Politics

6:42pm

Tue July 15, 2014
It's All Politics

Temporary Fix For Highway Money Is Well-Traveled Road

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:54 pm

The I-75 highway modernization project in Dayton, Ohio, in April 2014.
Skip Peterson AP

If kicking the can down the road were a competitive sport, the championship trophy would never leave Washington.

When the need to make a difficult choice collides with an unyielding deadline, the tendency in a city where partisan gridlock is the norm is to put the tough decisions off for another day.

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4:21pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Politics

A Year Into IRS Probe, Partisan Motives Still Prove Elusive

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now a fact check in the ongoing story about IRS treatment of conservative groups. For more than a year, two house committees have been investigating the IRS for stalling conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. House Republicans have alleged the Obama administration orchestrated the delays. But as NPR's Peter Overby reports, the evidence collected over the past year fails to support that allegation.

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4:21pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Politics

Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:39 pm

Traffic passes a construction zone at the interchange of U.S. Highway 65 and Interstate 80 on May 30 in Altoona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Chances are you've never heard of the budget gimmick known as "pension smoothing." We'll try to explain.

1. What is pension smoothing?

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4:21pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Politics

House GOP Counters Obama's Request By Promising Own Proposal

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. It's a familiar dance in Washington - President Obama makes a request to Congress and the House says no. This time, the no is in response to the $3.7 billion dollars the president requested to respond to an influx of unaccompanied immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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4:14pm

Tue July 15, 2014
It's All Politics

Why Some Politicians Turn Down Free Money

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 4:56 pm

The salary for Duluth, Minn., mayors hadn't been raised for a decade, but last year Don Ness decided 25 percent was too much at once.
Julia Cheng AP

All politicians are crooks, right?

Not really. Sometimes, elected officials will surprise you by being genuinely self-sacrificing when it comes to compensation.

Steve Novick, a city commissioner in Portland, Ore., just refused a $7,280 cost-of-living increase. He told The Oregonian accepting the raise "doesn't feel right."

He'll continue to earn $103,522, while his colleagues will pull in $110,802.

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2:49pm

Tue July 15, 2014
The Two-Way

Two Former State Attorneys General Arrested In Utah

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:03 pm

Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff (left) and John Swallow were taken into custody Tuesday as part of a bribery investigation.
Salt Lake County Sheriff AP

Two former Utah state attorneys general were arrested Tuesday. Both face numerous charges, including receiving and soliciting bribes.

Mark Shurtleff served as attorney general for a dozen years before completing his third term at the beginning of 2013. John Swallow was elected to succeed him but resigned in November, less than a year into the job. Both are Republicans.

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1:01pm

Tue July 15, 2014
The Two-Way

In Response To Dwindling Applications, Peace Corps Makes Big Changes

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:49 pm

In this 2011 photo, more than 100 Peace Corps volunteers are sworn in before heading to villages in southern Cambodia.
Heng Sinith AP

In a bid to shore up sagging numbers, the Peace Corps on Tuesday announced significant changes to its application process.

Sixty-page forms that used to take more than eight hours to fill out have now been shortened and streamlined and can be completed online in less than an hour, Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said on NPR's Here and Now.

The number of people who actually complete the application process has fallen by more than a third from its peak in 2009.

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12:23pm

Tue July 15, 2014
The Two-Way

Plan To Make 6 States Out Of California May Head To Ballot

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:01 pm

An image from the Six Californias website shows the proposed borders of its plan to slice the state into areas that the plan's backers say would be more manageable.
Six Californias

Backers of a plan to cut California into six states say they now have enough signatures from supporters to get their proposal on a general-election ballot in the state. The plan would create new states with names like Jefferson, Silicon Valley and South California.

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12:20pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Movie Interviews

In 'Underwater Dreams,' Robotics Team Puts Lens On Immigration Debate

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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9:46am

Tue July 15, 2014
Code Switch

The George Zimmerman Trial, One Year Later

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:25 am

George Zimmerman's trial became the locus of heated debate about racial profiling, gun laws and the criminal justice system.
AP

George Zimmerman's trial for killing Trayvon Martin became a flashpoint for raucous, heated debates — conversations about racial profiling, gun laws and the criminal justice system. Zimmerman's acquittal was seen by many as an outrage, but any outcome would have been unsatisfying for many people, since criminal trials are horrible proxies for the resolutions of big, thorny social issues.

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