Politics

It's All Politics
12:56 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Immigration Overhaul 'Feels Unstoppable Now,' Backers Say

Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:22 pm

Thousands of supporters will descend on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to call for legislation that creates a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Sound familiar?

But this time, unlike in 2007 and 2010 when immigration legislation died in Congress after similar demonstrations, proponents of an overhaul say politics has swung inexorably toward their side.

"I've been working on this issue for more than a decade, and it feels unstoppable now," says Ana Avendano, director of immigration and community action at the AFL-CIO.

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It's All Politics
12:44 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Blacks' Election-Day Waits Nearly Double Those Of Whites, But Why?

People stood in line to vote on Election Day 2012 at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center in Apex, N.C.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:11 pm

On Election Day 2012, black voters waited on average nearly twice as long to vote as did white voters, while the wait time for Hispanic voters fell in between those two groups.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Actor Who Played Satan Scoffs At Obama Comparison

Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani with an image of himself in character as Satan.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

"It's nonsense," Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani says of the fuss created by some conservative TV talkers who think Ouazzani was made to look as much like President Obama as he did Satan in The History Channel miniseries "The Bible."

Still, he tells The Associated Press that the notoriety is a good thing:

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Politics
9:49 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Social Security Will 'Lose Credibility' If We Do Nothing

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Louisville Cardinals capped off a dramatic journey through March Madness to take the NCAA men's crown last night. We'll look back on the men's college basketball tournament. We'll look ahead to the women's final. That conversation is just ahead.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Charges Fly In Ky. Senate Race After McConnell Tape Surfaces

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:24 am

An audio recording has surfaced of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides seeming to discuss whether they would use actress Ashley Judd's past bouts with depression against her if she challenged McConnell in 2014.

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NPR Story
2:29 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Administration Urges Europeans To Ease Austerity Measures

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama is preparing to send budget plan to Capital Hill this week and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be key in selling that plan to Congress.

Right now, Secretary Lew is on another mission: to sell European leaders on the idea of easing austerity to boost economic growth. We reached Secretary Lew in Berlin. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the program.

SECRETARY JACK LEW: Good to talk to you, David.

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Shots - Health News
12:58 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The 'Hard To Change' Legacy Of Medicare Payments

President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 may include a proposal for Medicare patients to pay more of their own medical bills.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

The budget President Obama will send to Congress Wednesday is expected to include some $400 billion in reductions to Medicare and other health programs.

And if the word around Washington is correct, it may also include a proposal aimed at winning some bipartisan backing — by changing the way Medicare patients pay for their care.

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It's All Politics
3:25 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Sequester Uncertainty Surrounds Section 8 Housing Program

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees protest mandatory federal budget cuts during a rally March 20 in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:16 pm

Last week, several media outlets and advocacy groups began circulating the same sad story: Because of sequestration, 60 low-income families in Dane County, Wis., were soon to be homeless.

But the truth is more complicated.

The story began with a blog post written in February by Dane County Housing Authority Executive Director Rob Dicke.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Changes To Obama's Social Security Proposal In GOP's Court

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama will release a new budget proposal on Wednesday. We already have some idea what will be in it and there are already protests about it from seniors and others who oppose reductions in spending for Medicare and Social Security. One flashpoint is a change in the way the government measures inflation. The switch is to something called a chained CPI or consumer price index and it would result in smaller cost of living adjustments for Social Security.

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It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Guns, Immigration And Budget On Washington's Agenda

Blooming magnolia trees are seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on Saturday. This week, President Obama is speaking out on gun control, and will release his proposal for the nation's budget.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.

Here's what's happening on key issues this week:

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Searching For The Sequester In The Middle Of Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, signs of the sequester were hard to find.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

It's been a little more than a month since the start of the sequester — the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in because Congress couldn't agree on something better.

Before it hit, there were dire and at times very specific predictions of job losses, furloughs and program cuts — many of them from the Obama administration.

Of course, it's still early. Everything you hear today about the effects of the sequester could and probably will change over the coming weeks and months.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Britain's Thatcher An Unlikely Icon For American Conservatives

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.

Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Blocked Or Breaking Through? Mixed Signals On Gun Bills

This AR-15 style weapon was on display in March at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. It's among the type of weapons that advocates of new gun laws want to see banned.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:05 am

If this is President Obama's "make-or-break week on guns," as Politico declares, then it starts with considerable confusion about where things stand regarding the likelihood of passing new gun control laws.

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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Some Gun Control Opponents Cite Fear Of Government Tyranny

Hundreds of gun owners and enthusiasts attend a rally at the Connecticut Capitol in Hartford on Jan. 19.
Rick Hartford MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:35 am

As the Senate returns from a two-week spring recess Monday, topping its agenda is legislation to try to curb the kind of gun violence that took the lives of 20 first-graders in Connecticut last December.

Recent polls show broad popular support for enhanced background checks and bans on military-style guns and ammunition. But many members of Congress side with gun-rights advocates who oppose such measures.

And those advocates are increasingly making the case that Americans need guns to fight government tyranny.

