Politics & Government

The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Amazon's Bezos Enters Gay Marriage Debate With $2.5M Worth Of Support

Mackenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Fast food's Chick-fil-A has been at the center of the culture wars in recent days because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken opposition to gay marriage.

Read more
Families of Prisoner's Conference
11:51 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Conference in Ala. To Help Families of Inmates

Today starts the Alabama Families of Prisoners Conference in Birmingham. The two-day event was established to help families who are in need of resources and encouragement now that a family member is incarcerated. Mary Kay Beard is coordinating the conference. She says inmate’s families serve time just as surely as the inmates do.


"But no one tells them what the rules are, and I don't mean specific rules but how to walk through this time of incarceration and we want to provide to them resources that will be helpful."

Read more
Strange News
6:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Freed Inmate Re-Incarcerated For Refusing To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Did Economy Slow Further In Second Quarter? We Find Out Today

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:01 am

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning, down from a 2 percent pace in the first quarter.

This is the bureau's first estimate of GDP growth in the spring months. It will revise the figure twice in coming months. It's now 8:33 a.m. ET. We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. The White House Points To String Of Positive Quarters:

Read more
It's All Politics
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 2:42 pm

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

L.A. Council Bans Pot Shops After Regulation Struggle

Pedestrians walk past a medical marijuana dispensary in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles Tuesday. The City Council voted that day to ban marijuana shops outright.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to shut down all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. That's no easy task. There are more than 800 of them — more than the number of Starbucks coffee shops in Los Angeles. But after years of struggling to regulate pot shops, city officials have decided to prohibit them altogether.

Read more
Inside Rebel-Held Syria
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message

Most civilians have fled the Syrian town of Derat Azza after protracted shelling by Syrian troops. Shops are closed, and rebels are trying to tightly control any information flowing out of the town.
Bunny Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:17 pm

Last of five parts

The most striking thing you see when you drive into the Syrian town of Derat Azza is that it's devoid of ordinary people. Shops are closed, shuttered.

The only people you see seem to be rebels.

It seems like the only difference between this town and others in the area is that the regime made up its mind to target it. And once the regime did, there was nothing the people could do.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

Read more
The Veepstakes
5:25 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

For VP Option, Christie's Star May Burn Too Bright

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:52 pm

What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.

Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."

Read more
Redistricting
5:10 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Alabama Asks Court To Back Its Redistricting Plan

Alabama is also asking for an injunction against Eric Holder from enforcing certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
ryanjreilly Flickr

Alabama is asking a federal court to rule that its redistricting plan for the state Legislature does not violate the Voting Rights Act.

The state filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking a declaratory judgment that the plan does not deny or abridge the right to vote based on race or color.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney In London: Not A Smashing Success So Far

Mitt Romney leaves London's 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:27 pm

The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.

First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.

Read more
Bingo Corruption
4:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ala. Gambling Trial Judge Wants Bribery Clarity

The judge who presided over Alabama's two gambling corruption trials says the U.S. Supreme Court needs to clear up when a campaign contribution constitutes a bribe.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion saying there is ``considerable confusion'' about how federal corruption laws apply to campaign contributions. He says a precise definition of bribery would help.

The two trials before Thompson involved legislators and lobbyists accused of promising campaign contributions in return for votes on pro-gambling legislation. No one was convicted.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

Read more

Pages