Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.

Linda Wertheimer talks to Evan Osnos about his New Yorker piece in which he explores how the coal industry has become a political player in the state, and what that could mean for future regulation.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took out a major pillar of campaign finance limits. The justices ruled a donor may give the maximum amount to as many federal candidates or committees as they wish.

The Senate could vote on a minimum wage bill as soon as next week. But it is hard to imagine the Republican-controlled House will take it up.

Citing millions of dollars spent already, Democrats argue politics is not a good reason to spend millions more investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya more than a year ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits on how much a single individual can give in total to candidates and parties. The ruling could give wealthy donors even more influence in elections.

A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare — which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.

Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular, but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision has been described both as a victory for the First Amendment and as another damaging blow to campaign finance laws.

One thing seems certain: The decision, which overturned limits on the aggregate amounts individual donors can give to candidates and campaigns, will mean more money sloshing around political campaigns.

In practical terms, that means more business for the political consultants who orchestrate most serious federal political campaigns.


Members of a legislative committee have shot down a bill to let people carry loaded handguns in their cars without a concealed carry permit.

The House Public Safety Committee didn't advance the bill Wednesday after several sheriffs and police chiefs said they were concerned that it could lead to more violence.

No lawmaker seconded a motion to approve the bill, meaning it is dead for the session.

Republican Sen. Scott Beason says he's disappointed. Beason says people should not have to pay a fee to keep a loaded gun in their car.

Liz Lawley / Flickr

The Alabama Supreme Court has again sided with the state's attorney general in attempts to shut down electronic bingo casinos.

Justices, in the opinion that was unsealed Tuesday, overturned 2011 orders from a judge that directed the state to return electronic gambling machines seized from Greene County casinos in 2011.

The attorney general's office has maintained the electronic gambling machines are not allowed by constitutional amendments allowing charities to offer bingo in some locations. Casino operators argue the games are legal bingo.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

A repeal of the Common Core curriculum standards and a cap on payday loan interest rates are among the legislative proposals that are dead for the 2014 session.

With just two days remaining, time has run out for many of the 1,103 bills introduced this session. Legislative proposals that have not passed at least one chamber have no chance of winning approval.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has been shadowed by scandal since the day he was elected to the city's top job in 2010, and there's no doubt it crippled his re-election campaign.

An ongoing federal probe into how you ran your previous campaign will do that.

A federal judge has set a May 19 trial date for a lawsuit challenging a new Alabama abortion law.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson will hold a non-jury trial concerning an Alabama law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals. Three of Alabama's five licensed abortion clinics challenged the law on grounds it would force them to close.

The judge has ruled the trial will focus on one issue: whether the law violates the due process right of women seeking abortion by creating substantial obstacles.

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again erased from the books a major provision of the nation's campaign finance law. By a 5-to-4 vote, the justices removed the cap on the total amount of money that donors can contribute to candidates and parties in each election. Prior to Wednesday's ruling, the aggregate limit was $123,000. Now there is no limit.

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.