Politics

Politics
12:11 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The Legacy Of Watergate And The Semantics Of Scandals

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 12:34 pm

Forty years after the Senate committee hearings on the Watergate scandal, Political Junkie Ken Rudin talks with Lowell Weicker, who served on the Senate Watergate committee. Former White House speechwriters Paul Glastris and Peter Robinson talk about writing speeches amid scandal.

The Two-Way
8:58 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Public's Opinion Of George W. Bush Is Turning Positive

Former President George W. Bush and his successor, President Obama, at the April 25 dedication of Bush's library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:24 am

For the first time since 2005, when George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, the public's opinion of the former president is "more positive than negative," the pollsters at Gallup say.

Gallup says its latest polling shows:

-- 49 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the former president.

-- 46 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Bush.

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It's All Politics
7:35 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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Politics
3:05 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Obama Urges Congress Not To 'Block' Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The U.S. Senate has opened debate on a sweeping immigration bill. And President Obama says it's the best chance in years to fix what he calls a broken immigration system. The measure took a step forward yesterday when a big, bipartisan majority of senators voted to take up the bill. But it still faces serious obstacles, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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National Security
2:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Surveillance Revelations Spark Lackluster Public Discord

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

When a former IT contractor at the National Security Agency gave The Guardian U.S. government surveillance information, he told the paper that his only motivation was to spark a public debate about government surveillance.

"This is something that's not our place to decide," Edward Snowden said. "The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."

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Law
5:15 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Privacy In Retreat, A Timeline

President Bush signs the Patriot Act Bill during a ceremony in the White House East Room on Oct. 26, 2001.
Doug Mills AP

Viewed out of context, recent Washington revelations paint a disturbing portrait of the vast amount of electronic data the nation's spy agencies are collecting. But the blockbuster news stories belie a simple truth: Personal privacy rights have been under sustained assault since well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. And it's not just government that's vacuuming up information.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among the lawmakers who say they were never briefed about the government's surveillance programs.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

If you're a member of Congress and you didn't know about the National Security Agency's phone records program before it was disclosed last week, President Obama has this to say to you: Where have you been?

"When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," Obama said to reporters last Friday.

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It's All Politics
12:55 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Obama's Immigration Dilemma: Leading While Following

A White House event on Tuesday, where President Obama was aware that his support for immigration legislation could be the kiss of death.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 1:34 pm

If you want to observe one of Washington's most delicate balancing acts, look no further than President Obama's effort to assert leadership on immigration legislation without its coming to be identified as a new Obamalaw.

Because they're keenly aware of how nearly any legislative effort that becomes known as the president's baby almost immediately makes his political foes hellbent on stopping it and denying him a victory, Obama and other White House officials have been committed to letting Congress take the lead on major legislation like immigration reform.

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Political Junkie
10:34 am
Tue June 11, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 2:16 pm

The sad thing about this week's ScuttleButton puzzle is that Edward Snowden has already revealed the answer.

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National Security
9:53 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Can Privacy And Security Go Hand In Hand?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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National Security
3:33 am
Tue June 11, 2013

As Government Surveillance Powers Grow, Privacy Is Redefined

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Since the events of 9/11, the public has had several glimpses into the government's growing surveillance powers. But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the resulting scandals and the losses appear to have done little to roll back that surveillance.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: The first real case of surveillance blowback came as early as 2002.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DANIEL SCHORR: The most far-reaching plan yet for domestic snooping is being researched in the Pentagon. It is called Total Information Awareness, TIA.

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National Security
3:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Will Surveillance Disclosure Lead To More Oversight Of NSA?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The recent leaks revealing the extent of the National Security Agency surveillance programs came as news to many people. But some members of Congress have been warning for years that such surveillance could threaten the privacy of average Americans.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports that in the end, it was Congress that decided not to disclose details about these programs to the public.

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Law
3:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Feds Buckle On Emergency Contraception Age Restrictions

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The morning after pill is moving from behind the counter to on the shelf. Last night, the Obama administration announced it will comply with a court order that allows girls and women of any age to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription and without showing ID.

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Politics
1:18 am
Tue June 11, 2013

How The Senate Farm Bill Would Change Subsidies

Third-generation Oklahoma farmer Scott Neufeld says crop insurance is important to his family's business.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 1:40 pm

The Senate voted Monday to approve its version of the farm bill, a massive spending measure that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets the nation's farm policy for the next five years.

The centerpiece of that policy is an expanded crop insurance program, designed to protect farmers from losses, that some say amounts to a highly subsidized gift to agribusiness. That debate is set to continue as the House plans to take up its version of the bill this month.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Gauge Public Mood On NSA And Leaker

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Edward Snowden in New York's Union Square Park, on Monday. Snowden, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:17 pm

When it comes to secrets leaker Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency's phone records and Internet snooping, some in Congress face a dilemma.

Namely, how to read public opinion.

Speaking off the record, aides for Republican and Democratic House lawmakers told me they are getting constituent calls on both sides: from those urging that Snowden not be prosecuted and those insisting he should be.

An aide for one congressman told me her boss's staff was holding off on issuing a statement until it had the chance to further gauge the voters' mood.

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All Tech Considered
5:21 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

When It Comes To Online Privacy, A Disconnect For The Young

Is there a generational divide on privacy?
Anna Zielinska iStockphoto.com

Are you old enough to remember privacy?

