member station KPLU in Seattle in what they like to call the real Washington - Washington State. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.
President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation yesterday on the border between North and South Dakota. At a celebration honoring Native American veterans, he quoted the tribe's best-known member - Chief Sitting Bull.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: He said, let's put our minds together to see what we can build for our children.
Two-term Idaho Republican Raul Labrador announced Friday that he is throwing his hat into the ring for the chance to replace outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor as House majority leader.
Labrador's candidacy ensures that Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California will not go unchallenged for the chamber's No. 2 leadership spot, which opened up on Tuesday after Cantor's stunning primary loss to Tea Party challenger David Brat.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. There is no love lost at the White House for Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House, who lost his primary this week. The Virginia congressman has long been a roadblock for the president's legislative agenda. House Republicans will vote next week on who should replace Cantor as majority leader. NPR's Scott Horsley reports that while the players are changing, the partisan dynamic is likely to say the same.
In a newly issued report, a group of 11 theologians goes where the pols and lawyers dare not tread, with a faith-based analysis of money's role in politics. In "Lo$ing Faith In Our Democracy," published by Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, you can guess where it comes down on the big questions.
The tract asserts that the current political money system — with superPACs, secretive social welfare organizations and unlimited contributions — "does not take into account the needs of the poor."
Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 12:28 pm
Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET
President Obama has ruled out the use of ground troops in Iraq, saying any action will be "targeted and precise" but must be accompanied by political action by Iraqis to end sectarian divisions.
"We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq's security forces," Obama said from the south lawn of the White House.
Many people know All the President's Men as a film: a hit movie about the two young reporters who cracked the Watergate conspiracy. It's the only blockbuster that centers on two guys making phone calls, organizing paper notes and meeting a source called Deep Throat in a parking garage.
But before the movie, there was a book, which came out 40 years ago this month. In it, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein tell the story of how they uncovered the scandal.
It all started in the Watergate hotel and office complex in Washington.
Maybe there's something in humans that pushes them apart the way plate tectonics moves continents. Whatever the reason, the ideological divide between conservatives and progressives in the U.S. has grown over the past decade, and not by a little, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.