President Obama speaks at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.
Credit Evan Vucci / AP
Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.
Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency are among them.
Unlike the debates over Obamacare or President Obama himself, which tend to be more litmus tests for party affiliation than anything else, the reactions to reports about overreach by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency have brought normally warring partisans together.
In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."
And now it's time for Backtalk, that's the time when we hear from you. Editor Ahmad Omar is with us today. What is going on?
AHMAD OMAR: Celeste, we have a little clarification. In our political chat last week, we talked about a staff shakeup for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The co-chair of her reelection committee resigned over connections to the Council of Conservative Citizens. The Southern poverty Law Center calls that a white nationalist group.
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie's political future is affected by the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, President Obama dares Republicans to stop his court nominees and Michigan's John Dingell makes history in Congress. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin review it all in the latest It's All Politics podcast.
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From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Larry Abramson on the nation's secret court
Fresh reports about the massive amount of electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting "raise profound questions about privacy" because of what they say about how such information will be collected in the future, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said Friday on Morning Edition.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Sen. John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to do more for rebels fighting the Syrian government. This follows his trip last week to opposition-held territory in Syria. McCain warns that a failure to act could send the Middle East deep into sectarian conflict.
His comments come as both the rebels, and the likelihood of planned peace talks, appear to be losing ground.NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court, on the brink of issuing two same-sex-marriage decisions, is facing a question that Margaret Marshall had to resolve for her state a decade ago, as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Her decision became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.