Politics & Government

Commentary
11:32 am
Tue October 9, 2012

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:13 pm

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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Politics & Government
8:01 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Tuscaloosa Mulling Ban on Some Businesses

ttownphoto.blogspot.com

The city of Tuscaloosa is considering a temporary ban on some kind of businesses as it rebuilds from last year's tornado.

The City Council on Tuesday will continue a discussion of a proposed moratorium that could affect businesses including pawn shops, check-cashing stores, tattoo shops and tobacco stores.


Councilman Kip Tyner is supporting the ban. He says he wants to rebuild tornado-ravaged parts of the city with better businesses than existed before the twister in 2011.

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Presidential Race
6:39 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Presidential Politics: Does Likeability Matter?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Fla. Slate Magazine's John Dickerson says likeability doesn't matter as much in a presidential campaign as you might think.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:32 am

William Lowndes was a congressman from South Carolina who served in the early part of the 19th century. He was once asked to describe who should serve as chief executive.

"The presidency is not an office to be either solicited or declined," he said.

In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes didn't even vote for himself. He saw it as unseemly. And in 1916, Woodrow Wilson called campaigning "a great interruption to the rational consideration of public questions."

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Venezuela Election Critical test For Divided Nation And President Chavez

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 6:43 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Thousands of Venezuelans turned out to vote today in a presidential election that pits longtime leader Hugo Chavez against a younger, more moderate rival in Enrique Capriles. Chavez, the fiery left-wing leader, has irritated Washington with his anti-American rhetoric, but he's also won support among many poor Venezuelans for his social programs.

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Moore-Gay Marriage
12:08 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Moore Says Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Nation's Downfall

Alabama Chief Justice Candidate Roy Moore strongly opposes gay marriage.
http://www.facebook.com/JudgeRoyMoore

Alabama Supreme Court candidate Roy Moore says same-sex marriage will lead to the "ultimate destruction" of America.

The Republican nominee for chief justice made his comments during a Tea Party rally in Fort Payne on Saturday.

Moore says same-sex marriage will lead to the nation's demise because it attacks the nation's foundation. Moore says the Democratic national platform is divisive for supporting same-sex rights.

Moore's Democratic opponent for chief justice, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance, says same-sex marriage isn't an issue in Alabama.

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Amendment 2
11:58 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Governor Bentley Touts Amendment 2 As Job Creator

Governor Bentley touts Amendment 2 on Nov. 6th ballot as a job creator
State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley is crisscrossing the state to ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment that could determine how successful he is in keeping his campaign promise to create jobs.

Bentley is urging voters to approve Amendment 2 on Nov. 6. He says it will give the state a new avenue for providing incentives for industries to locate in Alabama.

Forever Wild
11:48 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Ala. Voters Will Decide On Extending Forever Wild

Alabama voters will decide Nov. 6th if land conservation trust fund Forever Wild will continue.
http://alabamaforeverwild.com/ Alabama Forever Wild

Alabama voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to continue a 20-year-old program that has allowed the state to buy 220,000 acres of public land to be used for hunting, fishing, birding and other activities.

It's the second time Alabama residents have been asked to vote on Forever Wild. The first was in 1992, when voters authorized the state to buy wilderness lands.

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It's All Politics
11:35 am
Sun October 7, 2012

What If They Held A Debate And Nobody Won?

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney greet one another before Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 1:06 pm

For most people reacting to last week's presidential debate, their first thought was probably not about who made the best arguments or told the most truths. Rather it was likely deciding who won.

The answer this time around was unusually definitive: Mitt Romney, by virtually every account and measure.

But in presidential debates — and the vice presidential version, which takes place on Thursday — does there need to be a winner?

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Environment
5:10 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Restore California Delta! To What, Exactly?

Wetlands are returning naturally at Liberty Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California. The state plans to restore more than 100,000 acres of habitat in the area.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

In California, state officials are planning a multibillion-dollar environmental restoration of the inland delta near San Francisco Bay. There's only one problem: No one knows what the landscape used to look like. Ninety-seven percent of the original wetlands are gone, so the state is turning to historians for help.

This detective story begins on a sunny day in a dry field of corn, about an hour east of San Francisco.

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Solve This
5:06 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Afghanistan Deadline Awaits Next U.S. President

Afghan children run to school on Sept. 24. Whoever takes over as the next U.S. president will have to determine how many troops will remain after the December 2014 deadline to help with long-term security.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.

The war hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.

Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appear to agree on a date: the last day of December 2014. That's when the Afghan security forces are scheduled to takeover.

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It's All Politics
5:06 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Massachusetts Senate Race Gives New Meaning To Gender Politics

Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (left) answers a question during a debate against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren on Monday at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass.
Matt Stone AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Despite its liberal reputation, the home of Jack Kennedy and Tip O'Neill has never elected a woman as governor or senator. And in Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's tight re-election race with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, gender could prove the difference.

When Brown won his Senate seat in a special election in 2010, he came away unscathed by something his female opponent at the time would have had a much harder time explaining away. He posed nude for Cosmopolitan when he was 22 to help pay for law school.

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Economy
5:05 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Reading Between The Candidates' Economic Lines

A for-sale sign hangs in front of a Homestead, Fla., home. In terms of the housing market, the presidential candidates differ most on regulation.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 12:17 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about the candidates' policies on housing and taxes.

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Presidential Race
5:04 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Taxes Are Certain, But What About Romney's Cuts?

Supporters watch Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak on Friday in Abingdon, Va. Romney started off his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but has backed off that somewhat.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Republican Mitt Romney started his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but now he has changed course. He's warning middle-class families not to raise their hopes too high.

Romney couldn't have been more emphatic than he was last November at a candidates' debate in Michigan.

"What I want to do is help the people who've been hurt the most, and that's the middle class," he said. "And so what I do is focus a substantial tax break on middle-income Americans."

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Presidential Race
4:02 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate

Moderator Jim Lehrer sits at his desk before last Wednesday's debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Denver. For third-party candidates, getting into a presidential debate is practically impossible.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:00 pm

What's it like to be a third-party candidate running for president? Ralph Nader can tell us.

"You're excluded from the debates," he says. "You spend an exhausting amount of time, until Labor Day, trying to get over the ballot access barriers. Your petitioners are harassed in the streets; you're subjected to baseless lawsuits by one party or another."

Nader has run for president three times – four if you count the time he ran unofficially. In 2000, he managed to win almost 3 percent of the national vote.

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Economy
9:18 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Jobs Report Has Surprising Results

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The jobless rate fell sharply to 7.8 percent in September, which happens to be exactly where it was when President Obama took office. That's according to the U.S. Labor Department's latest monthly jobs report. But even though the unemployment rate dropped, the Labor Department's payroll survey reveals that businesses did not significantly hire new people. NPR's Yuki Noguchi has this report on how experts are interpreting the numbers.

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