Politics & Government

It's All Politics
12:40 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Barney Frank's Journey From Closeted To An Openly Gay Member Of Congress

Michael Halsband Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 2:49 pm

In 1972, former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., decided he would run for the state Legislature in Massachusetts — but he also explicitly decided to stay in the closet. And as he made this decision, he made a promise to himself to support LGBT rights.

"I could not live with myself if I did not oppose the discrimination," Frank tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

That year, two organizations asked candidates for the state Legislature if they would sponsor a gay rights bill. Frank says he enthusiastically agreed, expecting a senior member to take the lead.

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Politics
4:55 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Politics Roundup: A Balancing Act For 2016

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now some pregame analysis from Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. And, Cokie, tempted as I am to talk about baseball with you, I guess we should focus on the politics (laughter) if you want, unless you disagree with that.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Spring Training Has Begun — For Baseball, And For Candidates

At this stage in the election cycle, just like in baseball's spring training, fans love to see a new phenom catch fire. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, sporting a Milwaukee Brewers jersey in 2013, seems to be the rookie to watch in the 2016 presidential race so far.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:21 am

Baseball fans endure the long winter in part because they know, come March, the game will again come alive. They can't wait for their radio, TV, computer screen or smartphone to come alive with scenes from warm climates featuring men in crisp uniforms pitching and catching.

Major League Baseball's spring training is underway, but at this stage, wins and losses aren't really important. It's all about fundamentals: getting ready for the regular season and hopefully the playoffs.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Kerry To Resume Talks Over Iran's Nuclear Program

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Switzerland today for more talks with Iran's foreign minister on the Islamic republic's nuclear program. The meeting comes a week after Senate Republicans signed an open letter to Iran suggesting any deal reached would lapse the day President Obama leaves office.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is reporting on the talks for our Newscast unit, says:

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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

5 Obama Jokes That Stood Out From His Gridiron Club Routine

There are no photos of last night's Gridiron Club dinner, but President Obama did plenty of laughing (and it looked something like this).
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 12:11 pm

About three-quarters of the way through his joke routine, President Obama chuckled and said "this lame-duck stuff is fun." Indeed, unencumbered by re-election concerns, Obama seemed to relish his role of comic-in-chief at the 130th annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, the oldest and most exclusive club for members of the Washington press corps.

Here are five notable lines from Obama's appearance, in order of delivery:

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Middle East
8:50 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Syrian Rebels Will Face ISIS, But The U.S. May Not Have Their Backs

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish People's Protection Units battle ISIS militants in Kobani, Syria, in November. U.S. officials haven't said whether they will defend the forces if they are attacked by Bashar al-Assad.
Jake Simkin AP

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

The U.S. air war in Iraq and Syria against the self-proclaimed Islamic State is now in its eighth month.

American officials say dropping bombs won't be enough to defeat that group; it will also require fighting on the ground. So the U.S. is trying to put together a ground force in Syria by training and equipping thousands of Syrians.

One big question is what the U.S. will do if these Syrian rebel forces get attacked by the regime of Bashar Assad — and so far, the U.S. doesn't have an answer.

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Politics
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Loretta Lynch To Get A Senate Vote: The Week In Politics

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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It's All Politics
6:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Lego Says You Can't Build That — Because Of Politics

A model made of Legos of the four female Supreme Court justices. The designs were rejected as a product submission because of politics.
Courtesy of Maia Weinstock

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 12:26 am

Science journalist Maia Weinstock recently got the idea to create a custom Lego set to celebrate the female justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. She researched the Supreme Court building, the justices and their traditions, all the way down to the silver mugs that they often carry out to the bench when hearing oral arguments.

After purchasing the pieces she needed, Weinstock created the "Legal Justice League: Women of the Supreme Court in Lego," in honor of International Women's Day.

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Politics
5:39 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

President Obama Visits Phoenix Hospital At Center Of VA Crisis

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:00 pm

President Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visit the veterans hospital in Phoenix Friday to announce a new outside advisory committee to help the VA with customer service. A scandal last year at the Phoenix facility led to revelations of long wait times for veterans throughout the VA medical system.

It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Who Is Tom Cotton, The Man Behind The Iran Letter?

Tom Cotton, R-Ark., the freshman senator and Harvard graduate senator with a record of tough talk on foreign policy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 12:33 am

The man behind a letter 47 Senate Republicans addressed to Iranian leaders this week is a freshman senator who's been in the chamber just over two months. Tom Cotton was the unusual GOP candidate last fall who thrilled both the Tea Party base and the Republican establishment.

And now, the young Iraq War vet is a rapidly rising star among his new colleagues.

All week – even against a crescendo of backlash about the letter – there were still plenty of Senate Republicans gushing about the youngest member of their chamber.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Univision Incident Reignites Questions About Diversity In Latino Media

Former Univision host Rodner Figueroa
Alexander Tamargo Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:40 am

Univision host Rodner Figueroa has been let go for offensive remarks about first lady Michelle Obama.

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Health
4:36 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Federal Government, States Battle Over Safety Of Powdered Alcohol

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
4:36 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Tom Cotton: The Freshman Senator Behind The Iran Letter

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:00 pm

Freshman Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has been in office barely two months, penned an open letter to Iranian leaders this week that 47 Republican senators signed. NPR profiles the Harvard-trained lawyer and Iraq War veteran.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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World
4:36 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Israeli Politician Changed Her Mind On Palestinian Conflict

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

The Rules Don't Apply To Hillary Clinton ... Or Any Of The Other Un-Candidates

Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations on Tuesday in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state.
Yana Paskova Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:20 pm

Hillary Clinton is, at least for now, not officially running for president. That's what she has said all along, and now all six members of the Federal Election Commission are on record agreeing with her.

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