Politics

9:46am

Sat October 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:12 am

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Some In Congress Have Behaved Badly From The Start

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name calling in Congress. But our friend A.J. Jacobs says this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy. A.J., an editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine - until they come to their senses - joins us now from New York. A.J., thanks so much for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

D.C. Tourists Shell Out Admission Fees Amid Shutdown

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The government shutdown is now entering its second week. That's left many lawmakers with little to do and many tourists in Washington, D.C. wandering wanly through the streets of the city, wondering how to spend their pre-planned vacations. NPR's Alan Yu checks in with some of them.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Tea Party Leaders Unwilling To Rebrand

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Polls show the Republican Party is taking the biggest hit politically for the government shutdown, and leaders are wondering how to appeal to more diverse voters nationwide. But Tea Party leaders are holding the line on the shutdown, and have no interest in muting their message. Host Scott Simon talks with political correspondent Don Gonyea about the strategy crisis for Republicans.

7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Obamacare Drops Off The Shutdown Script

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Both the Senate and the House are meeting today for the second Saturday in a row. It's Day 12 of the government shutdown and Republican lawmakers are so far getting much of the blame for the lapse in federal funding that caused the shutdown. But they appear to have dropped their central demand of the budget standoff, a dismantling or delay of the Affordable Care Act. NPR's David Welna reports.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Shutdown's Reach Extends To South Pole

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Research season was just getting started when the government shutdown put McMurdo Station into "caretaker" mode, halting data collection. Host Scott Simon speaks to Gretchen Hofmann, a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, about the government shutdown's impact on research in Antarctica.

7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Economy

To The Debt Limit And Beyond

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Will the bottom fall out of the economy on Oct. 17 if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling? New York Times columnist Joe Nocera talks to Weekend Edition Sunday host Scott Simon about what the extended government shutdown and the debt limit could mean for our economy.

7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

D.C. To IMF: 'Welcome To Crazy Town'

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are holding their annual meeting this week. That means top finance officials and economists from all over the world are in Washington, D.C., during a display of brinksmanship from members of Congress.

6:01am

Sat October 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:31 pm

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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6:33pm

Fri October 11, 2013
The Salt

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:27 pm

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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