Politics & Government

Politics
4:14 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House To Vote On Short-Term Debt Ceiling Extension

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:13 am

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a Republican leadership plan to put off the debt ceiling fight for three months. This marks a new strategy for House Republicans who until recently had pledged not to raise the debt ceiling unless it was matched with an equal amount of spending cuts.

National Security
2:35 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Obama's Promise To Close Guantanamo Prison Falls Short

Demonstrators, dressed as detainees, march on Jan. 11 against the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and call for President Obama to close the facility.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:13 am

In one of his first acts as commander in chief, President Obama in 2009 signed an executive order to close the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It was part of a campaign promise the president made, to close the camp and "determine how to deal with those who have been held there." But four years on, the controversial prison remains open.

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Politics & Government
4:48 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

States Become Battlegrounds For Nation's Deep Abortion Divide

Abortion opponents march to a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Kansas is among several states that have enacted new restrictions on abortion in recent years.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Thousands of activists on both sides of the issue are holding rallies marking the day at state capitals across the country.

In the decades since the decision, abortion has been one of the most debated and legislated issues in the nation. And state legislatures, which are increasingly passing laws restricting abortion, have become the debate's key battlegrounds.

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State Law Enforcement
4:47 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Governor Bentley Proposes Law Enforcement Plan

Governor Bentley has signed an executive order that aims to improve the coordination between state law enforcement agencies.
Credit State of Alabama

Bentley signed the order Tuesday, which makes state Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier the state's senior law enforcement adviser.


One of Collier's responsibilities will be to ensure the maximum number of state law enforcement officers are on the streets. The governor says consolidating administrative duties among departments is a way to accomplish that.


Bentley says his plan would consolidate some administrative functions such as purchasing, fleet maintenance and communications.

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Politics & Government
4:42 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

U.N. Security Votes To Tighten Sanctions On North Korea

This picture taken by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 12, 2012 shows North Korean rocket Unha-3, carrying the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3.
AFP/Getty Images

In response to a December rocket launch, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously today to tighten sanctions on North Korea.

The United States said the new sanctions are an appropriate response to a "reckless" act.

NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The security council resolution condemns the launch in December and adds North Korean companies, individuals and the the country's space agency to a sanctions list. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice says the council is sending a strong and united message.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

A Senator's Surprising Inauguration Shout-Out Probably Wasn't So Surprising

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:24 pm

It may have struck many people as odd that Lamar Alexander, the senior senator from Tennessee, gave a shout-out to Alex Haley, the author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, during his remarks at the presidential inauguration.

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It's All Politics
4:33 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

President's New Term Doesn't Mean New Day In Congress

The U.S. Capitol at sunrise on Monday, before President Obama's second inauguration. While the president raised big issues in his inaugural address — climate change, gay rights, immigration, the shooting of schoolchildren — none of them appear to top the agenda of Congress, which returned to work Tuesday.
Drew Angerer EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

The Senate picked up Tuesday exactly where it left off nearly three weeks ago. By a twist of the rules, the Senate chamber remains in its first legislative day of the 113th Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he's kept things at the starting point so that he and his fellow Democrats have the option of changing the rules on the filibuster by a simple majority vote.

"The Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love, the United States Senate, work more effectively," Reid said Tuesday. "We'll consider changes to the Senate rules."

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Environment
4:28 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

In Second Inaugural, Obama Makes Climate A Priority

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," President Obama said Monday during his second inaugural address.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.

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It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Bloomberg Puts Millions Behind Gun-Control Push

At a news conference last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands with people who have been affected by gun violence.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.

Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama's Second Inaugural Address Didn't Win Over Many Republicans

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

Many Republicans were hoping for something akin to the president's 2004 convention speech where he talked about there being no red America or blue America but the United States of America.

It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Divine Rhetoric: God In The Inaugural Address

George Washington referred to "that Almighty Being" during his inaugural address in 1789. "God" didn't show up in an inaugural speech until more than three decades later.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 3:46 pm

President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address — God, that is.

In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. Thanks to this graphic in The Wall Street Journal, we noticed the presidents who did (nearly all) and the few who didn't (Teddy Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes).

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

For GOP, Obama's 'Very Ideological' Speech Not Wearing Well

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrives at President Obama's inauguration Monday on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Ryan, who ran for vice president on the losing Republican ticket last year, said Obama's inaugural address showed a "proud and confident liberal progressive."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:15 pm

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It's All Politics
1:55 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Debt Limit? What Debt Limit?

House Republican leaders intended to put off the debt ceiling fight for three months. But could they accidentally be giving the Obama White House carte blanche to borrow like crazy through mid-May?

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It's All Politics
1:11 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay-Rights Reference

The crowd faces off with police at the Stonewall Inn nightclub raid in the summer of 1969 in New York City.
New York Daily News Archive NY Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:13 pm

President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.

But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.

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World
1:05 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama Overseas: Speak Loudly And Carry A Smaller Stick

President Obama, pictured in August addressing U.S. service members at Fort Bliss, Texas, has signaled that he is inclined to avoid situations that are most likely to lead to major troop deployments.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 1:58 pm

An era marked by war and attempts at nation building is coming to its end.

President Obama has made clear he has no interest in lengthy foreign entanglements that would require large commitments of troops and defense dollars.

"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war," Obama said in his inaugural address on Monday.

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