Politics and Government

Same-sex Marriage
4:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Gay Florida Couple In Limbo After Winning Right To Marry

William Jones, left, and his partner, Aaron Huntsman, speak with the media Thursday, July 17. The couple is challenging the state of Florida's ban on gay marriage. (Rob O'Neal/AP/Key West Citizen)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:44 pm

3:30 p.m. ET update: Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia has denied the motion by Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones to lift the stay on the ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. This means, for now, that Monroe County will not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The case now heads to an appellate court.

Read more
Politics
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Sen. Alexander Outpaces Tea Party, But Remains In Its Cross Hairs

State Rep. Joe Carr holds a news conference in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Jan. 16, 2013. He is challenging incumbent Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

Tennessee's Lamar Alexander is one of a number of incumbent Republican senators caught in the cross hairs of Tea Party groups, taking on several challengers in next month's GOP primary.

But while Tea Party groups may be optimistic about the race, challengers like Joe Carr face an uphill battle to unseat the two-term senator.

Carr's campaign office is just across the street from Murfreesboro's antebellum courthouse. An American flag hangs out front, and in the window a big campaign sign calls on Tennessee Republicans to vote for "Carr, not Lamar."

Read more
News
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Signs Order To Protect Against Anti-LGBT Bias

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama signed an executive order today giving new employment protections to gay and transgender people. And this is for people who work for the government. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports that the move comes after years of pressure from LGBT activists.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: At the White House today, President Obama signed the order saying we're on the right side of history. He said it was time to address this injustice for every American.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Read more
Law
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

GOP Marks Dodd-Frank's 4th Birthday With Calls For Repeal

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Four years ago today, President Obama signed a massive overhaul of the nation's financial laws, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law was a response to the Wall Street bailouts and regulatory failings that sparked the financial crisis and caused the great recession. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the anniversary is being marked by calls from some to repeal parts of the law.

Read more
Politics
12:53 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Longtime LGBT Activist Reflects On The Early Days Of Her Advocacy

In 1972, Madeline Davis argued for the Democratic party to embrace gay rights. In this encore broadcast, Davis remembers her historic speech and the evolution of the gay rights movement.

Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:39 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Auditing The Storm: Hazard Funds Don’t Always Go To Damaged Areas

An overturned car after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore.
Oklahoma Watch

As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter.

Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

Meanwhile, in Stillwater, people were also on alert because a tornado watch had been issued that day. But the city received only a light rain and no wind damage, according to the National Weather Service.

The destruction and deaths caused by the Moore tornado led many people in the city to believe that a residential storm shelter was essential.

But after the May 20 tornado, when the federal government began approving cash aid for projects like shelters to prevent the future loss of life and property, Moore was shut out of the program, according to data analyzed by Oklahoma Watch in a joint project with KGOU Radio/The Oklahoma Tornado Project.

Stillwater, on the other hand, has so far gotten the largest share of federal “hazard mitigation” funds released under the presidential disaster declaration, records show. Stillwater will spend about $1.9 million, most of it federal money, to help pay for more than 700 safe rooms in residents’ homes. The same program will allow Oklahoma State University there to spend $73,000 to install a lightning detection and warning system, needed partly for sporting events.

Moore has not been left out in the cold.

Read more
Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:37 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Auditing the Storm: Hazard Mitigant Projects

Around the Nation
4:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Legal Battle Looms Over Florida Congressional Districts

Florida's state capitol. A redistricting plan crafted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tallahassee was partially thrown out by a state judge.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:18 pm

With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.

A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.

The question now is when.

Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Rubio: Small Government Can Help Fix Economic Inequality

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, shown here at an event in Washington last month, spoke with NPR's Morning Edition about the country's economic challenges.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:07 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, is concerned about issues of access to affordable education, availability of job training and prospects for economic mobility. While shunning the "income inequality" language of the left, he insists that those problems need to be viewed through the lens of limited government.

Read more
Politics
4:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Tax Cuts Fallout Put Kansas Governor On Defense

Kansas is now in a budget shortfall after a wave of dramatic tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In response, more than 100 former GOP office holders in the state have endorsed Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent in the gubernatorial race this fall. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Steve Kraske of KCUR and the Kansas City Star.

Pages