Politics

Around the Nation
3:17 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Presidents Overlook Differences At Bush Center Opening

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The president's appearance at that memorial service came on the same day he joined with all his living predecessors. He met with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, whose presidential library was dedicated in Texas.

A photograph, sent out on Twitter incidentally, by former President Clinton, shows the five men in a circle, chatting. Three Democrats joined two Republicans on a day when political differences were overlooked.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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Planet Money
1:02 am
Fri April 26, 2013

The Lollipop War

Spangler Candy via Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

I recently got a tour of the Spangler Candy Co., a family-owned firm in Bryan, Ohio. The company makes 10 million Dum Dums lollipops there every day, and it has a whole separate building where it stores the sugar — enough to fill eight Olympic-size swimming pools.

The CEO, Kirk Vashaw, says he wants to expand the factory and make even more candy there. There's just one thing he needs.

"Let us buy sugar on the free market," he says.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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Politics
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Sen. Corker Calls On U.S. To 'Step Up' Efforts In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker is the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and joins us now. Welcome to the program, Senator.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: Glad to be with you.

SIEGEL: You said in light of what the White House said today, we should step up our efforts. What does that mean, we should step up our efforts in Syria?

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It's All Politics
11:08 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Why The Bush Library Won't Make History

Former President George W. Bush speaks alongside former first lady Laura Bush during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday in Dallas.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:50 am

Will history judge George W. Bush more kindly than his contemporaries have?

The man himself seems fairly indifferent.

"I don't think he really cares much at all, to be honest with you," says Kevin Sullivan, who served as White House communications director during Bush's second term. "I think he cares very little about where his approval rating stands today, compared to 2005 or 2008."

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu April 25, 2013

At Bush Library Dedication, Bipartisan Praise

President Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Thursday in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million photographs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:00 am

Four presidents praised another member of their exclusive club Thursday at the dedication of the George W. Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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Africa
10:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Mo Ibrahim: The 'Bill Gates Of Africa'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we learn from people who've made a difference through their work.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'We've Had Enough Bushes,' Says Former First Lady Barbara

Former first lady Barbara Bush in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:48 am

Thanks, mom.

On the day her son George's presidential library is being dedicated in Dallas, former first lady Barbara Bush has told NBC's Today show that "we've had enough Bushes" when it comes to seeing the presidency.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu April 25, 2013

5 Presidents Set To Help Dedicate George W. Bush's Library

Statues of former Presidents George W. Bush (left) and his father, George H.W. Bush, stand at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus in Dallas, where the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated Thursday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:14 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Former first lady Laura Bush talks with NPR's David Greene

We're due for one of those rare moments Thursday morning when the current president and all of his living predecessors will be together.

The occasion: The dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are due to be there along with, of course, George W. Bush.

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National Security
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Should Air Traffic Controllers Be Included In Furloughs?

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Panel Examines Government Loan To Fisker Automotive

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.

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Business
1:32 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Shifting Retail Landscape Tilts Support For Online Sales Tax

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. (left), leads a news conference about the Marketplace Fairness Act on Tuesday. The legislation would provide states with the authority to require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit taxes on purchases shipped into the states.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

The U.S. Senate may vote this week on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers. And as the political and retail landscape has shifted from the last time around, the Senate is expected to approve the measure.

The proposal to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax has been kicked around for many years. For a decade, Amazon was a fierce opponent.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Meaning of Boston: Depends On Your Angle, Literally

Signatures and messages adorn a Boston Marathon poster on Tuesday near the site of the April 15 bombings.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:31 pm

The opportunistic political sentiment of never letting a crisis go to waste (see: Rahm Emanuel, among others) has been reframed since the Boston bombings by those seizing on the attack as certain evidence of their positions.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Once Under Wraps, Supreme Court Audio Trove Now Online

People line up to enter the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. All of the court's archived audio, dating back to 1955, has now been digitized for public access online.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the final cases of the term, which began last October and is expected to end in late June after high-profile rulings on gay marriage, affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act.

Audio from Wednesday's arguments will be available at week's end at the court's website, but that's a relatively new development at an institution that has historically been somewhat shuttered from public view.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Giffords Group's Radio Ads Hit McConnell, Ayotte On Gun Vote

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, at an April 16 ceremony naming a Capitol Hill conference room for her aide Gabe Zimmerman. Zimmerman died in the same Tucson, Ariz., shootings that Giffords wounded.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

After the Senate failed to pass bipartisan legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases, the superPAC created by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, onetime astronaut Mark Kelly, vowed to remind voters of which lawmakers voted against the plan.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:07 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Boston Response Praised, But Intelligence-Sharing Questioned

First responders aid injured people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the bombing on April 15.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

In the days since the Boston Marathon bombings, local law enforcement officials have been given high marks for their response to the attack and the coordination among numerous federal, state and local agencies involved.

