NPR Political Coverage

Politics
11:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kicking The Can Down The Road: A Habit That's Hard To Kick

President Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge near Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Obama said he supports the temporary highway bill passed by the House last week — but he doesn't like it.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:55 pm

The Senate is expected to vote on a temporary transportation spending bill later this week — with an emphasis on the word temporary.

The bill would keep highway funding flowing through May of next year, and avert a looming infrastructure crisis. Without congressional action, the highway trust fund would run out of cash in August.

The short-term fix follows a familiar pattern. It goes something like this:

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It's All Politics
5:31 am
Sat July 19, 2014

No Filter: Interior Tweets America The Beautiful

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Twitter account routinely produces electrifying visuals.
Tom Koerner/@USFWS U.S. Department of the Interior via Instagram

It isn't one of the largest federal agencies. Its Twitter following pales next to many other Cabinet departments.

But the Department of Interior's Twitter (@Interior) account — replete with stunning visuals, straightforward hashtags, and snappy captions — is nevertheless steadily building a devoted following.

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It's All Politics
7:09 am
Thu July 17, 2014

The GOP Now Likes Community Organizing (If It Wins Elections)

Republican officials Rob Collins, Phil Cox and Matt Walter all seemed pleased at a briefing for journalists about the GOP's midterm election prospects, as did former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:56 am

Both parties are sounding confident right now about their midterm election prospects, but only one can be right. As it stands now, Republicans clearly have more reason for optimism.

On their side, Republicans have history and a current political environment in which the Republican base looks to be more excited about the coming election than Democrats.

Meanwhile, voters are consistently telling pollsters that they're dissatisfied with the nation's direction, which usually portends bad news for the party holding the White House.

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Palin's Call For Impeachment Reopens Debate Over ... Sarah Palin

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin introduces U.S. Senate challenger Chris McDaniel at a May 29 rally in Ellisville, Miss.
George Clark AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:21 pm

It's nice to see Sarah Palin back in the news. Nice, that is, if you're a Sarah fan — or if you're a Democrat, or a member of the media.

Palin's fans, and they are legion on the right, love her reliably tough-talking take on how conservatives should fight President Obama and his use of executive power to circumvent Congress.

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It's All Politics
7:48 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Highway Bill As Establishment Vs. Tea Party, Chapter 943

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:47 am

The Tea Party-aligned groups that pushed the strategy that led to last fall's government shutdown are back, this time urging a "no" vote on the short-term extension to the federal highway funding program.

FreedomWorks, Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have all announced they intend to use the vote when grading lawmakers.

Call it the latest round in the Republican's Party's battle between its establishment and Tea Party wings. And as has often been the case in recent months, on Tuesday afternoon, the establishment prevailed.

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It's All Politics
6:54 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Temporary Fix For Highway Money Is Well-Traveled Road

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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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Some Politicians Turn Down Free Money

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

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

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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It's All Politics
6:59 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Showdown At The UT Corral

University of Texas, Austin President Bill Powers (center) speaks with the media following a December 2013 regents meeting in Austin.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:54 pm

Like any ugly, long-running confrontation between a husband and wife or next-door neighbors — or between anybody, really — it's hard to know exactly when the dispute between University of Texas President Bill Powers and Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry truly began.

But in the end, when the dust settled, one thing was clear: When powerful university presidents and powerful governors tangle, the politician usually ends up on top.

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It's All Politics
6:55 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Georgia Senate GOP Runoff Shows Little Southern Hospitality

Georgia Republican senatorial candidates Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah (left) and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue at a debate in May.
David Tulis AP

And the winner of the debate between Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue, both vying in a runoff to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Georgia, was — Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn.

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It's All Politics
5:55 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Florida Ruling Is A Primer On Redistricting Chicanery

Florida Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia examines a map of proposed changes in congressional districts in January 2012.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:25 pm

If you have some time over the weekend or need a break from the endless LeBron James coverage, you could peruse the highly readable opinion by a Florida judge who invalidated some of the redistricting efforts by the state's Republican Legislature.

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