Teens and even young adults have grown up in an environment where sharing information about themselves online is not just encouraged but expected.

Yet there's a disconnect between the attitudes young people express about online privacy and their actual behavior.

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The Salt
2:17 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

A Senate Catfight Over Catfish

These funny mustachioed fish are at the center of a farm bill fight in the House and Senate.
Sasha Radosavljevic iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:15 pm

The farm bill is expected to pass in the Senate on Monday night. And to the dismay of some, it likely won't include an amendment that would have eliminated a controversial program to keep a closer eye on a food product you probably weren't even worried about: catfish.

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It's All Politics
12:39 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Partisan Feuds Roll On In IRS Investigation

It would be a vast understatement to say that Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (right) of California and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland don't see eye to eye on the IRS scandal's latest development.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:09 pm

It looks like things may be getting even uglier than usual over in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The panel now headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has long been a place to watch partisan tempers fly.

But the assertion by the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, that the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups should be closed appears to have only escalated the bad feelings that already existed.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Mon June 10, 2013

With Nod To 'Texts From Hillary' Guys, Clinton Joins Twitter

Will some of her tweets be as funny as the made-up "texts from Hillary?"
@HillaryClinton

"Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe - I'll take it from here... #tweetsfromhillary"

With that bit of social media swagger on Monday, @HillaryClinton joined Twitter.

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Politics
9:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

How Serious Is The NSA Data Leak?

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon June 10, 2013

No Decisions Yet On The Most-Anticipated Supreme Court Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene during a U.S. Supreme Court hearing earlier this year.
Art Lien Reuters / Landov

There's no big news again today from the U.S. Supreme Court — which is sort-of big news in itself because it means we're still waiting for the justices' decisions on these major cases:

-- Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:48 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Same-Sex Couple Seeks Immigration Relief From High Court

Kelly Costello, 31, (left) and her wife, Fabiola Morales, 39, walk their 4-year-old dog, Blue Elizabeth, around their neighborhood in Potomac, Md. The two have been married since 2012.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:19 am

The Sunday morning party in suburban Washington, D.C., had all the trappings of anticipation.

A lace-trimmed bassinet, a jumble of gifts tied with pink and blue ribbons, a "diaper cake" on the table. And chatter about babies, diets, new spring outfits and the coming end of the school year.

But for Sue Costello, the grandmother-in-waiting, the happy cacophony of the baby shower masked an abiding anxiety about the future of her daughter's family and the twins — a boy and a girl — who are due before June's end.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Democrat: IRS Manager Denies Targeting Of Conservative Groups

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings during a Capitol Hill hearing last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

A self-described conservative Republican who oversees IRS screeners dealing with non-profit groups has told lawmakers that he doesn't think the White House played a role in stonewalling "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups, according to the ranking Democrat on the committee investigating the matter.

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Politics
1:31 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Our Surveillance Society: What Orwell And Kafka Might Say

News about data collection by the government sounds uncomfortably like prophetic novels of the past.
Alex Williamson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 11:48 am

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Newark Mayor To Run For New Jersey's Open U.S. Senate Seat

Newark Mayor Cory Booker at a news conference last week.
Julio Cortez Associated Press

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:49 pm

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday he would run to finish the late Frank Lautenberg's term in the U.S. Senate.

Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, has served as mayor since 2006 and is Newark's third black mayor. He is hoping to claim Lautenberg's seat, which has been filled by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa until a special election in October.

He made the announcement at a Saturday event in which he was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

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National Security
9:30 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Watchdog Agency Could Keep NSA In Check, Once It Gets Going

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

On Friday, President Obama defended the two NSA surveillance programs that were leaked to the news media this week.

One program collects the general public's phone records, the other allegedly gives the government backdoor access to Internet services such as Google and Facebook.

Obama said the programs "strike the right balance," but that's done little to reassure those who think government surveillance has become too broad.

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It's All Politics
6:35 am
Sat June 8, 2013

The Best Way To Scare A Politician

A sign posted at the entrance of Paradise Firearms in Colorado Springs invites customers to sign a recall petition against Colorado Democratic State Senate President John Morse.
Ed Andrieski AP

John Morse isn't bogged down in personal scandal. The Democratic president of the Colorado Senate isn't accused of ethical improprieties or anything else that might directly violate his oath of office.

But by pushing a sweeping gun-control measure he's alienated a swath of voters who are determined to toss him out of office before his term ends.

On Monday, groups opposing restrictions on guns turned in twice as many signatures as they needed to trigger a recall election against Morse. A recall of another state senator appears likely.

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News
3:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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It's All Politics
3:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

WWII Vets Have All But Vanished From The Halls Of Congress

Military pallbearers carry the coffin of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg into the Senate chamber on Thursday. He was the only remaining World War II veteran in the Senate.
Douglas Graham AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

Sen. Frank Lautenberg was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. There was a steady rain. Soldiers fired rifle volleys, a bugler played taps and mourners paid their final respects.

The New Jersey Democrat was 89 when he died this week — and his death marked a somber milestone.

For the first time since the end of World War II, there are no veterans of that war in the U.S. Senate. Lautenberg had been the only one remaining.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Despite Assurances, Civil Libertarians Blast NSA Programs

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama was at pains today to defend the National Security Agency programs that were uncovered this week by The Guardian and The Washington Post. He said nobody is listening to your telephone calls and he assured the country that these intelligence efforts come with strict government oversight.

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