Politics & Government

The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Campaign Finance Case On Corporate Donations

The Supreme Court denied the petition of businessmen who say the 2010 Citizens United ruling makes it legal for corporations to contribute directly to candidates. The court building is seen here during renovations in December.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Supreme Court says it won't hear a case that would have let candidates solicit money from corporations. By doing so, the court is reaffirming one strict ban on corporate political money, three years ago after easing other limits in its controversial Citizens United ruling.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Today's Three Stories To Read About 'The Sequester'

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:55 am

Barring a last-minute deal that at the moment seems unlikely, months of brinkmanship are set to culminate on Friday.

The sequester — $85 billion worth of across-the-board cuts in federal spending — will begin to kick in, with potentially serious economic consequences, including federal furloughs and the slashing of programs.

Here are three stories we've plucked from the ether that should give a good picture of what's going on as we approach sequester D-Day:

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Alabama Constitution Revision
6:41 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Marsh Seeks More Diversity in Constitution Rewrite

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston got the Senate to pass a resolution that would add two members to the commission to increase the diversity.
twitter.com

The commission working on rewriting parts of Alabama's 112-year-old Constitution may soon become more diverse.


Alabama's Constitutional Revision Commission has 16 members and only one, Carolyn McKinstry, is an African-American. McKinstry told The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/ZBuf2G ) that she can speak for herself, but not all African-Americans in the state.

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Political Junkie
5:18 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Chicago's Robin Kelly On Track To Join List Of Black Women To Serve In Congress

Shirley Chisholm (N.Y.) was the first black woman elected to Congress; Barbara Jordan (Texas) was twice the Dem keynote speaker; Cynthia McKinney (Ga.) was later a Green Party prez nominee; Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Ohio) served as House ethics cmte chair and played a big role in the 2008 Clinton campaign.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 11:10 am

Once, the special election to succeed the disgraced Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd District seemed impossible to handicap, especially with some two dozen or so candidates on the ballot. Thus, it became not so much a horse race discussion as a conversation dominated by concerns about race and guns. Now, according to many observers, many of the questions have given way to the sense that Tuesday's winner will be Robin Kelly, a former state representative. (We officially must wait for the general election, on April 9.)

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It's All Politics
10:40 am
Sun February 24, 2013

As Deep Cuts Loom, Continued Appeals For A Deal, Finger-Pointing

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:01 am

With less than a week before the across-the-board-spending cuts go into effect, Republicans and Democrats are sounding off about the sequestration.

"There's easy ways [sic] to cut this money that the American people will never feel," Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on Fox News Sunday. "What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending ... and it will be somewhat painful, but not cutting spending is going to be disastrous for our country."

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Politics & Government
10:10 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Karzai Asks U.S. Forces To Leave Key Afghan Province

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 12:08 pm

We're getting word that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces to leave Wardak Province within two weeks amid allegation of torture and disappearances centering on Afghans who are part of the U.S. forces.

Update at 1:07 p.m. ET. Order Came After Report

NPR's Sean Carberry is reporting on the move for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

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Alabama Civil Rights
8:26 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Vice President to Visit Selma Next Weekend

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to participate in Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
whitehouse.gov

Organizers of Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee say Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will participate in the events.

Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said Saturday the Bidens will attend a unity brunch and participate in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 3. Sanders said the Bidens will help observe Selma's historic role in the civil rights movement. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Politics
6:03 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Week In Politics: The Looming Spending Cuts Edge Closer

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR National Political correspondent Mara Liasson about the week in politics, including the looming spending cuts facing Congress and the administration's urging of the Supreme Court to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Politics & Government
4:05 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Overseas Trip A Road Test For Secretary Of State Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press prior to talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:34 am

John Kerry sets off Sunday on his first foreign trip as secretary of state, visiting Europe and the Middle East.

One dominant theme of the trip will be how to resolve the crisis in Syria, where an estimated 70,000 people have been killed over the past two years. Kerry is portraying his trip as a listening tour, and he expects to hear a lot about Syria.

He told reporters recently that he wants to talk with U.S. allies about how to persuade Bashar Assad to agree on peace talks that would end the Syrian leader's bloody rule in Syria.

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Alabama Medicaid Program
7:29 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Bill to Prevent Medicaid Abuse Passes Ala. House

Alabama Representative Jim McClendon
legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama House has approved a bill aimed at cutting down on fraud and abuse in the state's Medicaid program.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville, says the bill is aimed at stopping abuse of a program that exists to provide essential health care to the neediest citizens.

The bill was approved by the House on Thursday by a unanimous 99-0 vote. However, debate lasted for about three hours as some members, mostly Democrats, worked to make sure the measure could not be used to deny Medicaid services to legitimate applicants.

It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Top GOP Voter ID Crusader Loses Virginia Election Panel Post

Hans Von Spakovsky in his official FEC photo taken during former President George W. Bush's administration.
FEC.gov

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 8:24 am

To those who closely follow the voter ID wars, Hans von Spakovsky is a household name, one of the nation's leading crusaders against voter fraud, and also one of its more controversial. Days before the 2012 election, The New Yorker profiled him as "the man who has stoked fear about imposters at the poll."

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It's All Politics
12:37 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Bloomberg's Anti-NRA Message — And Money — Could Sway House Race In Chicago

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control superPAC has poured more than $2 million into a Democratic primary in Chicago for a U.S. House seat.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

One of the most important events in the national gun violence debate will take place Tuesday — in the snows of Chicago, a thousand miles from Newtown, Conn., or Washington, D.C.

That's where Democratic voters will choose their nominee to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner will almost certainly be sworn in at the Capitol following the April general election.

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It's All Politics
8:35 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Liberal Watchdog Group: 'Fix The Debt' Movement More Astroturf Than Grassroots

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:03 pm

The liberal watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy says Fix the Debt — a key unit in philanthropist Pete Peterson's corps of organizations to battle the national debt — is a pro-business effort masquerading as a grassroots movement.

In a conference call with reporters Friday, CMD director Lisa Graves called Fix the Debt "an Astroturf supergroup that is exceedingly well funded." The term "Astroturf" refers to groups that appear to be citizen-organized but actually have their roots at consultants' offices inside the Capital Beltway.

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Politics
6:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Recovering From Scandal, Mark Sanford Eyes Political Return

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 1:23 pm

The former South Carolina governor made national headlines four years ago when he tearfully resigned as head of the Republican Governors Association because of an extramarital affair. He's now staging a political comeback, however, and is the frontrunner in a special election for his old House seat. Weekend Edition guest host Don Gonyea speaks to political blogger Brad Warthen about Sanford's prospects.

Politics
6:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

A Sequester Primer: Defense, Transportation And The Economy

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

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