Politics & Government

The Two-Way
9:02 am
Thu February 7, 2013

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama Urges 'Humility'

President Obama speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."

"It's like we didn't pray," he added.

Read more
2013 Legislative Session
7:42 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bill to Stiffen Abortion Clinic Rules Passes Panel

Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin is sponsoring legislation that would stiffen requirements for abortion clinics in Alabama.
legislature.state.al.us

An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would stiffen the requirements for abortion clinics in the state.


The bill would place requirements on the facilities like requiring them to have wider hallways and would require clinics to have a doctor available when an abortion is performed.


The sponsor, Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin of Pelham, says the new rules would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as most facilities that perform surgical procedures.

Read more
2013 Legislative Session
7:31 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ala. House Democrats: Put Officer in Each School

Alabama House Democrats want police officers at every public school in the state. The bill is meant to prevent incidents like the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
thetimesnews.com

Alabama House Democrats want to put an armed police officer in each of the approximately 1,500 public schools in Alabama.


Representative Merika Coleman-Evans of Birmingham says the measure is aimed at preventing incidents like the recent school shootings in Connecticut.

Read more
2013 Legislative Session
6:52 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Alabama Senate Poised for Government Consolidation

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh
facebook.com/senatordelmarsh

Government consolidation and efficiency in on the agenda for the Alabama Senate.


Senate leaders said the Senate's work agenda Thursday will include a bill to consolidate and reorganize the more than 20 law enforcement programs in state government. The Senate also plans to take up bills cutting the number of legislative service agencies and reorganizing the state's information technology services, including creating a Cabinet-level secretary for information technology.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Postal Service To End Saturday Mail Delivery

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service likes to talk about how reliable it is, and they are determined to keep that reputation, even after the change announced yesterday. The Postal Service plans to end Saturday delivery of regular mail. They will continue delivering packages on Saturdays. The decision will save some $2 billion a year, but it's getting mixed reviews, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

Read more
Politics
5:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Pentagon To Off Some Benefits to Gay Spouses

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. As soon as today, the Pentagon could announce it is extending some benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian service members. The move comes two years after the repeal of the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." Since nine states and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex marriage, the Pentagon has struggled with whether and how to recognize these spouses. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

Read more
Politics
5:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Obama Picks REI Ceo Jewell To Head Interior

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Let's meet the woman who may be the nation's next Secretary of the Interior. President Barack Obama has named Sally Jewell to the post. She still needs to be confirmed by the Senate. Jewell does not have a background in government or politics. She's CEO of the outdoor gear company REI. Supporters say her love of the outdoors goes much deeper than that. And they say she has a savvy social conscience.

Read more
National Security
9:40 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama's Pick For CIA Chief To Face Senate Scrutiny

John Brennan, the deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, speaks at the White House in January. Brennan is President Obama's choice for CIA director.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:07 pm

John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.

Read more
Legalizing Medical Marijuana
4:56 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Ala. House Panel Votes 'No' On Medical Marijuana

A House Panel has defeated a bill that would have legalized the sale of medical marijuana.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama House committee has defeated a bill that would have legalized the sale of medical marijuana.


The committee voted 12-2 against the bill by Democratic Rep, Patricia Todd of Birmingham.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:16 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Even In Blue Minnesota, Gun Control Seems A Tough Sell

Gun rights advocate Andy Cers of Minneapolis listens to testimony during a Minnesota House hearing on gun violence bills Tuesday in St. Paul.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:36 pm

Minnesota has a Democratic governor, two Democratic senators, and Democrats control both houses of its Legislature. So it may have come as no surprise when President Obama went there earlier this week to rally support for his proposals to reduce gun violence.

But even in the politically blue state, there's considerable resistance to placing further restrictions on gun ownership.

During his visit to a Minneapolis police facility Monday, Obama urged Minnesotans to find common ground in curbing gun violence.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

NRA's 'Anti-Gun' List Includes Some Not-So-Obvious Names

The Kansas City Royals professional baseball team is among more than 500 groups and individuals listed by the NRA as "anti-gun."
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:12 pm

What do the Kansas City Royals, C. Everett Koop, Jack Nicholson and the United Methodist Church all have in common?

Turns out the Major League Baseball team, the former surgeon general, the actor and the denomination's general board and church society are all enemies of firearms, and as such have made it onto the National Rifle Association's list of "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies."

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Debate Rages On Even As Research Ban On Gun Violence Ends

More than 400 guns, including these three, were turned in during a Dallas gun buyback program in January. But determining the effectiveness of such programs is difficult due to limits on gun-related research.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

The characteristics of gun violence in the U.S. are largely unknown because key federal health agencies have been banned from conducting such research since the mid-1990s.

President Obama, however, wants to change that.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:36 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

From Oil Fields To REI, Interior Nominee Has Outdoorsy Cred

REI CEO Sally Jewell delivers remarks Wednesday after being nominated by President Obama to be the next secretary of the interior.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:19 pm

President Obama's choice to take over at the Department of the Interior comes from the business world. Sally Jewell is the CEO of outdoor equipment supplier REI.

"For Sally, the toughest part of this job will probably be sitting behind a desk," the president said when introducing his nominee Wednesday. "I suspect she'll want to get out of the office quite a bit."

Before Jewell took the reins at REI, she worked in the financial industry at Washington Mutual. Before that, she was an engineer in the oil business, with Mobil.

Read more
Politics
12:58 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Shifting Strategy: Narrowing Down The GOP Field

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Brown sits this one out in the Bay State, Menendez says it ain't so, and Kerry steps in at State. It's Wednesday and time for a ...

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: Big heels to fill...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

Read more
Economy
12:07 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The Squeeze: Higher Costs And Smaller Paychecks

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:31 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but life is getting tougher for some people in the middle class. With rising gas prices, insurance costs, and higher payroll taxes, people are feeling squeezed. Host Michel Martin asks if there's any financial relief in sight.

Pages