Politics and Government

The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Obama Nominates Maria Contreras-Sweet To Head SBA

President Barack Obama announces he will nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, left, founder and board chairman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, as the head of the Small Business Administration.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Former California official Maria Contreras-Sweet is President Obama's pick to lead the Small Business Administration. She was introduced and her official nomination announced at a White House event Thursday.

Born in Mexico, Contreras-Sweet became the first Latina to serve as a cabinet secretary in California when she led its Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999-2003.

That post led Obama to tell this anecdote:

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National Security
4:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Senate Committee Lays Blame For Benghazi With State Department

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Senate Intelligence Committee today delivered its analysis of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in that attack, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. It's a bipartisan report. Democrats and Republicans on the committee agreed, among other things, that the attack might have been prevented if the State Department had taken better precautions at the Benghazi post.

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Economy
4:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Fed Vice Chairman Nominee Taught Bernanke And Many Others

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In other personnel news, the president has nominated Stanley Fischer to serve as the next vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. He would replace Janet Yellen, who's been promoted to chairman of the central bank. Yellen reportedly recruited Fischer personally to serve as her deputy. He spent much of the last decade running Israel's central bank.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, Stanley Fischer is credited with helping that country weather the financial crisis better than most and with training many of the world's top economists.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

House Republicans Join In Passing $1 Trillion Spending Bill

House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders face reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:19 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill — a compromise that appeared to get past the bitter partisan showdowns that have caused an unpopular federal government shutdown and nearly tipped the U.S. into default.

The 359-67 vote was a sign of considerable support from Republicans, thanks to a bipartisan deal worked out last month laying out spending for the next two years.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Why The GOP Is Winning The Statehouse War

Texas is one of 23 states in which Republicans have control of both the state legislature and the governor's office.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:18 pm

While the federal government is divided and gridlocked, some states have become political monopolies where one party controls both the state legislature and the governor's office.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

What's America's Problem? 1 In 5 Says It's The Government

Dissatisfaction with America's government headed the list of problems cited in a new Gallup poll. Here, dusk falls on the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 30 — the eve of the federal shutdown that further frustrated many citizens.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:05 pm

The biggest problem the United States faces is not unemployment or the economy — it's the country's government, according to a plurality of Americans cited in a recent Gallup poll. Among Republicans, Democrats and independents, dissatisfaction with the U.S.'s political leadership topped all other issues.

The open-ended question they answered in the monthly poll of American attitudes was, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?"

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Oklahoma Revenue
12:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Doerflinger: Revenues Below Estimate, Adequate To Avoid Spending Cuts

Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger said Tuesday General Revenue Fund collections for the first half of the fiscal year remain below the estimate, but adequate to avoid across-the-board spending cuts through the remainder of the year.

“At this time, total revenues are below the estimate but still adequate to make it through the current year without mandatory spending reductions,” Doerflinger said in a release.

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Economy
11:21 am
Wed January 15, 2014

U.S. Agriculture Secretary 'Convinced' Rural Revitalization Plan Will Work

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:21 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Poverty: 'We Need To Talk About It As It Is, Not As It Was'

iStock.

Finally today, I'd like to end the program where we started: talking about poverty. We, like a lot of other people in the news business have been talking about poverty a lot this week and last.

We're doing this because we have something called a news peg — which is a fancy word for a reason to talk about something we want to talk about anyway. And that news peg is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's first State of the Union address, when he said this:

"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America."

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

Nor is having your potential presidential prospects possibly put into jeopardy by a scandal involving your top aides.

But we do have to say that NBC-TV's Jimmy Fallon has come through yet again with another should-see music video that adds some laughs to the news.

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