'A Fringe Idea' Goes Mainstream

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It's All Politics
1:21 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Why Politicians Want Children To Be Seen And Heard

President Obama signs a series of executive orders on gun control Jan. 16 surrounded by children who wrote letters to the White House about gun violence. They are, from left, Hinna Zeejah, Taejah Goode, Julia Stokes and Grant Fritz.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:36 pm

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Politics
2:58 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Back From Recess, Congress Preps For Gun Legislation Fight

Congress comes back from a two-week spring break on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 10:45 am

The U.S. Senate was scheduled to begin voting on gun control measures this week when Congress returns from recess, but Senate staffers say a bipartisan agreement has yet to be reached on universal background checks. That snarl may end up delaying a vote on gun legislation for another week, as lobbyists on both sides of the debate use the extra time to keep the pressure on.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Kansas Set To Enact Law Saying Life Starts At Fertilization

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Republican, watches the chamber's electronic tally board as it approves a sweeping anti-abortion bill Friday at the Statehouse in Topeka. At left is Majority Leader Jene Vickrey.
John Hanna AP

Lawmakers in Kansas passed an extensive anti-abortion measure Friday night, which Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign into law. The bill declares that life begins "at fertilization," prohibits abortions related to the baby's sex and blocks tax breaks for health care providers that perform abortions.

The House passed the bill 90-30, hours after the Senate approved it 28-10.

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It's All Politics
3:36 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Obama Riles His Own Party With Social Security Offer

President Obama prepares to depart San Francisco on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:11 pm

Few things indicate a president no longer needs to worry about re-election more than his willingness to ignite an intraparty firestorm.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

The Democrats' Final Four On Gay Marriage

In the U.S. Senate, it's down to the Final Four versus the Dynamic Duo.

Only four Democratic senators remain who do not support same-sex marriage. Across the aisle, there are now two Republicans who have announced their support.

The new alignments mean that a majority — 53 senators — now support a concept that 85 senators voted to ban in 1996 with the Defense of Marriage Act.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:12 am
Fri April 5, 2013

It's All Politics, Apr. 4, 2013

Susan Walsh AP
  • Listen to the Roundup

President Obama launches a brain mapping initiative, but he can't concentrate enough to shoot better than 2-for-22 on the basketball court during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Mark Sanford wins the GOP runoff in South Carolina and faces Stephen Colbert's sister next month. Plus, NPR's Ron Elving and health correspondent Julie Rovner on the NRA's proposal of having armed guards in schools.

The Two-Way
5:16 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Reports: Obama To Propose Cuts In Social Programs

President Obama in Denver on Wednesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:58 am

There's breaking budget news from several places this morning:

-- "President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say." (The New York Times)

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Research News
2:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Researchers Question Obama's Motives For Brain Initiative

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Earlier this week, President Obama announced his new Brain Initiative. He said he wants $100 million to explore America's next great frontier in science: Mapping the human brain, to understand how the brains neurons and circuits communicate. But now that brain specialists have had a little time to reflect, some are wondering whether the president's announcement has more to do with politics and some good PR?

Here's NPR's Daniel Zwerdling.

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It's All Politics
1:16 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Sequester Scorecard: A Month Later, Effects Still Up In Air

canceled several air shows in April and May, reportedly owing to budget cuts." href="/post/sequester-scorecard-month-later-effects-still-air" class="noexit lightbox">
The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels soar over the Florida Keys during a March 23 air show. The group has canceled several air shows in April and May, reportedly owing to budget cuts.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 8:09 am

Automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in March 1 have had little initial impact in many parts of the government. For a few programs, however, the effect has been real and painful, as the government begins cutting $85 billion from its spending through the end of September.

Many of the earliest signs of the cuts are being seen on the local level, in state programs like education that rely in part on federal dollars.

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It's All Politics
2:19 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Oregon Weighs Own Gun Measures After Mall Shooting, Newtown

Gun rights supporters rally at the Oregon Capitol in February.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Oregon state lawmakers have scheduled a marathon public hearing Friday on four gun control bills. The proposals include a ban on guns in schools and criminal background checks for private gun sales.

Opponents are lining up against the measures, but some gun control advocates say the proposals don't go far enough.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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It's All Politics
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Hunt Is On For A New FBI Director

FBI Director Robert Mueller is set to leave office this year. Whomever President Obama chooses to replace him could become a big part of Obama's legacy.
Susan Walsh AP

Robert Mueller became FBI director just days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he's been the U.S. government's indispensable man when it comes to national security.

But Mueller's term has expired, and the clock is ticking on an unprecedented extension that Congress gave him two years ago.

The first time the Obama White House thought about a replacement for Mueller, back in 2011, officials threw up their hands and wound up begging him to stay. Congress passed a special law to allow it. Then Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa put his foot down.

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The Salt
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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Around the Nation
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Villaraigosa Faulted For Not Helping Latino Politicians

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.

And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.

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Politics
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

In Colorado, Obama Pushes For Gun Control

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:38 am

President Obama was in Colorado Wednesday to highlight the state's gun control efforts as a model of what is possible for the country. Obama plans to visit Connecticut next week, to highlight that state's efforts.

It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 3:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

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