Politics & Government

It's All Politics
8:57 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Top Democrat Says Documents Show IRS Also Targeted Liberals

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, during a hearing last month.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:04 am

Newly released documents appear to further undermine the idea that Tea Party groups were the only ones given extra scrutiny by the IRS for potential political activity.

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Politics & Government
8:56 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Interstate 85 S. Near Montgomery to Have Closures

The Montgomery Outer Loop project. The state Transportation Department will implement lane closures and stoppages for the next two weeks as road crews set steel ramp girders for the project.
wsfa.com

Motorists traveling on Interstate 85 South near Montgomery could experience delays during the next two weeks.

   The state Transportation Department said weather permitting, lane closures and stoppages will happen between Sunday and Thursday for the next two weeks at mile marker 14.5. The closures and stoppages will occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. They are to allow crews to set steel ramp girders for the Montgomery Outer Loop project.

The Two-Way
7:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

VIDEO: 'I Need Help' San Diego Mayor Says

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in the video statement he released Thursday.
City of San Diego

In a video statement to the people of his city, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner conceded Thursday that he has "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times, I have intimidated them."

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Politics
4:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Fed Up With Filibusters On Nominations

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:29 am

Senate Democrats are once again threatening a rules change to allow President Obama to win approval for his executive branch appointments on a simple majority vote. Republicans complain that this strike against the filibuster is both unfair and a bad precedent.

State Auditor Race
5:01 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Birmingham Democrat Running Again For Ala. Auditor

Democrat Miranda Joseph will make another run for state auditor in 2014.
Credit blog.al.com

Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is making another run for state auditor.


Joseph ran against Republican incumbent Samantha Shaw in 2010 and lost. She has filed papers with the state to run again in 2014, when Shaw won't be on the ballot.


Joseph has created a campaign website and says she plans a formal kickoff soon. She is stressing her work as a certified internal auditor. Joseph filed a report with the state last week saying she had not yet raised or spent $25,000 on her campaign. That's the threshold for filing periodic reports of donations.

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Governor-State Planes
4:43 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Governor Bentley's Flights Cost $621,712 In 21 Months

Gov. Robert Bentley's office spent over $600,000 on travel in state-owned airplanes in his first 21 months in office.
Credit The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley's office spent $621,712 on travel in state-owned airplanes in his first 21 months in office.


The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily obtained the figures by filing an open records request with the Bentley administration.


Most of the travel was on a six-passenger jet owned by the state Department of Transportation. That agency billed the governor's office $598,610. The remaining $23,102 was for using aircraft operated by two other state agencies.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

House Speaker John Boehner discusses the farm bill vote at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.

The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.

The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.

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Politics
4:08 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Some House Republicans Optimistic About Passing Immigration Reform

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:55 pm

The prospects for a sweeping immigration overhaul dimmed as House Republican leaders said they would not take up a comprehensive bill passed by the Senate last month. Instead, they argued for a slower, step-by-step approach. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R, Fla.) tells Audie Cornish that he remains optimistic that the House can still pass a bill to fix the immigration system.

The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 5:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Resurrected Farm Bill Passes Without Food Stamps Component

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Virginia Governor Mired In Controversy Over Gifts, Loans

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Would End Filibusters For Appointments

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
2:34 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

It's All Politics, July 11, 2013

Andrew Burton Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Yes, Egypt is being torn apart and the immigration bill is in trouble. But that pales when you consider the fact that Eliot Spitzer IS RUNNING FOR NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER!! Fear not, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving are all over it.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Death And Tax Evasion: The Strange Case Of Sergei Magnitsky

Sergei Magnitsky's mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, holds a photo of her late son in 2009.
Alexander Zemlianichenko Associated Press

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:32 pm

A Russian court found whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion on Thursday, ending a convoluted case that caused a diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington. It gets even more bizarre given the fact that the man on trial died in 2009.

The posthumous conviction is unprecedented in modern times – even in a country with a history of show trials. But it's not entirely unheard of throughout the ages.

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Politics
4:53 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Senators Express Concerns About Smithfield Foods Merger

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.

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