Politics & Government

It's All Politics
6:27 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

How Do You Say 'Snafu' In Japanese?

When Democratic opposition delayed a major Asia-Pacific trade deal, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked if the administration had to do some hand-holding with the 11 countries involved in the talks. "I don't know how 'snafu' translates into a variety of Asian languages," he said.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 6:02 pm

The Senate looks ready to move ahead with trade legislation, after a daylong delay that the Obama administration repeatedly described as a "snafu."

"These kinds of procedural snafus are not uncommon," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest after Democrats held up the bill, which would give President Obama authority to expedite passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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National Security
4:58 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

House Considers Bill To Stop NSA Bulk Collection Program

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 7:44 pm

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

It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Train Derailment Highlights Amtrak's Infrastructure Needs

An Amtrak train leaves Chicago's Union Station on its way to Los Angeles.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:56 pm

Amtrak was formed in the 1970s out of the ashes of several bankrupt rail lines, including the Penn Central. Its has been criticized for poor service, and shaky finances, but its safety record has been good.

More than 31 million passengers rode Amtrak in fiscal year 2013, the last for which figures are available. In the Northeast Corridor, more than 2,000 trains operate daily on Amtrak's rails, between commuter lines and Amtrak trains. And far more passengers ride Amtrak between Washington, New York and Boston than fly.

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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

The Morning After: Lawmakers Vote To Reduce Amtrak Funding

"Starving rail of funding will not enable safer train travel," Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., told the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, admonished Democrats: "Don't use this tragedy in that way," he said. "It was beneath you."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Transportation funding was going to get plenty of attention this week in Washington — even before an Amtrak train derailed about 140 miles to the north.

This is National Infrastructure Week, so lobbyists, labor leaders and activists started swarming Capitol Hill on Monday, seeking funds for roads, bridges and other projects related to transportation.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

House Approves USA Freedom Act, Extending And Revising The Patriot Act

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:49 pm

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve a measure that would, among other things, end the mass collection of Americans' phone data.

The USA Freedom Act extends many parts of the 2001 USA Patriot Act, which expires June 1. The measure's fate in the Senate is less likely.

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Africa
4:13 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Army General Overthrows President Of Burundi In Apparent Coup

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:56 pm

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

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Politics
3:33 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Consider Raising Taxes To Lower Deficit

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:56 pm

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

The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Senate Reaches Deal To Vote Thursday On 'Fast-Track' Trade Bill

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 4:19 pm

One day after Senate Democrats blocked the "fast-track" trade authority bill that has been championed by both President Obama and Republicans, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says an agreement has been reached to move forward.

The solution calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package on the floor, according to NPR's Ailsa Chang. Ailsa says the Senate will vote on a customs enforcement bill that includes Sen. Charles Schumer's safeguards aimed at reducing currency manipulation.

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Code Switch
11:01 am
Wed May 13, 2015

I'm From Philly. 30 Years Later, I'm Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing

The neighborhood where the compound of the radical group MOVE was located.
Peter Morgan AP

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:14 pm

Talk to some of the folks who lived through the bombing of 62nd and Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia 30 years ago, and you'll notice that they refer to the event by its full date. May 13, 1985.

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Wed May 13, 2015

GOP Split Over Bill To Let Immigrants In U.S. Illegally Serve In Military

Dream Action Coalition Co-director Cesar Vargas, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014. He wants immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to later be allowed to serve in the military.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 7:20 pm

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can't fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces.

"I do believe that because this country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back," Vargas said in an interview.

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Politics
5:16 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Obama Lays The Foundation For A Post White House Life

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 1:10 pm

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

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Politics
5:14 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Vote On Obama's Fast-Track Trade Bill Blocked By Senate Democrats

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 1:43 pm

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

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It's All Politics
4:07 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Court Throws Out Nun's Sabotage Conviction For Nuclear Site Break-In

Anti-nuclear activists Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2013.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:51 pm

From the moment she was taken into custody in 2012, outside a building that stores enriched uranium in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Sister Megan Rice has argued she has been driven by one thing — a desire to spread a message.

"And we all know that nuclear energy is linked inextricably with nuclear weapons," Rice told a group of activists in remarks captured on YouTube.

Prosecutors accused her of violating the Sabotage Act, intending to hurt the government's ability to wage war or defend itself.

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It's All Politics
4:01 am
Wed May 13, 2015

The 13 Questions Hillary Clinton Has Answered From The Press

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tours a lab during a campaign stop at New Hampshire Technical Institute in April.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:21 pm

There is always a tension between the press and the candidates they cover. Journalists want access, and want to ask questions. Campaigns want to control the message. Over time, that has especially been true with Hillary Clinton.

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It's All Politics
10:11 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Jeb Bush Backtracks On Iraq, Says He 'Interpreted The Question Wrong, I Guess'

Jeb Bush continues to struggle to articulate a position on Iraq and separate himself from his brother's most unpopular policy.
Ricardo Arduengo AP

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 10:50 pm

Jeb Bush is walking back an answer on the Iraq war, in which he had said he would have authorized the invasion — even knowing what we know now.

"I interpreted the question wrong, I guess," he told conservative Sean Hannity on Hannity's radio show Tuesday afternoon. "I was talking about given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather than knowing what we know now. And knowing what we know now, you know, clearly there were mistakes."

Still, Bush did not say the invasion was a "mistake," or that he would not have authorized it.

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