Politics

10:17am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:18 am

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
MC1 Chad J. McNeeley Office of the Secretary of Defense

After a somewhat stormy debate in the Senate over his confirmation, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon and took over as secretary of defense.

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8:09am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:08 am

As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.

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6:40am

Wed February 27, 2013
Around the Nation

Ex-State Rep. Likely To Replace Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:34 am

Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly has captured the Democratic nomination in the race to replace disgraced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. She is all but assured a win in April's general election because the Chicago-area district is overwhelmingly Democratic.

3:03am

Wed February 27, 2013
Law

Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Voting Rights Act

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 8:48 am

The Supreme Court on Wednesday weighs the future of a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Once again, race is front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. And once again, the bull's eye is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely viewed as the most effective and successful civil rights legislation in American history. Upheld five times by the court, the law now appears to be on life support.

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6:19pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
John Moore Getty Images

Many programs affecting low-income Americans — like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

But many other programs are not, and that has service providers scrambling to figure out how the budget stalemate in Washington might affect those who rely on government aid.

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5:47pm

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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4:53pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Politics

Most Republicans Who Signed Support For Same-Sex Marriage Aren't In Office

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Next month, the Supreme Court will take up a highly anticipated challenge to California's Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage. Today, a group of prominent Republicans weighed in with a legal brief opposing the ban. That puts them at odds with their party's position. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, it puts them in line with public opinion.

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4:53pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Politics

House Makes Little Movement Toward Avoiding Automatic Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.

4:53pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Politics

Obama Tries To Build Public Pressure On Congress Over Looming Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Tick-tock goes the sequester clock. Three more days until automatic across-the-board spending cuts kick in. And today, President Obama was once again on the road trying to build public pressure on Congress to delay or replace the cuts. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson begins our coverage.

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3:33pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Liberal SuperPAC Under Fire For Tweets About McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Elaine Chao at last summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Mike Thelier UPI /Landov

From NPR member station WFPL:

"A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's wife.

"For months, the liberal superPAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.

"Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

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