Politics

9:30am

Mon January 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama: I Will Not Let Deficit Talks Be Tied To Another Debt Ceiling Debate

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:03 pm

President Obama speaks during his news conference in the East Room of the White House on Monday.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

At a news conference dominated by discussion of what's expected to be Washington's next big political battle, President Obama insisted Monday that he will not let Republicans tie an increase in the federal government's borrowing limit to negotiations over cuts in future federal spending.

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6:13am

Mon January 14, 2013
Political Junkie

This Particular Nomination May Not Be About Obama; It's About Chuck Hagel

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., speaks at the White House on Monday after President Obama nominated him to replace U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans are interested in only one thing, and that is to thwart President Obama at every opportunity. He proposes something, the GOP opposes it. He says it's day, they say it's night. In some cases, those complaints are justified; in others, it's just whining.

But it's a complex story about the opposition to Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, to become the next secretary of defense. It may not be about Obama at all.

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3:24am

Mon January 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Critics Decry Looser Rules For Inauguration Fundraising

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Construction was under way on Capitol Hill in November for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A week from Monday, President Obama is to take his public oath of office for a second term.

The inauguration will be marked by celebratory balls and other festivities, sponsored by the privately financed Presidential Inaugural Committee. The first Obama inauguration had strict fundraising rules. But this year, the rules have been loosened, and critics wonder what happened to the president's old pledge to change the way Washington works.

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3:23am

Mon January 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, shown in Kansas in 2011, added language to the Justice Department's annual spending bill in 2003 that has put limits on the sharing of government gun records.
John Hanna AP

Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to make recommendations on how to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

But he says his task force is facing an unexpected obstacle: slim or outdated research on weapons.

Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies.

A Researcher Under Fire

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2:36pm

Sun January 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Losing Our Religion: The Growth Of The 'Nones'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

As religious as this country may be, many Americans are not religious at all. The group of religiously unaffiliated — dubbed €œ"nones" €-- has been growing.
iStockphoto.com

This week, Morning Edition explores the "nones" — Americans who say they don't identify with any religion. Demographers have given them this name because when asked to identify their religion, that's their answer: "none."

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12:34pm

Sun January 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Enmity And Ennui: Va. Governor's Race Inspiring Both

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:15 pm

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli talks about the Supreme Court decision on the national health care law on June 28, 2012 in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Most Virginians say they approve of the job that first-term GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell is doing, suggesting he'd have a good shot at re-election when his term expires at the end of this year.

But it's one-and-out for governors in Virginia, the only state that doesn't allow its chief executive to serve consecutive terms.

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6:09am

Sun January 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Cabinet Picks Come As Democrats Push To Change Filibuster

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 2:25 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have talked about a deal to change the Senate's filibuster rules.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In recent weeks, President Obama has chosen Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his next secretary of state; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to head the Pentagon; counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director; and his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Each nomination will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and they all could be stopped by a Senate filibuster — that is, the refusal by any one of 100 senators to let a matter come to a final vote.

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7:00am

Sat January 12, 2013
The Sotomayor Interview

A Justice Deliberates: Sotomayor On Love, Health And Family

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke with NPR in December at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor readily concedes that she was the beneficiary of affirmative action in higher education, and she doesn't really know why her view is so different from that of her colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas.

"As much as I know Clarence, admire him and have grown to appreciate him," she says, "I have never ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive. And I know one thing: If affirmative action opened the doors for me at Princeton, once I got in, I did the work. I proved myself worthy. So, I don't look at how the door opened."

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Politics

What Would Obama Do (If There's No Debt Ceiling Deal)?

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Politics

What Obama's Cabinet Picks Say About His Second Term

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama has announced most of his Cabinet choices for his second term. There are no big surprises. All are pretty familiar faces in Washington, D.C., but Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and the White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew still must get through Senate confirmation. We're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, thanks for being with us.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Happy to be here.

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