Politics

5:26pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Law

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Recess Appointments

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:53 pm

Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced skepticism on Monday about the way President Obama and other presidents have made temporary recess appointments to fill executive branch vacancies.

Article II of the Constitution says: "The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate," and that these appointees shall serve until the end of the following year, or longer if they are confirmed.

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5:22pm

Mon January 13, 2014
It's All Politics

Majority In Congress Are Millionaires

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington on Oct. 27. A new report lists Issa as the wealthiest member of Congress.
CHRIS USHER AP

For the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports conducted by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 534 current members of the House and Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012 – up from 257 members in 2011. The median net worth for members of the House and Senate was $1,008,767.

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5:02pm

Mon January 13, 2014
It's All Politics

High Court's Pass On 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:02 pm

Susan Walsh AP

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.

The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.

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1:18pm

Mon January 13, 2014
The Salt

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:10 pm

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

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1:00pm

Mon January 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:37 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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11:59am

Mon January 13, 2014
The Two-Way

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:01 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to examine how the state of New Jersey spent $25 million of the federal aid it received after 2012's Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has announced.

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3:08am

Mon January 13, 2014
Politics

Balance Of Power At Stake In High Court Case

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a big constitutional fight over the balance of power between the president and the Senate. President Obama has said he supports the move by Senate Democrats to make it harder for Republicans to block his nominees.
Evan Vucci AP

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a big constitutional fight over the balance of power between the president and the Senate.

At issue is whether the president's power to make temporary appointments during the Senate recess can be curtailed by the use of pro forma Senate sessions during which no business is conducted.

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12:02am

Mon January 13, 2014
National Security

Transcript: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Interview With NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:51 pm

Transcript of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' unedited interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep on Jan. 10.

STEVE INSKEEP: I want to begin, though, at the end, in a sense — and it's something you allude to at the very beginning of the book and that you allude to at the end. And it's the reasons that you retired from the job. And you said it had to do with your emotions, in a way. So would you just tell me, in your own words, why did you leave your post as secretary of defense?

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12:01am

Mon January 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Gates: Obama Made Solid Decisions, But Was Swayed By Factious Staff

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:07 am

Robert Gates in June 2011, his last month as secretary of defense.
Alex Brandon AP
  • Part II of the 'Morning Edition' conversation with Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says his criticism of President Obama is more nuanced than media reports about his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, would have you believe.

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4:57pm

Sun January 12, 2014
Politics

Congress Gets A Beating In Gates Memoir, Too

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

When it comes to American foreign policy, the hot topic this week wasn't Syria. Instead, pundits and commentators of all types were furiously debating how President Obama handled the wars in his first term. That was thanks to retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Even though the book hasn't hit stores yet, critics of the White House have been crowing over Gates' unvarnished critique of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

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