Politics

The Two-Way
7:18 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Thousands Gather In D.C. To Mark 1963 Civil Rights March

People hold signs as they gather to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 1:13 pm

(This post last updated at 2:20 p.m. ET)

Tens of thousands of people assembled on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, best known as the venue for the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

Organizers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and King's son, Martin Luther King III, had hoped to attract 100,000 people to attend Saturday's events leading up the official Aug. 28 anniversary.

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Digital Life
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Trading Domain Names For A Day With The Candidates

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last month, Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes declared she'll run against minority leader, Mitch McConnell for the U.S. Senate.

ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES: ...Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

SIMON: Her candidacy had been rumored for months. The obvious Web domain name, Grimesforsenate.com, had already been purchased. But not by the Grimes' campaign. By a man who's a kind of political hobbyist.

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Law
3:31 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:32 am

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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Education
3:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Is This The Beginning Of Obama Unbound?

President Obama speaks at a town hall-style meeting at SUNY Binghamton on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?

That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Announces His Resignation

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:19 pm

Embattled Mayor Bob Filner on Friday announced that he would step down at the end of the month following allegations by more than a dozen women that he sexually harassed them.

With equal measures of remorse and defiance, Filner, speaking before the City Council, apologized to his supporters and to "all the women I have offended."

"I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or personal space," he said.

"I never had any intention to be a mayor who went out this way," he said.

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Race
10:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

What Do Asian-Americans Owe The Civil Rights Movement?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.

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Education
10:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Class Of Dreams: Students Take On Dr. King's Legacy

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Many thousands of people are expected to attend a commemoration of the March on Washington this weekend. It's the 50th anniversary of the iconic moment in civil rights history when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Coming up, we'll talk to one writer who explains how Asian-Americans have benefited from the struggle for civil rights of African-Americans.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Book News: This Town, That Town. A Squabble Worthy Of Washington

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

N.B. — Book News is going on vacation next week. Your faithful correspondent will be in California sans laptop and praying that Jonathan Franzen doesn't choose this week to reignite any feuds with daytime talk show hosts. In the meantime, as always, leave your hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions in the comments section or direct them to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

For Democrats, Scranton Is The New 'It' City

The audience listens as President Obama speaks at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa., on Nov. 30, 2011.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:14 am

For most people, Scranton isn't high on their lists of must-see places. Most people know the struggling Pennsylvania city, if at all, as the nondescript setting for the television comedy The Office.

But politicians can't get enough of the place.

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Politics
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Takes To The Road To Push College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on a two-day back-to-school bus tour. He's holding a town hall meeting today at the State University in Binghamton, New York. Later he'll visit a community college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president is pushing his plan to make college education more affordable. NPR's Scott Horsley is along for the ride. He reports that the bus tour has the president in one of his comfort zones.

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Health Care
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obamacare To Force Millions To Upgrade Insurance

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Despite promises by President Obama that people can keep the insurance they have once Obamacare is in full effect, millions will have to upgrade their policies to meet the benefit standards laid out by the Affordable Care Act. The measure will be in full swing this January.

The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Files Voter Discrimination Suit Against Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Attorney General Eric Holder was "wrong to mess with Texas."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:50 pm

The Justice Department has filed suit against Texas under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the state requirement for voter identification discriminates against minorities.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour

President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.

The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu August 22, 2013

President Unveils Plan To Boost College Affordability

President Obama speaks on education at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:25 pm

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Speculation Builds That San Diego Mayor Is On His Way Out

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D).
Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:50 pm

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. 'Tentative Agreement':

The law firm that has helped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner navigate the accusations of sexual harassment, says he and representatives of the city have "reached a tentative agreement," but declined to elaborate:

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Around the Nation
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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It's All Politics
12:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Future Historians: Good Luck Sifting Through Obama Video

President Obama is seen on a video camera as he delivers a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2010. In addition to footage of official events, the White House now has thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes video that it will archive.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Gender Gap Doesn't Budge In Virginia Governor's Race

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, (left), is trailing Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe (right) among female voters.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 5:05 pm

Here's one takeaway from a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday: Republicans have their hands full if they hope to close the gender gap in the Virginia governor's race.

