Politics & Government

The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Japan? Talk Grows

Caroline Kennedy in May 2012.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

There's been chatter in Washington for the past month or so about Caroline Kennedy being tapped to be the next ambassador to Japan.

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Politics
11:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Is Congress Close To Immigration Compromise?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk about school takeovers and whether or not taking a drastic action like that really fixes broken schools. But first we'll bring you up to date on the latest political news. There is a lot going on both here and overseas - the debate over gun control, immigration, and a little saber rattling from North Korea.

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Education
11:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Struggling Schools Targeted For Takeovers

Many political leaders say the solution for failing school systems is a takeover. But can mayors, governors or other government leaders actually fix broken schools? Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the expectations and consequences of school takeovers with Emily Richmond of the National Education Writers Association.

Education
11:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Tensions Build In Detroit After Schools Takeover

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now we'll turn from New Jersey to Detroit, where tensions are really building around the public school system there. The U.S. Department of Education is looking into whether recent school closures have disproportionately hurt black and Latino students. Also, an emergency financial manager is shaking things up at Detroit Public Schools after getting some new authority from the state.

Here to explain is Jerome Vaughn, news director at member station WDET in Detroit. Welcome back, Jerome.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:53 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Budget a Priority for Legislature in 2nd Half

Alabama lawmakers are returning to the Capitol for the second half of the 2013 Legislative session.
The Associated Press

The Alabama Legislature begins the second half of its 2013 session on Tuesday.


Gov. Robert Bentley says his priority for the second half is passing balanced budgets. The former House representative says that's the Legislature's only constitutional duty. A House committee is scheduled to begin work on the education budget Tuesday. The Senate has already approved the General Fund budget and sent it to a House committee.

Veterans PTSD
6:45 am
Mon April 1, 2013

VA Helping Ala Clergy Learn About PTSD

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tuscaloosa is hosting a free seminar to educate Alabama clergy about veterans and PTSD.
va.gov US. Department of Veterans Affairs

The federal government is helping Alabama pastors learn how to assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center is Tuscaloosa is offering a seminar this week to educate pastors, priests and other church leaders about PTSD and depression.


VA chaplain John Bailey says research shows that almost half of veterans will turn to a member of the clergy first before they seek out a mental health provider.

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Political Junkie
5:08 am
Mon April 1, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I'm on vacation this week, and thus no Political Junkie column, Talk of the Nation appearance or podcast for me. But giving up ScuttleButton? No way.

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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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