Politics & Government

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

Millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers according to an analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, which defines millennials as people between the ages of 18-35. Both generations are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.

If Democrats take back the Senate in 2016, they'll likely have women to thank for it.

The party is likely to have at least six female nominees who are challenging Republican incumbents in their top-targeted states, helping them flip the four seats necessary to take back Senate control, if Democrats hold the White House.

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They are often called the "missing 28 pages," and while they are not exactly missing, they are back in the news again.

They are, more precisely, the final 28 pages of a massive 2002 congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks that runs more than 850 pages. Those last few pages have never fully been made public and they deal with the highly sensitive question of foreign financing of the suicide hijackers who carried out those attacks.

Donald Trump likes to tout his popularity among conservative Christians, who make up a key voting base within the Republican Party. But even with Trump as the de facto nominee, some evangelicals say they're unsure about voting for him — as a matter of conscience.

"Class of 2016, let me be as clear as I can be: In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue," President Obama told Rutgers University graduates in a commencement address urging broad engagement with the world.

His remarks, which stressed "reason" over "anti-intellectualism," have been widely interpreted as a critique of the de facto Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, though he did not explicitly name him:

President Obama is delivering the commencement address Sunday at Rutgers University in New Jersey, on the 250th anniversary of the school's founding. It's one of the last times Obama will speak to a graduating class while he's in office.

But it's by no means his first. In fact, the president has delivered nearly two dozen commencement speeches over the past seven years. A look back at that collection of commencement remarks helps reveal the problems and promises of the days they were delivered.

Harry Truman had been vice president for only 82 days when Franklin Roosevelt died, so there was quite a lot he needed to learn when he became president in 1945.

"He didn't even know the atomic bomb existed," historian David Priess said. "He didn't know about the Manhattan Project."

Priess, a former CIA officer and author of The President's Book of Secrets, a history of the president's daily brief, said that experience made Truman resolve that no future president should come into office unprepared.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are turning their attention to the general election and to one of the most important decisions they will make — choosing a vice president.

Picking a vice president is the first "presidential level" decision any candidate makes. Although vice presidential candidates have rarely, perhaps never, determined the outcome of an election, the choice tells voters a lot about the candidate.

The two most important criteria are always the same:

1. Pick someone who would ready to be president, if necessary, and
2. DO NO HARM

Donald Trump has energized millions of Republican voters this primary season with his tough talk of building a wall along the Mexico border and deporting people who entered the country illegally.

But, that same language could have an unintentional side effect in a general election and energize legal immigrants to become citizens before November so they can vote against Trump.

Jose Lovos moved to the U.S. legally 20 years ago from the war-torn country of El Salvador. These days, he lives in Virginia with his wife and three kids.

North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory defended HB2, the state's so-called bathroom bill, and said the "political left" fed the emergence of transgender issues in politics.

"Most people had never heard of this issue five months ago, until the political left started saying, 'We need bathroom rules and policies,' not just for government facilities and schools but also for the private sector," McCrory said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered.

#MemeOfTheWeek: Donald Trump's Alter Egos

May 13, 2016

In the latest chapter from the book of "You Can't Make This-Stuff Up: Election Edition," we are left to ponder the strange case of Donald Trump and his alleged alter egos.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In addition to the letter today to the nation's school districts urging them to protect the rights of transgender students, the Education Department provided a long report on states and districts it says are already doing so.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump has made various statements about his tax plan in recent days that have left some people pretty confused about just what he'd like to do. Here's a guide to interpreting his remarks.

"In other words, it's going to cost me a fortune." — News conference, Sept. 28, 2015

At a news conference at Trump Tower, Trump unveiled a series of proposals to dramatically simplify and cut business and personal taxes.

Donald Trump says he did not pose as his own spokesman, denying that it is his voice on a 1991 recording obtained by The Washington Post.

Contested primaries in both political parties have led to another cycle of record political ad spending, according to a new analysis of campaign advertising by the Wesleyan Media Project.

The analysis, which covers ads from Jan. 1, 2015, through May 8, 2016, tallies $408 million in ad spending compared to $120 million in 2012 when President Obama sought re-election.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET with details:

Ahead of our forthcoming podcast, I've been heads-down in some reading and interviews about the way we talk about, well, white people. Whiteness has always been a central dynamic of American cultural and political life, though we don't tend to talk about it as such.

On Friday morning, the Obama administration issued a "Dear Colleagues" letter to the nation's school districts spelling out what they can do to safeguard the civil rights of students at K-12 schools and colleges, based on their gender identity.

The administration argues that Title IX, which outlaws sex discrimination for any school receiving federal funding, covers gender identity.

Almost no one saw Donald Trump coming a year ago, it seems. And there's all sorts of finger-pointing as to why: Journalists blew it. Or maybe it was political scientists' fault.

But there's one big reason why so many smart people overlooked him: He's the opposite of what many of the loudest voices in the Republican Party said they wanted.

If you've ever played three-dimensional chess, you have some notion of what Paul Ryan is dealing with in his political game with Donald Trump.

Except that Ryan's dilemma has more than just three dimensions.

On the first level, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the highest federal officeholder in the Republican Party. In this role, he is slated to be the chairman of the party's national convention in July. And in both roles, it is presumed he will back the party's nominee for president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hillary Clinton is floating a proposal to let people over the age of 50 "buy in" to Medicare, the federal government's health insurance for those 65 and older.

The Democratic presidential contender mentioned the idea earlier this week at a campaign event in Stone Ridge, Va. She was responding to a woman who said her health insurance premiums — which she bought on the individual market — rose more than $500 last year.

"What you're saying is one of the real worries that we're facing with the cost of health insurance," Clinton said. "The costs are going up in many markets."

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