Politics

5:13am

Sat February 23, 2013
It's All Politics

States Take Sides As Court Revisits Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon Johnson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. discuss the Voting Rights Act in 1965. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments on whether a key part of the law is still needed nearly a half century after its passage.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments next week in a case that tests the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the law considered the most effective civil rights statute in American history. At issue is whether a key provision of the statute has outlived its usefulness.

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6:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
It's All Politics

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:26 pm

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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5:18pm

Fri February 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Sequester In South Carolina: A Tale Of Fighter Jets And Preschools

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:47 pm

Four F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron of Shaw Air Force Base fly over Darlington Raceway before a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in May 2012.
Geoff Burke Getty Images for NASCAR

In Sumter, S.C., home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 20th Fighter Wing, cars sport bumper stickers that say, "Jet noise is the sound of freedom."

Throughout the day, F-16s on training runs blast from a runway on base, disappearing into the foggy sky. But if automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts slated for March 1 go into effect, there will be a lot less of that sound.

"To cut to that level, we just could not pay for the amount of flying hours that we currently have," says Capt. Ann Blodzinski, the base's chief of public affairs.

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12:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
BackTalk

Who Should We Honor On Presidents' Day?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

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12:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Economy

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

11:25am

Fri February 22, 2013
It's All Politics

A User's Guide To Washington Jargon

House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference Feb. 13 in which Republicans promoted the hashtag #Obamaquester to blame President Obama for automatic spending cuts set to kick in March 1.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It's not as elegant as some languages, but neither is it as impenetrable as, say, an economics textbook or the iTunes user agreement.

"We have our own language on Capitol Hill," says Don Ritchie, head of the Senate Historical Office.

That language — the budget terms and political euphemisms that fly freely through the air in Washington, D.C. — often ends up seeping into the nation's discourse.

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9:25am

Fri February 22, 2013
'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup

It's All Politics, Feb. 21, 2013

President Barack Obama points to the crowd after delivering remarks on immigration in Las Vegas in January.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Since President Obama and congressional Republicans have decided to blame each other for the impending sequester, this week's podcast is dedicated to pointing fingers at everyone, including Jesse Jackson Jr., Pete Domenici and Joe "Buy a Shotgun" Biden. And if the podcast is not interesting? Blame NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

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5:42am

Fri February 22, 2013
Politics

Obama To Urge Japan To Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.

But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.

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5:00pm

Thu February 21, 2013
It's All Politics

The 'Line' For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 10:26 am

Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Baltimore in 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

In the back and forth between Congress and the White House over immigration, both sides seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency — meaning no green card until all other immigrants get theirs.

But that presents a problem, because the wait for a green card can take decades.

Maria has been waiting in line with her husband for 16 years and counting for what the government calls a priority date for legal residency. Because she is in the U.S. without documents, Maria asked NPR to use only her first name.

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4:51pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Politics

'Friends Of Hamas': How A Joke Went Wrong

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Among the many charges thrown at Chuck Hagel, as he seeks confirmation as defense secretary, is this one: that he received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas. That explosive claim first surfaced on the conservative website breitbart.com. It got traction and spread among conservative media.

Thing is there's no evidence that any such group exists, not to mention any evidence of a Hamas-Hagel connection.

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