The poll of likely voters reports that Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 6-percentage-point overall lead in his contest with Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

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Politics
9:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Shaking Up The Grand Old Party

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Efforts Continue To Remove San Diego Mayor From Office

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are alarming reports from Syria this morning of a chemical weapons attack near the capital. Syrian opposition activists say government forces have killed hundreds of people in air raids and shelling on rebel neighborhoods close to Damascus and a sizeable number of people, they claim, have died from poison gas. Those claims have not been confirmed and the Syrian government has strongly denied the accusations.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Fla. Balks At Insurance Navigators As Obamacare Deadline Nears

The federal government has awarded about $67 million in grants to groups around the country that will help people shop for health coverage. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the guidelines for these so-called navigators are inadequate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 8:02 pm

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

A Defense For Ted Cruz: Founders Weren't U.S. Born Either

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 10.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:54 pm

If Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) really wanted to put some positive spin on his birth in Canada, he could point out that none of the first seven presidents were born in the United States either.

Of course, that was because the U.S. didn't exist when presidents from George Washington through Andrew Jackson were born. They were all technically British subjects at birth. Martin Van Buren, born in 1782 in Kinderhook, N.Y., was the first president actually born in the U.S.

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National Security
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Patriot Act Architect Criticizes NSA's Data Collection

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On this side of the Atlantic, the debate over the Snowden leaks and the NSA data sweeps have revealed renewed civil liberties concerns and criticism of the Patriot Act. A key provision of the act known as Section 215 allows investigators to seek business records or, quote, "any tangible things as long as they are relevant to a counter terror investigation." It's a mile-wide definition and the legal foundation that the Obama administration has used to justify its mass collection of Americans' phone logs.

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Code Switch
9:29 am
Tue August 20, 2013

The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons)

The immigration activists known as the Dream 9 were arrested after attempting to re-enter the United States.
Samantha Sais AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 2:11 pm

The national conversation around immigration has shifted dramatically over the past decade. That's in large part because of activists who have pushed to change the narrative around the undocumented.

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It's All Politics
9:05 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Obama's College-Cost Tour Is A Chance To Get Past Climbing Walls

The climbing wall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Such amenities have been cited as evidence of wasteful spending on college campuses.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:34 am

President Obama, back from his vacation, is scheduled to address the college affordability crisis in a campaign-style bus tour that will take him to New York and Pennsylvania.

The tour, which takes place Thursday and Friday, is part of the president's overarching effort to highlight his agenda for middle-class Americans and to raise pressure on congressional Republicans to act on his second-term priorities.

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Politics
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Heritage Foundation Rallies Support To Defund Obamacare

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:39 am

The Heritage Foundation and its political activist arm Heritage Action are turning to the town hall format to try to stop the health care law. Foundation president and former GOP senator Jim DeMint was in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Monday night as part of a nine-city defund Obamacare tour.

The Two-Way
12:25 am
Tue August 20, 2013

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz To Renounce Canadian Citizenship

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks about immigration during a march near Capitol Hill in July.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 6:41 am

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 election. But to run for president, the U.S. Constitution says a candidate must be a "natural born" U.S. citizen; it doesn't mention dual citizenship.

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Education
9:58 am
Mon August 19, 2013

California Upends School Funding To Give Poor Kids A Boost

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in June, in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, California schools will receive an additional $3.6 billion this year, with much of it targeted to the neediest students.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

As the school year begins, districts in cities such as Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree.

But they might soon.

California has revamped its school funding formula in ways that will send billions more dollars to districts that educate large numbers of children who are poor, disabled in some way or still learning to speak English.

It's an approach that numerous other states, from New York to Hawaii, have looked into lately. But none has matched the scale of the change now underway in the nation's largest state.

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