President Obama's trip to Israel presents all sorts of diplomatic difficulties, as we've heard. And there are plenty of logistical challenges too. That's a job for the White House advance team, responsible for planning and executing every scheduling and security detail of the president's trips at home and abroad, down to the minute.
Spencer Geissinger served eight years as President George W. Bush's advance man. His travels took him to over 98 foreign countries. He gave us a sense of what the work entails.
Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says he expects to appoint a new sheriff for Tuscaloosa County soon.
Sheriff Ted Sexton announced March 8 that he's leaving Tuscaloosa County after 22 years on the job. The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/YyKbMp ) Sexton starts work Monday as homeland security division director for the Los Angeles County sheriff in California.
Federal regulators are asking a federal judge in Birmingham to set a trial date and avoid further delays in a civil fraud lawsuit against two former bankers accused of making payoffs to win billions of dollars in deals involving municipal sewer bonds.
The Alabama Legislature is close to approving a plan to borrow $50 million to replace outdated equipment in high school technology programs.
Lawmakers hope giving students better equipment will help make a dent in Alabama's dropout rate.
Bond issue legislation has breezed through the House and a Senate committee with only one negative vote. The tech director for the state Board of Education, Philip Cleveland, said schools have not received state money for equipment since they got $10 million in 2005. He said students in some programs are training on outdated equipment.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jacki Lyden.
As we just heard, longtime Republican Senator Rob Portman's position on gay marriage has evolved. Of course, gay marriage is one of the social issues that was front and center at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, otherwise known as CPAC. It's the annual gathering of the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea has been at CPAC, and he joins me now. Hi there, Don.
Members of the college group Young Americans for Freedom roll up Ronald Reagan posters to hand out at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. on Friday.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday. The Tea Party favorite won a presidential straw poll at the annual event on Saturday.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 6:39 pm
Conservative activists chose Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as their pick to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
As The Associated Press notes, "the win offers little more than bragging rights for Paul, who is popular with the younger generation of libertarian-minded conservatives who packed the conference."
When Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Friday became the latest conservative politician to announce his support for same-sex marriage, he disclosed that his son, Will, a junior at Yale University, had told him two years ago that he is gay; and that love and admiration for his son had moved the senator to reflect — and change.
When Mr. Portman was in the House of Representatives, he co-sponsored a 1996 law to prevent same-sex marriage.
Sarah Brady has worked for tougher gun laws for decades. Her husband, Jim Brady, was shot in the head by John Hinckley when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Jim Brady was President Reagan's press secretary and has lived with a disability ever since. The Bradys founded the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked to pass a law that now bears their name, the Brady Bill.
And Sarah Brady joins us from her home in Virginia. Ms. Brady, thanks very for being with us.
The keynote speaker at Saturday night's closing session of the Conservative Political Action Conference is a 42-year-old Texan who's been a U.S. senator since January.
In that short time, Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz has already made a mark — and in doing so, he's simply ignored a tradition of new senators being seen, not heard. Cruz's sharp elbows have some colleagues wincing and others hoping he'll run for president.
Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, announced today that he's reversing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Portman's op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch makes him the first GOP senator to publicly support gay marriage. He said he made the switch because of a personal family experience. Portman's college-age son told his family in 2011 that he is gay.