Politics & Government

2013 Legislative Session
6:26 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Ala. Lawmaker Wants to Eliminate Some Runoffs

Alabama Rep. Mike Ball.
repmikeball.com

A north Alabama lawmaker is suggesting possible legislation that he said would streamline the state's election process by eliminating some party primary runoffs.


Republican state Rep. Mike Ball of Madison told the Florence Times-Daily the primary runoffs are costly. He said sometimes in special elections the runoff could cause a district to go through most of a legislative session without representation.


Ball said he's researching the idea and hopes to file a bill by the end of March to discontinue most primary runoffs.

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Politics
9:13 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Eerie Echoes From The First State Of The Union

This print shows George Washington holding a proposed plan for the new capital city of Washington.
Edward Savage Library of Congress

Guns, immigration, support for diplomats abroad, and the nation's financial situation.

These are key issues facing President Obama as he delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday night, Feb. 12.

Surprisingly, these were also key issues facing President George Washington some 223 years ago, when he gave the very first state of the union speech.

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Politics
5:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

What Will Obama Say In State Of The Union Address?

This week, President Barack Obama delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term, a key moment in the Washington calendar and in the often difficult relationship between the White House and Congress. NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro has a preview and talks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin.

Politics
5:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Second Term Another Chance For Obama, Congress To Work Together

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The success of President Obama's second term agenda will rest in part on his ability to work with Congress. For more on that, Ross Baker joins us. He's a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He joins us from the studios there.

Thanks for being with us.

ROSS BAKER: Thanks, Rachel. Nice to be with you.

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It's All Politics
4:07 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Public Pressure, Background Checks Central To Obama Gun Control Strategy

President Obama speaks about his gun control agenda before law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday. The president was doing what his aides say he didn't do often enough in his first term: getting outside of Washington to build public support for legislation.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

Gun control historically has been one of the most divisive issues in Congress, between the parties and even inside the Democratic coalition. Yet some in President Obama's own party say he has put together a gun agenda that is sweeping without being too painful for most Democrats to support.

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

6 Reasons Ashley Judd Is The Target Of An Attack Ad

Ashley Judd, who has said she's considering a challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, is now the subject of a Karl Rove-backed attack ad.
Matt Sayles AP

Some observers are wondering why American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-inspired superPAC, would bother to run a political attack ad against Hollywood star Ashley Judd, an outspoken supporter of President Obama who has said she's mulling a 2014 run against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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Law
1:39 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Obama Team To Make Important, If Symbolic, Choice On Gay Marriage

People wait in line to enter the Supreme Court as the term began in October.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:09 pm

The Obama administration faces tricky political and legal questions on the subject of gay marriage. By the end of this month, the federal government is expected to file not just one but two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But it is the Proposition 8 case from California that poses the thornier questions for the administration — questions so difficult that the president himself is expected to make the final decision on what arguments the Justice Department will make in the Supreme Court.

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Death By Drone, And The Sliding Scale Of Presidential Power

An unmanned drone armed with Hellfire missiles is shown over southern Afghanistan. A Hellfire missile fired from a drone was used in 2011 to kill an American in Yemen who the Obama administration says was an al-Qaida leader. Another American died in that attack, and a 16-year-old American was killed in a separate drone strike.
Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:00 pm

The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is generally to side with national security over civil liberties.

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Barbershop
10:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Should Christie Lighten Up Over Doctor's Concern?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:03 am

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie isn't laughing about his weight anymore. After poking fun at himself earlier this week, he ended up telling a former White House doctor to "shut up," when she commented on his size. Did he overreact? The Barbershop guys weigh in.

Faith Matters
10:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Richard Land Not Quitting Fight For Nation's Soul

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:03 am

As a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land has spent nearly 25 years on the front lines of America's so-called 'culture war'. Now, as social conservatives worry that they're losing key policy battles, Land tells host Michel Martin that he may be stepping down from his post, but not from the fight.

Around the Nation
10:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The Difficulties of Proving Housing Discrimination

Civil rights advocates have long relied on a principle called, "disparate impact," to prove minorities are discriminated in housing. Now, the Supreme Court is poised to review whether it's a legitimate tool in such cases. Host Michel Martin speaks with investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has written about the issue for ProPublica.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:50 am
Fri February 8, 2013

It's All Politics, Feb. 7, 2013

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Republicans are trying to find their way in the wake of their second consecutive presidential defeat and immediately they take advantage of the opportunity: Marco Rubio, chosen to respond to Obama's State of the Union address, decides Tupac is not a political action committee. Plus: Karl Rove's group plays sides in GOP primaries, and we remember Ed Koch.

Alabama Bicentennial Commission bill
6:27 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Senate Getting Ready for Alabama's Bicentennial

Alabama Senator Arthur Orr wants the state to set up the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
arthurorr.com

Some Alabama legislators are trying to start planning now for the state's bicentennial in 2019.


Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur got the Senate to pass a resolution Thursday setting up the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. The commission would plan and develop activities to celebrate Alabama becoming a state in 1819. Orr said the commission will have members representing state government, tourism and historic preservation. The members will only receive reimbursement for travel.

It's All Politics
2:33 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Even Without Earmarks, Tax Breaks And Special Deals Fill Bills

Tourists take photographs in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 2, the day after Congress passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:28 am

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

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Legislature-Consolidation
4:46 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Ala. Senate Delays Government Consolidation Bills

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has delayed a vote on a package of bills addressing government consolidation and efficiency.
Credit blog.al.com

The Alabama Senate has delayed a vote on a package of bills addressing government consolidation and efficiency.


Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh had planned to get the bills up for a vote Thursday. Marsh says he decided to delay a vote until next week because the bills are complicated and senators want time to study them.

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