Politics & Government

Political Junkie
5:03 am
Tue February 12, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Knowing you the way I do, I figured it would make no sense putting up ScuttleButton later in the day today. Not while you're getting ready for President Obama's State of the Union address to Congress.

So I decided to have it ready early this morning, giving you more time to solve this week's puzzle. And, I daresay, it's a bit harder than usual.

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Politics
3:47 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama Speech To Set Second Term's Tone

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:00 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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It's All Politics
2:45 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Fixing Long Lines At The Polls May Be Harder Than You Think

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:00 am

Minutes after he was re-elected in November, President Obama vowed to fix the long lines that many voters faced at the polls. He mentioned the problem again in his inaugural address. And now, the president is expected to raise it once more in the State of the Union address on Tuesday — this time with some possible solutions.

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Politics
2:43 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Sen. Rubio's Response Gives GOP A Chance To Woo Hispanics

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a fundraiser in Altoona, Iowa, on Nov. 17. He is delivering the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:44 am

Republican leaders have tapped Marco Rubio, a 41-year-old Cuban-American senator from Florida, to deliver the official GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

It's a chance for a party that has fared badly with both young and Hispanic voters to showcase a fast-rising, youthful Latino with a new stance on immigration.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Report: Emails Show Sen. Menendez Focused On Port Security Contract

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:47 pm

Emails between Sen. Robert Menendez's office and the Department of Homeland Security suggest that the New Jersey Democrat urged action that would help a company holding a port security contract in the Dominican Republic, The New York Times reported Monday.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Why Does GOP Continue To Be 'The Party Of White People?'

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:28 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review, about his article on the Republican party and why it is and will remain the party of white people.

Politics
3:51 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Though A Republican Invention, Obama Could Get Blamed For Sequester

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:41 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

On March 1st, a big across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, are set to hit almost every corner of federal spending. Many are warning the consequences would be dire.

PETER MCPHERSON: Sequestration is a reckless and a blunt tool that would force deep spending reductions across critical investments in R&D and education.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Obama's Efforts To Address Income Inequality Could Be Uphill Battle

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:28 pm

President Obama is expected focus on middle-class job growth and the economy in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. And while the president has fought to make the tax code more progressive, broader efforts to address income inequality could be an uphill battle at a time when the government seems bent on tightening its belt.

Politics
10:16 am
Mon February 11, 2013

GOP Minority Outreach: 'Future Majority Caucus'

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:28 am

After the 2012 election, many Republicans admit they need to do more to reach out to minorities. The party recently launched a campaign called the 'Future Majority Caucus,' to recruit women and people of color to seek state offices. Host Michel Martin speaks with Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee about the effort.

Political Junkie
10:15 am
Mon February 11, 2013

As With The Losses In '64 And '76, More Self-Examination In The GOP

Moderates triumphed at the '76 convention but their candidate, Ronald Reagan, lost the general election in the fall,
Anthony Camerano AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:51 am

Another defeat in the race for president has led to the inevitable round of soul-searching for the Republican Party. This time — unlike, say, in the aftermaths of the defeats of 1964 and 1976 — it is less clear how to get the GOP out of its rut.

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Politics & Government
7:25 am
Mon February 11, 2013

514 People Died in Alabama Highway Wrecks in 2012

Preliminary figures show more than 500 people died in state highway accidents investigated by state troopers last year. Nearly 60 percent of the victims were not wearing seat belts.
Press-Register/Mike Kittrell

Preliminary figures show that 514 people died in state highway accidents investigated by state troopers in 2012.


The numbers were released recently by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Department of Public Safety.


State officials said that in 59 percent, or 251 of the statewide fatalities investigated by state troopers, the victims were not wearing seat belts.

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Disaster Loans
6:36 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Deadline Coming in Ala., Miss. for Disaster Loans

The roof of the sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church on Dauphin Street in Mobile, Ala. was ripped off by a tornado that struck midtown Mobile Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012 in Mobile, Ala.
Bill Starling

The federal Small Business Administration says March 11 is the deadline for disaster loan applications from people and businesses in 10 Alabama counties and three Mississippi counties affected by severe storms on Dec. 25-26.


SBA field director Frank Skaggs said low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Loans of up to $40,000 are available to homeowners and renters to replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million.

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Alabama Education Policies
6:31 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Bill Would Give School Systems More Flexibility

Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard supports legislation that would give local school systems more flexibility in determining their rules and regulations.
mikehubbard.com

The Alabama Legislature is considering a bill that would give local school systems more flexibility in determining their rules and regulations.


The bill is opposed by the Alabama Education Association. AEA officials are concerned it could allow some local systems to strip rights away from teachers. They see it as a possible back-door approach to creating public/private charter schools in Alabama.

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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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