Politics & Government

The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House GOP Picks McCarthy For Majority Leader; Scalise Gets Whip

Kevin McCarthy of Calif. arrives with his GOP House allies for leadership elections on Thursday. McCarthy won his bid to replace outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor as the party's majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:14 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month. Louisiana's Rep. Steve Scalise has been selected to fill the majority whip post left vacant by McCarthy's promotion.

McCarthy defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Accused Of Illegal Fundraising

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks in Milwaukee in May. Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Prosecutors believe that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups in violation of state law.

The Associated Press reports that "documents were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. They were ordered publicly released Thursday by a federal appeals court judge after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object."

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq — but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

As More Latinos Drop Religion, Should GOP Be Extra Worried?

Catching up with a national trend, more Hispanics say they are not affiliated with a particular religion — a shift that could make the gap between Latinos and Republicans even wider.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:07 pm

A big deal has been made about the Republican Party's so-called Hispanic problem during recent U.S. election cycles. But there's another group — largely white and male — that has also struggled to increase the number of Latinos in its ranks: America's religiously unaffiliated. Until recently, that is.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:43 am

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Only 7 Percent Of Americans Are Big Fans Of Congress

Only 7 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

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Politics & Government
6:32 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Alabama DHR Gets $1.7 M Kellogg Grant

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $1.7 million grant to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Gov. Robert Bentley says the department will use to grant to provide education and training for staff in day care centers and to improve child care services. A department spokesman says the grant will strengthen DHR's Quality Rating and Improvement System, which is being implemented in 150 day care centers across the state. DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner says one goal is to increase the number of low-income children in high-quality day care programs.

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It's All Politics
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

NPR Poll: In Senate Battleground States, Obama Ratings Lag

NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

In the key battleground states that will decide control of the Senate this November, President Obama's approval numbers are lower than they are nationally — but not much lower.

That's the key finding in a new poll, conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, that sampled likely voters for NPR.

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NPR Story
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Speechwriters Deliberately Use Rhythm To Help Make Their Point

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:50 am

President Obama's biggest speeches have a musicality to them. That's not an accident. His speechwriters obsess over rhythm and cadence.

Politics
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Rep. McCarthy, Possible Cantor Successor, Walks Fine Line On Immigration

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:50 am

House Republicans are to pick a new majority leader Thursday, following Eric Cantor's primary defeat. The favorite is Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, whose district is more than a third Latino.

It's All Politics
6:25 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq's Meltdown Troubles U.S. Political Waters

Before talking about the situation in Iraq, President Obama bantered with (from left to right) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Iraq has a long history of roiling American politics. And that doesn't appear about to change anytime soon.

With the Shiite-led Iraqi government losing control of large parts of its country to the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS, the question of who lost Iraq is starting to reverberate through Washington the way "who lost Vietnam" and "who lost China" did in earlier eras.

That all of this is happening during a midterm election stirs even more politics into the mix than if the current violence and ISIS inroads had occurred last year.

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Casino Raid
4:31 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Alabama AG Gets New Expert For Casino Trial

Attorney General Luther Strange's office notified a Montgomery judge that it will use former FBI agent Bill Holmes of Annandale, Virginia, to testify in a trial involving VictoryLand casino in Shorter.

Alabama's attorney general has selected a new gambling expert to replace one who died.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office notified a Montgomery judge that it will use former FBI agent Bill Holmes of Annandale, Virginia, to testify in a trial involving VictoryLand casino in Shorter. Holmes spent 20 years with the FBI, mostly working on gambling cases.

The attorney general's office had used New Jersey gambling expert Bob Sertell as an expert witness for more than a decade, but he died May 6.

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Catholic Broadcaster-Contraception Suit
4:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Judge Opposes Ala. Broadcaster On Health Mandate

Alabama-based Catholic broadcaster, Eternal Word Television Network sued to block the federal government's rules on contraception for employees.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

A federal judge in Mobile is dismissing key legal claims made by an Alabama-based Catholic broadcaster that sued to block the federal government's rules on contraception for employees.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade issued the order Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by the Eternal Word Television Network, which is based in the Birmingham suburb of Irondale.

The broadcasting group says it will appeal. The state of Alabama is siding with the media organization.

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Business
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

GM Chief Makes A Return Trip To The Hill, Where A Grilling Awaits

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:08 pm

General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced another grueling hearing on Capitol Hill, two weeks after a critical internal report blasted the company's handling of defective ignition switches as incompetent. GM has recalled 20 million vehicles already this year and has set aside $700 million to cover repairs related to the recall.

Iraq
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

The Specter Of Iraq Haunts The Political Life Of Barack Obama

President Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., in December 2011.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:08 pm

Iraq has long played a major role in President Obama's political life, going back to his earliest days as an Illinois state senator barely known outside of his Chicago district.

Obama's early anti-Iraq war stand would become a centerpiece of his first run for the White House, but it's since been a persistent crisis that's been his to manage, despite his every effort to put it behind him.

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