Liz Halloran, NPR http://kut.org en Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders http://kut.org/post/obama-seeks-wider-authority-release-drug-offenders Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences.<p>The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave.<p>"The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and proport Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:22:12 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 10265 at http://kut.org Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders 'Living Wage' Effort Eclipsed By Minimum-Pay Battles http://kut.org/post/living-wage-effort-eclipsed-minimum-pay-battles The close of 2013 has been marked by a vigorous national debate over income inequality, the plight of low-wage workers in America and the effect of boosting mandatory minimum wages.<p>The debate was magnified when Wal-Mart got unwanted attention for a store-based holiday food drive for its own needy workers, and when President Obama announced his support for legislation that would raise the national minimum hourly wage of $7.25 for the first time since 2007.<p>While federal efforts to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 are expected to continue to languish in 2014, the New Year will usher in new Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:28:33 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 9435 at http://kut.org 'Living Wage' Effort Eclipsed By Minimum-Pay Battles Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate http://kut.org/post/unlikely-allies-shake-military-sex-assault-debate On most recent days, nothing that wasn't bitterly partisan has seemed possible in the nation's capital.<p>On Tuesday, the city got its exception.<p>Republican Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas stood with liberal Democratic Sen. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 23:42:31 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 8371 at http://kut.org Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate Gov. Rick Perry Will Keep Texas Guessing. Until Monday http://kut.org/post/gov-rick-perry-will-keep-texas-guessing-until-monday Will he or won't he?<p>The Texas political class has been abuzz this week about more than just Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' abortion bill filibuster-heard-round-the-nation.<p>The other occupying parlor game: Whether three-term Republican Gov. Rick Perry intends to seek an unprecedented fourth full term.<p>CNN and other news organizations reported Tuesday afternoon that Perry, a failed 2012 GOP presidential candidate, plans an announcement Monday about his "exciting future plans."<p>CNN was first to report that Perry, governor since 2000 when George W. Tue, 02 Jul 2013 23:43:03 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 8273 at http://kut.org Gov. Rick Perry Will Keep Texas Guessing. Until Monday Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery Unlikely http://kut.org/post/bush-sees-approval-hike-trumanesque-recovery-unlikely A poll released days before the opening of George W. Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:43:34 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 7462 at http://kut.org Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery Unlikely Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years http://kut.org/post/boston-bombing-suspects-are-brothers-living-us-years <em><strong>Updated 1:50 p.m. ET</strong>: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)</em><p>The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.<p>Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, on Friday afternoon was still being sought by police. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 17:13:43 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 7425 at http://kut.org Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented' http://kut.org/post/expert-attacks-justice-community-unprecedented Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:17:39 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 7169 at http://kut.org Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented' Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act? http://kut.org/post/has-us-outgrown-voting-rights-act The nation has twice elected an African-American president.<p>Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/12/26/the-growing-electoral-clout-of-blacks-is-driven-by-turnout-not-demographics/" target="_blank">rival those of whites</a>.<p>And the number of black elected officials in the U.S. Tue, 26 Feb 2013 23:12:53 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 6754 at http://kut.org Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act? The Reselling Of Lance: A Job Too Big Even For Oprah http://kut.org/post/reselling-lance-job-too-big-even-oprah You may have heard that banned-for-life pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, has admitted to doping.<p>You may have heard that he apologized (tearfully, reportedly) to employees at Livestrong, the foundation he started in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer.<p>You may have heard that he reached out to make nice with people in the cycling world whom just months ago he was branding as liars and worse, and that he may pay back some bike team sponsor money.<p>Feel manipulated yet?<p>The rapid rollout of Lance 2.0, the acknowledgment and apology tour that culminates w Tue, 15 Jan 2013 19:28:29 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 6192 at http://kut.org The Reselling Of Lance: A Job Too Big Even For Oprah In Midwest Union Fights, Michigan Shows 2010 Election Still Trumps 2012 http://kut.org/post/midwest-union-fights-michigan-shows-2010-election-still-trumps-2012 No one can argue the setback to organized labor served up by Michigan's new law, which bars unions from requiring workers to pay dues even if they don't join their workplace bargaining unit.<p>Tuesday's passage of "right to work" legislation in a state dominated by the auto industry and the historically powerful United Auto Workers was a surprising "smack in the face" to unions, says labor expert Lee Adler, especially given President Obama's nearly 10-point win in the state last month.<p>The action by the GOP-controlled Legislature in a post-election lame-duck session is the surest sign yet, A Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:44:41 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 5894 at http://kut.org In Midwest Union Fights, Michigan Shows 2010 Election Still Trumps 2012 GOP Pushback On No-Tax Norquist: Less Than Meets The Eye http://kut.org/post/gop-pushback-no-tax-norquist-less-meets-eye A handful of congressional Republicans after finishing their Thanksgiving dinners decided to give anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist the brushoff, saying they wouldn't abide by his "no new taxes" pledge as they work on a budget deal.<p>Breathless coverage ensued.