Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in front of the federal district court in Washington, where he filed his lawsuit against the Obama administration and the NSA.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
By filing his lawsuit against the Obama administration, including the National Security Agency, over the intelligence agency's collection of phone call data, Sen. Rand Paul now has ownership of a major issue in a way no other potential 2016 presidential candidate can lay claim.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., right, pick up box lunches on Feb. 12 before boarding a bus for a trip to a retreat in Cambridge, Md., where House Democrats will hold strategy meetings for two and a half days.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
House Democrats face a decidedly grim election season.
Their hopes of wresting control from the GOP look increasingly remote. Their legislative agenda is stymied. And some of their biggest liberal standard-bearers – Californians Henry Waxman and George Miller — are retiring.
So, as they hunker down on Maryland's Eastern Shore for their annual "issues conference" Thursday and Friday, why do they seem to be in such good spirits?
TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.
House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (left), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (right) were among the 28 Republicans whose votes made it possible for most other Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling hike.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Within the House Republican Conference, an unofficial "tough vote" caucus is taking shape.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Corporations work hard to influence Congress and public opinion. My guest, Eric Lipton, is an investigative reporter for the New York Times who's been writing about how corporations work in opaque ways to shape debates on issues ranging from whether we should raise the minimum wage to whether high-fructose corn syrup is less healthy than sugar.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that means that millions of American men and women are making plans to please their romantic partners, at least in parts of the country where they are not buried under snow and ice. But what you might not know is that, for some years now, the federal government has been involved, not so much in romance, but in teaching families so-called relationship skills.
It's been four years since the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United ruling, the case that set the stage for unlimited and often undisclosed contribution money in federal elections. This year, the superPACs and social welfare organizations that use that money for attack ads are already at it, even as Republicans and Democrats are still choosing their candidates for the fall campaigns.
Robert Bauer (far left) and Benjamin Ginsberg (far right) are co-chairmen of the president's Commission on Election Administration, appointed to find solutions to election-related issues.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
The commission President Obama appointed last year to figure out how to fix long lines at the polls and other election problems has sought to steer clear of the many partisan land mines surrounding how Americans vote.
The two co-chairmen of the panel continued to that navigation Wednesday as they presented their unanimous recommendations to the Senate Rules Committee.