Politics & Government

Commentary
3:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Week In Politics: Florida 13 And The CIA

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the Florida special election and Sen. Feinstein's dispute with the CIA.

News
3:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

After Record Deportations, Obama May Turn To More 'Humane' Options

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:33 pm

The White House announced the president is willing to review his stance on deportations, a policy that's drawn objection from Hispanics and other groups the president depends on politically.

Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Can Congress Put An End To Annual Medicare Payment Ritual?

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after House Republicans passed a measure Friday that would overhaul the system Medicare uses to pay doctors.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 7:08 pm

Congress is still searching for money to avoid a 24 percent cut in pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

But seniors are already paying their share of the cost in premiums, as if the pay cut — scheduled to kick in on April 1 — won't happen.

Seniors' premiums cover 25 percent of their Medicare Part B outpatient services, including doctor visits, outpatient lab tests and hospital visits, medical equipment and home health care.

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TED Radio Hour
8:38 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Is The Law Making Us Less Free?

"We need to rewrite and radically simplify and re-humanize the structure of public law in our society." —Philip K. Howard
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 1:32 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Philip K. Howard's TED Talk

Lawyer Philip K. Howard says the U.S. has become a legal minefield — especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of lawsuits.

About Philip K. Howard

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Economy
4:03 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Senators Agree To Compromise Extending Jobless Benefits

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:27 am

Negotiators in the Senate reached a bi-partisan deal to extend unemployment benefits for 5 months, retroactive to the end of last year. A full Senate vote isn't expected until later this month.

The Salt
6:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 12:41 pm

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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Governor-Pay Raise
4:41 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Ala. Legislature Has Governor Blocked On Pay Raise

Gov. Robert Bentley may have no way to give education employees the 2 percent pay raise he has recommended.
Credit yellowhammernews.com

Gov. Robert Bentley may have no way to give education employees the 2 percent pay raise he has recommended.

Bentley recommended a 2 percent raise at the start of the legislative session. The Senate reduced Bentley's pay raise bill to a one-time bonus of 1 percent. That bill stalled in the House budget committee Wednesday. Bentley said Thursday he needs a pay raise bill of some type to amend the amount to 2 percent. He said he can't enact a raise by adding language to the state education budget.

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Payday Loans
4:38 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Alabama House Approves Payday Loan Database

The Alabama House of Representatives has voted to create a state database to enforce existing limits on payday loans.
Credit Jason Comely / Flickr

The Alabama House of Representatives has voted to create a state database to enforce existing limits on payday loans.

Representatives approved the bill on a 93-1 vote Thursday morning. It now moves to the Alabama Senate.

Birmingham Rep. Patricia Todd called the creation of the database a good first step in the regulation of the payday loan industry.

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U.S.
3:47 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Where Does The U.S. Stand On Secessionist Movements Abroad?

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Crimea isn't the only region in Europe with cessation on its agenda. There's a referendum planned this fall in Catalonia. That's the Mediterranean coastal region of northeastern Spain that includes Barcelona. And the Scots are weighing independence from the United Kingdom. A few years ago in Africa, South Sudan became independent of Sudan, and before that, of course, the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia involved various declarations of independence, not all of them well received by the former power.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Will Democrats Change Their Health Law Message After Florida Loss?

Democrats may have lost the battle in a Florida special election, which Republican Rep. David Jolly (right) won and in which the Affordable Care Act figured prominently. But they don't think they have lost the health-law messaging war.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:35 am

Congressional Democrats' messaging on the Affordable Care Act obviously didn't work as they had hoped in the Florida special election for a vacant House seat, since Republican David Jolly won the Tuesday vote.

But does that mean Democrats should abandon the "fix it, don't nix" it message delivered by Democrat Alex Sink, who narrowly lost a race that Republicans sought to nationalize and turn into a referendum on the health law?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., certainly isn't saying so.

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

New Climate For Drug Sentencing, Guidelines Expected To Change

In remarks last year to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed what he characterized as harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:27 pm

The nation's highest law enforcement official Thursday endorsed the "All Drugs Minus Two" proposal — as it's known by prison sentencing reformers — to change the way drug crime sentences are handed down.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama: If You 'Work More, You Should Get Paid More'

President Obama signs a memorandum for overtime protections for workers, at the White House on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:50 pm

Flanked by a cadre of salaried workers, President Obama signed a memo directing his labor secretary to rewrite the rules governing overtime in the country.

"Americans have spent too much time working more and making less," Obama said during comments preceding the signing ceremony.

Obama's proposal would rewrite a commonly used exemption in which a salaried worker designated as "executive, administrative and professional" is denied overtime if he or she is making more than $455 a week.

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Politics & Government
12:54 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Alabama Voter IDs Available at Mobile Sites

Vox Efx Flickr

The Alabama secretary of state's office is planning to have staff traveling the state starting Monday to provide photo IDs to voters who need them for the upcoming elections.

Secretary of State Jim Bennett says the mobile site visits are in addition to the IDs being available in his Montgomery office and at county boards of registrars.

The visits will take about two months. They begin Monday in Alberta and Waterloo. Tuesday's schedule includes Maplesville, Thorsby and Athens. The tour wraps up May 12 in Hoover.

It's All Politics
12:18 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (from left), Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., met on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Mike Theiler UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 12:38 pm

With members of the House and Senate scrapping over a Ukraine aid bill, Republicans say a magic bullet could break the logjam.

It has nothing to do with the former Soviet republic, its ability to withstand Russia's military intervention in Crimea, or this weekend's referendum in the Ukrainian territory.

It has everything to do with conservatives' fury at the IRS, which they say has waged a partisan, and unconstitutional, war against President Obama's opponents.

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It's All Politics
11:28 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew Dies At 85

This Dec. 16, 1999, file photo shows former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew in Tallahassee, Fla. Askew, who guided the state through a period of school busing to achieve integration in the 1970s, died early Thursday at 85.
Mark Foley AP

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who supported racial equality and tax reform during his two terms in the 1970s, died early Thursday aged 85.

The Associated Press says Ron Sachs, a former aide, confirmed that Askew died surrounded by family members at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.

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