<p>"Move over, Grover?" <a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/26/15454107-congress-move-over-grover?lite">read one headline</a>.<p>"Republicans Buck Norquist on Tax Pledge," said <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/sunday-shows/republicans-buck-norquist-on-tax-pledge-20121125" target="_blank">another</a>.<p>Irrational Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:01:50 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 5727 at http://kut.org GOP Pushback On No-Tax Norquist: Less Than Meets The Eye As Dust Settles, Voters Cite Campaign's Negativity http://kut.org/post/dust-settles-voters-cite-campaigns-negativity Voters were frustrated by a 2012 presidential race they called more negative than usual and more devoid of substantive discussion of issues, according to a <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2012/11/15/low-marks-for-the-2012-election/" target="_blank">survey released Thursday</a> by the Pew Research Center.<p>And voters are pessimistic about the prospect of a more productive Congress, Pew found.<p>Two-thirds of registered voters surveyed after Election Day said they believe relations between Democrats and Republicans will stay the same or worsen over the coming year.<p>Optimism over Presiden Fri, 16 Nov 2012 13:44:50 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 5655 at http://kut.org As Dust Settles, Voters Cite Campaign's Negativity Obama's Win Powered By Organization, If Not Ideas http://kut.org/post/obama-wins-re-election The euphoria of Barack Obama's supporters on election night four years ago was replaced Tuesday by relief, as the incumbent president won a second term over Republican Mitt Romney in an effort powered more by organization than by ideas.<p>To retain the White House, Obama managed to overcome the handicap of an economy just finding its footing after a devastating recession, and an unemployment rate higher than it's been under any president seeking re-election since Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.<p>And in swing states that now serve as pickers of our presidents, Obama and his tea Wed, 07 Nov 2012 04:38:06 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 5553 at http://kut.org Obama's Win Powered By Organization, If Not Ideas 2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You'd Think http://kut.org/post/2012-gender-gap-could-be-historic-not-necessarily-reason-youd-think A slew of new presidential polls released this week not only confirm a long-established gender gap among voters, but also suggest that the male-female preference divide in this year's presidential contest could hit historic levels.<p>It may surprise that that divide appears not driven by social issues and arguments over reproductive care or choices, analysts say, but largely by the national conversation over the size of government.<p>"On the fundamental question of whether you want a smaller government with fewer services, or a bigger government with more services, women and men are in a very Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:09:12 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 5184 at http://kut.org 2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You'd Think Ron Paul's Faithful Continue To Make Noise; Floor Fight Tuesday? http://kut.org/post/ron-pauls-faithful-continue-make-noise-floor-fight-tuesday Oh, Isaac. Mon, 27 Aug 2012 22:22:53 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 4960 at http://kut.org Ron Paul's Faithful Continue To Make Noise; Floor Fight Tuesday? Romney Reboot? Convention Could Be The Ticket http://kut.org/post/romney-reboot-convention-could-be-ticket Mitt Romney, 65, has spent the better part of a decade running for president. Sat, 25 Aug 2012 17:06:38 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 4950 at http://kut.org Romney Reboot? Convention Could Be The Ticket Paul Ryan Boosts Romney's Conservative Credentials, But Also Mobilizes Opponents http://kut.org/post/paul-ryan-boosts-romneys-conservative-credentials-also-mobilizes-opponents Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discarded his increasingly inert better-safe-than-sorry campaign strategy Saturday when he named budget hawk and Democratic bete noire Rep. Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:53:38 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 4860 at http://kut.org Paul Ryan Boosts Romney's Conservative Credentials, But Also Mobilizes Opponents Biden Says It, So Obama Doesn't Have To http://kut.org/post/biden-says-it-so-obama-doesnt-have President Obama may have disappointed the NAACP by appearing only via brief video message Thursday at the civil rights group's annual gathering — especially after Mitt Romney had personally taken the stage a day earlier.<p>But sending in Vice President Biden to stir things up, just 24 hours after Romney was booed while delivering a conservative message meant to resonate beyond the walls of the Houston convention center, seemed to work out just fine for Obama.<p>Biden in recent days has offered up some of the Obama campaign's most pointed criticisms of the Republican challenger: "Mitt Romney wa Thu, 12 Jul 2012 20:06:40 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 4675 at http://kut.org Biden Says It, So Obama Doesn't Have To Mitt Romney Vs. Rand Paul In 2016? http://kut.org/post/mitt-romney-vs-rand-paul-2016 As sort-of-still-a-presidential-candidate Ron Paul continues to collect delegates at state Republican Party conventions, the question of what the libertarian Texas congressman wants has become more urgent in GOP circles.<p>A speaking role at the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney is expected to accept the nomination?<p>A seat at the party's rule-making table to advocate making it easier for non-mainstream candidates to compete in future GOP nominating contests?<p>Well, yes, as a start.<p>But it's increasingly looking like Paul, 76, and his passionate loyalists are consolidating clout in Tue, 22 May 2012 21:38:49 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 4302 at http://kut.org Mitt Romney Vs. Rand Paul In 2016? Wavering In Iowa: Portraits Of Undecided Voters http://kut.org/post/wavering-iowa-portraits-undecided-voters As NPR's Becky Lettenberger and I take to the road in Iowa this week, we are collecting the words and images of Iowa Republicans still uncertain who they will vote for in next Tuesday's state GOP presidential caucuses.<p>Here's the first look at what we saw and heard Tuesday in two cities that hug the Mississippi River on the state's eastern border, Dubuque and Davenport.<p>We spoke with voters after a Newt Gingrich appearance in Dubuque during a Rotary Club meeting at a local country club.<p><em><strong>Patrick Brehm</strong></em>, 49, is a dairy farmer from Peosta, and <em><strong>Chri Wed, 28 Dec 2011 16:58:35 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 3317 at http://kut.org Wavering In Iowa: Portraits Of Undecided Voters