Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.
President Obama's trip to Israel presents all sorts of diplomatic difficulties, as we've heard. And there are plenty of logistical challenges too. That's a job for the White House advance team, responsible for planning and executing every scheduling and security detail of the president's trips at home and abroad, down to the minute.
Spencer Geissinger served eight years as President George W. Bush's advance man. His travels took him to over 98 foreign countries. He gave us a sense of what the work entails.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jacki Lyden.
As we just heard, longtime Republican Senator Rob Portman's position on gay marriage has evolved. Of course, gay marriage is one of the social issues that was front and center at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, otherwise known as CPAC. It's the annual gathering of the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea has been at CPAC, and he joins me now. Hi there, Don.
Members of the college group Young Americans for Freedom roll up Ronald Reagan posters to hand out at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. on Friday.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday. The Tea Party favorite won a presidential straw poll at the annual event on Saturday.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:39 pm
Conservative activists chose Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as their pick to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
As The Associated Press notes, "the win offers little more than bragging rights for Paul, who is popular with the younger generation of libertarian-minded conservatives who packed the conference."
When Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Friday became the latest conservative politician to announce his support for same-sex marriage, he disclosed that his son, Will, a junior at Yale University, had told him two years ago that he is gay; and that love and admiration for his son had moved the senator to reflect — and change.
When Mr. Portman was in the House of Representatives, he co-sponsored a 1996 law to prevent same-sex marriage.
The keynote speaker at Saturday night's closing session of the Conservative Political Action Conference is a 42-year-old Texan who's been a U.S. senator since January.
In that short time, Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz has already made a mark — and in doing so, he's simply ignored a tradition of new senators being seen, not heard. Cruz's sharp elbows have some colleagues wincing and others hoping he'll run for president.
Sarah Brady has worked for tougher gun laws for decades. Her husband, Jim Brady, was shot in the head by John Hinckley when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Jim Brady was President Reagan's press secretary and has lived with a disability ever since. The Bradys founded the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked to pass a law that now bears their name, the Brady Bill.
And Sarah Brady joins us from her home in Virginia. Ms. Brady, thanks very for being with us.
Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, announced today that he's reversing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Portman's op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch makes him the first GOP senator to publicly support gay marriage. He said he made the switch because of a personal family experience. Portman's college-age son told his family in 2011 that he is gay.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Mitt Romney returned to the national stage today. At the CPAC convention just outside Washington, D.C. Romney gave his first political speech since losing the presidential election. His audience was a group of conservative activists and as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, they gave Romney an effusive reception.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:42 pm
It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 3:58 am
And the Bushes just keep on coming.
In recent memory, there was George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States. Then there was George W. Bush, 43rd president. And now there's John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, who may want to become the 45th president.
Jeb is sending mixed signals: Tonight he is a keynote speaker at a Conservative Political Action Conference dinner, but he has asked that his name be removed from CPAC's 2016 presidential straw poll.
Does Jeb have what it takes to be the next president of the United States?
That's one of the questions being debated as Republicans — like all parties that have lost a national election — plot their comeback.
Some think they need to take a new tack on issues such as immigration in order to appeal to changing times and demographic changes. Others believe that the GOP's core conservative principles are still political winners, if delivered in a more convincing manner than was the case during last year's presidential race.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you might've been following the long debate over whether this country locks up too many people for too little reason and for too long. It turns out something else interesting is happening that you might not heard about - the racial breakdown of the prison population is changing. More white people, especially more white women, are getting locked up. And we'll find out more about that in a few minutes.
The white smoke has appeared and that can mean only one thing: the new edition of the It's All Politics podcast with NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving is ready. It also means that there's no budget deal in Congress, that the annual Conservative Political Action Conference is underway and that Carl Levin has decided that 36 years in the Senate is enough.
Last year, a federal program called the Earned Income Tax Credit took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to the working poor. And here's the surprising thing: This redistribution of wealth has been embraced by every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.
"This program worked," says Richard Burkhauser, an economist at Cornell University and the American Enterprise Institute. "And there's not a hell of a lot of these programs where you can see the tremendous change in the behavior of people in exactly the way that all of us hoped it would happen."
The Conservative Political Action Conference is drawing a huge crowd of politicians, activists and Republican presidential hopefuls, all looking to break the Republican Party's recent string of presidential election losses. It kicked off Thursday with speeches by two young senators interested in the White House — Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Winning over young voters is one of the biggest challenges facing conservatives. At this year's CPAC, there's an extra push to counter the advantage Democrats have enjoyed with voters under 30 in the past two presidential elections.
Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in which the justices unanimously ruled that defendants facing substantial jail time deserved legal representation in state courts, even if they couldn't afford to pay for it.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 4:55 pm
The next Republican presidential primary is so far off that some of those attending the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday could be spotted wearing stickers for two potential candidates: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.
While Republicans are trying to bridge their differences, Democrats find themselves broadly united behind the president's second term agenda. That doesn't mean the work will automatically get done, however, so as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, some of Obama's biggest supporters are meeting in Washington to turn the president's campaign momentum into policy.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the nation's capitol, today is a day to talk about future agendas. For Democrats, it's about the second Obama term; for conservatives, it's the future of the Republican Party. We'll hear about both in the next few minutes, beginning with CPAC - that's the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that opened today.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:03 am
The late Raymond Telles may not be a household name, but he was a trailblazer for Latinos in politics; he was the first Latino elected mayor of El Paso, Texas and later became a U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. Host Michel Martin looks back on Ambassador Telles' life with former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros.