Politics & Government

Politics
4:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Wendy Davis Faces Uphill Battle If She Runs For Texas Governor

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's not often that a state senator draws the attention of the national news media, but Texas Democrat Wendy Davis did today when she addressed a packed house at the National Press Club here in Washington. Davis, you may remember, lead an 11-hour filibuster earlier this summer against a bill in the Texas legislature that restricted access to abortions. NPR's Brian Naylor explains how that act of defiance has led to speculation about her political future.

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Space
2:28 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

The Vikings Have Landed: Photographer Ved Chirayath staged this photograph in Palo Alto Foothills Park in California last December.
Courtesy of Ved Chirayath

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:02 pm

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.

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It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

How John McCain Got His Groove Back

Sen. John McCain at a rally in Denver during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:20 pm

All of a sudden, Sen. John McCain matters again.

It's not like he disappeared. But after being sidelined for a time by his 2008 defeat in the presidential election against Barack Obama, the Arizona Republican has re-emerged as one of Obama's most important allies in the Senate.

McCain took the lead in crafting immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June. Last month, he came up with the deal that prevented the Senate from abolishing judicial filibusters, allowing several Obama Cabinet and agency nominees to win confirmation.

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It's All Politics
1:12 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Texas' Democratic Darling Will Decide On Governor's Race Soon

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser last month.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Official Washington has fled for dog-day vacations few deserved, leaving the nation's capital a bit languid and bereft of news.

Enter, as if on cue, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis of abortion bill filibuster fame, with a speech Monday at the National Press Club.

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Politics
11:06 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Lack of Leadership Causing US Defense Issues Abroad?

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:44 am

A terror threat closes American embassies, and changes the political debate about intelligence gathering. Host Michel Martin talks politics with Republican strategist Ron Christie, and former Obama administration advisor Corey Ealons.

The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

San Diego Mayor Starting Rehab; Accusers Count Now At 10

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Today's the day San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who's now been accused by 10 women of sexual harassment, is to start two weeks of treatment at a behavior counseling clinic.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Mon August 5, 2013

4-Year-Old Re-Elected 'Mayor' Of Minnesota Town

Mayor Bobby Tufts of Dorset, Minn.
Jeff Baenen AP

His second job will be at a pre-school.

As a student.

Four-year-old Bobby Tufts was re-elected "mayor" over the weekend in the tiny northern Minnesota community of Dorset. We say "mayor" because Dorset doesn't really have a government. It doesn't even have many people — "22 to 28, depending on whether the minister and his family are in town," according to CBS Minnesota.

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Politics & Government
8:12 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ala. Governor Sets Ceremonial Signings for Bills

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a ceremonial signing of bills aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs.

   Bentley's office said the governor will be joined by officials with the Medical Association of Alabama and other leaders at the ceremonial signing ceremony. The governor officially signed the legislation earlier this year.

   The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Monday in the Old House chamber at the Alabama Capitol.

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Politics
4:10 am
Mon August 5, 2013

McConnell Squares Off With Rivals At Ky. Political Picnic

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Over the weekend the tiny town of Fancy Farm, Kentucky was the scene of a political brawl worthy of the Hatfields and McCoys. No one was run out of town, but Mitch O'Connell, the Senate Republican leader, who is asking Kentuckians for a sixth term, did get pretty roughed up - verbally. You'd hardly guess it all began as a church picnic.

NPR's David Welna was there.

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Jefferson County-Taxes
2:35 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

$3 Million In Jefferson Co. Taxes Uncollected

Nearly $3 million in Jefferson County business property taxes haven't been collected because there aren't enough agents on staff to recoup the money.
Credit rollingstone.com

According to county records, nearly $3 million in Jefferson County business property taxes haven't been collected because there aren't enough agents on staff to recoup the money.

Tax collector J.T. Smallwood says the bankrupt county has no tax agents in Birmingham and has one in the Bessemer Division.

According to the tax collector's office, Jefferson County has missed out on $570,000 in 2013 because of uncollected taxes. The county did collect $560 million during the last fiscal year.

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Alabama Abortion Clinic Shutdown
2:29 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

State Of Ala. Trying Again To Shutdown Abortion Clinic

The state is trying again to close a Birmingham abortion clinic that has been cited for rampant health violations.
Credit WBRC-TV

Alabama health regulators have tried since 2012 to close an abortion clinic that was cited for rampant health violations.

Now, a judge has set a hearing for Monday on whether the facility can remain open.

Officials say a woman with deep ties to abortion clinics, Diane Derzis, is playing a legal shell to keep the center open.

Derzis and an associate own the Birmingham building. They agreed last year to surrender their license after being cited for violations including inadequate patient care.

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Alabama Executions
10:15 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Legal Challenges Continue To Slow Ala. Executions

Challenges to the way Alabama conducts executions has slowed the number of executions the state has conducted since 2011.
Credit Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Andrew Lackey's execution late last month was the first in Alabama since 2011, when the state had six executions.

Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw says executions have slowed because of challenges to the way Alabama conducts executions.

Bryan Stevenson of Montgomery is an anti-death penalty attorney, and he says challenges have included questions about the drugs used. Attorneys say courts allowed Lackey's execution to proceed mainly because he had dropped his appeals. They say they expect legal challenges to continue to slow the overall pace of Alabama executions.

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Politics
6:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

August Recess Leaves Unfinished Business

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Members of Congress are back in their home districts this morning at the start of a five-week summer recess. They left town with more of a whimper than a bang. They leave a whole lot of unfinished business. We're joined now by NPR congressional correspondent, Tamara Keith. Welcome.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Let's start with what the Congress did accomplish. There was student loan legislation. What else?

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News
6:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

A New Class Of Radio Rolls Into The City

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:27 pm

In a musty, old row house in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Jim Bear is about to begin his radio show.

"Good afternoon, everybody," he says into the microphone. "You're listening to G-town Radio at GtownRadio.com. We are the sound from Germantown."

Right now G-town is just an Internet radio station. But if the folks at G-town Radio are successful, they'll soon be broadcasting their signal over low-power FM, a new class of non-commercial FM radio.

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Politics
5:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Durbin, Harkin Take On Immigration Critic In His Own District

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) listens as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks at a forum on immigration in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Two top Senate Democrats took the fight for an immigration bill to the home district of one of the issue's toughest critics, Republican Rep. Steve King, on Friday.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went to Ames, Iowa, to make hay out of King's remarks about the "Dreamers," those young people brought here as children by their undocumented parents.

"There have been some characterizations of these young students that aren't fair at all," Durbin said at a rally on Friday.

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