Politics & Government

The Salt
2:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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Abortion Bill
4:44 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley To Sign Abortion Bill

Governor Robert Bentley is expected to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards Thursday.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's governor says he plans to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards like Mississippi has done.


Opponents say Alabama's legislation will be challenged in court like Mississippi's.


The Republican-led House and Senate approved the bill Tuesday night, mostly along party lines. It now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley. He said Thursday he plans to sign it after his lawyers make sure there have been no unanticipated changes from the bill he endorsed early in the legislative session.

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 4:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Tries To Rally Support For Gun Control Laws In Colorado

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama flew to Colorado this afternoon to rally support for national gun control laws. Colorado recently passed its own laws requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines. In Denver, the president delivered a speech and met with local law enforcement officials and community activists.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Second Chances In American Politics

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president talks guns in Colorado. Hillary Clinton supporters talk 2016. And in New York City, six pols busted for talking turkey. It's Wednesday and time for a...

DAN HALLORAN: It's all about how much...

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?

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It's All Politics
11:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Gun Control Prospects Recede As Politics Swamp Momentum

Assault weapons and handguns for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 16. Congress has yet to vote on legislative efforts to enact new gun control laws, nearly four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 1:37 pm

President Obama's campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation's fraught conversation about guns.

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Around the Nation
5:56 am
Wed April 3, 2013

N.Y. State Senator Caught Up In Bribery Probe

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

New Yorkers woke up yesterday morning to the scene of politicians being rounded up by federal agents, arrested and taken to court. OK, it's New York City, this happens with politicians. But this time, the charges were pretty remarkable against a councilman and a powerful state legislator.

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Politics
5:43 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Is Caroline Kennedy Qualified To Be U.S. Ambassador To Japan?

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:19 am

President Obama is expected to name Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, ambassador to Japan. The job has been critical to U.S. trade and business interests with the world's third largest economy. But Kennedy has no prior experience in government or business.

Health Care
5:26 am
Wed April 3, 2013

White House Delays Part Of Health Care Law

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act - the national healthcare law. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the new online marketplace that start next January. NPR's Julie Rovner reports that the change might dampen enthusiasm, at least at the start. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.

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Politics
3:34 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Outrage Alone Won't Advance Gun Control Measures

President Obama urged Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence while speaking in the East Room of the White House last week. Standing with Obama are Vice President Joe Biden and, according to the White House, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and others, whom the White House did not want to name.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:42 am

President Obama is trying to regain some traction for federal gun control measures by visiting states that are moving forward on their own.

On Wednesday, the president speaks in Colorado, where lawmakers recently passed a series of bills requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

Obama would like to see similar measures adopted nationwide. But if Colorado serves as an inspiration for the president, it also provides a cautionary tale.

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Abortion Rally
5:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Rally Against Abortion Clinic Bill Draws 200

A rally at the capitol today drew both protestors and supporters of an abortion clinic regulation bill.
Credit Julie Bennett / al.com

A rally to defeat a bill that would impose restrictive rules for Alabama's abortion clinics drew advocates to the Statehouse steps on Tuesday.


Organizers from Planned Parenthood and several Democratic legislators spoke to a crowd of about 200 people urging defeat of HB57. Several speakers asserted that by imposing more restrictions on women's health clinics, the legislature is attempting to limit access to constitutionally guaranteed abortion care.

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School Safety Bill
5:07 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Bill To Allow Armed School Volunteers Re-Filed

A bill to allow armed school volunteers in Franklin County schools has been re-filed.

A school superintendent visited the Alabama Statehouse to plead for passage of a re-filed bill that would allocate state funds for armed guards in his schools.


Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams Tuesday expressed fear that students who are familiar with guns will come to school armed for protection. He says school officials are anxious because the district's rural schools in northwest Alabama are about 30 minutes from sheriff's officials.

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Chapman's Future
5:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Ala. Sec. Of State Won't Run In 2014

Secretary of State Beth Chapman won't seek office in 2014.
Credit sos.alabama.gov

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she won't seek any position in next year's election and will take a sabbatical from elective office.


Chapman has served two terms in her current office and could not seek a third term. She had been mentioned as a contender for higher office, possibly including governor, but she said Tuesday she wants to take a break to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and business opportunities. She said she will support Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for re-election.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Reality Often Rivals Fiction In Political Corruption Scandals

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines corruption charges against several New York politicians on Tuesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 5:22 pm

The federal criminal complaint against New York politicians arrested after an FBI sting was a reminder of how often real-life political scandals can read like the imaginings of Hollywood screenwriters.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Politically-Appointed Ambassadors May Not Be As Effective

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama is reported to be considering Caroline Kennedy for ambassador to Japan. She would succeed a political appointee in Tokyo, a Silicon Valley lawyer and donor to the Obama campaign. For Britain, Bloomberg News and others report that the Obama campaign finance chair, Matthew Barzun, is the leading candidate. A hedge fund manager, evidently, has the inside track on France. This is an old tradition of generous donors getting plum embassy assignments. And we wondered how it looks these days to career diplomats.

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