Politics

5:57am

Mon December 23, 2013
Race

U.S. Demographic Transition Expected To Influence Politics

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The end of this year is a good moment to reflect on what lies ahead, so we're talking about the future.

GREENE: Rather than big predictions, we're seeking realistic assessments of where we stand and where we're going. Today we explore America's changing demographics and what that means for our politics.

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4:24am

Mon December 23, 2013
Politics

Obama Fails To Accomplish Ambitious Agenda In 2013

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Here's a way to look at the year 2013 for President Barack Obama: He began the year with two-thirds of Americas saying they approved of the job he was doing. He's ending the year with that number around 40 percent.

He began fresh off a hard-fought electoral victory, going into his second term with a pretty ambitious agenda. He's ending the year with many of his priorities stalled.

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11:55am

Sun December 22, 2013
Politics

Pension Cut Angers Senate's Staunchest Military Supporters

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, is urging her Senate colleagues to change the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for current and future military retirees.
Susan Walsh AP

In the two-year, $2 trillion budget deal that cleared the Senate last week, one item, worth just one-sixth of 1 percent of that total, was the reason many senators said they voted against it.

That item would produce some $6 billion in savings by shaving a percentage point off annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it would apply only to military pensions. Not all military pensions — just the retirement paid to veterans younger than 62.

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10:05am

Sun December 22, 2013
Interviews

What A Top Gun Learned On Her Way To The Top Of The Pentagon

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to hear now from the woman charged with streamlining the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion annual budget.

CHRISTINE FOX: We have to curb the growth of the compensation of our force. It's grown 40 percent above inflation over the last decade. And it's fully half of our budget. So, we have to slow the growth.

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9:13pm

Sat December 21, 2013
The Two-Way

17-Year-Old Colorado School Shooting Victim Claire Davis Dies

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:56 am

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson holds a picture of Claire Davis, 17, at a briefing at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., the day after the Dec. 13 shooting. Davis died Saturday.
Ed Andrieski AP

The teenager shot in the head by a classmate at a high school outside Denver died Saturday after being hospitalized for eight days.

Claire Davis, 17, was shot at point blank range with a shotgun on Dec. 13 and had been hospitalized in critical condition.

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5:31pm

Sat December 21, 2013
U.S.

NSA Under More Scrutiny As Year Ends

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Turning back to this country and the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency. This week, it became clear that President Obama will likely make some changes to how the spy agency does its work. How far those changes go? Well, that's an open question. Will they, for example, adjust or even end the bulk collection of phone records? At his press conference yesterday, the president said that is part of the discussion.

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9:04am

Sat December 21, 2013
Politics

The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 4:00 pm

After casting their final votes of a session in which few laws were passed, members of Congress leave for a five-week recess.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The 113th Congress has finished its first session, and lawmakers enacted fewer than 60 laws. No Congress since 1947 has done so little legislating.

That's bad news for many of Washington's lobbyists. Howard Marlowe, for one, hasn't been feeling the joy of his job.

"One of the driest periods in the 35 years that I've been lobbying," he says.

An old Washington hand, Marlowe has a small, boutique lobbying firm specializing in local infrastructure projects. His client base includes airports, shipping ports and local governments.

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8:19am

Sat December 21, 2013
Politics

Despite Setbacks, Obama Finds Bright Spots In 2013

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 11:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama's in Hawaii today. His family flew there last night for their annual Christmas getaway. Just before leaving Washington, D.C., the President put a stamp on 2013 with a year-end news conference. At times, his parting encounter with reporters seemed as rough as the year just ending. NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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8:18am

Sat December 21, 2013
Politics

Congress Faces Farm Bill, Debt Ceiling In 2014

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 11:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Senate wrapped up its first session of the 113th Congress yesterday. Despite modest signs of bipartisanship near the end of the session, this year's been lampooned as one of the least productive years in the history of the legislative branch, one mired in partisan strife. NPR's congressional reporter, Ailsa Chang, joins us now. Ailsa, thanks for being with us.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: You're welcome. Thanks for having me.

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7:42pm

Fri December 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Zings Friends And Foes Alike In Year-End News Conference

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:01 pm

A few of President Obama's comments at his year-end news conference were the kind that could rankle political allies and opponents alike.
Susan Walsh AP

It's the season of peace and goodwill, but President Obama may have tested the limits of both with some comments at his end-of-year news conference.

Asked if he would negotiate with congressional Republicans about the debt ceiling, Obama said he wouldn't do so over raising the limit, though he was willing to talk with Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and House Budget Committee chairman, about other issues, like tax reform.

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