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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:36 am
Which way the Republican Party?
In the hope of getting answers to that and other questions, many activists, party big wigs and political journalists have descended on a hotel in a Washington suburb to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, which started Thursday.
This annual CPAC gathering is the first since President Obama thwarted Republican efforts to retake the White House, a defeat of Mitt Romney that many in the GOP didn't see coming.
President Obama has been meeting this week with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to talk about long-term budget planning. On Wednesday, Obama met with House Republicans who offered mixed views on how the dialogue went.
During the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that begins Thursday, a slew of men who appear to want to try their hand at leading the GOP back to the White House in 2016 will be speaking, though not every potential presidential candidate was invited.
Yes, it's four years away, but that hasn't stopped Republican hopefuls from testing the waters. There are already polls — for whatever they're worth — of potential GOP candidates.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The lines are now starkly drawn between Republican and Democratic approaches to the nation's finances. President Obama met with House Republicans today about the budget - they released their budget plan yesterday - and in the other chamber today, Senate Democrats unveiled their proposals.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:12 pm
In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.
This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.
What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:57 pm
From the ongoing budget battle to Sen. Carl Levin's retirement announcement, NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics. NPR's Phillip Reeves provides an update from Rome as cardinals elected a new pope.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we have some dramatic stories about retirement. One, somebody who retired young, and I mean really young. And another about how even the best planned retirement can go wrong when life happens. We hope you'll find something useful in each of those conversations which is in just a few minutes.
Let's explore the state of the deficit a little more for today's bottom line in business. Yesterday, we talked about the House Republican plan to address it, after Congressman Paul Ryan released the party's proposal. Senator Patty Murray will put out the Senate Democrats' alternative soon. And then, at some point, the president will offer his plan on the deficit.
Let's bring in David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, as we do many days. Good morning.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:23 pm
As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:
Control towers at many small and medium-sized airports around the country are set to shut down next month because of the across-the-board federal budget cuts. The towers have been operated under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration.
One of the airports affected is in Latrobe, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh — the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, named after the golf great who grew up a well-placed drive from the runway. A statue of Palmer watches over the small terminal.