Politics

12:51am

Sun May 19, 2013
Business

Tesla Rides High, But Faces Formidable Foe: Car Dealers

The Tesla Model S, Motor Trend Car of the Year, is introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit in January. Tesla's attempts to sell its cars without going through dealerships is meeting resistance.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.

Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.

And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.

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7:23am

Sat May 18, 2013
Politics

Highly Charged IRS Case Pulls In Political Agendas

NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Congressional testimony of IRS officials in response to the scandal over special scrutiny of tea party groups. Underneath all the politics, there's a policy question that hasn't been addressed.

5:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
Politics

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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5:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
It's All Politics

Immigration Bill Chugs Along, But Some See Deal-Breakers

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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4:56pm

Fri May 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama U: What Graduation Speeches Say About The President

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

President Obama's commencement speeches seem to be his real State of the Union addresses. On May 5, he told Ohio State students that they were graduating into a "healing" economy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

This weekend, President Obama will give a speech that very likely won't be about the controversies of the moment.

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4:20pm

Fri May 17, 2013
Politics

Outgoing Acting IRS Director Grilled By House Lawmakers

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

The House Ways and Means Committee became the first oversight panel in Congress to weigh in on the IRS tax-exempt group controversy on Friday morning.

4:09pm

Fri May 17, 2013
It's All Politics

A Field Guide To Democratic Responses To Scandals

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:49 pm

President Obama checks to see if it's still raining as a Marine holds an umbrella for him during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House on Thursday.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama's first term was free from the kind of scandal that consumes every ounce of political oxygen in Washington. Now, in light of a trio of controversies, his supporters find themselves in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to defend some hard-to-defend events.

Democrats have offered up a range of responses. They view the issues — Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department snooping on The Associated Press — as separate issues that shouldn't be lumped together.

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3:11pm

Fri May 17, 2013
U.S.

After Deadly Chemical Plant Disasters, There's Little Action

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

The PBF Energy refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., uses toxic chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid. Rather than using "inherently safer" design methods, the industry says, other safety measures are taken to prevent accidents like the one in West, Texas.
Mel Evans AP

You might think that everything would have changed for the chemicals industry on April 16, 1947. That was the day of the Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate — the same chemical that appears to have caused the disaster last month in West, Texas — exploded. The ship sparked a chain reaction of blasts at chemical facilities onshore, creating what a newsreel at the time called "a holocaust that baffles description."

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3:07pm

Fri May 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Conservative Advice To GOP: Don't Legislate, Focus On Scandals

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:25 pm

Heritage Action, the political activist offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation, has some advice for House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor: focus on the scandals plaguing the Obama administration and stay away from legislation that could "highlight major schisms" within the House Republican Conference.

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11:31am

Fri May 17, 2013
Health Care

Nearly Half The Country Doesn't Know Health Law Exists

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 12:51 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we go to Ohio where black business owners are meeting to swap some new ideas. Basketball legend Magic Johnson even got a lead on an investment there. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes. But first, House Republicans voted yesterday to repeal President Obama's signature healthcare law - again.

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