Politics

Politics
7:10 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Combat? Reaction Of Many Women In Military Is 'Been There, Done That'

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, with a Marine Corps. Female Engagement Team, in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

  • Tom Bowman reporting for the NPR Newscast
  • From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.

Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

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Politics
8:14 am
Wed January 23, 2013

As Hillary Clinton Testifies, How Will Libya Shape Her Legacy?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:34 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Michele Kelemen reports

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. Clinton Testifies Before House Committee:

One of the defining moments of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state was her strong advocacy for U.S. military intervention that helped oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

But as she prepared to step down from the post, she faced a grilling from Republicans in both the House and the Senate over what went wrong in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

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Texas
9:49 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Four Texans Linked to Algerian Hostage Crisis

Map Data @2013 Google

There's been a lot of confusion in the aftermath of the four-day long hostage crisis at a remote Algerian natural gas production facility. KUT News takes a look at the information and tries to sort out the information relevant to Texas.

The siege ended in a violent standoff Saturday, after security forces stormed the natural gas production facility, leaving a preliminary count of 58 hostages dead. That number is likely to go up as more information becomes available. The New York Times reports “there are a good 20 bodies,” some badly burned, left to be identified.

Details are murky about who survived and who was lost during the siege, but what is known is that out of the reported 685 Algerian and 107 foreign workers at the plant, at least four Texans have been linked to the crisis.

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Politics
6:17 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Join Us For Coverage Of Inauguration Day; Here's The Schedule

Souvenirs are available in Washington, D.C., as the city celebrates the inauguration.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 9:32 am

Good morning.

Though he and the vice president have already taken their oaths of office, President Obama is due this noon to stand outside the Capitol for his ceremonial swearing in and then to deliver his second inaugural address.

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Politics
7:14 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mental Health Gun Laws Unlikely To Reduce Shootings

State Senator Jeff Klein (L-R), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins congratulate New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after he signed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act on Tuesday.
Hans Pennink Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 10:11 am

States aren't likely to prevent many shootings by requiring mental health professionals to report potentially violent patients, psychiatrists and psychologists say.

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Politics
8:05 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Interior Sec. Salazar Is Latest Member Of Cabinet To Announce Departure

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:58 am

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar intends to step down at the end of March, his office confirms to NPR's Jeff Brady.

Word of Salazar's plan broke over night. According to The Denver Post, the former senator from Colorado intends to "return to Colorado to spend time with his family."

As the Post writes:

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George H. W. Bush
1:24 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Elder President Bush Released From Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in June.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images for HBO

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:54 pm

After nearly two months in a Houston hospital, where he spent some of the time in intensive care for treatment of complications related to bronchitis, an infection and a stubborn fever, former President George H.W. Bush was sent home today.

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Politics
5:29 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate

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

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:27 pm

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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Politics
2:43 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Spike That Email About Welfare and Work; Fact-Checkers Say It's Not True

If this arrives in your inbox, fact checkers advise just hitting delete.
PolitiFact.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:58 pm

If you've gotten the "Death Spiral" email that's apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here's the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers:

It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.

The debunkers: both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

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Politics
10:42 am
Fri January 11, 2013

'State Of The Union' Set For Feb. 12

President Obama, Vice President Biden (at left) and House speaker John Boehner at the 2012 State of the Union address.
Saul Loeb DPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:21 am

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has sent President Obama the invitation that precedes each year's State of the Union address:

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Politics
5:07 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Sebelius, Holder and Shinseki Stay Put In Obama's Second Term

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks as Attorney General Eric Holder listens during a news conference last October. The two plan to remain in their current jobs as President Obama's second term begins.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 5:41 am

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official. The news that the three will remain in their current posts comes amid the departure of other Cabinet officials, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who submitted her resignation today.

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Politics
10:46 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Reports: Obama Settles On Chief of Staff Jack Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff. He's likely to be the nominee for treasury secretary.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 5:46 am

Update: At 6 a.m. ET. Jan. 10, White House Announcement:

The White House has officially confirmed that President Obama will nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary. According to a statement, the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today (Thursday).

NPR's Scott Horsley had more about the nomination on Morning Edition.

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Politics
1:23 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Secretary Clinton Back At Work

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (at right, in front) in a photo released today (Jan 7, 2013) by the State Department. A spokesman says it was taken around 9:15 a.m. ET at a meeting with the department's assistant secretaries.
State Department

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:49 am

After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.

The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.

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Politics
11:44 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama Nominates Hagel For Defense, Brennan For CIA

The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense.
STAFF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:16 pm

  • NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements

President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,

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CIA
10:33 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped for CIA

John Brennan, who President Obama wants to lead the CIA.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:46 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman on the Hagel nomination

President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

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Politics
11:25 am
Sat January 5, 2013

As The Capitol Turns: Little Has Changed In Congress' New Season

House Speaker John Boehner swears in the newly elected members of the 113th Congress on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

This week saw both a frantic finale to the much-unloved 112th Congress and, hours later, the swearing in of the new 113th. The cast of lawmakers and their leaders is mostly unchanged. The same can be said for Capitol Hill's never-ending drama over taxes, deficits and spending.

What was arguably this week's most sensational congressional moment did not even take place in Washington. On Wednesday in Trenton, N.J., Republican Gov. Chris Christie blasted the GOP-led House for closing down the last Congress without even considering a Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:35 pm

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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Superstorm Sandy
10:33 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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Politics
4:37 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Ethics Commission Fines Simmons' PAC Over Donations

Todd Wiseman via Texas Tribune

The political action committee for Waste Control Specialists, which is owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, was fined Wednesday by the Texas Ethics Commission over illegal political contributions. 

The PAC illegally donated nearly $65,000 to 18 state lawmakers — 15 Republicans and 3 Democrats — in 2011, shortly after the organization was formed. At the time, Simmons was the only contributor to the PAC. Texas elections code requires a PAC to have at least 10 donors before it makes a political contribution.

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