Politics & Government

Politics
3:42 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Supporters Of Gay Marriage Appear To Gather Momentum

Polls show a majority of Americans now support gay marriage. During Supreme Court's arguments last week, Chief Justice John Roberts marveled at the political muscle advocates for same-sex marriage appeared to be flexing. But the political path for gay marriage could be long and bumpy.

The Two-Way
11:32 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Immigration Reform Gets One Step Closer To A Bill

From left, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo, arrive at a news conference after their tour of the Mexico border with the United States on Wednesday in Nogales, Ariz. The senators are part of the "Gang of Eight," a larger group of legislators collaborating on changes to immigration.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:37 am

A final deal on a changing immigration laws is at hand but still incomplete, according to two of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" senators collaborating on it.

On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona discussed a new agreement on a low-skilled worker program as a positive sign of progress, but both said there is more to be done.

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Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Three Years On, States Still Struggle With Health Care Law Messaging

Joy Reynolds of San Diego looks at the newspapers on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2012, following the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 5:25 pm

It is hard to imagine that after three years of acrimony and debate we could still be so confused about President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Is it actually possible Americans know less about Obamacare now than they did three years ago? Apparently that is the case, and the news comes just as the most sweeping effects of the law are about to kick in.

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Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

For One Military Family, DOMA Decision Will Hit Close To Home

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 5:25 pm

Same-sex couples in the military will be watching closely now that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Anxiously awaiting a decision are Army lieutenant colonel Heather Mack and her wife, Ashley Broadway, who've been together for 15 years and have two children. They say repealing DOMA would help many enlisted same-sex military couples, who don't receive funds to move non-military spouses from one base to the next.

It's All Politics
11:51 am
Sat March 30, 2013

IRS To 'Social Welfare' Groups: Show Me The Political Ad Money

Sen. Carl Levin has been a vocal advocate for transparency in political ad spending.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 2:07 pm

There are still unanswered questions about the politically active 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups. The anonymously funded entities' multimillion-dollar ad budgets helped to clog the airwaves last year.

How much did they really spend to intervene in the 2012 campaign? What kinds of sources supplied their money? What ties do they maintain with other nonprofit organizations or for-profit companies?

The IRS is now trying to address some of the unknowns by asking organizations to fill out a questionnaire about their finances.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Gay Marriage Recap: Will Justices Rule On Constitutionality?

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 9:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and we'll have to wait until June to learn what the U.S. Supreme Court has decided on the two gay marriage cases before it. But this week, the justices heard oral arguments and they gave perhaps some hints of their thinking. One case concerns the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage, the other case is a challenge to what's called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

We're joined now by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg. Thanks for being with us.

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Environment
5:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

State Gives Example Of New Federal Gas Standards

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 9:34 am

The Environment Protection Agency has proposed new rules that will require cars to run on cleaner gas. The rules are intended to lower sulfur emission and reduce smog, and they'd go into effect in 2017. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports they're similar to standards in place in California.

Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Gay Marriage And The Evolving Language Of Love

English-language experts say how gay couples refer to themselves, and how others refer to same-sex couples, continues to evolve.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 1:01 am

In 1982, advice columnist Dear Abby published a letter from someone who'd just moved from a conservative Midwestern town to bohemian Portland, Ore.

Suddenly the advice seeker was interacting with gay couples and wanted to know: Should a letter be addressed to "Mr. John Doe and Friend?'"

Is it proper to say, "This is so-and-so and his lover"?

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Alabama Unemployment
4:49 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Rises To 7.2 Percent

State Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the jobless rate went up even though the number of people working in the state increased by about 3,300.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in February.


The rate announced by the state Department of Labor is up from 6.9 percent in January and is equal to the rate a year ago. The number of unemployed people looking for work grew by more than 6,000 from January.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

New Gas Rules Aim To Clean Up Car Emissions

The new rules' would reduce harmful emissions, the EPA says.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:23 pm

  • NPR's Richard Harris reports

Calling them "sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses [and lead to] efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive," the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed national rules to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline.

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It's All Politics
11:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Boehner Blasts Veteran GOP Lawmaker For 'Wetbacks' Comment

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, on Jan. 3, as the 113th Congress began. On Friday, Boehner condemned Young, the second most senior Republican in the House, for using the term "wetbacks," which Boehner called "offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds."
Charles Dharapak AP

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Friday condemned the use of the term "wetbacks" by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, one of the party's most senior members of Congress.

Young's statement, his quick apology, and Boehner's statement that the remark was "beneath the dignity of the office he holds," come at a particularly sensitive time for the Republican Party in its relationship with Hispanic voters.

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Barbershop
11:39 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Should Adam Be Allowed To Marry Steve?

The Supreme Court heard arguments over same-sex marriage this week, and the Barbershop guys have their own arguments to offer. Guest host Celeste Headlee checks in with culture critic Jimi Izrael, sports writer Pablo Torre, Kai Wright of Colorlines.com, and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:47 am
Fri March 29, 2013

It's All Politics, Mar. 28, 2013

Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov
  • Listen to the Roundup

As Democrats belatedly line up behind marriage equality and Republicans see it as a losing cause for them, all that's left is what the Supreme Court decides. And as Mayor Bloomberg unleashes a $12 million campaign to sway senators on guns, public opinion polls show the issue has less urgency than it had right after Sandy Hook. Plus: South Dakota's Tim Johnson retires and Ashley Judd won't run in Kentucky.

Politics
3:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Easton, Pa., Balances Sportsmanship With Gun Control

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There were dozens of rallies across the nation yesterday, to support a cause that might be losing steam. It's the fight for new gun control laws. President Obama joined family members of recent gun victims at the White House to urge Congress to take action.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Right now, members of Congress are back home in their districts and many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents, so I want everybody who's listening to make yourself heard right now.

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Mineral Payments Cuts
5:28 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Ala. To Lose $217K In Federal Mineral Payments

The federal government is withholding $110 million in mineral payments to 35 states as a result of automatic spending cuts that took effect this month.
Credit Mead Gruver / Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Interior is cutting more than 217,000 dollars in federal mineral payments to Alabama over the next five months.


The reduction is part of the 110 million dollars in cuts to 35 states that receive the mineral payments as their share of revenue from energy and mineral production that occurred on federal land within the states and offshore.


The Interior Department is making the reduction as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that started this month.

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