Politics

Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Two Nominations Round Out Obama's Second-Term Cabinet

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

President Obama rounded out his cabinet on Thursday by naming Chicago benefactor Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary and White House aide Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative.

Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

On Recess, Senators Get An Earful Over Failed Gun Vote

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Senators whose votes on the gun bill got attention back home have been getting an earful during the recess week, when many are back in their states.

Politics
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Nominates Campaign Fundraiser For Commerce Secretary

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Influential Chicagoan Penny Pritkzer has been tapped by President Obama to lead the Commerce Department.

News
2:39 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?

A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Steve Jessmore The Flint Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

The shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother has opened up yet another debate about gun control.

While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Picks Major Fundraiser To Be Next Commerce Secretary

Penny Pritzker, who is being nominated to be the next secretary of commerce, in February.
Nancy Stone MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:29 am

Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as The Chicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.

The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.

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Politics
8:09 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Obama Announces Commerce, Trade Nominees

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with two new cabinet appointments.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This morning, President Obama appointed Penny Pritzker to run the commerce department.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pritzker is an heiress to the Hyatt hotel empire. She also served on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and she is a long time financial backer of the president's political campaigns. Forbes ranks her as one of 300 richest Americans.

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Politics
2:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Ahead Of Obama Trip, Mexico Alters Cooperation Agreements

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Mexico's agonizing war on its drug cartels is about to change and President Obama is about to hear it personally from Mexico's new president. On a trip to Mexico that begins today, Mr. Obama will also focus on trade and economic opportunities between the two countries.

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It's All Politics
1:04 am
Thu May 2, 2013

How Will Obama Make His Case On Syria?

President Obama speaks at a news conference Tuesday. He addressed the use of chemical weapons in Syria and said he's weighing his options.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

The U.S. role in the civil war in Syria has been limited to humanitarian aid and nonlethal equipment for the rebels. But that may change with recent revelations about the use of chemical weapons.

Polls show that Americans are still not paying close attention to the conflict, but there is a reluctance to intervene — a byproduct of the experience in Iraq.

President Obama says he's weighing all options. Whatever he decides, he'll have to make a case to the U.S. public.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Taps Congressman To Oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama today announced two new heads of agencies that play key roles in the economy. He tapped former wireless and cable industry executive, Tom Wheeler, to head the Federal Communications Commission. And he's naming North Carolina Democrat and veteran Congressman Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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It's All Politics
2:19 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:33 am

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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Television
12:25 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Strategy Of Putting Politics On TV

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

Now, you've probably noticed this. Political drama is not confined to just the news on TV these days. We are in an era that is seeing a proliferation of politically themed television and other forms of streaming. And maybe you've also noticed shows like "Veep."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "VEEP")

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Vice President Selina Meyer) I'm the vice president of the United States, you stupid little (bleep).

DONVAN: And "Alpha House."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ALPHA HOUSE")

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Politics
12:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Race For South Carolina's Congressional Seat

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Mass momentum for Markey, Sanford's ears and what they can't always hear, and Obama's sequester quest for an understanding with the GOP. It is Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Trapped in a Taylor Swift album...

DONVAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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It's All Politics
10:03 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Personality Or Party? Mass. Senate Race Shows Value Of Both

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:29 am

When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.

Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Pew Study: Many Muslims Believe In Mixing Mosque And State

Faithful in Bangladesh offer Friday prayers during a street protest in the capital, Dhaka, in March.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:13 am

Most Muslims around the globe tend to be deeply committed to their faith and believe that it should shape not only their personal lives, but the societies they live in, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center (PDF).

Pew's face-to-face survey of more than 38,000 Muslims, including many in the United States, between 2008-12 produced a telling snapshot of attitudes and beliefs.

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Latin America
10:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Crosses The Border

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to spend some time today talking about relationships across borders, especially the southern border. Later, we will hear about a practice called medical repatriation that's been documented by a law school think tank. Researchers there claim that a number of hospitals around the country have been sending undocumented patients back to their home countries, even while they're unconscious, to avoid paying for expensive care.

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It's All Politics
2:06 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Markey, Gomez Vie For John Kerry's Senate Seat

Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez celebrates with supporters as he makes his way to the stage to deliver a victory speech Tuesday in Cohasset, Mass.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:51 am

Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who has been in office for 36 years, and novice Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the race to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts. They won their party primaries Tuesday in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Officials say voter turnout was light. The race for the open Senate seat has been overshadowed by the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom

President Obama answers questions during his news conference at the White House on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:03 am

On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.

While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.

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Political Junkie
3:59 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Open Democratic Senate Seats Again Give Big Opportunity For GOP, Or Not

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:34 pm

The headlines have not been especially kind to Senate Democrats lately as they, for the second consecutive cycle, head into an election with a numerical disadvantage and more open seats to defend.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
2:49 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One'

Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.

Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.

And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Defends Positions At Surprise News Conference

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

President Obama held a news conference on Tuesday, the 100th day of his second term.

Politics
2:43 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Renews Call To Close Guantanamo Amid Hunger Strike

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the hunger strike underway in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It began back in January. At first, a few dozen prisoners refused meals. Now, more than 100 of the 166 men still at the facility have joined the protest, and more than a dozen of those are being force-fed. Well today, their action drew a response from the president. As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, President Obama vowed at a news conference to try once again to close the island prison.

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The Salt
1:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

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Political Junkie
12:58 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:38 pm

An openly gay basketball player? Next thing you know, there will be openly clever ScuttleButton puzzles.

Only not this week.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday 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
10:12 am
Tue April 30, 2013

President Obama ... All Talk, No Action?

Host Michel Martin continues her conversation about the first 100 days of President Obama's second term. She turns to two Americans with different perspectives on the president's record so far. Tracey Winbush is an Assistant Treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party, and Aracely Panameno is Director of Latino Affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Politics
10:12 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Politicos Grade Obama's First 100 Days

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today marks the 100th day of President Obama's second term. At his inauguration he set up an ambitious agenda and revived his campaign theme of hope.

(SOUNDBITE OF INAUGURAL ADDRESS)

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U.S.
9:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Answers Questions On Syria, Guantanamo, More

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's talk about President Obama's news conference this morning on the 100th day of his second term. NPR's David Welna has been listening in this morning. Hi, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: The president was immediately asked about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sanford, Colbert Busch Clash In Sole Debate Before Special Election

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Advocates Honor LaHood's Time At Transportation Department

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?

It's All Politics
1:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ATF Allies Say Agency Handicapped By Lack Of Director

ATF agents search last week for evidence at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas.
Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.

Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.

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