But at the same time, questions are being raised about the coordination among federal agencies handling intelligence they had about the suspects in the months before the attack.

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

How Obama's Response To Terrorism Has Shifted

President Obama makes a statement in the White House briefing room just a few hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

President Obama's time in office has not been defined by terrorism as President George W. Bush's was. Yet incidents like the one in Boston have been a regular, painful through line of his presidency.

When a new administration walks into the White House, nobody provides a handbook on how to respond to a terrorist attack. So the Obama administration has been on a steady learning curve.

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It's All Politics
2:12 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Rand Paul Elaborates: Armed Drones Not OK For 'Normal Crime'

Remember when Rand Paul held the Senate floor for 13 hours last month because of his concern that President Obama would use drones to target alleged terrorists on American soil?

That concern, apparently, does not always extend to alleged common criminals on American soil.

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Politics
12:13 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

When Conscience Conflicts With Constituents

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Sanford trails in South Carolina, the Democrats get it on in Massachusetts, and the lady from Maine scoffs at sequestration. It's Wednesday and time for a...

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: Manufactured crisis...

CONAN: 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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Politics
11:31 am
Wed April 24, 2013

How About You Be The Decider

A portion of an exhibit is shown in the museum area at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas on April 16. The George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the library, museum and policy institute, will be dedicated Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Benny Snyder AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 3:37 pm

You think you're so smart. You think it's easy being the president of the United States. OK, pal — here's your chance.

One of the attractions of the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas — scheduled to be dedicated on Thursday — is Decision Points Theater, an interactive experience. The venue allows visitors to participate in a simplified simulation of the presidential decision-making process.

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Religion
10:01 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Muslims On Boston Bombings: We're All Disgusted

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will meet one of this country's most influential tech executives. We'll also hear about his very interesting personal story about how he rose from humble beginnings in Mexico to become one of this country's top leaders in high tech. That's later in the program.

But, first, we want to continue our conversation with three thoughtful Muslim Americans in the wake of the attack on the Boston Marathon and the news that two of the suspects were indeed Muslim.

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Religion
10:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Muslim Family Values

Many Muslim people were hoping the Boston bombers didn't share their religion. However, the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is indeed Muslim, according to family members. Host Michel Martin speaks to Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds about the conversations they're having at dinner tables and in their neighborhoods.

Politics
4:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Lawmakers Want To Avoid Drone Strike Abuses

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:20 am

A Senate committee has held the fist public hearing on the use of drones. Lawmakers say they want to establish some ground rules for deadly drone strikes to prevent abuses.

Around the Nation
4:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Online Shoppers Brace For Sales Tax Measure

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:20 am

The U.S. Senate is poised to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act that allows states to collect taxes from out-of-state merchants. Tax policy experts say this long-sought bill brings fairness to the tax system and much needed money to state and local governments. But small online sellers are incensed at what they see as a new tax burden.

Politics
4:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

What's Next In The Gun Control Debate?

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:20 am

Gun-control groups are regrouping after a bill to tighten background checks for gun sales failed to overcome a filibuster last week in the Senate. The failure was not only a stinging defeat for President Obama, it was also a setback for the new players in the debate.

It's All Politics
1:26 am
Wed April 24, 2013

People On Terror Watch List Not Blocked From Buying Guns

Assault weapons and hand guns for sale.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:49 am

Even al-Qaida gloats about what's possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released a video message rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.

"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn says, explaining that "you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center" and buy a gun without a background check.

Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn's face. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.

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It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Cuts Delay Flights But Not Fingerpointing

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and fellow GOP senators accused the Obama administration of creating a "manufactured crisis" by furloughing FAA air traffic controllers and causing delayed flights.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:02 am

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.

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Business
3:09 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Mont. Senator Baucus To Retire After 36 Years In Congress

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And one other piece of news from the Senate, Democrat Max Baucus is retiring. The powerful chair of the Senate Finance Committee has represented Montana since 1978. Baucus is the sixth Senate Democrat to announce he won't run for reelection in 2014. NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith has that story.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:54 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Boston Search Shines Spotlight On Surveillance Cameras

An investigator inspects the area near a surveillance camera on the roof of the Lord & Taylor store near the Boston Marathon finish line on Thursday. That camera provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly planted the bombs.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Footage from surveillance cameras along the Boston Marathon route gave the FBI early clues about the bombing suspects. And prosecutors say they'll use some of those images to try to prove their criminal case against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But the proliferation of cameras in America's big cities is raising some tricky questions about the balance between security and privacy.

It was pictures of two brothers taken by a camera outside the Lord & Taylor department store that provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon.

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