Frank James, NPR http://kut.org en In Texas, Obama Sets Stage To Answer 'Do-Nothing' Congress http://kut.org/post/texas-obama-sets-stage-answer-do-nothing-congress Six years into his administration, President Obama has apparently not given up on the "hope" that was a major theme of his first run for president.<p>What else but undying optimism could explain the president's hope for the Texas congressional delegation expressed in his visit to their state this week?<p>Speaking of his conversation with Republican Texas Gov. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:38:25 +0000 Frank James, NPR 10774 at http://kut.org In Texas, Obama Sets Stage To Answer 'Do-Nothing' Congress Obama's No-Win Immigration Predicament http://kut.org/post/obamas-no-win-immigration-predicament President Obama's tough predicament on immigration is only getting worse.<p>He certainly didn't want to be dealing with an influx of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the U.S. across the Southern border, overwhelming the Homeland Security Department's ability to deal with them during a critical midterm election year.<p>Obama also presumably didn't want an immigration bill passed by the Senate a year ago to sit, forsaken, in the House. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:32:30 +0000 Frank James, NPR 10711 at http://kut.org Obama's No-Win Immigration Predicament The Energy Behind Repealing Obamacare May Be Ebbing http://kut.org/post/energy-behind-repealing-obamacare-may-be-ebbing Sure, you can still hear congressional Republicans talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act.<p>But there's clearly something different about the current climate, and the GOP approach to Obamacare. The thrill of repeal may not be gone for Republicans, but much of the urgency of repeal is.<p>For starters, the House GOP doesn't have more repeal votes lined up for these weeks after the spring recess.<p>When Rep. Mon, 05 May 2014 20:14:29 +0000 Frank James, NPR 10354 at http://kut.org The Energy Behind Repealing Obamacare May Be Ebbing The Politics Of Equal Pay: It's More Than A Women's Issue http://kut.org/post/politics-equal-pay-its-more-womens-issue The pay equity issue, which President Obama and Democrats are making a central theme of the 2014 midterm election campaign, is often framed as a women's issue. But Democrats are expecting it will also have crossover appeal to men.<p>For many men, it's a matter of self-interest: Two-income families are part of a long-term trend, as many families find two paychecks essential to cover the bills in an era of rising prices and stagnant, if not falling, wages.<p><a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm">U.S. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:10:09 +0000 Frank James, NPR 10165 at http://kut.org The Politics Of Equal Pay: It's More Than A Women's Issue 6 Things Missing From The Budget Agreement http://kut.org/post/6-things-missing-budget-agreement The essence of the <a href="http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=0129b688-500e-4c81-a37d-d3643e0709c7">budget deal</a> reached by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is better understood by looking at what's missing, rather than what's included in it.<p>The agreement by the budget committee chairmen is no grand bargain. It's more like a minibargain. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:38:46 +0000 Frank James, NPR 9348 at http://kut.org 6 Things Missing From The Budget Agreement Obama's Immigration Pivot Hits A Bruised GOP's Weak Spot http://kut.org/post/obamas-immigration-pivot-hits-bruised-gops-weak-spot After successfully staring down congressional Republicans in the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, President Obama pivoted to immigration in a move with almost no downside.<p>That makes it perfect as the next vehicle for him to use to cause the GOP major indigestion.<p>Before being re-elected last year, President Obama said he hoped the Republican "fever" of opposition to him would break during his second term. But if the just-completed standoff is any indication, that temperature is still spiking.<p>The immediate shift to immigration could be Dr. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:26:08 +0000 Frank James, NPR 8969 at http://kut.org Obama's Immigration Pivot Hits A Bruised GOP's Weak Spot House GOP's Latest Idea: A Fiscal Supercommittee, Sort Of http://kut.org/post/house-gops-latest-idea-fiscal-supercommittee-sort The latest House GOP gambit in the fiscal fight is ... wait for it ... a supercommittee.<p>But Republicans aren't calling it a supercommittee since that's the term for <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/11/21/142602820/with-no-super-deal-whats-next-in-deficit-debate">the failed panel</a> that brought us the the sequester.<p>Instead, it's called the <a href="http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20131007/BILLS-113hr-PIH-bicamwrkggrp_xml.pdf">Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth</a>. Tue, 08 Oct 2013 20:17:50 +0000 Frank James, NPR 8887 at http://kut.org House GOP's Latest Idea: A Fiscal Supercommittee, Sort Of Some GOP Leaders Tee Up Cruz For Blame If There's A Shutdown http://kut.org/post/some-gop-leaders-tee-cruz-blame-if-theres-shutdown Just a week before the federal government could shut down if no agreement is reached to fund it past the end of September, it's anyone's guess whether Democrats and Republicans will avoid plunging over this particular cliff.<p>More certain, however, is that if a shutdown happens over Obamacare and Republicans wind up taking the heat, many GOP fingers of blame will point squarely at Sen. Tue, 24 Sep 2013 11:27:20 +0000 Frank James, NPR 8767 at http://kut.org Some GOP Leaders Tee Up Cruz For Blame If There's A Shutdown Why The Justice Department's Eyes Are Upon Texas http://kut.org/post/why-justice-departments-eyes-are-upon-texas In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its <a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/156015977/Justice-Department-VRA-Sec-3-lawsuit-against-Texas" target="_blank">first legal action</a> following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.<p>Texas, as its natives are always boasting, is exceptional. Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:02:22 +0000 Frank James, NPR 8418 at http://kut.org Why The Justice Department's Eyes Are Upon Texas Obama Uses and Loses His Political Capital on Gun Control http://kut.org/post/obama-uses-and-loses-his-political-capital-gun-control The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.<p>Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. Wed, 17 Apr 2013 22:53:12 +0000 Frank James, NPR 7402 at http://kut.org Obama Uses and Loses His Political Capital on Gun Control Republicans' Secret To Success? Sound And Act More Like Democrats http://kut.org/post/republicans-secret-success-sound-act-more-dems <strong>Updated at 3:40 p.m. