Politics & Government

Economy
11:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

It's All Politics
10:25 am
Fri February 22, 2013

A User's Guide To Washington Jargon

House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference Feb. 13 in which Republicans promoted the hashtag #Obamaquester to blame President Obama for automatic spending cuts set to kick in March 1.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It's not as elegant as some languages, but neither is it as impenetrable as, say, an economics textbook or the iTunes user agreement.

"We have our own language on Capitol Hill," says Don Ritchie, head of the Senate Historical Office.

That language — the budget terms and political euphemisms that fly freely through the air in Washington, D.C. — often ends up seeping into the nation's discourse.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
8:25 am
Fri February 22, 2013

It's All Politics, Feb. 21, 2013

President Barack Obama points to the crowd after delivering remarks on immigration in Las Vegas in January.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Since President Obama and congressional Republicans have decided to blame each other for the impending sequester, this week's podcast is dedicated to pointing fingers at everyone, including Jesse Jackson Jr., Pete Domenici and Joe "Buy a Shotgun" Biden. And if the podcast is not interesting? Blame NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

Politics
4:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama To Urge Japan To Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.

But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.

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Scottsboro Boys
4:45 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Alabama Senate Votes For Scottsboro Boys Pardon

The Alabama Senate votes to allow posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The Alabama Senate has approved legislation to allow posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.


The Senate voted 29-0 Thursday for the legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. The bill now goes to the House for what Orr predicts will be a similar vote.

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Medicaid Expansion
4:39 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Ala. Senate Democrats Blocked On Medicaid Effort

Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures has offered a resolution urging Governor Bentley to reconsider his decision not to expand Medicaid.
Credit AP Photo/Dave Martin

Democrats in the Alabama Senate are having trouble pressing their top issue.


Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile offered a resolution Thursday urging the Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to expand Medicaid. The Senate's Republican leader, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, cut off debate on the resolution by getting it sent to the Senate Rules Committee.

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Politics & Government
4:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sept. 11 Trial Judge Gives Defense Attorneys Access To 'Camp 7'

This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Defense attorneys in the trial of the five men accused of orchestrating the terror attacks on September 11th will get to see for the first time where their clients are incarcerated.

The army judge presiding over the trial at Guantanamo Bay said today he will allow the lawyers to visit a secret section of the prison.

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Hagel Nomination
4:26 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

GOP Senator From Ala. Signals Support For Hagel Nomination

Republican Senator Richard Shelby says he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
Credit United States Senate / Wikimedia Commons

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby says he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, a major boost for President Barack Obama's nominee.


The Alabama lawmaker tells the Decatur Daily he has concerns about his fellow Republican but plans to support him. Shelby spokesman Jonathan Graffeo said Thursday that, barring unforeseen surprises, the senator will vote for confirmation.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The 'Line' For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long

Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Baltimore in 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

In the back and forth between Congress and the White House over immigration, both sides seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency — meaning no green card until all other immigrants get theirs.

But that presents a problem, because the wait for a green card can take decades.

Maria has been waiting in line with her husband for 16 years and counting for what the government calls a priority date for legal residency. Because she is in the U.S. without documents, Maria asked NPR to use only her first name.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

'Friends Of Hamas': How A Joke Went Wrong

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Among the many charges thrown at Chuck Hagel, as he seeks confirmation as defense secretary, is this one: that he received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas. That explosive claim first surfaced on the conservative website breitbart.com. It got traction and spread among conservative media.

Thing is there's no evidence that any such group exists, not to mention any evidence of a Hamas-Hagel connection.

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Politics & Government
3:04 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Returns $600,000 Of Unspent Operating Costs

Sen. Rand Paul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:27 pm

For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, is returning a large part of his office's operating budget to the Treasury.

According to a press release, Paul presented taxpayers in Louisville with an "oversized" check for $600,000.

"I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country's economic health," Paul said.

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Politics & Government
1:48 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Petition To Legalize Unlocking Cellphones Meets White House's 100K Requirement

Frustration over a change in federal copyright policy that makes it illegal to unlock new cellphones has resulted in more than 100,000 signatures on a petition at the White House's website, meaning the executive branch must now respond to calls to rescind the ruling or "champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

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Politics & Government
1:34 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

15 Republican Senators Call On Obama To Withdraw Chuck Hagel Nomination

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, talks on the phone at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:28 pm

Fifteen Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to withdraw the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense.

The senators pointed to his lackluster performance during his confirmation hearing as well as what they said were his untenable positions on Iran.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Graham Says 4,700 Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

U.S. "Predator" drone over Afghanistan in Jan. 2009.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:09 pm

We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.

"We've killed 4,700," Graham said.

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Politics
10:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Social Security Boss On The Real Problem

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another family is grieving in Chicago after another young person was killed by gun violence this past weekend. Today we're going to bring you some very blunt, powerful perspectives from young people affected by the violence that you might not have heard. This from our colleagues with the public radio program "This American Life." And that's coming up later in the program.

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