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 18:21:12 +0000 Frank James, NPR 6986 at http://kut.org Republicans' Secret To Success? Sound And Act More Like Democrats Death By Drone, And The Sliding Scale Of Presidential Power http://kut.org/post/death-drone-sliding-scale-presidential-power The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is generally to side with national security over civil liberties.<p>Whether it has been Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln sidestepping Congress and suspending habeas corpus to enable the arrests of scores of Confederate sympathizers, or that great liberal Franklin D. Fri, 08 Feb 2013 21:29:31 +0000 Frank James, NPR 6527 at http://kut.org Death By Drone, And The Sliding Scale Of Presidential Power Obama Finding Gun Control Voice, Which Had Gone Quiet http://kut.org/post/obama-finding-gun-control-voice-which-had-gone-quiet If President Obama takes the lead in a movement for more effective gun control now that he's been stirred to action by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it would mark a significant break from his pattern so far as chief executive.<p>For while Obama has dutifully served as the nation's consoler in chief in localities where the all-too-frequent mass shootings have occurred, that has seemed the extent of the official response observable to White House outsiders.<p>But with the funerals of murdered Connecticut children and educators far from over, the president on Tuesday went further tha Wed, 19 Dec 2012 13:55:26 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5951 at http://kut.org Obama Finding Gun Control Voice, Which Had Gone Quiet Susan Rice's Decision May Spur Musical Chairs on Senate http://kut.org/post/susan-rices-decision-may-spur-musical-chairs-senate Now that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from secretary of state consideration, the <a href="http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/12/13/rep-moore-attacks-on-rice-a-strategy-to-open-kerrys-seat/">conspiracy theory</a> that Republicans targeted her to force President Obama <a href="https://twitter.com/tonymastria/status/279336448812015616">to name Sen. John Kerry</a> instead, to open up a Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat for the recently defeated Sen. Scott Brown, is alive and well and ricocheting across the Internet.<p>That doesn't mean it's true. Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:57:21 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5906 at http://kut.org Susan Rice's Decision May Spur Musical Chairs on Senate Final Pre-Election Jobs Report Can Be Spun By Both Obama And Romney http://kut.org/post/final-pre-election-jobs-report-has-news-both-obama-and-romney-spin (Revised @ 12 p.m. ET)<p>The final monthly jobs report before Tuesday's general election contained something for both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney to work into their closing arguments to voters.<p>For Obama, it was the news that the economy in October created significantly more jobs — 171,000 — than many economists had forecast. Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:25:25 +0000 Frank James, NPR & Frank James, NPR 5505 at http://kut.org Final Pre-Election Jobs Report Can Be Spun By Both Obama And Romney Obama Returns to the Campaign Trail Post-Sandy http://kut.org/post/obama-returns-campaign-trail-post-sandy Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.<p>Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.<p>In a spirited speech that seemed to match the energy level he showed upon exiting Air Force One then jogging across the airport tarmac to the stage, Thu, 01 Nov 2012 19:38:46 +0000 Frank James, NPR & Frank James, NPR 5497 at http://kut.org Obama Returns to the Campaign Trail Post-Sandy Obama, Romney Reprise Their Greatest Debate Hits On Campaign Trail http://kut.org/post/obama-romney-reprise-their-greatest-debate-hits-campaign-trail A day after their second presidential debate, President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were in different swing states, reprising some of their greatest hits from Tuesday night.<p>And "hits" is the exactly the right word because each man energetically repeated attacks he made on his rival.<p>At a campaign stop in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Obama, clearly buoyed by the widespread perception that he won the second debate after badly losing the first, happily exploited a debate gaffe by Romney. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 23:04:31 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5368 at http://kut.org Obama, Romney Reprise Their Greatest Debate Hits On Campaign Trail Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It http://kut.org/post/sesame-workshop-obama-campaign-leave-big-bird-out-it In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.<p>The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.<p>Adding to its mockery of Romney, the Obama campaign <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZxs09eV-Vc&feature=player_embedded" target="_blank">cut an ad</a> featuring the feathery yellow gia Tue, 09 Oct 2012 18:43:07 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5285 at http://kut.org Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness http://kut.org/post/presidential-debates-one-area-where-campaigns-pitch-their-weakness An oddity of U.S. presidential politics is that candidates and their campaigns spend nearly all their time telling voters how superior they are to their rivals in virtually every area: the wisdom of their policy proposals; the soundness of their characters and judgments — everything, really.<p>Except for debating.<p>It's the old game of setting the bar high for your opponent and lower for your candidate, of course. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 21:16:59 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5202 at http://kut.org Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness Romney's 2011 Tax Return Gives More Fodder to Critics Who Already Had Surplus http://kut.org/post/romneys-2011-tax-return-gives-more-fodder-critics-who-already-had-surplus Mitt Romney's Friday release of his 2011 tax return puts that issue back in the headlines just when it had slipped largely off many people's radar screens.<p>Of course, it wasn't exactly as though the other headlines the Republican presidential nominee has made of late were all that helpful to his presidential campaign. Sat, 22 Sep 2012 20:48:09 +0000 Frank James, NPR 5135 at http://kut.org Romney's 2011 Tax Return Gives More Fodder to Critics Who Already Had Surplus